25 February 2024

’12 Dec India

  1. Heading out to India again…. Dec 25, 2012

    It has been a long long time that I have gone to India by myself. Also so soon after the last trip. Dad is not doing well after surgery and mom seems to showing early signs of relapse πŸ™ Hope to see them for a few days and also my brother and sister who are bearing the brunt of all the parental caregiving.

    I will miss most having wine with Sharmila every evening while there. And the kids and her for New Year’s Eve πŸ™

    Will be a bitter sweet trip….

  2. Bye Atlanta for now Dec 25, 2012

    Pulling out of Atlanta. It is one of those huge 767-300. Flat bed. And it is less than two hours to New York!!
    Heard the kids are having white Christmas in Dallas. I think this is their first white Christmas in Dallas.


  3. But why? Dec 25, 2012

    In the Airtrain in New York that takes you from terminal to terminal. These are automated. No driver. So why the wiper on the windshield? Who is it supposed to help see the track in front?


  4. A380 Dec 25, 2012

    That humongous familiar plane again! Oh! How Nikita would be missing this !!!


  5. My lovely date! Dec 25, 2012

    At the Emirates Lounge!!


  6. Mood lights! Dec 26, 2012

    To go with my lovely date, now I have mood lighting.. I forgot that the A380 upstairs has different light colors to simulate natural light from different times of the day!!


  7. Deicing Dec 26, 2012

    The huge A380 is being de-iced!!


  8. Getting ready to land in Dubai Dec 26, 2012

    Landing in Dubai…


  9. Sbux Dec 26, 2012

    There is something very reassuring about that sign at any airport. Even if it is as far away from home as Dubai!


  10. Sunset somewhere over Iraq! Dec 27, 2012

    Sunset from the plane. 41000 feet over Iraq.


  11. Traditional teastop! Dec 27, 2012

    On the way to my dad’s house.


  12. Cheers! To the siblings!! Dec 27, 2012

    One of the best parts of India -meeting the siblings and their better halves over a glass of wine!


  13. COLD!! Dec 28, 2012

    It is 50 degrees. And there is no concept of room heating. God it is cold. Just six months back I was here and it was 108 degrees. No wonder my parents complain so much about everything πŸ™‚ And I have become such a wimp!!!

  14. Morning run with brother! Dec 28, 2012


    One of the blisses in life! Early morning 4 mile run with my brother! It was foggy as heck!!


  15. Surprise! Dec 28, 2012

    That was a well executed surprise!! Yesterday I landed in India to visit my ailing dad for a few days.. Nobody other than my brother knew. My sister in law almost choked in surprise. Should have seen my nephews’ jaws drop when they saw me. Then we all drove to my dad’s house. My mom – who absolutely did not recognize me as I was pulling the suitcase out of the elevator – whispered to my sister-in-law -“Who is that guy? Is he with you folks?” πŸ™‚ My dad was so overwhelmed by it, he got out of the bed and started pacing up and down!! (I have come to see him since he had a knee operation and he is having post-operative complications and he soon realized he is not supposed to pace up and down πŸ™‚ ). Nobody can believe it that my brother and I kept it completely under the wraps for over two months!!! To maintain the secrecy, I even stopped posting on Facebook. (All my FB friends are so going to “Like” the last statement πŸ™‚ ). I have been posting on rollsroys.wordpress.com though.

  16. Family dinner Dec 28, 2012

    Took the whole family out for dinner. Dad ventured out after a long time of being in bed after surgery.


  17. My family and shoe throwing Dec 28, 2012

    During dinner yesterday, I gave my family the puzzle I had posted before about the three cannibals and three monks trying to cross the river. The discussions were hilarious. You can see here how my sister, mother and sister in law are using three shoes as cannibals, three slippers as monks and trying to solve it on the floor at home. The yelling and shoe throwing was to die for!!


  18. Socks length Dec 28, 2012

    So my dad wants to know why my socks are so short (just over ankle). Look at the disdainful look on his face. He concluded that in India you get more value for money. Evidently because socks come up almost to your knees here πŸ˜‰


  19. Another run with brother Dec 29, 2012

    Early morning another 5 mile run with my brother in dense fog. My personal best time of the day!


  20. Looking better Dec 29, 2012

    When your Indian mom says “you are looking better this time” (“ebare dekhte bhalo laagchhey”), you know you have put on weight πŸ™‚

  21. “Langcha” Dec 29, 2012

    Saktigarh-er langcha? Check!!!

