15 February 2019

From the bartender’s corner – Smoky Spritz

Picked this recipe up from The Inspired Home. This has Mezcal, Aperol, Sweet Vermouth and Prosecco. Rather interesting experience. After the bitter sweet hit to the palate, I was not prepared for the strong smoky finish. Obviously, logically that is what you would expect with the ingredients but I do not believe I remember having this kind of a combination before.

9 February 2019

From the bartender’s corner – Mezcal #6: Scorpion Reposado

Scorpion mezcals are from Oaxaca and like many other mezcals is made from espadin agave and double distilled in copper stills. This being a Reposado, it is aged. In this particular case in French Oaks.

Here is an interesting fact. You know how certain mezcals will have a worm inside it? (BTW, tequilas NEVER have a worm – that belief is a myth). Well, this company’s slogan is “worm is for the wimps”.

They actually have a scorpion at the bottom of the drink. Every single bottle!!! (this is somewhat for marketing – it has no other value).

9 February 2019

How much do we spend on insomnia?

I was reading this book last night – Wisdom 2.0 – and came across a data that caught me by surprise. It is the amount Americans spend on fighting sleeplessness. To follow up, did some snooping around this morning to get some more data. Turns out we are spending somewhere around $50B on drugs and medicine every year to stave off insomnia. Consumer Reports has some informative articles on this.

To get a perspective on that number – that is $150 per year per man, woman and child in this country! Enough to make me lose sleep right now!!

On the other hand, maybe that is where we should take $5B from and give it to Trump to build the wall. Maybe we should stay sleepless. We are the ones who elected him, right? 🙂

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8 February 2019

Throwback to mid seventies

It was December. The exact year escapes me. But it was mid seventies. Dad had taken the whole family to visit my mom’s elder sister. I remember getting off the train in a nondescript station called Mankundu and then taking a rickshaw to my aunt’s place in Chandannagar. That evening, uncle showed off his newly acquired gramaphone player (those LP players with vinyl discs). I remember being absolutely fascinated by the player.

This is the first song I ever heard in a gramophone player.

“Dagor dagor chokhey keno kajol diley
Amon dagor dagor chokhey keno kajol diley
Kalo oi chokhta thekeo kajol kalo ki
Bolo kalo oi chokhta thekeo kajol kalo ki?
Dekhatam o mukh haatey aayna peley

Jekhaney polash koli saara bochhor phhotey
laabh ki rong laagie omon raanga thhotey
palash-er- koli-r cheye-o o rong raanga ki?
Bolo palash-er- koli-r cheye-o o rong raanga ki?
Dekhatam o mukh haatey aayna peley”

To understand the lyrics, we need to know that “polash” is a very bright red flower found in the area where I come from in India (Bengal) and “kajol” is collyrium – also called “kohl” that is usually applied under the eyes by girls where I come from as a beauty thing.

Roughly translated…

Why did you put “kohl” on those wide eyes
Oh! Why did you put “kohl” on those wide eyes
Is kohl really any deeper than your dark eyes
Tell me, is kohl really any deeper than your dark eyes?
I would have shown you myself, had I had a mirror with me.

Where “polash” blooms all year around
What is the point in putting red color in those lips
Is the red of an young “polash” bud any deeper than that of your lips
Tell me, is the red of an young “polash” bud any deeper than that of your lips?
I would have shown you myself, had I had a mirror with me.

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8 February 2019

Meeting our local star from Atlanta

Business found me in Baltimore today. As the Lyft driver kept cruising along, I suddenly realized that we were going past Johns Hopkins University. I knew two students there. In fact, I took a picture and sent it to both their dads. Later, texted one of those students if she had some free time in the afternoon. She gave me a time frame. She thought we were going to talk. In the past, we have talked a couple of times over the phone about subject selection, peer pressure in college and all that.

Once my meetings started wrapping up, I realized that I had about 45 minutes to an hour tops to spare and would still be able to catch my flight. So I texted her “Meet me at the library”. Guess who was surprised to know that I was in Baltimore?

Had a great lunch together. Got to know a lot about her college life and we talked a little about how perspectives in life change over the years.

It was great to see you Paroma! Thoroughly enjoyed the discussion.