My word for the year is growth, one that I realized as I took the Science of People course by Vanessa Edwards which a former life coach introduced me to. It hit me that Growth is my word in general. My thirst and willingness to keep doing difficult things, to keep pushing for things that make me uncomfortable, to seek out knowledge, to keep read, to write, to raise a child, to work on my marriage, all of these things invite and create growth for me. But more often than not, the growth does not come from just doing those things, but failing at them. All. The. Time. It’s what makes growth so difficult sometimes. There are times I don’t want to fail, but just do the easy thing, the things that bring me pleasure, to lose myself in denial and blaming others.

That path is delicious to be sure sometimes, but when that becomes the go-to, I get to take a deeper look at myself, to take that hard look in the mirror and know that I am responsible for actions, and therefore my life. I can let the winds of change buffet me around, or I learn to glide with the currents so I can stay afloat. I know myself too well. In the past, taking the easy way was my go-to, but in the past few decades. I have become obsessed with learning and using that information to grow. One big part of that is becoming physically active. After my stroke and brain surgery nearly 10 years, there are things in my life that I no longer take for granted.

For far too long, I took my health for granted as well as my love for reading and writing. It seemed enough to devour words and put them down occasionally. I was going to be a published author at 30 then the goal changed to starting a record label (Planet Bhangra), then a concert promoter (Desipalooza anyone?), and hedonism became a way of life. Then reality hit in the form of falling in love and marriage, and illnesses and deaths and arguments and starting a law practice right before the pandemic and for a while, it became painful, almost too painful and hard to bear, and then as I grew into and past those roles, I became a new Sanjay. Not better, but more aware, perhaps a bit wiser in some things and worse in others. But what changed is my awareness of it all.

So I keep searching for that growth and in a way, failure. At some point, either I get past and grow, or I will let go of what does not serve me and allow myself the grace to fail.



As I sit in the morning quiet of Southern California, a bit jet lagged, I am bombarded with images of my niece Maya at her wedding interspersed with watching her grow up. Maya was the first in many ways. It was the first time I became a Mama, and as the Panditji reminded the crowd, it made me a double mother. Funny enough, I remember my sister saying that to me when Maya was born. It was the first time I felt responsible for someone else. From teaching her dumb things like “”Boys are bad” (thank god she didn’t listen) to me being with silly with her, screaming Hercules, Hercules or Free! (she will be more than happy to explain to anyone who asks), That little Maya became a woman, one who follows her heart and now is with her soulmate (more on that later). It felt unreal to see her in diapers then and now beautiful dresses at the wedding.

So many things came back as reminders during the weeklong celebrations for Maya and Ashwin. Watching Ashwin tear up as Maya walked down the wedding aisle reminded me of how my brother in law (now his father in law) did that with my sister (his mother in law). It just seemed so apt. Maya found a partner who feels deeply, and isn’t afraid to show it. It endeared him to me even more although he’d made it abundantly clear of his love for her when we hung out. On my last day there, the next day after the reception, Ashwin could very well have just hung out with his friends and family, yet he chose to come sit with each of us, be actually present, not just as a formality but as a genuine expression of his gratitude for so many coming. It wasn’t a surprise to see Maya doing the same, and it underscored why they are together.

Yet I admit the hardest part came up for me as I experienced the Ladies Sangeet, and couldn’t help the pain that Papa and Baby Masi were not here to celebrate her. She loved them, and they loved her in return. That pain seared into me as it hit me that there is a high chance I may not be around for some of Zyan’s milestones, and in that moment, I regretted immensely that my son and wife could not make it. I couldn’t help hugging Maya tight as I became the weepy old uncle.

Much of the week still remains a blur from getting in just in time to for the Puja to being one of the few old ones left on the dance floor at 430am. And then being me, hounding the DJ at the reception to play one last song but not before Maya sang a verse from “Aaja Sohneya” my favorite song, and one that I made the entire family fall in love with. Of course, the last song had be “Ama ni Ama” by Jassi Sidhu. It felt like the right way to end a reception.

Besides the wedding events, the meals, the countless laughs, the drinking (oh the drinking), and dancing, AshwinsMaya showcased two loving families turning into one massive one. Reconnecting with so many again and making new connections made it all the sweeter. I know how much my love my sister and brother in law poured into this, but watching it matched by Maya’s in-laws and husbands just made just it a million times better. I cannot remember a time where so many emotions came up, but I know now that Ashwin really did win Maya, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love you and cannot wait for Zyan to get to know his oldest cousin and my favorite niece.


A Fulfilling Weekend

Sitting in the morning quiet with a hot steaming cup of coffee, with Zyan sleeping peacefully near me, I could not help be filled with amazement as this previous weekend, Not only did he get to spend time with his cousins, but sharing his smile and his peacefulness with others brings it own type of joy. Watching my niece Maya sing to him and then feed him as she prepares for her wedding next week brought out a strange but powerful feeling inside me. I played with her the same way she did with Zyan. I remember holding and kissing her and making her laugh. I don’t remember a time when she did not smile when we met each other. And now she is getting married.

Just saying brings up flashes of mornings with Maya and now I realize that I am doing mornings with Zyan. The two are interrelated in a weird way because for me they were the first time I became a Mama and a Papa. Maya’s warmth came from her parents and their willingness to share her and allow her to be whatever she loved. Music was her passion from a young age, and even now its startling to remember I was there in the beginning when she began. I made one of my favorite songs hers to sing, and we will always have that connection.

So back to the weekend, prior to Maya, taking Zyan to see his other cousins also became a highlight as I saw my 4 year old niece Zara hold him and my one year old nephew Ezra gently pat him as if he instinctively knew to do that gesture. I cannot wait for Zyan and Ezra to become best friends. To learn from each other. To teach whatever unique things that come to their mind. And I keep switching between Maya, Zyan, Ezra and Zara and for a moment my world expands to a bigger heart, more love, more things to look forward, cementing my desire to be here for it all. To be the best version of myself so I can, in some small way, contribute to their lives like I did to Maya.

I cannot wait to see Maya married and have her begin her new life with her husband just I cant wait to see the relationships Zyan builds not just with this cousins but with the rest of the family. And these thoughts fill me with joy, gratitude, and impatience.

Happy Monday!