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Krishan Bedi
Dodging and Handling Curveballs in Life and in Memoir Writing 
October 11, 2018
4 PM PDT | 5 PM MDT | 6 PM CDT | 7 PM EDT

Engineering a Life is a story of an immigrant who achieved The American Dream against all the odds. I came to the United States in December of 1961 at the tender age of twenty. I had only $300 in my pocket, and I had made it out of my small village in India on sheer faith, determined to get education in the US. For me, there was no option but to succeed—so I began my new life in Knoxville, Tennessee, where I had to adapt to the culture shock not only of being in the US but a Punjabi man in the South in the 1960s.

My memoir is an examination of my life, and how I handled the plethora of curve balls thrown my way with determination, humor, and an unwavering faith that everything would work out. This is a book about values and faith and the importance of friendship, family, and hard work. It’s a story about achieving the American Dream, proving that no matter how thoroughly you map out your life’s journey, no matter how many blueprints you draw up, when you veer off the course you’ve plotted—as we all do, somehow, in the end—you end up where you’re supposed to be.

  • How I discovered the theme of my book: hard work, determination, a positive attitude, and faith in God can help you achieve anything your heart desires.
  • The purpose of my memoir: to share my unique experiences with everyone. There were many things my family members did not know.
  • Sharing my story with family members lead sowing a seed in my mind about writing a memoir and share the stories of my life with a larger audience. As an immigrant who had achieved The American Dream against all odds, I felt that my family and friends and even strangers would enjoy my story.

A story my friends and family particularly enjoyed listening to was when I worked as a cook, but did not know how to cook American dishes. I had made a collect call to my friend back in Knoxville, Tennessee to ask, “How do I make pancakes?” Everyone also loved hearing about my time as a bus driver in Chicago while not knowing the city routes and asking the passengers to tell me which way to go. My friends enjoyed listening to my stories and indicated that I must write a book. It is way for ordinary people to discover and share the extraordinary in their lives.

  • The process of memoir writing: Gathering information and details, staying focused, making decisions about what stories to tell, rewriting and continuously editing so it reads well.
  • Financial considerations: Editing Cost, researching publishing companies and deciding which avenue to take to publish my memoir.

Krishan Bedi came to the US by boat with only $300 in his pocket in December 1961. Bedi eventually earned a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of Tennessee. Krishan returned to India after nine years to have an arranged marriage. Together they returned to the States so his wife could experience the American lifestyle. Back in the US, he developed a career as a Healthcare Executive, becoming successful and ultimately presenting papers at professional healthcare societies. He’s since served as member of several healthcare professional organizations, and is currently a member of the board of Indo-American Society of Peoria. Bedi is a contributing author to The Magic of Memoir.


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