Remembering Papa - May 6, 2021

One morning in 2001, as I was getting ready for school, I heard a commotion in our community in Bhopal. Lo and behold, my father was right in the middle of it. One Krishnamurthy uncle had took some panga with a taxi driver and the taxi driver brought his friends et al to beat Krishnamurthy up. My papa somehow thought it was the right place for him to, well, interfere.  For context, papa was 6’2”, weighed about a hundred kilos, and the legend in Holkar college Indore went that on an average, it took him about 2.5 seconds to break that other guy’s jaw.  But that day was different. As the drama unfolded from our balcony. I saw my father trying to talk things out with these folks. Of course, that didn’t work. After a few seconds, I heard a loud “Happ!”. That’s it. That’s all he said and then there was silence all around. Papa then took Rs. 1000 from his wallet, gave it to the leader of the driver union and asked him to eff off. They did.  Awestruck, I told papa how proud I was of him for b

Empathy & Strength

(written as a series of 'note to self' messages) I was thinking about empathy today. I have been trying to do my best to be empathetic and kind to people in the last few months, and despite that, I get frustrated often, like I did again this morning with a security guard, or with my mother last evening over something silly. And maybe its because I realise that being empathetic to others does not conform their empathy towards me. For some, its how they are and I dont worry about such people. I filter them out. But the kind of people who frustrate me are the ones who know that I am an empathetic person and who try to take advantage of me for being who I am. There have been quite a few who have tried to use me as a doormat. So, just a thought here — maybe all the dots are not connecting with this empathy equation. You need a counterbalance to prevent yourself from becoming a doormat frequently. And, I think, that counterbalance is not mental or emotional strength. It has to be phy

Founder Learnings

I learned a very important lesson as a founder this week — a lesson in optimal stopping, but generally about the psychological temperament I needed to have. People will always want to take you for a ride. You can't escape it by being too defensive. You can't either be too naive all the time and let others take advantage of your good. You need to look at every opportunity in terms of its cost to you and the trade offs that you're willing to make to take that opportunity cost. You need to learn to evaluate at which point this opportunity cost becomes sunk cost. And when that happens, you need to stop playing the game. Empathy is very important. But don't let your empathy be a reason for people to treat you as a doormat. And they will do that. Don't blame them for it, its only natural. You can see other people's biases, but you can't see yours. You will always judge yourself by your intentions while judging others by their actions. If you're woke at this le