21 March 2013

Sampat bhai!

The benefits of business travel!! Met good old friend from MBA days Vikram Sampat after over 20 years!!! It was priceless catching up after so many years!! Like the gold old days, had an ice cream with him after dinner. Instead of our usual haunt -ICP (Ice Cream Parlour) it was CCI (Cricket Club of India) this evening!!


21 March 2013

Oat meal!!

Another 5K in really humid Mumbai. Sitting at the breakfast table, I was wondering why oat meal in India tastes so much better than in US. Then I noticed the plate of Jilebi, aloo paratha with Chana dal and achar and the masala dosa surrounding it at my table πŸ™‚
I know what my Indian friends in US are thinking – “You pig! You deserve to run aimlessly” πŸ™‚
In my mind I am telling them “suit yourself” as I dig deeper into the two rasamalais πŸ™‚

20 March 2013

Run in Bombay!!

Twenty years back in this city, I used to run in the morning so as to not miss the train to Andheri. I used to run to the Borivali bus depot not to miss the early BEST bus to Kandivali. Those were purposeful runs.
This morning, in the same city, I ran without any general purpose for 5K. Shaved off a minute a mile due to the flat terrain.
And as I did that, I twice almost ran into people running from cross streets. No doubt they were trying to catch a train or bus πŸ™‚

19 March 2013

Flight to India

That is one heck of a way to get to India. First, back in Atlanta, as I was trying to finish off the last few calls before they close the doors of the plane – hailstorms hit the airport. Hail hitting your plane when you are sitting inside sounds far worse than when you gift your 10 year old nephew his first set of drums (presumably to exact some kind of revenge on your brother) πŸ™‚
Of course, we had to wait for a couple of hours for the State Farm guy to show up – or whoever it is that shows up to check hail damage for planes. Yes, there is such a thing. I have half a mind to write to Delta that they could have easily saved all of us 15 minutes by switching to GEICO! πŸ™‚
Finally we took off with no chance to make my connection flight in Amsterdam. I took a zen like attitude – whatever happens will happen. Worst case scenario, I will stay in Amsterdam for a day and go the next day. There are worse things that can happen. For example, Delta could have been with Allstate πŸ™‚
Fortunately, the flight picked up speed and we made up some time. Just enough that I realized I had a shot at making the connection. Which I did. By a few minutes! And that is when it dawned on me that my luggage may not have been that lucky πŸ™ Nothing shatters zen-ness like the the prospect of being in a hotel with no extra set of clothes and a few customers to meet that day!!!
So, here I am in my long flight from Europe to India wondering what is in store. Delta tried to make it up by giving me three gulabjamuns in my meal. Why the odd number three, I will never understand. At this point, I had the proverbial angel and devil duking it out on my either shoulder. “Too much sugar”.. “So what? it is India”.. they went on and on πŸ™‚
Finally, I gave in and bit into my first gulabjamun. It was so hard thatI barely left a bite mark!! And that is when I realized that Delta’s gulabjamuns beat paper and scissors πŸ™‚
And that brings me to where I am now. Slowly descending into the Indian sub continent. Not knowing what I am going to wear tomorrow morning for my run. And a couple of teeth that are sore πŸ™‚ Zen, shmen, my left foot πŸ™‚

17 March 2013

Run, Mimosa, Run, Wine!

Evidently the 5K run this morning was not enough (plus I had to burn down the two mimosas from the morning πŸ™‚ ). Went for a second run – this time 8K (5 miles) in the hills around my house. Now I am going to switch to wine πŸ™‚ I truly am a drunkard with a running problem πŸ™‚

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17 March 2013

College tax day!

After doing a lot off yard projects, Nikita and I were relaxing in the hammock by the pool. I wanted to tell her how much I will miss doing projects with her when she is off to college. Thinking about the day she will leave us for college, I asked her “Do you know what is the day I dread the most?”
“The day you have to give taxes”? she answered. πŸ™‚
Upon further reflection, I continued with my snooze in the hammock πŸ™‚

15 March 2013

Proud recipient….