  22. Teastall Dec 29, 2012

    After the run, my brother and I stopped at a roadside tea stall and had some awesome tea sitting on the – what is refered to here as the “footpath”!


  23. Coconut water Dec 29, 2012

    Stopped by the roadside for some coconut water…


  24. Tea break with a twist! Dec 30, 2012

    Teabreak with a twist: went for a 10 km run with my brother in Durgapur where he and our sister were born. Took a tea break at a memorable place.

    If you can see the tree with white mark on my brother’s right – it was on that road right there, one evening twenty years and two months back, while taking an evening stroll with Sharmila, I had asked her straight and simple – ring, rose and getting on a knee be darned – if she would marry me. My biggest worry was whether she would stand up to her and my parents – none of whom would approve of our marriage. I was counting on her street cred of fierce independence, stubbornness and sense of self determination.

    That evening, she summoned all those strengths in her and told me point blank -“No” πŸ™‚


  25. Indian spirits Dec 30, 2012

    This is what happens when you have too much “Indian spirits”


  26. Run and pig out! Dec 31, 2012

    Another 4 mile run early morning with my brother. After that there was the “paratha aloor dum”. Yesterday was “luchi aloor dum” followed by egg rolls and “moghlai paratha”. It is just a matter of time till I need medical attention πŸ™‚ On the other hand, there is no doubt when I see my mom this evening, she will say “ei du diney ektu bhalo laagchhey dekhte” (“you are looking better in the last two days”) – which as you know is Indian mom speak for “you have put on more weight in the last two days” πŸ™‚

  27. Huh? Dec 31, 2012

    Whatever that is supposed to mean… Assume the mom is addressing her son… But why put that behind a pickup truck? πŸ™‚


  28. NFL moment Dec 31, 2012

    Has NFL brought back those replacement refs? While attempting from India to get an update on scores, the NFL app gave an error which, as you see, is complaining that it GOT a network connection!!!


  29. Music session after 30 years Dec 31, 2012

    If it is all about how it ends, 2012 was one of my best endings. In a dream come true event, played tabla with my sister singing for over five hours. And that is when we realized that the New Year was upon us.
    It has been at least 30 years since I sat with her for a music session. Every Friday when I play at home by myself, I always remember her as that small sister I had that I wish I could sit again some day for some music.
    And that day was today!!


  30. Gaaner Asor – with sister Dec 31, 2012

    You probably remember from previous blogs about the surprise visit I paid to my ailing dad last year end. I also had mentioned that I sat down with my sister for a music session on New Year’s eve and we played till the New Year rolled in. After three decades I sat down with her. Three decades back, it was the fear of our parents and our teachers that got us to practice music. This time we sat down because we wanted to. (We have always regretted that we did not stay closer to music than we did – although she did a better job than me in that department). I recorded it for our families. (How I had to get myself a tripod in a small town like Kalyani is a hilarious story I will share with you later). If you are so inclined, here they are…



  31. Gaaner Asor – with mom and niece Dec 31, 2012

    After the video of our (me and my sister) music session, here are a few songs with two different generations – on either side – my sister’s daughter and my mom…

  32. Surprise start to New Year Jan 1, 2013

    Surprise start to the New Year. Brother and I started the day with a 7K run. Dragged my sister and brother in law for the first 2K too! Not sure whether my dad was inspired or got terribly worried about us but when we came back found out that he had grabbed his new walking stick, left the bed he has been confined to after surgery and went downstairs for a few hundred feet walk. The security guy downstairs had to help him back in the last stretch but what the heck – I will take that anyday over he complaining about dragging my sister and brother in law for a run πŸ™‚


  33. New Year adventure! Jan 1, 2013

    New Year adventure: For the last few years my mom has been wistfully talking about the small village she was born in and her childhood friends. She has not been there for over 40 years. I have some vague recollection from the only visit i had ever made there. Last night brother and I decided to take her to visit her birthplace.
    That was the easy part. Finding the place was a whole different ball game. Mom was not too helpful with her directions – “it is by a big canal”!!! And Google maps has nothing on a village called ” Upalati”.
    Internet to the rescue!!! Wikimapia had some place called “Upalati” but all it had was latitude and longitude and a whole page of irrelevant ads. Unless all the folks in Upalati have suddenly started selling life insurance policies πŸ™‚
    Armed with that latitude, longitude, iPhone, google maps, car phone charger and a whole lot of reliance on technology, here we go!!


