September 11th 2001 :

A day the world will probably never forget due to the devastation caused by some fanatic morons. For me, as a Muslim Indian immigrant, the repercussions were clear (and it seems to get worse !). Of course, it does not help a lot if your name is Mohammed !

Exactly 4 years later :
We celebrated the birth of our 3rd child, my second son. Born in WakeMed hospital (Cary, NC), he was born a healthy child. For the parents, it was again the same amazing feeling we have ever witnessed or experienced (as was the case with our first son and daughter). Subtle indications from god of his existence and miracles i would say.

There were a lot of eiree unwanted coincidences. Born on 9/11, at the same time (8:45 am), my name was Mohammed (and i slightly resembel him too !), and i was working for a company called "American Tower" ! Some of my friends joked he should be named Osama. As a father, all i wished for him was he should grow to be a healthy boy and a good human being.

A gift from god

Its easy to raise i child. Not so bad to raise 2, but when you have 3 kids to raise (with about 2 year age differences between each), our lifestyle changed. Our schedule was based on the kids, their naptime, school, pre school, soccer, Kumon etc. Going to restaurants, movies, parties was always an adventure. What could be the probability of all 3 kids behaving at the same time ? Its as good a chance as the gas prices coming down to $1.5 a gallon !

But it was worth all these trivial sacrifices. The joy of seeing a little one grow is simply unbelievable. Their first smile, their first steps, their first words... these are the things "MasterCard" cannot buy ! Luckily there was no sibling rivalry. As the months passed by, before his first b'day he would stand by the storm door and cry saying "da da, ba ba" when i left for work. His name, when translated from Arabic meant "A gift from god"... and for us, he sure was !


My first son, then aged 5 was having issues at his pre school. The teachers recommended him to retain him in transition as he was not very social or vocal. We got him evaluated and the Wake County officials finally gave a recommendation that everythings allright with him. We were happy that he would go to Kindergarten in Davis Drive. Little did we realise the "politics" or "bias" that was going on in the county school system !

My son is very mild and soft spoken (a lot like me), and we found it strange that he did not like his Kindergarten teacher from day one. Very unlike him not to like anyone. He struggled in Kindergarten and that started draining our energy, stressing us out.. all kinds of tests, evaluations, and not to forget the mounting medical bills. The biggest jolt came when his teacher said he has to be retained in Kindergarten !! That sounded very absurd. I knew a few kids from the same school who were comparitively very weak, and were going to First Grade.

When we started questioning the decision, we got absurd answers, and the principal closed the matter with the final sentence "Only a miracle can see him go to first grade". My wife studies the books for parents rights, approached the supeintendent, and the "miracle" finally happen ! He was promoted to first grade. He has just completed his first grade and had absolutely no issues. Thanks to his teachers in first grade. I think they made a huge difference.