Thanksgiving wasn’t a day I knew about till I moved to the US. Since then it has become my favorite holiday. It is not religious. It is not patriotic. It is not nationalistic. If you forget the historical context on how Thanksgiving came about, and then you realize that at least in the eyes of a new immigrant, it is a day that represents the inherent openness of the American society.

Almost two decades ago, my friend Dilip Massand invited me to his family home in Connecticut for what was my first thanksgiving. It was a cold brisk weekend. There was snow. There was fire. There was even a frozen brook in the back. And there was this thing Americans called Football. But more importantly, it was about a family taking in new immigrant and making him one of their own. It was the first step to assimilation into a new life.

That one day with the Massand is imprinted in my mind as an ideal Thanksgiving day. (It was also the day I became addicted to the pecan pie, though I am told Walnut pies are better.) Every year that has passed since, I have spent Thanksgiving with friends – often different folks from different walks of life. A unifying thread between various years has been the love and openness with which I was welcomed to their dinner table.

I suppose, I have a lot to be thankful for in my life. But the most I am thankful for are all the people who are in my life — enriching it everyday by just being there. Many of you I have met, some I have not. Others are my family. Many more are my friends. In all, you are the sum of parts that is my life. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving Day.

And if you are not in the US, well have a great day, nonetheless!

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