22 July 2024

Trying to defy age

John Mcgehee had given me an invaluable advice once – about the need to stop atrophying of muscle strength, flexibility and balance as I grow older. In a bit to focus on balance I got this thing. It is a simple board and a roller. It has stops underneath on either end – so the board will not slip off the roller completely.

Also, Sharmila is refusing to buy me a One Wheel. Something about I have too many wheels in the garage, evidently. Let me see if my ability to keep balance might sway her vote.

BTW, this thing is scary for sure. After some practice, I can keep myself in balance for a couple of seconds without rolling off to one side. Have you ever tried anything like this?

20 July 2024

I loved the bus journey. The train? Not so much!

The good news is that I got 10 hours of road time with Niki. The bad news is that means my car is still sitting at the airport. Instead of bothering Sharmila and Nikita to take me there, I decided to change up my life a little and take public transportation.

Had to start from the very basics – like downloading the app to catch a bus and all that. The bus stop is about a couple of minutes walk from my house. Loved that journey. This is the second time I took MARTA bus. Being able to see all the familiar scenes, except now I am much higher and have long glass window panes was inexplicably exciting. Experiencing the bus stop to drop off or pick up a passenger and even watching how each passenger go thru the decisioning process of which seat to take was strangely enjoyable. But the best part was speeding down the highway!!!

The train journey – which should have been even more interesting – was marred by the fact that I quickly became queasy. Both Niki and I suffer from car sickness. One of the rare times when I had taken Marta train in the past, it was so bad that I had to get off at a station and take the next one after stabilizing myself.

Maybe I should go around in the buses randomly just to … you know, ummm…for no particular reason at all.

By the way, the street you see in the picture is where I live.

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20 July 2024

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be any more

Walking back from the grocery store with a bag in my hand early in the morning, I had a few throwbacks to the days of growing up in India. I instinctively knew then that just like my dad, I would someday be walking to a grocery shop to do the shopping too. I had just not bargained it to be in America and certainly not me in shorts!

The picture down the street reminded me of those days in India too. There were many other folks going to and fro from the grocery shop and a few people out for their morning walks. Admittedly, if my dad did what many of them were doing, the neighborly kids would have walked up and asked “kaku, aapnar kaaney oi saada comma duto ki?” (“Uncle, what are those two white comma-looking things in your ears?”). For, everybody seemed to be walking and talking – and flailing their arms in what seemed, from a distance, like an animated discussion with nobody in particular. Even the homeless guy in front of the grocery shop was going “Stop doing that! THAT IS MY ACT!!”

The reason I had gone to the grocery shop this early was to grab a carton of barista milk. I was running low on my stock for the morning cappuccino. I came home and Sharmila, measuring me up from top to down, quickly asked

“Did you get the eggs?”

“No. You did not ask me to.”

“Yes, I told you last night.”

Those days, no sooner would have my dad come home than my mom would start pointing out he had missed some items from the list she had made for him. That list, as it turns out, did go with him to the market but never came out his pockets there. He worked from his memory and he ad libbed a few items.

Back to market he would go.

Life, I feel this morning, has gone one full cycle for me.

If only I had a cycle like my dad used to have to go to the market.

Oh! Wait!!

19 July 2024

Of lemons and lemonades

The original idea was that after giving her the surprise on her return from Uganda, she would go to her friend’s place and I would go back to work. Next day, we were going to fly home sitting next to each other. Me listening to all her Uganda stories.

Except, when I woke up at 5AM, FAA had grounded all flights due to the IT issue. Systems were so badly down that I could not even get thru to the airlines’ website or phone calls.

So, we made the best of the situation. Canceled our flight tickets and instead got ourselves a rental car!! And hit the road for a 12 hour journey to hear all the Uganda stories. On the way, we stopped at many rest areas to sit down and some fresh air. And, of course, more stories of a foreign land I have never seen.