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…

7 June 2017

That be my wife. Dealing with me :-)

Photo courtesy: Natasha
The backstory is that this weekend Sharmila and I, after much postponement, finally sat down at our breakfast table to look at ticket prices for some trips for the girls. But moment we sat down, I noticed thru the corner of my eye that the elusive Goldfinch was at the bird feeder.

With great alacrity I jumped out of my seat to go get my camera. And with equal amount of alacrity, Natasha fished out her iPhone camera to capture the look on Sharmila’s face 🙂

7 June 2017

The meme cup brimmeth over…

In case you were wondering what all these memes are about (like you do not have anything better to do), I need to tell you about an ex-colleague of mine from DC area – Karen Hawk. Sharp as a whip and with a biting sense of humor that is guaranteed to bring the floor down, I got to know her – oh! about five or six years back.

Her daughter worked in our company already. And then one day, we hired her mother (Karen) to keep our office straightened out and above all keep me honest whenever I was in the DC office.

Next time I was in DC, I walked into our office and went straight to her cubicle. There was this elderly lady sitting at the desk – her work area extremely well organized. But what caught my eye was the poster that she had hung just behind her. It read “My Tiara is giving me a Headache”. I looked at it, I looked at her and then I burst out laughing. “I can work with you the rest of my life”, I remember telling her.

Unfortunately for me, I left that company. She still works there and keeps in touch with me. In these days of much circulated jokes, once in a while when she finds some new gems, she shoots them my way. This week, she sent me a few. And I promised her that I will convert them into memes and feature them on my blog.

So, here goes the next one… And thank you, Karen, for keeping me smiling!!! You indeed are one of my most memorable colleagues!!

Category: Humor | LEAVE A COMMENT
24 May 2017

If he was here with me, this is what he would have said…

Waiting for my coffee to be prepared while I was talking to my dad on the phone, I looked around to see all the people sitting around inside the Starbucks. Immediately, my mind played out a hypothetical scenario – instead of he being on the phone, what if he was there with me waiting to have a coffee with me, what would he be doing?

Looking around me, I was convinced that he would ask me to come back to India. Not that he would have anything against Starbucks coffee. But he would have surely surveyed the crowd inside and concluded that American economy has taken a very large hit.

“America-r moto deshe-tey-o lokjonder chhera pant portey hochhe. Ki je din kaal elo”, he would have said.

[“Even in a rich country like America, people are having to wear torn up jeans. Times are really bad now here.”]

Seriously, what is up with these jeans with holes in them? No. I mean, really. How do these things become fashionable at all?

I am sure those designer guys got together one day, got drunk out of their wits and somebody yelled “Wait, wait. I have an idea. Let’s rip up our line of clothes and put them up on the shelf. I bet you people will fall over each other to buy them”.

And y’all make fun of me for wearing shorts all the time 🙂

19 May 2017

Repost:: My inimitable nephews

This is a repost from this day, last year. I had a chuckle remembering the incident. The two nephews are, without an iota of doubt, my biggest fans. Note: nobody has yet accused them of having standards 🙂

Easy lies the head that wears a “crown” 🙂

It was yet to be 4:30 AM. I was on my way to Portland airport to catch a flight back home. Called up mom and then my brother. As soon as my brother started talking, I could hear the yelling of “Jethu?” (which is what my nephews call me – it is the Bengali word denoting dad’s elder brother) and then I figured the nephews had snatched the phone from my brother and were talking all over themselves trying to tell me something very excitedly.

Once they stopped to take a deep breath, I asked them to calm down and explain the whole thing from the beginning. What I gathered was the following – my sister-in-law (their mom) is in China now for school work and my brother had brought the nephews to my parents house for a few days. So far, this was old news to me. I kept mechanically driving to the airport as they kept telling me what I already knew.

Then the conversation took a quick turn. Turns out that on Day 1 with grandparents, they got their heads shaved. Why would they get their heads shaved?, I asked myself. In our culture, that is the custom if one of your parents die – which clearly was not the case here – or perhaps if you had an attack of lice or something even more sinister – which would be a shame. In my confusion and surprise I missed my turn at the airport 🙂

As the story started to sort itself out, I came to know that my dad told them the story about my brother getting his head shaved at their age. [Oh! yeah! in those days, as a kid, we used to get our heads shaved a few times. We were told that our hair would grow stronger and better; I have lived long enough to know that there is no truth to that advertising 🙂 ]. In any case, my dad told them how my sister and I used to write with “dot pens” (ball point in today’s terminology) on his head. The nephews found that story very funny. Presumably, which was what my dad’s purpose was.

But then the two brothers started asking themselves how come they don’t get their heads shaved. Having not come up with any good reason by themzelves, they approached my brother. Who had the same logical question every rational thinking dad would have. As a response, I understand, the younger one, driven by sheer desperation, came up with the following – “Jethu-r moton dekhtey laagbey, tai”. (“so that we can look like Jethu”).

My brother, apparently not convinced that the world has suffered enough with looks like mine, quickly obliged and a short trip to the local market later, they came back with this… ahem… “barber”ic act 🙂 My brother said that the whole day they had been waiting for my daily call to tell me about their moment of “crowning” glory.

Once I understood the whole story, I got in on it too. “When I come to India next end of June, we will all get shaved together and take a picture”, I suggested. To which, the elder nephew protested. “What happened?”, I asked. He demurred that the kids in school would make fun of him. I figured they still use “dot-pens” in school these days 🙂

So, we opted for the second best course. They took pictures of themselves and sent them to me. A little stitch here and and a little paste there, I was able to put together the following picture. Which should make you laugh in stitches.

Sometimes I worry if I am setting a low standard for my nephews…