Access the Audio Book: Provide your email and the proof of purchase of the e-book or paperback copy to nightmare.dec23@gmail.com or at subscription page of the website.

Contents: Broke the Chain – Early Sonatas – Animal Shelters – Bickering

Sliver of Hope – The Ignition – Free Birds – Odd Man In

Successful Approach – Escape – Civil Services – Bridge

Early Marriage – Odd Man Out – Light at the End of Tunnel – Accepting Challenges

My Great Failure – North to South – Paying a Price – East to West

First Week – Early Days in America – Plant a Social Seed- Back to School Days

Much Needed Push – Visiting Bathinda – Roller Coaster – Positivity

Messenger of God – Breaking Stereotype – Following Passion

Conquering the Unthinkable – Back to Bathinda

The Beginning

It was the evening the day before Christmas Eve.

I stared down at my hands, pale and cold from the lack of circulation. My heart was racing, and my breaths grew shallow. Dark clouds blocked my vision. I heard people shuffling around me, magazine pages flipping, and gurney wheels turning as patients were moved into their rooms. The smell of antiseptics was rampant and unavoidable. A half-finished cup of coffee sat on the table beside me. I was at NYU Langone in Manhattan, New York.

I could not tell what was happening or about to happen. The night seemed extra cold and dreary. The leather seats in the waiting room offered little comfort as I tried falling asleep. I was twisting and turning in my seat, crossing and recrossing my legs, when my phone rang. It was my sister in India.

“Hellowww…,” I said in a faint voice.

Before she could reply, I got another call. This time it was the oncologist. I put my sister on hold and took the doctor’s call I was desperately waiting for.

“Hey, Lakshmi. This is Dr. Haveri,” she said. “Are you back in New York?”

“Yes, we are. I was trying to call you,” I replied.

“Look, we found something by the right atrium of the heart. We are not sure what it is yet. We have to wait for the cardiologist to look at the results and let us know the next st…”

“But I thought everything was going well,” I said, interrupting her and trying to convince myself.

“Yes, I know,” the oncologist continued. “We will know the details by tomorrow. Let’s hope for the best. As you know, Christmas time can be difficult to get ahold of some of our physicians. But the cardiologist will come in first thing in the morning.”

“Okay,” I responded before she continued further.

“To avoid any risk, we called you back to New York. Unfortunately, you need to stay overnight at the hospital. I have taken care of all the admission formalities, okay?” She was kind enough to go the extra mile.

I was furious as I hung up and picked up the other line with my sister.

“Hello. Yes, tell me, how are things?” she asked with curiosity, hopeful to hear something positive. At that moment, I could no longer hold it back. I started crying.

“No. I don’t know,” I murmured. “It is not good. Doctors have now found something in the heart. I do not know what to do.”

“Don’t worry brother, you are in the best hands. God will do good to us. We never wronged anyone. And do not forget you are in the U.S.A.. Nothing bad is going to happen…okay?”

She was right. For a while there, I had forgotten everything outside of the hospital area. Her words threw me into a trance.

Suddenly I was brought back to my beginning, my childhood.

From a subject of ridicule, even scorn, my mother was now looked upon almost like a “Devi” (Goddess)…But soon.. a new chatter began – would I survive long enough to disapprove the curse? ~ Broke the Chain

“Do you want to go there?” he asked the seven-year-old me. “It’s our national capital. One day, we all will visit Delhi together.” ~ Early Sonatas

Early Sonatas

Often, he would swing me up and down as I rested on his legs and learned counting numbers. He made small transactions with me so that I could quickly memorize the tables… I quickly learned everything and blew into his ear and woke him excitedly.

Sliver of Hope

From harmless Ding-dong-ditch games to breaking windows with our cricket ball, we did it all.

Civil Services

Studying was the birthright of only future doctors or engineers in my community.

The Ignition

My shoes have always been a source of embarrassment for me.


My mother worked as a bridge for me – taking me from one shore to another, where my wife was waiting to enter my life.


I noticed a strange piece of cloth on the table in a square shape sitting on top of everyone’s plates. I was not sure what to do with the aprons then, either… “Where did you go for last vacation?” I daringly asked a befitting question to a rich girl, as if I had taken my last vacation to some foreign country…Her father later told me what his engineer friend said to him that day: “Don’t let this boy go. ~ Early Marriage

Animal Shelters

The floor was made of mud and the bottom parts of the walls was dotted with urine stains…nevertheless..

