That was a great experience in “What really matters in Life” exactly two years back. Reposted from that day…
My good deed of the day…
I know this looks like an Italian painting (except for the modern lady handbags, perhaps) but it is a real photo taken with my phone. The backdrop of the story goes in the following way:
Natasha, who goes and stays in a dorm and takes classes in different colleges every summer often makes friends from very different cities and countries every year. I, being a person who values people and relationships over just about anything else in this finite time on this beautiful earth that we have fashionably named “life”, am always a little bothered when she does not keep in touch with many of those friends after summer.
Conversely, you can only guess my excitement when she declared that she was going to meet a friend that she had not seen after one of those summers – I forget whether it was Duke or Brown – when we visit New York. Karina (they call her “Karina with a K”) was going to visit her at our hotel. Except the whole plan fell thru at the last moment due to her dad’s office travel plans.
I was not feeling too good about leaving Sharmila and Nikita to visit Time Square by themselves but I did tell Natasha that I will take her to wherever her friend lived. Which, as it turned out was a two hour hike with three trains involved in between. But, it was okay with me – as long as she realized that life is all about the human relationships. Everything else is too materialistic to be worried about.
The train finally pulled into the Ridgewood station. And we arrived at the agreed upon meeting point. As soon as we started coming out of the tunnel, she spotted her friend at the top of the flight of steps. They ran as fast as they could towards each other and hugged each other hard.
Separated by a year in age, brought up thousands of miles away, they had come together for a few weeks a few years back. Then this afternoon, there was the moment where they saw each other again!!! The tunnel lighting was not good. But that is the best picture I could get of that powerful moment of strength of human relationships.
And here I am waiting at a nearby bar, biding my three hours as they catch up with themselves…
Nikita left home today to live in a dorm for three weeks for some summer camp. Natasha had done this for four years. Now it is Nikita’s turn. She is starting a year early in age. As parents, leaving your kids for the first time is very daunting. But it is always heart warming to see how well they can do without you…
This picture is when she had set up her room and just wanted us to go back to our car and drive for five hours back home. Dad did his best to be a dad – embarrass her in front of her room mate and friends, I must say!!!
It all started as I was just finishing up my lunch at the airport. Steve Martin had turned the tables on me on my Facebook timeline by posting a picture inside an airport and asking me to identify it. It is the picture on the left. I correctly guessed that we were in the same airport!!
You can follow the thrilling story that ensued by reading the exchange he and I had on my FB post. I am writing it down here too to make it easy for you – with all the grammar and spelling mistakes intact:
12:05PM Steve: For Rajib Roy. What airport is this?
12:16PM Rajib: You in Atlanta? I Amin the airport right now.
12:16PM Steve: Boarding st gate C10
12:17PM Rajib: In how many minutes? I am in B
12:18PM Steve: Probably less than 15, bummer our flight getting here was delayed could have said hi!
12:19PM Rajib: I will give it a shot. Should be there in 5 mons
12:19PM Rajib: Mins
12:20PM Rajib: If you have to board go ahead but I am giving it a shot anyways
12:21PM Rajib: In train
12:22PM Rajib: In terminal C. Walking to c10 now
12:24PM Steve: Stepped out of line wife will save seat
12:24PM Rajib: C16
12:25PM Rajib: C12
AND WE GOT TO SEE EACH OTHER!!! Even managed to get somebody to take a picture of us. In the literally one minute we spent together, found out that Steve was headed with wife to New York and it is their 31st anniversary today!!
Too many memories flushed thru my mind during the walk – the early start up days of mid 90s, the hacky sack tournaments, the ping pong table, the dts-readers-list, emacs…. It has been probably 14 or 15 years since I had seen Steve last!!!
Our exchange did not stop there…
12:35PM Steve (from his seat): He didn’t even break a sweat!
12:35PM Rajib: It was awesome seeing you after so many years … even if for a few seconds.
12:37PM Rajib: Did you get your seat?
12:38PM Rajib: Thanks for waiting…
12:41PM Steve: Fun to be one of your random airport encounters with the past!
12:42PM Steve: I did and even get to sit next to my wife of 31 years today!
And he sent the picture of his lovely wife and himself as you will see attached in the picture here.
12:44PM Rajib: Awesome. Did you know 31 is an awesome number? The square of the reverse is the reverse of the square!!! Have fun with that!! And congratulations!
At that point either he decided he had had enough nerdiness for one day or they made him shut down his phone to pull away from the gate!!!
See, this is why I do not mind all the hassles of travel every week!!! What an adventure!!
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 🙂
Exactly five years back, on this day, at this time, I was sitting with my dad in his house in Durgapur and had a funny conversation which I had posted in my blog that day.
Here is the repost…
P.S. The best translation of the last line might be “It works. But you might have to slap and kick it a little at first”.
More P.S. Before he left Durgapur, he donated the scooter to the guy who used to tend to our garden. For all you know, this thing is still plying on the road of Durgapur…
Repost from Jun 7, 2012:
In an apt display of how the previous generations valued things (when money was tight), my dad has stuck with his first and only vehicle he ever bought. In 1977!!! The manufacturer does not exist any more!!! There is only one mechanic in town who is even willing to fix it.
The value of the scooter literally doubles every time he fills in petrol 🙂 The ignition key, which comes out loose in all that rattle and ruckus during a ride is permanently chained to the scooter (see the photo carefully). Still, he refuses to give it up!!!
I actually took it out for a ride today. Before that, I asked him “Eta ekhono choley?” (does it still work?). He thought for a few moments and then reluctantly admitted “Choley. Kintu ektu maardhor korey chalatey hoy”. [i need some help from Bengali FB friends for the transliteration to do justice to his sense of humor]