Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Alisha’s World – it is live!

As a parent of two girls of East Asian Indian origin growing up in the US, I had been frustrated with the lack of reading/entertainment resources for my daughters. While I found a lot of age appropriate resources for colors, reading, math etc. there just weren’t any resources that helped my kids get comfortable with their dual cultural identity: American and Indian. I had thought about it for a long time but like a lot of things one thinks about, I never acted on it. Well, I am glad to say, I finally did do something about it and have created Alisha’s World™ (www.alishasworld.com).

Alisha’s World™ is filled with believable multicultural characters facing real life situations. The stories revolve around Alisha, an Indian American 3rd grader, and her friends. Inspired by friends and family who were raised in the US in similar multicultural environments, these stories are written for children to enjoy and to boost their confidence with their multicultural identity.

While the stories are written from the perspective of an Indian American girl, these stories talk about issues that will resonate with any child that is growing up in a diverse multicultural environment.

The first offering we have is a book of three stories. It is available now. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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Daddy, I want to do Dandiya

This really made my day. My older daughter had some friends coming over to play. Turns out what she really wanted to do with her friend is Dandiya! (traditional Indian dance with short batons) I guess my kids are more comfortable in their Indian American identity than I think they are.

Guilt about working too long/too hard

I met Arjun Sen at a conference recently. He left a high profile job in Marketing to spend more time with his daughter. He realized one day that his work had been all consuming and was taking away time from his kid and so he quit. He started his own consulting company that allowed him to dictate his own schedule. He has written a book about his experience (raisingafather.blogspot.com). Check it out.

A few days later, I met a consultant from a Big Four advisory firm who had ‘Anton Days’ (days her son Anton was with her) when her kid was younger. On those days, she made sure all her clients and her coworkers knew that she was available only for certain hours. She did not take calls or meetings outside of those hours. People she worked with respected her decision and worked around her schedule.

While many of us feel bad about not spending enough time with our kids, not too many of us act on it.  I do believe, that it is tough to do what Arjun did, but I believe it is definitely possible to do what the consultant did. It doesn’t hurt to set expectations in our workplace for some personal time. I work for a global company and frequently have to interact with people from all over the world in different time zones. For many years, I have let it be known that I don’t take calls between 7 and 8AM in the morning (kids are getting out of the house) or between 6 and 8PM at night (my time with the kids). My coworkers largely honor these wishes and work around these times. It has worked for me so far. Would love to hear other people’s thoughts on this.