North to South

If anything, my parents became the victims of our so-called “divide.”

Paying a Price

I entered the United States of America for the first time…..I feel tense about good things because right behind it is the devil ready to ask for the price.

After almost 10 minutes of looking around, I saw the hotel sign hanging up, but I still could not find an entrance...I proudly climbed the stairs of the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center in New York. ~ Early Days in America

Messenger of God

I had given up and lost every shred of hope but my wife was determined to wait until the last moment…..we lined up with wet, snow-filled shoes in a freezing temperature on the street just outside the…

Following Your Passion

It reminded me of my grandfather’s rehearsal room. At 4:30 p.m. sharp, an old white man, about 6’2,” with swollen red eyes and grey curly hair walked out of the room to the right. He wore a loose shirt half tucked into old dress pants buckled all the way up to his rib cage, and muddy sport shoes.

Back to Bathinda

Deepak, Satish, and Jatinder were as happy as they always were. For them, it was no surprise.

Inspirational Excerpts

Breaking the Stereotype

“Why did you advise your daughters not to worry about scoring 98 out of 100, Lakshmi?”

Conquering the Unthinkable

I could have never imagined that after all that had happened in my life that it would be India that played a part in helping me reach my final goal.

Civil Services

I kept thinking about the stories my mother told me about how my father had been exploited by relatives.

Accepting Challenges

“Who is Lakshmi Kant…he scored the most points and got the first rank in our college..” Deepak reminded the professor of who I was.

Successful Approach

But at the end of the day, it was everyone’s blessings, some initial decisions made by elders — combined with my attitude against societal pressures — that paid off….Even today, I take my daughters to temples, gurudwaras, mosques, and churches to instill in them the power of belief…

Accepting Challenges

I got a scholarship of rupees 900 ($15) each for my three years of undergraduate degree. It was more than enough; I even saved some money to buy a brand-new bicycle…

Successful Approach

“You kept my interest fuel running. And today I can teach any subject in commerce better,” said… 


So the first thing I tried doing was to keep the money part out of the game..

Conquering the Unthinkable

We were tagged as “Lakshmi’s Team.”

छोटी छोटी झलकियाँ 

(अध्याय – अर्ली सोनाटा) 

मेरे दादा जी ने मुझे मेरा नाम ‘लक्ष्मी कांत’ दिया – बॉलीवुड में एक लोकप्रिय भारतीय संगीतकार का नाम। उन्होंने मुझे एक उप-नाम भी दिया ‘डगलस’- सर डगलस-होम १९६० के दशक में एक लोकप्रिय ब्रिटिश प्रधानमंत्री थे। शायद मेरे दादाजी ने सपना देखा था कि मैं एक संगीतकार बनूंगा या पश्चिम की यात्रा करूँगा। किसी को पता नहीं।

बचपन में मैं बीमार रहने लगा। मेरे माता-पिता को डॉक्टर के क्लिनिक में लगातार आना जाना पड़ता। कहीं न कहीं मेरी माता जी को सुनी हुई बातों में विश्वास होने लगा कि मैं शाप के कारण जीवित नहीं रहूँगा – शाप माने – हमारी पुश्तों में कभी दो सगे भाईयों के परिवार आगे नहीं बढ़े। नतीजा तन, वह हमेशा मेरे लिए सुरक्षात्मक रहती। वह मुझे उस शाप से बचाने के लिए संतों आदि के पास भी ले जाती । मेरी माता जी मुझे पानी के कुंडों, तालाबों, नहरों या झीलों के पास जाने से मना किया करती क्योंकि मेरे ताया जी की आठ साल की उम्र में नज़दीकी स्कूल के तालाब में डूबने से मौत हो गई थी। मेरे दादा जी अगर मुझे नियमित टीका-करण को ले जाने के लिए थोड़ी सी भी देरी करते या अगर मैं थोड़ा सा भी अनियमित दिखता तो वह मेरे दादा जी तक से भी भिड़ जाती। मेरी नींद में बदलाव, मेरी त्वचा पर खरोंच या थकान का मामूली रूप भी उनके लिए भयानक था। उनका रोगभ्रमी चरित्र मुझ में भी दिखाई पड़ता है। मैं अभी भी पानी से डरता हूं और तैर नहीं सकता। अगर मेरी बेटियाँ पानी में खेल रही हों तो मैं समुद्र के किनारे सटे हुए बार में बीयर का आनंद नहीं ले सकता। 

