The starting line.
I wanted to be an actor, be a part of the movie industry in Bollywood. I wanted a career in arts and culture. My parents insisted that I pursue science and mathematics, be a doctor or an engineer.
Everything I planned never worked out. I became an engineer and a business executive, but I continued my interests in arts and culture. I became a victim of the capitalistic system existence. My life journey is full of travel across continents, shipwrecks and derailments. I survived, and my journey continues.
Here is the rest of my story.
I was born in New Delhi, India. As a child, I read voraciously, particularly enjoying fiction, such as Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Earl Stanley Gardner and Ian Fleming’s James Bond – a character to whom I have felt especially connected, as he shares similar philosophies of life, goodness, and right and wrong. I also studied the classic works of Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy and others, and have always been very interested in poetry, having read the English poems of Browning, Keats, Milton, Tennyson, Robert Frost, and others, all while mastering Urdu poetry. My other intellectual interests include the study of Western and Eastern philosophers, especially Socrates, from whom I learned questioning methodology which I incorporated into future research, lectures and seminars.
I was fortunate to have a rich upbringing by my own parents and a neighboring Gujarati couple, who loved and nurtured me as their own child. From these four parents, I gleaned a varied background and rich exposure to world. Thus, I was reared by two sets of parents, both regarding both as fathers and mothers. All four accepted this as a normal situation. There was no conflict or rivalry between them. I was raised in two different households with two different lifestyles, cultures, values, beliefs and different spoken languages.
My biological father was a highly educated intellectual who exposed me to the Western classics and helped develop my habit of reading books on any subject. My Gujarati father was a businessman who exposed me to the business world and its wealth. He was also a revolutionary, having participated in the India independence movement with Gandhi, and told me many stories. My biological mother was very religious and I learned a lot about Hindu scriptures from her. My Gujarati mother, was an exquisite housewife who taught me the art of cooking. I had very good relationship with all my parents.
I attended an elite Jesuit convent school of Cambridge University, where I was exposed to an education that forged the foundation for my future learning and quest for knowledge. I excelled in sports and music. I recorded a play for All India Radio and was offered a lead role in a documentary move, “The Fifth Eye”, but a career in Bollywood was not in my future due to objections of my parents. So, after completing high school at St. Columbus High School, I left India for California, making short stops in London, Montreal, Canada and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Although my dream was to pursue a career in the arts – acting, playing music and writing – a quirk of fate placed me in engineering and business management, two areas in which I happened to excel.
In California, I completed my Bachelors of Science degree in engineering, then Masters and Doctorate degrees in Business Administration.