Monthly Archives: August 2015

An interesting logic puzzle

I thought this is a real cool problem… IT is all about logical thinking…

A teacher took out 8 stamps from a box – four of them white and four of them black. He got three of his brightest students – X, Y and Z and made them stand facing each other. He showed them the stamps, blindfolded each of them and then put two stamps on each of their foreheads. He put the final two stamps back in the box and closed the box. Then he opened the blindfolds. So, each of X, Y and Z could see the stamps on the forehead of the other two (but not their own – or the ones in the box). But they could obviously hear each other.

The teacher asked X first what were the color of the stamps (White White or Black Black or White Black) on his forehead. He said he did not know. The teacher asked then Y the same question. Y said he did not know either. Similarly the teacher asked Z and he too replied he did not know.

The teacher went back to X and asked if he now knew what he had. X again replied in the negative. The teacher asked Y next. And he did answer.

What was his answer? How did he deduce it?

Speed runs

After the hill runs, tried to push the leg muscles to take some pounding of speed runs. After a couple of miles of warm up, posted three 100 m dashes at 17 seconds, 16 seconds and 16 seconds each. That is about the time most pro runners would take if they also took a bio break in the middle of the dash 🙂 But for me that was a tough feat.

Then joined the Chalupa crowd for a quick 5K run in 25 minutes.

As always, it is great to see all the Chalupa folks – and especially the kids come out on a Sunday morning for some healthy exercises instead of sleeping in. The kids had a lot of fun after the run in their make shift camp at the back of a car 🙂

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Hill runs today

Trying to build in elevation in my runs. Dramatic effect on my speed. 5 miles of run in the hills with total elevation gain of 550 feet. My average speed came down to 11 min/mile!!

He did a Rajib on me!!

I have been preparing for a few days for my next trip to India to see my dad. Since this time I have a detour to another city (some work related stuff), I have been making a list of people I know in that city to see if I can create some more intersection points. It was in that context, I called up Aniruddha Sen in India. My classmate from early school days. In fact, we were in the same classroom in ninth grade (section B). I have not seen him in over 32 years, although I have talked to him – mostly on his birthdays.

I called him up hoping to see him for a few minutes while I would be in his city. The phone just was dead on the other end. Fearful that he has changed his number, I shot him an email and just let him know that I will be in his city for a few hours and should all stars align, it would be great if I could see him for a few minutes.

An email came back the next day essentially letting me know that the reason I could not get thru was that he was in flight. Flying to my city Atlanta!! He would be here for a few hours, he let me know – although busy till 9:30PM for work. 32 years versus staying up late – it was not even a question in my mind.

At 9:30 PM on this Tuesday, I finally met – after many many years – the guy with whom I sat in the same room six hours a day for days together!!! Getting to see Aniruddha Sen was a reward unto itself. Getting to know how well he and his family was doing was simply unbelievable!!

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I never realized I would get a chance to meet this guy again – even if to just say “Thank You”

The year was 1989. Campus interviews were going on in full swing. Those days, if you were in my college and specialized in the stream I did, you almost automatically came to the USA for higher studies. Except that, I did not care for higher studies in my stream. It was a tough peer pressure to fight those days. I was fresh off a discussion with my dad and uncle on a long distance trunk call who were urging me to go to the USA. When I demanded to know what was in it for them – since I did not see myself as the guy who would flourish in that stream doing research – my uncle explained to me that it was not supposed to be all about me. That I needed to realize if I could go to the USA and establish myself, at least one generation of our extended family would acquire a safety net of financial stability.

I was not ready for any responsibility. I just wanted to be who I was. Against that backdrop, the next day, this gentleman- the HR head in a company called COSL, at the end of the interview had a simple question – “Convince me that if you get a job with us, you will join us instead of going to the USA”. As irritated as I was (not because of the question itself – but because of the backdrop of previous day’s discussions), I kept my calm – as much as a 22 year old can probably keep his calm and explained my priorities – get a MBA degree in India, get a job, go to USA to get a Masters degree. So, he was not on the top of my list but he was certainly above me going to the USA.

He did offer me a job. I did get a chance to get a MBA degree in India. So, I never joined his company then. But I never forgot him. Or his company. A year later, in my MBA school campus, that company came seeking summer interns. I showed up. Sure enough, he was there. Although he did not recognize me. Right at the beginning, I explained our previous encounter. He just got up, told me there was no need for an interview, gave me the internship and stepped out to have a smoke.

I went back to that company a year later for my full time job. COSL eventually transferred me to its mothership – Citibank USA. Much later, I was able to get to myself to a reasonable position where I was able to somewhat give some financial security to my extended family. Unfortunately, my uncle never lived long enough to see that I did fulfill his dream. Except it was done on my terms.

Separated by tens of thousands of miles with no such thing as Facebook, cellphone or Whatsapp, I never got a chance to hook up with that gentleman who made such a big difference to me during that interview when I was so impressionable.

Till this Sunday!! Found out – thanks to Facebook, cellphone and WhatsApp that he was in town to drop his daughter at Emory. Had a great time meeting him and his family.

Mr. Pradeep Mukherjee, as I mentioned this Sunday, thank you so much for the difference you have made to my life – without probably every realizing so!! I hope to emulate your example and do the same to others some day!

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Do I look wet?

0 miles: Showed up at 6 am to put in a long run. Did not realize how dark it would be. Reluctantly ran in the park where the street lights were there. I say reluctantly because the roads were hilly and I was worried it would cut down on my miles.

7 miles: Enough of daylight. Took a break. Grabbed some water and headed towards the trail. And that’s when I realized that the trail was flooded (see picture). Which meant I had no option but to run in the gentle hills for the rest of the run. And some of those hills were not as gentle as they claimed.

12 miles: Took another break just as the Sunday running group Chalupa was finishing. A group picture later, headed back to the hills with a refill of water. And that is when I realized I could have as easily left the water behind. It became very dark very quickly and started raining incessantly.

15 miles: The roads were overflowing with water. I was absolutely soaking. But the rains had given me a second wind. I was splashing my way up and down the hills. All the cars filled with soccer players returning from the field after their game got interrupted must have thought I was crazy or something. Then the worst thing started happening – the lightnings came. It got too dangerous. Saw another runner on the roads. Pulled up to him and we chatted and decided to take some shelter. I was actually willing to keep going if he wanted to run together. Did I mention he was at least 7-8 inches taller than me? I thought I would be safe against any lightning 🙂 I think he saw through my ploy 🙂

Ten minutes later, his wife showed up to pick him up. So, I was let all by myself. It was still raining hard but not much of lightning or thunder. Decided to hit the hills again.

20 miles: I was done. Totally wet, extremely chafed by the heavy and wet clothes, I opened my shoes and socks and just laid down in the rain for some time and enjoyed every bit of it… That run took 3 hours and 38 minutes today.

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