  34. Mom’s birthplace! Jan 1, 2013

    Reliance on technology paid off!! Terrible phone connection and terrible roads – but we made it to my mom ‘s birthplace alright!! This is the house she was born in. I have a couple of hours of video of mom going from house to house like a small kid and reconnecting with her old friends!! One amazing thing – one look at faces she had not seen in 40 years, and she nailed their names immediately. And most of their siblings’ names too!! As thrilling as the whole experience was, she also had to deal with the painful part of hearing half of her old friends are no more…


  35. Funny looking guy!! Jan 1, 2013

    There can be nothing more comical for the villagers in a village which has no schools, paved road, hospital or any house with running water or indoor plumbing than watching a guy with clean shaven head, seemingly cannot afford full pants or wear his baseball cap frontside front going around with a video camera desperately trying to save his Asics shoes from the animal droppings on the road while suspiciously following an elderly lady!!!

  36. Bong sweets Jan 2, 2013

    If “thanda legey jaabey” (“you will catch a cold”) is a Bengali’s trademark remark, a close second contender for that status would be “ombol hoyechhe”. (“you have indigestion”). Regardless of your symptoms – stomach cramps, short of breath, headache, broken finger :-), the latent doctor in a Bengali will invariably sprinkle that wise diagnostics phrase “ombol hoyechhe”. By the way, every Bengali is a freelance doctor!!
    You probably also know that Bengalis are famous for their consumption of sweets. We have sweets for breakfast, lunch, snacks,dinner… Our long breaks for sweet-eating is interrupted only by our short breaks of sweet-eating. For whatever reason, sweets do not give us “ombol” πŸ™‚
    For years, I dodged all my relatives offering piles of sweet by lying to them “I have a sugar problem. My doctor said No sweets”. Like I explained before, doctors trump sweets for Bengalis. That was that. Till my sister decided to go ahead and marry a real doctor πŸ™‚
    That story later! Here, you can see how last night my mom was setting the “table” for dinner. Note that the food had not arrived yet. But four different varieties of sweets were already there. Just so that we are clear on our priorities..,


  37. Puppy love!! Jan 2, 2013

    Puppy love! My sister is the ultimate magnet for puppies!!


  38. Now that is a threat! Jan 2, 2013

    “Persecuted”??? That is somewhat of an extreme threat. Don’t you think?


  39. Dog warning… Jan 2, 2013

    The dog is intently trying to read what the sign says. In Bengali it warns “Beware of dogs” πŸ™‚


  40. Climbing walls… Jan 2, 2013

    It is not often that I run into dogs that climb up walls and walk on them. This one obliged me by posing for the picture! Why or how it climbed up the wall, I will never know….


  41. Some memorable moments from India trip Dec 2012 Jan 3, 2013
  42. Run in Kolkata Jan 3, 2013

    Another run to remember! This time in Kolkata. After some sharp showers. And we managed to rope in Ananya Dubey for the run. So many times we met in Boston but never managed to run together. Ditto when we met in California too. But finally made it happen half a world away in Kolkata! I still remember the first time I met Simi – she was barely in kindergarten and I was in high school!!!
    This last week, certainly every day has been memorable for me. Now I am ready to go back home.


  43. Yoga by my brother Jan 3, 2013

    While I love running, I am not a terrible fan of stretching. However, after I hit 45, not stretching gets me into a lot of trouble. I was curious about Yoga and asked my brother if he could show me some poses. Here is a few he showed me. It might be easier for me to stop running altogether!!!


  44. Trip back…. Jan 3, 2013

    Thirty four hours of journey back home commenceth now. Looking forward to creating some more magical moments with family and friends in USA this year like last week was…

  45. Onto second leg… Jan 3, 2013

    In the larger scheme of things, if The Lord intended us to fly, He would have certainly made it easier for us to make connections! πŸ™‚ Made it to the flight to DC from Dubai. Of course, the prospect of sitting in a metal tube for 13 hours with little ability to step out and catch some fresh air makes me wonder if it was worth making the connection to begin with πŸ™‚

  46. Now the last leg… Jan 4, 2013

    Wow! That was a pleasant surprise. Got down at DC and then immigration took all of 2 minutes. Customs was 0 minutes. Delta lady insisted that she will ensure I can catch the earlier flight. There was NO ONE at TSA Pre other than me – even the bored TSA ladies started small talk with me. Reached the terminal and Delta was yelling my name – walked into the earlier flight and they closed the door. And they were holding a first class set for me!! That reduces the thirty four hour trip to thirty two. However, only when I have had that first sip of Starbucks tall extra hot nonfat latte at Atlanta airport, will this trip be officially over for me πŸ™‚