Family, Myself


Tomorrow is Tejpal’s 3rd death anniversary. He has been on my mind for a few weeks now.  In a clinical sense, he is my brother in law‘s oldest brother, but in my life he has been a mentor, an older brother, and someone who really got my need to be writing and get things done creatively. I still cannot forget when he stayed up night after night designing my high school magazine Stylus which ended winning us one of the most prestigious awards for high school magazines.  I still smile at the many nights we would sit together and we would bounce ideas back and forth. He read most that I wrote till I graduated from law school.  He ended up being one of the few people in my life who was intimately involved in my writing.  Most times I write, I cannot help feeling his shadow across my thoughts, and I miss him terribly. All of this sounds so selfish in a way because he was more than just a mentor. He was a great father and brother. If there was anyone I knew close to perfection in compassion and care, I wouldn’t hesitate to say his name.

Dearest Tejpal.  I’d like to think that he is at peace, and as hard his sudden departure from this world was, he was genuinely the kindest, most generous human being I had met in my life.  Sure, I still saw him monthly after college and law school, but what never changed was how warm he made me feel. I am sure he probably wondered where I disappeared to and perhaps my only regret is that I never really got a chance to tell him how much he meant to me. I am sure he knows it, and I liked to think that he knew how much he influenced me.  So much of me wishes that I was deeper and better at expressing him.  I feel him by my side just smiling with his gentle hand on my back.  So even though the words will never be adequate, I grasp this stylus tightly and  write for the one of the few who inspired me.

Family, Myself


English: Class of '08
English: Class of ’08 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Yesterday, I went to my niece‘s high school graduation. Just writing those words makes me feel old. The entire family went, and boy were we noticed when we screamed at hearing her name.  I have always loved the good-natured competitiveness that takes over families as they try to be the loudest, but I have to admit with our numbers, it was no competition. We were the loudest, and as I screamed I couldn’t but help remember at all the graduations my poor family had to attend because of me. High School. UCLA. Southwestern Law School.  Each time they went with the same amount of enthusiasm and numbers. It was as if my graduations were part of theirs. I realize now that graduations are a recognition of the family’s contributions. Sure. my niece and I put in the hard work, but really it was because of the energy and love given to us by our families.


My beautiful niece face swelled with happiness when she heard us, and in that moment I knew that we were all celebrating her achievement as well as ours.  Sounds a bit selfish perhaps, but there are moments in life when you know what you are doing is not just for you but for the people in your lives.  I also couldn’t help picturing my niece in diapers, and as old as I felt, I was just so utterly proud of her accomplishment that it didn’t matter that I had aged. It just felt right that I got to be there.  Sometimes that’s all that matters.  Being there to see the special moments that you will remember forever. Happy graduation, honey. I love you!