25 June 2017

Campus stroll…

Since Sharmila and Natasha are in Dallas I drove for four hours to visit Nikita in her college campus where she is doing a summer camp.

We walked for two hours in the campus and I did not get a chance to put in a word edgewise. She is super excited about dorm life and her friends and has so far given me a blow by blow description of the last two weeks’ activities!!!

25 June 2017

Meeting old buddies after a loooooong time….

I think it was around 2003. Thoroughly exhausted after a week of intense meetings in Bangalore – and messed up by the time differences – I finally slouched down on seat 1C on a Jet Airways flight from Bangalore to Kolkata one Friday evening. I had my head down and was just trying to get some of my energy back. Through the corner of my eyes, sitting in the aisle seat, I could see all the people filing into the plane.

I suddenly saw this really cute young girl walk into the plane all smiles at me. I smile back at her. And thru the corner of my eyes, I could see there was a gentleman behind her. All I could see was up to his knees and he was wearing a kurta-pyjama. So as not to be a weird guy, I raised my head with the smile to acknowledge him too.

And that is when I go the shock of my life. The gentleman, as it turned out, was none other than Subhasis Ojha. Fancy meeting him – a guy who lived in Canada and was my team mate – on a flight in India. He introduced his wife Sanghamitra to me who was just behind him. It so happened that it was not the happiest moment for them. Of course, discounting the obvious fact that they had just met me, they had bigger challenges to deal with. Sangha’s mom had just passed away and they were headed for her last rites.

Believe it or not, after that day on the the plane, I actually managed to see both of them again this week, after a gap of almost a decade and a half.

It was a office meeting that got me to Toronto this week. After the meetings, I reached out to some of my old friends to see if they were available. Other than the Ojhas, there was Marty Flemington who showed up. The guy I will always remember as “Mr. Architect” – I saw him after another decade and a half. And what a great day too! It is his birthday today.

As onerous as travel and business meetings are – especially if you have to wait for an hour and forty minutes in customs – there are always memorable moments to create. And I am always grateful to friends like Subhasis, Sangha and Marty who make it so!!

25 June 2017

Father’s Day Gift

Now that all those fabulous pictures of the “daughters-cooked-my-breakfast-slash-lunch-slash-dinner” have somewhat subsided, I felt it might be a good time for me to pipe up with my own Father’s Day gift post. On Sunday, I came down early morning to the kitchen to see that Natasha was already busy with her iPhone. Like she is on every Father’s Day. Or just about any other day, for that matter.

“Dad, I am going to do goat Yoga” today, she said.

Having nary an idea about what a goat Yoga is in God’s green earth, I put forward my ignorance in a verbal form. And was duly explained by her, what it was all about. [Feel free to search it on Youtube and then write to me what you think]

Regarding what I thought, I summoned all my punning capabilities to an otherwise forgettable moment, I said – “That is a baaaaaaad idea”!!

And that is when I received my best Father’s Day gift ever.

“Dad, I know what I am getting you for Father’s Day. I am going to pretend all your jokes today are very funny”.

Admittedly, I cannot take a picture of that. But, boy, is that the best Father’s Day gift ever for me, or what? 🙂

24 June 2017

This is why grocery shops are not my forte…

Sharmila and Natasha are in Dallas. I stayed back in Atlanta to take care of a few things – including visiting Nikita, who is in a college now for some summer course in North Carolina. Nikita, apparently is running low on some supplies – among which, is potato chips. Sharmila explained to me in great detail how to find out where the chips are in our grocery store and that I was to pick up a large bag if I could find one or a pre-packed box of smaller bags if I could find one.

I had the picture all worked out in my mind how a bag of chips would look like and how a box of chips would look like. There was going to be one of them and I was to pick it.

Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men go pretty much the way Robert Burns had predicted. Moment I entered the grocery shop, I froze. Apparently, “look straight as you enter” is not a definitive instruction. Especially when there are multiple doors to enter and all oriented in different directions.

Eventually, I bumbled my way to the aisle that said “Potato Chips”. And my sharp eyes were looking for either a bag or a box of that particular variety of chips like a hungry hawk would be scouting for a dead rat from point blank range.

Aha! Found the bag!!

Alas, that moment of euphoria was quickly drowned by the next discovery I made.

Wait a minute! There is a box too next to it!!!

Now what do I do? The dratted grocery store had both kinds!! She never told me what to do if I found both. I have no idea how the priority order works for this algorithm.

And it is too early to wake her up in Dallas!!

Hmmmm…. I tell you – a grocery store and I – never have gotten along… and never will…

24 June 2017

Winding down the week with a classic from Mirza Ghalib

“Dard se mere hai tujhko beqaraari haae haae
Kya hua zalim teri ghaflat-ashiari haae haae
Tere dil mein gar na tha ashob-e-gham ka hausla
Tu ne phir kyun ki thi meri gham-gusari haae haae”

Roughly translated… and any help from experts in Urdu in refining this would be much appreciated…

“You seem to be oblivious to all my pains, Oh, my!
What an oppression of your total carelessness you inflict, Oh, my!!
If you did not have the strength to deal with the vagaries of pain
Why did you, once upon a time, offer sympathies for my pain, then?”

23 June 2017

A logic puzzle after a long time…

Found an interesting one from my friend Prodipta Chatterjee. Took me a few minutes till I realized that the trick is to not think of it as other problems of similar descriptions… Try it…

From a bag that has 26 bills (of three denominations – $1, $2 and $5), you pick out 20 of them blindfolded. You are guaranteed (probability = 1) that you will have at least one $1 bill AND two $2 bills and five $5 bills.

You have to solve for the following question: How much total money is there in the bag?