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Letter to my alienated daughter #8

I bought this house in 2002 because my loving faithful daughter told me when we were moving from CA to TX that she wanted an upstairs-downstairs house!

I bought this house in 2002 because my loving faithful daughter told me when we were moving from CA to TX that she wanted an upstairs-downstairs house!

Dear Sakshi,

In 2001, when you were just 3 years old, and I had decided to move from California to Texas to take up a new job, you said “Dad – my friend here has an upstairs-downstairs house. I want to also have an upstairs-downstairs house. Can you get me one?”.

Since I could refuse you nothing from the time you were first born and looked at me with your beautiful brown eyes, I immediately said “Of course, I will get you one konthey (baby)”.

So I told the realtors in Dallas not to bother to even show me any house that did not have “upstairs-downstairs”. Eventually, I zeroed in on this house with 2 stories.

At least from my end, I have some very fond memories (bolstered by thousands of pictures and hundreds of hours of video) of you and your sister growing up in this house. So it was really painful to me (and it still pains me till today) when you made it appear during your testimony in court that nothing good ever happened to you when you were with me in this house. (A more competent lawyer would have torn your testimony apart for being so extreme and absolute in your statements but that is another story).

Under the circumstances, I can be reconciled with the fact that you and I may never have a relationship again and move on with my life ONLY when I am able to find out what is the rationale based on which you have completely rejected me.

Per Dr. Richard Warshak an authority on Parental Alienation regarding a parent who alienates a child from another parent:

“Through persistent bad-mouthing, lies, exaggerations, overlooking positives, and drum-beating negatives, they manipulate their children to reject the other parent in the same way a politician paints a unfavorable picture to alienate voters from the opponent.”

At this time, I believe your mother engaged in this type of behavior. As long as I believe that is what happened to you, you can rest assured that your mother will pay a steep price for destroying your relationship with me. On the other hand, if it is some other reason that has ripped us apart, it might be in the best interest of everyone involved that you let me know what exactly happened (from your perspective) that turned my “loving faithful daughter” into somebody I cannot recognize anymore.

I assure you that I will leave no stone unturned to figure out what happened to the girl who used to be the apple of my eye and the light of my life, however long it takes.

Hopefully, one day, sooner rather than later, you will let me know “What happened?” and bring an end to this quest.

Best wishes.

Venky Venkatraman
B.Tech, MBA, JD



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Letter to my alienated daughter #7

Cute comment on my blog by my loving faithful daughter when she was just 13 – weaponized by her in court 3 years later!

Dear Sakshi,

In November 2012 I wrote a blog (see:
http://venkyvenkatraman.com/2019/04/letter-to-my-alienated-daughter-7/ ) after being part of a jury as if I was actually addressing you and your sister. You were smart enough even then, when just 13 years old, to write a nice comment which was even appreciated by the now CISD Superintendent, Brad Hunt (see above).

Then just 3 years later, you used what I wrote in my blog and what I might have told you in private (don’t recall ever telling you that a jury panel was “12 idiots picked off the street”, though) to effectively weaponize that against me in court (see above), along with your testimony that followed, to pretty much torpedo my quest to bring you and your sister back home.

Clearly, that ingenious idea was entirely yours as neither your mom nor her lawyer would have known about this blog from 3 years ago and what I may or may not have said to you in private.

Now that another 3 years have gone by since your testimony, do you have any regrets about doing this? If you do, then I will forgive you as you were just as a (precocious) child who did not understand the long term ramifications of what you were doing. On the other hand, if you have no regrets even now at age 20 for what you did when you were still 16, then I can only say, Beware of Karma. One fine day, someone who was close to you and to whom you confided private matters, will spill those confidences (even distorted) in open court causing you great embarrassment and consternation. And that person could even be your own child! And on that day you will remember and regret what you did in November 2015.

As always, I am waiting for your eyes to open and if and when that day comes, if I am still alive and kicking, I will welcome you back with open arms.

Best wishes.

Venky Venkatraman
B.Tech, MBA, JD

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Letter to my alienated daughter #5

My loving faithful daughter made this in kindergarten!

Dear Sakshi,

I had sent you this communication when you took on your new role:

I made this comment on your post and it never got published.  And there are no other comments either.  One way you can ensure that people pay less and less attention to your paper is if you ignore and disrespect your readers or don’t interact at all with them.  If you are really looking for ways to revive people’s interest in journalism and journalists, keep that in mind.

