20 January 2013

New members!!

5K on our Sunday morning Bengali run. Today, we almost doubled our team size with Arup Dhar and Manas Chatterjee joining us. The usual Amitesh Mukherjee and Samaresh Mukhopadhyay was there too. We missed Amitesh for the coffee though. It was a crisp cool morning with freezing temperatures but sun out in full glory…


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19 January 2013

Jefferson quote

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” – Thomas Jefferson to William Hamilton, April 22, 1800
(thanks Al Blake for digging this quote up)

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18 January 2013

Updates on the Bomb Squad

A few more details are trickling in… (you have to read the previous post to get the context).

After finishing up my office work, I called India back to get more details of the incident. Funnily enough, nobody admits they were the first to suggest it might be a bomb. When I talked to my dad upstairs, he said it was my sister’s idea. When I talked to my sister downstairs, she suggested it was the niece who got afraid it might be a bomb!!! My mom claims that right from the beginning, she had a hunch that it might be a nice package from me! And of course, the niece claims she knew all along it had to be books!!! 🙂

Everybody seems to remember that all the neighbors agreed that those burglars whose attempt to rob was thwarted a few days back must have been so enraged that they sent a bomb!!

An outstanding moment occured  when the neighbors came. Picture this – there is a small brown packet in the middle in the parking lot in the ground floor. And a bunch of neighbors and my parents, sister et al. are circling it from a safe distance completely confused what to make of it. At that time of “You first” mentality, one brave gentleman stepped forward a little and was able to decipher some letters on the package from that distance. Petrified, he yelled “It says, HANDLE WITH CARE”. Everybody simultaneously jumped back three feet and a half convinced that their worst fears have come true!!! For, as you undoubtedly know, terrorists always take care to warn you to handle with care 🙂 🙂

At the end, I asked them – So, all of you and your neighbors and the police were at the police station with the package? And who was going to fend off the burglars that had attempted a robbery a few days back if they came during that time?

There was pindrop silence on the other side. I kept the phone down 🙂


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18 January 2013

Bomb squad

This is too crazy for me to make it up! Early morning as I was catching up on my office work at a Starbucks, I get two repeated calls from my sister in India. I braced my mind for potential bad news (dad is not doing well) and then called back.
All I could hear is a ton load of commotion and cacophony on the other side. But it was my dad who talked! And his first sentence was “We are at the police station”. I was somewhat relieved but irritated since I know there was an attempted robbery in their complex a week back and I realized what might have happened.
I will try my best to carry the import of what my dad explained in Bengali. Evidently, they received a packet today which they were not expecting. Their first reaction was that could be a bomb! Evidently, as my dad explained – “This is happening lately, people are opening up packets and whole buildings are being blown up” 🙂 Anyways, not knowing any better, they gathered all the neighbors around. Who were of course, epitomes of courage!! Most would not even come near my parents!!! And then somebody suggested that they should go to the police station.
Now get this. My sister, put the package in her car and drove to the police station!! She CARRIED the suspected bomb package herself with my parents in the car! Instead of calling the police over.
The police station was even more scared. The head there declared that they need the bomb squad. Evidently there is somebody who masquerades as a bomb squad in that tiny little town of Kalyani. He came, looked at it and said that it did not look like a typical bomb. But was unwilling to open it.
In the meanwhile, my sister notified my brother in Kolkata who had the presence of mind to ask if there is a label on the packet. She said – it is from DHL but is missing the sender’s name but said Flipkart was the pickup point. (Flipkart is like Amazon in India). My brother immediately noted that no terrorist is going to send a bomb package thru DHL and anyways DHL will inspect all packages submitted. And certainly they wont be shopping in Flipkart for bombs. They should go ahead and open up the package.
My parents recognized this as solid logic – for whatever reason the police was not. Anyways, they opened up the package in the station and out came 7 Enid Blyton books!

And that is what I got for trying to spring a surprise on my niece!!

Somewhere, I also realized that all that cacophony was everybody in our house and neighbors along with the cops laughing their heads off at the police station and sipping tea 🙂

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17 January 2013

Rain rain come again!!

After two days of running into and in rain, today, I waited for the rains to start heavily and then stepped out for a run! I am now convinced why I do such unintuitive things – I just like being an idiot :-). (or as my wife once said – “quirky”). Reminds me of a song by Nachiketa “Tobu ami boka-i hobo – seta-i amar Ambition” (‘I still want to be the foolish guy and that is my ambition in life’) 🙂

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16 January 2013

Running in the rain

There is something extremely exhilarating to me about running in pouring rain. Not sure whether it is the feeling of being in Nature at its purest form or the sense of defying common sense or simply the subconscious making up for all those lost moments when my parents – of the “thanda legey jaabey” (you will catch a cold)” fame – did not let me go out and play in the rain 🙂
Anyhow, two consecutive days of running in rain. Best part was walking into the gym dripping and heading straight to the sauna and soak in 150 degrees of dryness!