Went out late to Alpharetta downtown. JayJay was virtually begging to take him. Which he did. He sat there the whole time and made absolutely no noise. Totally ignored the other dogs that barked at him and wanted to make friends with him. All he did was kept looking at people and tried to hear intently why they were saying!!
Getting started is still a challenge. But staying up is getting easier. Tried some down slopes to see if I can stay stable as it gains speed. Nikita has figured out how to get started and get up. She told me it took her about an hour of practice. Which means for me, it would be three to four hours. Let’s see…
In a bit of sheer lunacy, I tried unicycling. Learnt the hard way that at the age of 54, I have certainly lost a lot of my sense of balance that came naturally to me as a kid. I am told that this process continues thru our old age. (one key reason why elderly people fall down so much).
I am pausing my attempts on unicycle. But to extend that streak of madness, I am now going with skateboard to see if I can master it. Well, when I say master it, for my age, if I can get up, go for fifty yards steering around a few objects and get off without hurting myself, that counts.
None of those flipping tricks I see the kids do in Fowler Park Skate Park. Now, my problem is that I need some space to practice. Which would mean I have to go very early in the morning before the kids show up. Nobody wants to see a old man trying desperately to stay on a skateboard and falling down…
Of the various aspects of flying every week that I miss, the topmost must be making new friends. I probably have made more friends on the road – at airports, hotels, restaurants – than by any other means. It has been a great experience even keeping up with them (I send FB requests to many of them – some of them make the mistake of accepting).
Now that I am not flying any more… I am having to adapt. Truth is I do not meet that many strangers any more. However, I am getting a few opportunities in the open areas where Sharmila and I go for late evening drinks. The most fascinating friends was a small kid call Dylan who played soccer with me in the Halcyon mall open area. I have not seen him ever since.
Today, we made friends with the Sylvesters. They were sitting in the adirondack chairs in Alpharetta downtown next to where Sharmila and I usually sit. It started with if we were comfortable they sitting down at the next set of chairs. From there we discussed beers – they were having Shiner Bock and we found the common connection in Texas (their son and Tom’s dad is in Texas and of course, both my daughters were born there) to Turkey (where Tom spent a few of his early years – his dad was in General Dynamics). Nikita, our younger one, went to a private school run by mostly Turkish teachers and actually learnt Turkish for a year.
Silvania is from Brazil – and that of course got us started about my experiences in Brazil including the crazy crowded city of Sao Paolo (where she is from). I thought Silvania Sylvester was a nice alliterating name. Found out that her middle name (dad’s name) is Silvi !!
We hope to run into them again. This time I need to talk about soccer!!
“Unki nazron ne kuch aisa jadoo kiya
Loot gaye hum to pehli mulaqat mein
Sharaab seekh pe daali,
Kabaab sheeshe mein
Jo baat thi unko kehne ki
Wo baat hi kehna bhul gaye
Gairon ke fasane yaad rahe
Hum apna fasana bhul gaye”
“Her mesmerizing glance had this magic on me
I got devastated the first time I met her
(/*so discombobulated I was by her beauty that */)
I poured the wine on barbecue skewers
And served the meat in the chalice
What I was going to chat her up about
I completely forgot to bring up
I remembered to tell the stories of total strangers
But forgot to tell her my own story”
At Sunset Grille on Lake Allatoona. With Dipanjan and Parijat. Found out from Caroline (Audrey) that this is the last weekend for the restaurant for this season. I was a little surprised… I did not think the temperatures are that low. But to be sure, there were nobody in their boats out either.
Anyways, it was a good couple of hours in the evening!!
This started in 1983. August of 1983 to be precise. My first letter that I wrote to my best friend – Avijit Bose. I had moved to a residential school for my last two years of High School and he had stayed back in our home town of Durgapur.
Now we are a bit further apart. He is in the Southern Hemisphere, I am in the Northern. He is in the Eastern Hemisphere, I am in the Western. He is in Perth, Australia. I am in Atlanta, USA.
If you notice the picture very carefully and zoom in, you will notice that both of us are writing with fountain pens. In fact, that is how the whole thing got a restart. Early July, Avijit had posted in Facebook about the three new fountain pens he had bought. I had suggested that it might be a good reason to get back to our practice from thirty seven years back.
So, towards the end of July, I wrote a hand written letter (you see the picture) to Avijit. Admittedly, thirty seven years back, I did not have a glass of martini next to me. That letter took three weeks to reach him in Australia. Fortunately, his response took only two weeks to reach me. Those days, he did not have an iPhone to take a selfie that would make him look like a southpaw either 🙂
So, why this rigmarole of communicating in a way that takes multiple weeks to reach (and daily checking on Whatsapp if it has reached 🙂 )?
Because tradition is not the worship of ashes… it is the preservation of fire!