18 October 2021

“Every person is unknowable”

Good old Anand was in town. We met with some of our old friends. And that spanned three companies. Yes, Anand and I have worked together in three of the five companies I have ever worked in – and No, he does not hold the record. That would go to Raj Sundaramurthy – four out of the five companies!!

After finishing with our friends, Anand and I spent over an hour together reflecting on life. In a way you can do, with a person that you have known for over a quarter century. We were talking about our old friends and people we knew. I was telling him how I got to know many people more intimately (in terms of what they have gone thru in life) AFTER we actually stopped working together.

“Well, at some level, every person is unknowable”, said Anand.
“How do you mean?”, I asked, rather perplexed.
“Well, you know a person only to the part they will open up to. You never know how much more they are not letting you in”.

It took me a few moments to let the depth of his observation sink in.

Indeed, it is true that every impression I have of any individual is deeply flawed by the fact that it is based on only what they have let me on to. I really do not know what I do not know about them!!

Think about that for a moment!!

Thank you Anand for once again making me think deeply!!

16 October 2021

Saturday winding down

(To) Mere mehboob ne wada kiya hai
Paanchve din ka
(Aare) Kisi se sun liya hoga
Yeh duniya chaar din ki hai.

Roughly translated…

(So) She has promised to meet me
On the fifth day from today
(Perhaps) She also has heard from others that
This life is only for four days

(As a cultural context, “duniya chaar din ki hai” literally means that this world is for four more days… the point being life is only for a few short days more)

16 October 2021

Do you know the English word for this?

Growing up in India, we used to get our shoes repaired every time they sprung a hole or a nail got dislodged. I have not visited a cobbler ever since I came to this country. I suspect, it is cheaper to replace a pair of shoes than repair it these days. At least the kind of shoes I wear.

But in those days, a cobbler used to come by our neighborhood every Saturday and anybody who needed shoes repaired, got them done by him. As a small kid filled with curiosity, it was a marvel to watch the cobbler stitch the thread using a needle with a sidecut that would be used as a hook to loop the thread in and pull thru.

And he always carried a heavy anvil like the one in the picture. Do you remember this?

Did you know that there is an English word for this? I always thought of it as an anvil but as it turns out, there is an exact word to refer to this cobbler’s instrument.

What is it?

11 October 2021

That is not Bengali!

I was at the Fulton County Water department to get some stuff done regarding the new house. The staff was very courteous and efficient. I have been VERY pleased with the Tag and License office there too. For a government office, they are really efficient.

In any case, noticed this sign there. I know a bit of Bengali and Hindi. That sentence purportedly written in Bengali is anything but. Individual letters seemed to be Bengali script. Put together, it is gibberish. The Hindi one was much better – but still no cigar. The word “Hindi” itself is unreadable!!

I wonder how many of the other languages written there have the same issue. Full points for trying but they need better proof reading…

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