4 August 2020

Pleasant surprise in the running trail

I was just beginning my run this morning when I ran into two friends that I rarely – if ever – see in the trail – Payel Routh and Arunima Saha and their daughters! Apparently they do this very regularly. However, they start at a very early hour – 6am. Which is why I never get to see them.

Good to see more and more of my Bengali friends coming out to run/walk regularly. You probably saw the big Chalupa group picture the other day. But Payel and Arunima has done what few Chalupa runners do (any??) – do it at 6am!!!

That is some dedication!

2 August 2020

Solo ride to Talking Rock, Georgia

Rakesh had once taken a few of us bikers there. Today, I went just by myself. Rode around the town for half an hour. Talked to a couple of local folks. And when I say I talked to a couple of local folks, I must have covered a large percentage of the population there.

With a sum total population of 64 (and declining), it is reputed to be the third largest town in Georgia. It sits in a beautiful part of the North Georgia mountains next to a few rural mountain roads and a state highway.

The town came of being right after the Civil War due to the railroad built thru it. In fact, as you can see in the picture, there is a old carriage sitting there still with the welcome to the city message on it…

2 August 2020

Long after she leaves home…

… I know exactly what I will do to remember our times together… watch Phineas and Ferb!! I am sure I will be too old to do the things we do today – calculus or crosswords or 9×9 Kenkens or try to beat the 15 minute deadline to write out all country names in Sporcle – but I can always watch Phineas and Ferb.

We simply love the humor. Nothing like dad and daughter enjoying some simple humor. The elder one had decided by this age that dad is something to be embarrassed of. This one has not gotten to that point yet!

Our favorite episode is the Baljeetles… Baljeet – the Indian kid who always scores A and loves doing math (the stereotype is true!!) has this conversation with Phineas and his adopted brother with British accent (and who seldom talks)…

Phineas: “What do you do when you are angry?”
Baljeet: “Math”
Phineas: “Ok… what about when you are sad?”
Baljeet: “Math”
Phineas: “Happy?”
Baljeet: “Ma-aaath”
Phineas: “So every feeling you have makes you want to do math?”
Baljeet: “I do not know if it is so much cause and effect…. I do a lot of math. The feelings come and go.”

In a class of correlation (versus causation), that would be a mic drop moment!

2 August 2020

Meeting Lucky in his home ground

About a year and a half back, I had the craziest serendipity. Got to meet this young gentleman in an elevator and had he not ignored the notice in the elevator about which button to press, I would have probably never gotten to know him. Or realize that he grew up in my neighborhood. Went to our high school too!

Turned out Lucky and his girlfriend Lesly were at his parent’s place (in our small little town). Last week, finally, we found an evening for the four of us to go out for a drink and dinner in an open mall.

It was thoroughly an absorbing discussion. While Lucky and Lesly are still ways away from being half my age, the discussions were of great gravity and import. This included the larger purpose of life, relative importance of work (or not) and what throws us off the pursuit of happiness.

It was a great evening. I hope to run into them more often and have some more of those discussions. Truly impressed by the intelligence and the wisdom of the young folks of today.

31 July 2020

Throwback to forty years back

I remember in 1980 my sister had learnt how to sing this song. And I had accompanied her on the tabla. That was forty years back. The words and the tune are by the famous Bengali poet – Nazrul Islam.

“Musafir! mochh re aankhijol
Phirey chol aponaarey niya
Aponi phhutechhilo phool
Giyaachhhey aponi jhoriya

Re pagol! Eki durasha
Jol-e tui bnadhbi baasa
Metey na hetaa-y piyasa
Heta naai trishna doriya”

Roughly translated…

“Oh wayfarer! wipe your tears
Let’s return; collect yourself
The flower that had bloomed itself
Has also shed on its own

Oh madcap! what insane hope is this
That you will build your home on water
Your thirst won’t be quenched here
There is no fountain of elixir here”

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