Posts Tagged Sakshi Venkatraman

Letter to my alienated daughter #9

My loving faithful daughter apologizes to her elementary school staff for speaking the truth…

Dear Sakshi,

in December 2012 you made a fateful video that brought your video producing “career” to an abrupt end.  Below is the video she posted on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-wbwR209Pk&feature=youtu.be

But oops – there is no video – because it got “censored”.  And why did that happen?  In that video (posted in a Youtube account controlled by your mother), you had depicted one of your elementary school teachers (without naming either school or teachers) as crazy enough to have mood swings and verbally abuse the children and another teacher putting her feet on the children and twisting their arms during PE class.

You caved in to the pressure (despite my total support, telling you to stand your ground) and wrote a letter of apology to all and sundry (see your apology email and my email to you about it above) and the video was taken down.  And, as I feared, you did not make another video – and you budding video “career” came to an abrupt end.

Now you are in journalism school and the Chief-Editor of your college newspaper. I know you get pressures from all quarters from people who have a problem with what you publish or don’t publish in your paper. And it does appear that you are standing up well to those trying to twist your arm.

It does seem to me that you learned your lesson from what transpired with the video and that you do NOT have to apologize for speaking the truth to power.

And I believe, whether you acknowledge it or not, that I contributed to you growing a spine since the fiasco with the self-censored YouTube video so that you no longer cave in to pressure. In the process whether or like it or not, people who know both of us see you as a piece of the old block!

Hopefully, one day, your eyes will open and you will be able to see from where you got the qualities that make you so successful today.

Best wishes.

Venky Venkatraman
B.Tech, MBA, JD

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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 #6

Once upon a time my loving faithful daughter used to apologize when she made a mistake!

Dear Sakshi,

Couple of days ago, I read this article in your paper about the movie made on the terrorist attack on the Taj Hotel in Bombay https://nyunews.com/arts/film/2019/03/25/anupam-kher-hotel-mumbai-dev-patel-bollywood-armie-hammer/

Brought me back memories of the visit that we made to this hotel the year after this attack and the fact that we had a meal at one of the hotel’s restaurants.  You might remember that they had preserved some signs of the attack as a memorial.

I believe that the places that I took you along as a child helped in developing the person that you are today.  My goal then was that you should have a global outlook, knowing about things outside of your little world in Coppell.

If you are able to get out of the fog of alienation that appears to cloud your thinking nowadays, you should be able to see that your father played at least some part (besides giving you your genes!) in getting you where you are today.

Maybe the day will come one day when “your eyes will be opened” to that fact.

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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Land of the free and the home of the brave?

FreenBrave

Growing up in India when we had one radio station (All India Radio) and one TV station (Doordarshan) both of which mostly served up government propaganda, we used to listen to the BBC to get the “real” news (and I must confess I tried to model my English on some of those great newsreaders!).

During those days we marveled at the freedom that Americans seemed to have to say whatever they pleased without any fear or favor.  We saw them even toppling a president (Nixon) whose Watergate cover-up was worse than the crime.  Truly the land of the free and the home of the brave, we thought.

A couple of recent incidents made me wonder whether America today was that much different from India of the past when it came to freedom of speech and expression (guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution).  And following are those episodes.

My multi-talented daughter, Sakshi, even when only 12 years old, combined her skill using technology and her flair for drama to make and post on YouTube several short, entertaining videos on various topics – you can see one of them at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkUMpvzEwB0 ).

Then in December 2012 she made a fateful video that brought her video producing “career” to an abrupt end.  Below is the video she posted on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-wbwR209Pk&feature=youtu.be

But oops – there is no video – because it got “censored”.  And why did that happen?  In that video (posted in a Youtube account controlled by her mother), Sakshi had depicted one of her elementary school teachers (without naming either school or teachers) as crazy enough to have mood swings and verbally abuse the children and another teacher putting her feet on the children and twisting their arms during PE class.

When the video was first posted, I was in India along with my mother and she and I had a good laugh at the video which we thought was clearly a parody (like a Saturday Night Live skit).  But what followed was unbelievable.  An EMail from the principal, Pam Mitchell, asking that the video be immediately removed and hinting at dire consequences if that was not done.  And in the course of arguing that the school could not demand removal of a video that did not mention the name of the school nor the teachers and was not made during school hours nor using school equipment, I filed an Open Records Request and found a whole army of school officials (including Assistant Superintendent, Brad Hunt), seemingly alarmed by the video, were writing conspiratorial EMails to each other about how to deal with the “situation”.  Clearly this video was not being treated as a childish parody – which suggested to me that something more serious was going on.  Or possibly the cover-up was just worse than the crime – shades of Watergate!

Cutting to the chase, Sakshi caved in to the pressure (despite my total support, telling her to stand her ground) and wrote a letter of apology to all and sundry and the video was taken down.  And, as I feared, Sakshi did not make another video in this series – and her budding video “career” came to an abrupt end.

Fast forward to several years later.  Sakshi, now several years older, is in Newspaper class where she is a “reporter” writing articles online on various topics.  One of them is titled “Kids in Asian families forced on to unwanted career paths” which as the title suggests is not flattering towards “Asian parents” in general and me (as her father) in particular.  In her bid to make a point and add some drama, she had crossed over from reporting/opining  on facts to writing fiction – and here is the link to that article posted on the school’s website:

http://www.coppellstudentmedia.com/2014/09/12/kids-in-asian-families-forced-on-to-unwanted-career-paths/comment-page-1/#comment-3274

But oops again – there is nothing there!  So what happened this time?

This is the sequence of events.  I posted a comment disagreeing with Sakshi’s contentions.  Sakshi promptly deleted my comment.  I took this up with her teacher suggesting that if any of his student “reporters” wrote and posted online anything controversial, then readers should be given an opportunity to respond on the same page and disagree.  However, rather than allowing that, the teacher promptly had the article itself deleted.  And that, in my opinion, was a pity because what could have been teaching moment was lost and Sakshi suffered the ignominy of one more her products (resulting from some hard and dedicated work) being “censored”.

And the irony of all this is when I brought this article to the attention to Brad Hunt (the Assistant Superintendent, who behind the scenes was doing his best to get Sakshi’s video deleted because “it would upset the teachers who are sensitive people”), his comment surprisingly was “Sakshi is a strong writer.  I think given that this article is in the “opinions” section that it should be treated as such, her opinion.  “.

Apparently what is not good for the geese is good for the gander!

And the unfortunate lesson Sakshi probably learnt from all this is that she lives in the land of the (not so) free and the home of the (not that) brave!!

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