P.S.  In the event you would prefer such feedback be sent to you privately, just me know and I will be happy to do so.

Congrats on your new position and best wishes for a successful tenure as Editor-in-Chief!

With respect to your question “Would people even care if our industry quietly faded into nothing?” my response is in this era of “fake news” and spin, people are yearning for reporting which is unbiased and covers a story from all angles. Rarely do we see that nowadays with the so-called journalists wanting to add their spin to every story they write. So if your paper under your leadership provides unvarnished facts such that people begin to trust in your reporting, you and your paper will thrive. On the other hand, if you cherry pick facts to reach some predetermined conclusions, then eventually people will see through it and your readership will dwindle to just the hard-core ideologues who agree with your point of view.

So give this some thought – and to show that you do actually care for other points of view, I hope you will publish this comment.

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Letter to my alienated daughter #4


My loving faithful daughter while in elementary school…

Dear Sakshi,

Today at the gym I ran into an old friend after a long time who asked me “How is Sakshi?”.

For a moment I thought of answering “truthfully”, “I have not seen her in almost 2 years.  She says she has no relationship with me. So I have no idea”.

Instead I chose to respond “She is doing great. She is in NYU and she is already the Editor-in-Chief of her college newspaper.  I am very proud of her”.

Lesson to you as a soon-to-be journalist – so-called “truth” can be used as a weapon by selectively revealing some information but not disclosing other relevant information.

Hope you will keep that in mind while talking or writing about me and our “relationship” (or lack thereof, according to you).

Best wishes.

Venky Venkatraman

B.Tech, MBA, JD

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Letter to my alienated daughter #3

About 5 years ago, my loving faithful daughter wanted to go to Tisch school at NYU and be an actress!

Dear Sakshi,

I got an alert about an online post where you were criticized and later admitted your error.  See:

“WSN Editor-in-Chief Sakshi Venkatraman admitted the piece “was written with a clear bias” and “was sensationalist and wrong.” Venkatraman also acknowledged that the comparison to McInnes and Yiannopoulos “was clearly a reach—and disrespectful.”” From:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/03/13/sars-m13.html

I really wish you would bring that kind of clear thinking to your relationship with your own father to whom you might owe an apology as well!

I am also impressed by your response to this controversy – shows your maturity.  See:

As someone with far more experience, I would like to be on your side and advise you when someone attacks you online or elsewhere and you feel beleaguered – for that you need to reach out to me.

Best wishes.

Venky Venkatraman

B.Tech, MBA, JD

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Letter to my alienated daughter #2

Note from my loving, faithful daughter from eons ago

Hello Sakshi,

Very impressed with this statement (presumably) made by you in https://nyunews.com/2019/02/19/statement-from-washington-square-news/ and I agree 100% with it.

But when I saw the line “We publicly acknowledge when we make errors and welcome letters to the editor from anyone disagreeing with how we do our jobs.” I had to say to myself “Really?” since you have failed to publish in your paper the constructive criticism I have provided on many of your writings.

I hope you are able to see the dichotomy here – if not, I am hoping some more seasoned journalist will be able to point it out to you one day.

Further, you state “If some activists choose not to provide comment for our coverage, then we’re left to report on what is said in public forums and meetings. “. Based on that I think you would agree that if you do not provide any responses to communications sent directly to you, then I am left with only the choice of responding to you in a public forum.

Hope you will give that some thought.

Best wishes.

Venky Venkatraman

B.Tech, MBA, JD

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Letter to my alienated daughter #1

From my loving, faithful daughter (YLFD) from eons ago ….

Hello Sakshi,

Given that you are now telling people that you have “no relationship” with me, I was wondering how you feel when you introduce yourself to people as:

Sakshi – the name I picked for you when you were born (which means someone who always sees/speaks the truth) 

Saroja – your loving grandmother’s first name (someone who you missed seeing on her deathbed due to your own actions – you know what I mean)

Venkatraman – my name, my father’s name, my grandfather’s name (you effectively reject my side of the family when you reject me)

So till you change your name to something like Sarah Susan Venturella you will always have a “relationship” to me, if not with me!

Best wishes.

