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#TalkToMe: My Dad, the Original Mowgli

Please check out this WONDERFUL video of my daughter, India interviewing her 80-year-old grandfather whom we call "Ajja" for the Huffington Post #TalkToMe video series. The #TalkToMe series is an effort not only for people to look for knowledge and wisdom closer to home but also to bring the Huff Post global family closer as well!
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Dear Family, Friends and Huff Post Global Community,

Please check out this WONDERFUL video of my daughter, India interviewing her 80-year-old grandfather whom we call "Ajja" for the Huffington Post #TalkToMe video series. The #TalkToMe series is an effort not only for people to look for knowledge and wisdom closer to home but also to bring the Huff Post global family closer as well!

This video is very special as Ajja (my dad, Mr. Venkatesh Kamath) is the original "Mowgli". As a child, my dad would often recall his adventures from his small village, Nerlakatee in India. I would be in awe as I listened as there were fascinating stories of "lions and tigers, and bears, oh my"! As an adult, I am in awe of my dad for what he has accomplished and that he has done so without ever losing his heart of gold!

My dad came to the U. S. with only $8 to his name and his dream of having a better life for his family. It was hard enough coming from a third world country in the 1960's, let alone from a small village in a third world country. He grew up in poverty, walked several miles to school each way without shoes and was on his own since his early teen years, essentially raising himself. There was no electricity, running water or transportation. My dad was ambitious, worked hard and instilled in all of us his work ethic and his values. He still works full-time as a chemist at 80 years old! He is also kind and generous and has given back not only to causes in the U.S. but also to his quaint village.

I've had the privilege of going back to India twice with my family. On one trip we traveled with my parents to Nerlakatee and it was astounding how the village people were lining up to meet us because of the high regard and respect for my dad. His generosity has included sponsoring college education to local village kids who otherwise would not have the means. My dad's greatest joy is spending time with his 7 grandkids who he calls the "7 Wonders of the World". He believes the "bare necessities" are one's family and one's strength of character!

My beautiful and talented daughter, India loves "Jungle Book"! Growing up she loved bears and Baloo was her all-time favorite! As a result, at any given time in my lively home, you could hear us singing, "Bare Necessities". India is proud to have interviewed my dad and has done a terrific job!

As I close, please know my hope for all of you is simply to:

Look for the bear necessities
The simple bear necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife.

Thank you! Wishing you all the very BEST today and always!

Vanita Braver, MD is a mom, a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, children's book author of the "Teach Your Children Well" series (see www.drvanitabraver.com) & Ellen DeGeneres fan.