बचपन में मैंने अपने दादा जी के साथ महत्वपूर्ण समय बिताया, संगीत सीखा और हमारे शहर में नए स्थानों की खोज की। मेरे बाबा जी हमारे स्थानीय गाँव थिएटर  के जाने माने व्यक्तित्व थे। वह एक संगीत गुरु थे। मैंने उनके  संगीत स्कूल में पहली और दूसरी कक्षा के लिए अध्ययन किया, इससे पहले कि मैं एक पारंपरिक स्थानीय सामुदायिक स्कूल में भेजा जाता। उनका संगीत विद्यालय हमारे घर से लगभग ३०० गज की दूरी पर स्थित था। लोग कहते हैं, उन्होंने उस स्कूल में (विद्या मंदिर) में महत्वपूर्ण समय बिताया। स्कूल में दो खंड थे। एक खंड में, एक हिंदू मंदिर और संगीत की रिहर्सल के लिए एक बड़ा हॉल था; दूसरे क्षेत्र में, दो कमरे- एक छात्रों के लिए समर्पित और दूसरा जहाँ स्कूल का मालिक अपने परिवार के साथ रहता था।

“यह एक एक्सप्रेस ट्रेन है और यह दिल्ली तक जाती है,” फिर उन्होंने एक्सप्रेस ट्रेन और स्थानीय ट्रेन के बीच के अंतर को समझाते हुए कहा। “क्या तुम वहाँ जाना चाहते हो?” उन्होंने मुझसे पूछा। “दिल्ली हमारी राष्ट्रीय राजधानी है। एक दिन, हम सभी वहां भ्रमण को जायेंगे।”

आज जब मैं वापस उस पल के बारे में सोचता हूं तो मेरी आंखों से आँसू बह निकलते हैं। मैं उसी एक्सप्रेस ट्रेन में पहले दिल्ली और फिर प्रगति करते करते हवाई जहाज़ में न्यूयॉर्क शहर तक पहुंच गया। मेरे दादाजी यहां मेरे साथ नहीं हैं, लेकिन उनकी आशा मेरे लिए एक वास्तविकता बन गई है।

मेरे पिता की आंखों की रोशनी बिगड़ने लगी और जल्द ही उन्हें मोतियाबिंद हो गया। हमारे परिवार के कई लोगों का मानना ​​था कि यह कार्य शोषण (विस्तारित पारिवारिक व्यवसायों में श्रमसाध्य कार्यों को संभालने) का परिणाम था, जिससे अंततः पारिवारिक संबंधों में खिंचाव आया। इस समय के दौरान, मैंने अपने पिता के साथ हमारे घर के लिए दूध और सब्ज़ियाँ खरीदने के लिए मदद में बाहर निकलना शुरू किया। हम बाजार में समय बिताना पसंद करते थे। सबको पता था कि हम दोनों बाज़ार जाने के लिए कहेंगे। जब कोई रिश्तेदार हमसे मिलने आते, तो मेरी माता जी हमें अक्सर भारतीय स्नैक्स खरीदने के लिए जाने को कहती। लेकिन अपने जोखिम पर, बिल्कुल। मेरे पिताजी और मैं बाहर खाने के शौकीन थे और हमारे पसंदीदा हलवाई, बनारसी (हमारे पुराने किराएदार जिन्हें मेरे दादा ने दुकान बेची थी) से कुछ बर्फी (भारतीय मिठाई) खाने का मौका मिलता। बठिंडा में विभिन्न विक्रेताओं के समोसे भी हमारी कमज़ोरी थी। हमारा पसंदीदा पवन और गूंगाल। मेरे पिता और मैं, दो मुक्त पक्षी, बाजार की विभिन्न यात्राओं से पैसे बचाते थे और वह अंततः अपने लिए कुछ समोसे हड़पने के लिए पर्याप्त थे। बाजार में, केवल दो या तीन रुपये के साथ, हम सब्जी विक्रेताओं के साथ अपने पिता के मजबूत सौदे-बाज़ी के कौशल के कारण, पच्चीस या पचास पैसे बचाने में कामयाब रहते। और फिर वह दिन आया जब हम पकडे जाने वाले थे…

For reading our full book, go to amazon link provided on the home page. Check testimonials on the testimonials page. Also get access to audiobook by reaching out to us.

%d bloggers like this: