10 January 2018

“The child is the father of man”

In a somewhat different twist to the age old Shakespearean quote… here is a classic role reversal. The child helping the father take baby steps and learn how to walk by himself!!!

When my brother and I reached home, the first thing dad wanted to do is try practicing some more walking!

When we are out for a week, apparently he tried again walking by himself when everybody was sleeping and had yet another fall. Fortunately, he again escaped easy – with a bump on his forehead. (Last time he had stitches).

As worried as I am that he is being too impatient, full points for not giving up on the urge to walk around again in spite of the falls…

10 January 2018

Curious minds want to know…

I am all for “Swachch Bharat” (Clean India), but I do have a question for the authorities…

Are they seriously under the impression that the people who are forced to relieve themselves outside – the poor who barely have a roof over their head, let alone running water and bathroom facilities – they can actually understand words like “defecation”? 🙂

I am sympathetic to the fact that trying to convey the message thru pictures might be too gross 🙂

9 January 2018

Scored 100 percentile???

All the Indian newspapers are touting the results of CAT exams. Most are running headlines about how 20 students including women and non-engineers have “scored 100 percentile”. See the picture as an example.

Here is my question – as somebody who had to pass CAT long time back – how the heck do you score 100 percentile? I can understand 100 percent. But percentile?

Wasn’t the definition of nth percentile score that n% of the population was lower than the score? (It was strictly less than and not less than or equal to). Which is why I thought we were always taught that you can be 99 percentile… 99.9 percentile… but you can never be 100 percentile (by definition, you could not have scored less than yourself).

So, what gives?

8 January 2018

Ubud: Small Village. Mega Intersection!!!

This is one of those mega intersections that has so many people and so many connections involved that I may not be able to keep everything on the up and up. It involves Atlanta, Durgapur, California, Illinois, Panang Malaysia, Dubai and of all places – Ubud (a small village in Bali).

Let’s start with the picture on the top as the initial point. That is Natasha and Nayanika. They became friends over a summer when they were doing a summer program at North Western in Evanston, Illinois. The day I had gone to pick her up to come back home, the university had arranged for a free things – including a lunch for the students and the parents. I found myself randomly sitting in a table with mostly young kids either crying or talking excitedly promising to keep in touch with each other. Also at the table was the gentleman second from one end in the lowest picture.

Not knowing anything better (and frankly not able to help myself), I struck up a conversation with him. Realized that he – Gaurav – is a very successful, entrepreneur in the Bay Area. So, those were three strikes against me – I am neither successful, nor an entrepreneur and certainly cannot afford to live in the Bay Area. But I persisted. And hit pay dirt!!! In a few minutes, we realized that we are married to classmates. His wife – Anupama – was Sharmila’s classmate in primary school. What’s more – his mother in law was Sharmila’s teacher for a year!

Back to Bali.

Natasha had mentioned that Nayanika and her parents would be in Nusa Dua too. Except that by the time we reached Nusa Dua, they had already left. (I chalk it up to higher level of intelligence 🙂 Must be the water in Bay Area 🙂 ). Not to give up easily, I found out that they were in Ubud and promised Natasha that one way or the other, I will make sure she got to see Nayanika.

After visiting a few villages, we landed up in Ubud for lunch. Where the Sharan family swung by!!! That marked the meeting of two classmates. In fact, two sets of them!! That explains the second picture from the top – Sharmila and Anupama.

“I do not recognize your face. I like your hairstyle though. I wonder why!! ”, I had to humbly admit to Amit – the gentleman in white shirt who had come with Anupama.
“I am Amit – Anupama’s brother”, he replied, laughing.
“Oh! I remember your name. You were one year junior to me in school”.

And we talked a lot about our school teachers. Then finally, I asked
“Where did you go to college?”
“RE College, Durgapur”
“Day scholar?”
“Yes”
“Which department?”
“Electronics”
“Hmmm… That is interesting”
“Why?”
“Do you know a Soumya Kanti Ghosh?”
Seeing him deep dig into his memory… I helped further – “You might remember him as Apu. He was a day scholar too”.
“Oh! Apu. Soumya. He was our class topper”
“Indeed!!”
“How do you know him?”
“Funny you should mention that. You see that lady?”, I asked him pointing to Sharmila.
“Sharmila?”
“She is his sister. He is my brother in law”.
“No way”
“Yes way”

Was that cool or was that cool?

Three Sharan families had come from Bay Area, California, Panang, Malaysia and Dubai, UAE. The Roys had come from Atlanta, Georgia. We had the opportunity to meet in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. The whole thing happened because one Roy girl and one Sharan girl went to a program together in Evanston, Illinois. To realize that their mothers were classmates!! And so were their maternal uncles!!!

What is the chance of that?