Venky Venkatraman

B.Tech, MBA, JD

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Called in during KERA program THINK on “Inside The World Of Competitive Spelling”

For the past two decades, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has been dominated by Indian-American competitors. Vauhini Vara was once a champion speller herself. She joins us to talk about why these youngsters make such formidable competitors – and about the role the contest plays in their assimilation into American culture. Her story “Bee-Brained” appears in the new issue of Harper’s.

I called in and asked a question of the guest Vauhini Vara.  You can find my question and her response starting at the 39th minute in the audio file above.

 

 

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Problems with Subscribe2 resolved?

After my last posting (http://venkyvenkatraman.com/2014/05/whats-in-a-name/) I realized after several weeks that the notification EMail that usually gets sent whenever I have posted something new apparently went out to just a few of my subscribers.

Ever since then I have been trying to debug this problem with no luck.  Today I sent a Test EMail from my blog and several of you responded back confirming you got it.  So it appears that this problem may now be resolved.

So in case you did not receive a notification when I posted my last blog item (‘What’s in a name?”) and receive this one, I hope will read, and as usual, I welcome any comment.

 

 

 

 

A Tribute to my Mother

Amma and me - baby picture

 

My mother took her last breath on this earth at 4:45 am on October 9, 2013, with me sitting by her side and holding her hand as she lay unconscious on her hospital bed.  In the background was softly playing the Hindu Mahamrityunjaya Mantra:

mahamritunjaya

“OM. Tryambakam Yajamahe, Sugandhim Pushti-Vardhanam, Urvarukamiva Bandhanaan, Mrityor Mukshi Yamamritaat…” which roughly translates to “We Meditate on the Three-eyed reality Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance.
May we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality, Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper.”

The doctor came in and pronounced her dead and although I knew the end was near even when I stepped onto the plane in Dallas, there was a moment of disbelief.  I was told when I reached Bombay that my mother was clinging on to her life just waiting for me to arrive.  When I reached the hospital, she was unconscious and breathing hard.  As I sat next to her and talked to her hoping that she was sensing my presence at some subconscious level, I was also hoping against hope that she would suddenly open her eyes and give me the special smile that she had for me, her oldest child.  But it was not to be and some 30 hours after I arrived, she left this earth without regaining consciousness.  I never left her side once she passed, staying at her bedside, in the hearse which took her home, during the ceremonies which followed, back into the hearse to the crematorium for more ceremonies till I finally lit the funeral pyre, gently pushed her body into the incinerator, collected her hot ashes with my bare hands about an hour later and then immersed them in the sea at 1:45 pm on the same day.

Now it is more than 2 months since her passing and I look back on her life and the special bond that we had from the beginning of my life to the end of hers.

My mother was married when she was only 17.  She used to tell me that she was a very smart student in school and wanted to be a doctor.  But in those days, girls were not expected to be too smart – just get married as soon as they were out of school and have a family.

I was born to my mother when she was just 18.  She used to tell me that I almost died at birth since my umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck and I choked to the point that I was blue when I was born.  So my survival was like a miracle to her.

And the strange part was that all my life whenever I looked at her, I could see the infinite love she had for the baby who almost never made it.  And from my side, as a child, my mother was this most beautiful person in the world, who could solve any problem that I brought to her, who was my biggest cheer-leader when I was succeeding at something and the person who would console me at times of loss and sorrow.

I realize now that almost everything I did was to try to impress her – and she used to be thrilled with whatever little thing I accomplished.  And she believed that I was smart enough to achieve anything I wanted in life – and she also knew all my weaknesses that held me back from reaching some of my goals.

Now that she is gone, even as a middle aged man, I feel orphaned.  But then I hear my mother’s voice talking to me, repeating what she has told me many times “You have always done your duty as my oldest son and unlike many other parents have about their children,  I have no disappointments at all with you.  So I will never be gone from your life.  Even if my body leaves this earth, my spirit will be always be around protecting and guiding you”.

And, come to think of it, from my side I have no regrets as well.  There was nothing left unsaid or any unfinished business between me and her.  She lived a good life and had a relatively painless passage out of this world (which is ultimately what is sought by reciting the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra).

So I will move forward full steam ahead with my life and ensure that all the efforts that my mother made in bringing me into this world and nurturing me during sickness and health shall not have been in vain.

Finally, when it is my time to kick the bucket, I will have no fear whatsoever, since I have no doubt she will be out there somewhere waiting to welcome me back in her arms once again!

 

 

 

 

 

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