After my rather scathing report on my family-in-India’s relative ignorance of the internet, my brother has decided to singlehandedly fight back. He set up email ids for my 8 year and 5 year old nephews. I am the proud recipient of the first emails that has ever been written by my nephews. I am sure by the time they go to college, emails are going to be passΓ©. So, I am keeping this for posterity:

5-year old Rishu wrote:
Dear Jethu

I am rishu sending the first mail to you.What are you doing?pls reply. I am going to sleep now.


8-year old Riku wrote:

Hello Jethu,

how are you and what are you doing.What are Nikki & Tasha didi doing.What about the chart of transports That must come to me.What about the Chhota Bheem?


14 March 2013

Upside down bunch of grapes

Thursday evening flying back home. Puzzle time.
Put 10 coins in four rows – top row has four coins, next has three, next has two and bottommost has one (will look a bunch of grapes – see the picture).
Now by moving only THREE coins, you have to get the bunch of grapes to look like upside down. (so, top row has one coin, next has two….)
This is not a trick question. The arrangement is exactly the same – but upside down.


Category: Puzzles | LEAVE A COMMENT
13 March 2013

“Googly kore de”

One more of those hilarious conversations with my family back in India!!! You just can’t make these things up πŸ™‚

I made my daily call to my mom on my way to office today and she wasted no time to let me know that I should call up my sister – she was in dire need of my help. After hanging up with her, I did call up my sister fully expecting “How do you solve this geometry problem?” or something like that. However, what followed was one of those reasons why I miss being around my family so much.

Evidently, my niece Rima was in some kind of Math Olympiad recently. My sister rattled off her roll number to me – A213567. I had nary an idea of what I was expected to do till she very helpfully clarified (as most sisters do) “Net thekey or score ta baar korey de”! She wanted me to find out her score from the internet!! πŸ™‚

More confused than perplexed, I asked “What do you mean ‘get me her score from the internet’ ?. How am I supposed to do that?” I had inevitably underestimated her preparedness for this question. “Eta jaanis na? Googly kore de – peye jaabi”, she pressed on. She wanted me to Google the roll number! Other than making a mental note that next time I meet her, I should explain to her the nuances of a cricket ball delivery called “googly” and “googool” which is essentially a search engine, I was overwhelmed by her vision of the power of the internet πŸ™‚ Long live Al Gore!

But by this time, I was getting curious about what got her down this path. I explained why I could not do that. I needed something called a URL – she would recognize it as something starting with three “w”s. That struck a chord with her instantaneously. I could sense the palpable excitement from the other end of the phone as she exclaimed that she had seen it and a minute later started rattling off from some piece of paper – “w,w,w facebook com”. Her disrespect towards the lowly dots in a URL was exceeded only by her disrespect towards my lack of knowledge of the internet πŸ™‚

Desperately trying to suppress my laughter, I asked “Facebook? Really? Read me the whole line”. And she read “Visit w w w facebook com and like us”. That “like us” was enough to plant some seed of doubt in her mind. So, she asked me “Why do we have to like them? I still do not know how Rima has done in the exam” πŸ™‚ I let her know I completely sympathized with her that it would be ridiculous to like Facebook if we later found out Rima did not do that well to begin with πŸ™‚

By now, I was trying with all my might not to get too distracted on the highway. So, to be helpful, I enquired “Who told you that the results are out on the ‘net'”? She let me know it was the parent of a friend of Rima. I pointed out the obvious to her – “Find out from them the webpage address”. She acknowledged that that parent herself had heard from somebody else πŸ™‚ But, of course!!! If I followed the chain any further, I was sure somebody would have said they got it from Wikipedia or something and then my sister would ask me how can she get to Wikipedia and I would say that it is on the ‘net and the whole cycle would start all over again πŸ™‚

Presently, my sister gave up too and we wrapped up. I called my mom back to let her know that I was useless for what my sister was looking for. Ever supportive of his eldest son, my mom said “Tai to! Americar net ekhane kokhono choley naaki? Soma-ke kobey thekey bolchhi ekta sosta dekhe net kiney nitey”. Roughly translated, “Of course! How can American internet work in Kalyani? I have been telling your sister for some time now, to buy an inexpensive internet for themselves”. My mom thinks that internet is something you buy from the market at the end of their housing complex!! She probably thinks it is a neatly packaged item that is delivered to you in a box. Preferably with the sender’s name on it!! Past experience has taught us that it would certainly save a trip or two to the police station πŸ˜‰