23 April 2018

Smart Alec!

While in the air from Kolkata to Delhi, I was trying to Airdrop a few pictures from my phone to the laptop. Upon switching on the bluetooth, it started discovering nearby devices.

Check out the name of the last device it found!

Smart Alec!!

22 April 2018

So how does one make potatoes at home?

This is in the lounge in domestic terminal of Kolkata airport.

I asked one of the young guys working in the lounge “Ei, etar maaney ki?” (What does this mean?)

The poor lad looked at the label, measured me up and said “Aamio ingraji bhalo bujhi na Sir”!! He pleaded his English was as weak as mine! But nonetheless, he addressed me as “Sir”.

Mightily amused, I returned to my table with a resolution that from now on, it is going to be only factory made potatoes for me !!!

Good start to this morning…

21 April 2018

Every run is a negotiation game with him..

The problem every morning in Kalyani is that I do not finish off my run first thing in the morning when nobody else is awake and the temperatures are far more bearable and certainly there is no direct sunlight. Before I can get myself there, usually, my brother wakes up. That can only mean the first cup of tea will be soon to follow… And then sitting idly in the balcony, we just start having yet another cup of tea every half an hour or so. Finally, the sun would be up, it would get warm and I start regretting not having finished my run.

Today was no different. Since it had gotten hot, I decided to put in an endurance run. The heat and humidity had already conspired to make the temperatures feel like 107 deg F on the skin.

Then the negotiations began! Any which way I go for a run, I will have to get past my dad who will immediately engage me in a discussion that roughly follows the same pattern…

“Where are you going?”
“For a run”
“Why now?”
“Because it will get warmer later” (did you see how I dodged the obvious question of why I did not do it earlier? ha ha)

“How much will you run?”
“X km”
It really does not matter what X is. I have tried various variations – 10, 8, 6, 5, 2…. His inevitable question is
“Why X? X/2 is more than enough”. He immediately will halve it.
Even if I were to tell him – “Okay, I will do X/2”, he will wait for a few minutes and go “Today is a very sunny day. X/4 should be adequate for today”…

At some point I will leave the house and just go run.

First question today after I came back – as with every day – was
“How much did you run?”
“8 km”.
His response was again classic. I could have said any value and he would have said the exact same thing – “That is enough for this month. You do not need to run any more this month!!

That said, it was a 5 mile (8 km) run in rather oppressive heat and humidity at a sub-10 pace. Towards the end, I had to take a 30 second break to get my heart rate to come down from 170s. That was the penalty I paid for not carrying water with me.

18 April 2018

That was no ordinary run in the park…

First, this completed my run in the 20th country (Singapore)!!

Second, I got to run with a long lost friend of mine. Prasenjit and I went to our MBA school together. We last saw each other in 1991. We knew each other then but were not very close. But we became close later thru social media as we kept egging each other on for our runs and races.

Both of us started running very late in our life (mine was when I was a year shy of turning 40) and I am sure we both needed the encouragement from each other. Over the years, he has grown his stamina much more than me and does many more long runs. I need to get to his stamina some day.

I always had wanted to put in a run with him! Saw him after 27 years and more importantly got to put in a run with him!! That was very satisfying!!!

As an added bonus, met his wife Sonia after the run over a delicious breakfast too!!

9 April 2018

More word fun…. Baby animals

A few months back, I had posted a blog on collective nouns. Today is about baby animals or birds. I was listening to a radio show and they used the word “leveret”. For the life of me, I did not know what a leveret is… And that got me researching for uncommon names for baby animals or birds.

Do you know what kind of baby animals/birds are these?
(1) Leveret
(2) Cria
(3) Eyas
(4) Farrow
(5) Ephyra
(6) Puggle
(7) Flapper
(8) Pullet
(9) Cockrell
(10) Squab
(11) Elver
(12) Polliwog
(13) Wriggler or alternately tumbler
(14) Cosset
(15) Neonate

Before you Google, here are the animal/bird names… see if you can match them..
(a) Platypus
(b) Rooster
(c) Frog
(d) Snake
(e) Hawk
(f) Platypus
(g) Hen
(h) Eel
(i) Sheep
(j) Hare
(k) Jellyfish
(l) Dove / Pigeon
(m) Mosquito
(n) Alpaca / Lama
(o) Pig

If you can get one right, you are ahead of me!!!

8 April 2018

One of the better Perky Goths!!!

A great advantages of going to the same watering hole every Sunday with Sharmila after dinner is that you get to know the folks who work at the bar intimately. Over the years you get to know their background, their aspirations and their difficulties. We have seen some deal with a lot of challenges in life. Frankly, I have always thought that I and my family live an advantaged life and have only a modicum of understanding of how most Americans lead their lives. These folks at the bar with their life stories have kept me grounded on the struggles of many young men and women. Driving back from the bar, many a time I have remarked to Sharmila that we live a blessed life and we need to do something for the younger generation.

On the other hand, we have also shared with these folks some of their most joyous moments. We have seen some of them get engaged, get married and some of them move on to great careers. Over the years we have missed them – Joe, Alexis, Michael…. and so many more – but have been glad that they got some great breaks in life.

The other mundane upside of getting to know everybody at the bar, of course, is that I can ask them to make any drink I want. Real example…

“Can you make me a Perky Goth?”
“What is that?”, would have been a legitimate and somewhat expected response. Not too many people would know a Perky Goth – certainly not in the cocktail form.
And that is what precisely Caroline asked – who was rather startled with my request – right in the middle of giving us an update on her son and daughter.
“Gin, Ginger Liqueur, Absinthe, Blood Orange Bitters and Simple Syrup”

She was rather happy with the output once she was done carefully making it. It actually tastes pretty good – if you have not tried it out, I would recommend it. She also had the portions perfect.

It was good enough that I wanted to keep the moment for posterity with a picture of the drink and the creator!!

8 April 2018

From the bartender’s corner: Green House Negroni

Following up with my last two write ups on the Green House gin – unique gin but felt can’t go well with most cocktails. The citrusy one I tried – Lime Rickey – did not work well. Tried one where the gin does not have to carry most of the character – a Negroni. And this one turned out to be far better. Of course the palate and the nose of Campari and somewhat that of the Sweet Vermouth took the dominance out of the Gin.