16 April 2015

So, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Today is shaping up to be one of those days that promises to test my fortitude and attitude to the max.

Woke up late? Check!
With a severe headache? Check!
Quickly glanced emails from office to realize that there are not one, not two but three – errrrr, how should I put it – “interesting” situations to deal with? Check!
Could not find rental car in the hotel parking building? Check!
Realized that I have booked myself to fly back home on the wrong day? Check!
Got a call from Sharmila that washer dryer is not working anymore? Check!
And that the new puppy has chewed thru the electric wires in my bar area? Check!

As my friend Bob Hickey would ask, “So, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” ๐Ÿ™‚

12 April 2015

If you had any doubt that the youngest ones are always the most pampered ones…

Our first dog, Princess was never allowed to get up on chairs or sofas or any other furniture. She got trained very quickly to not climb up any of those stuff. For thirteen years, we have had no challenges whatsoever.

Now we get a new puppy Jay Jay and guess what happens? Not only is he being allowed to climb up chairs and sofas, evidently he is sleeping in our beds too! With full encouragement from the family members!!! Princess can’t believe what she is seeing!!!


12 April 2015

Today we ran as the flag of Azerbaijan

We were expecting more Chalupa runners given that temperatures have started rising. But I guess all the late night partying is still keeping the members in their beds late into Sunday mornings. Today it was Samaresh, Arup and myself. And then at the end of the run, we met up with Manas too who had started later than us. Personal highlight of the run was running into Tom Aliff from my previous workplace.

But the most interesting event happened before we had even started the run. The three of us had blue, green and red shoes on. Which led us to wonder which country has those colors in its flag. A little Google search later, we found out Azerbaijan!!! You can see our shoes and their flag in the picture ๐Ÿ™‚

I was trying to remember when had I heard about Azerbaijan first. I think it was in the first Tintin I ever read (third grade) – Crab with the Golden Claws. “To be precise”, as the inimitable detective twins Thomson and Thompson would always say, “a ship called Karaboudjan that derived its name from Azerbaijan”. And those were the funniest, bumbling detective twins I have ever come across.

Gerorges Remi’s hilarious way of having the twins introduce themselves included “This is Thompson – with a ‘p’ as in psychology” and “This is Thomson – without a ‘p’ as in Venezuela” ๐Ÿ™‚


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11 April 2015

Winding the week down with Friday evening music

The song of this evening was an unforgettable number sung by Ustad Sultan Khan and Chitra. I know the beautiful tune was given by Sandesh Shandilya but never found out who was the original poet behind the words.

The first two stanzas go thusly…

“Teri yeh surmayi aankhen
Panaahon mein bulaati hain
Kahin se main guzarta hoon
Yahin tak kheench laati hain

Teri yeh pyaar ki khushboo
Mujhe har pal sataati hai
Kahin se main guzarti hoon
Hazaaron gul khilaati hai”

To translate this, I have to explain what “surmayi” is. In Indian (and I think the Middle East and the whole subcontinent), ladies often apply this black stuff under the lower eyelid that accentuates their beautiful eyes. That black “stuff” is called “kohl” in Hindi and “surma” in Urdu. So, “surmayi” is referring to beautiful eyes duly decorated with “surma”.

[Indian ladies, did I do any justice to the term??? Should I have just said a “bold and beautiful version of eyeliner”?]

Anyways, the translation would roughly be…

“Your beautiful “surmayi” eyes,
Keeps beckoning to my world of imagination,
Whichever path I take to escape by,
They (the eyes) drag me right back to here (in front of you)

The sweet fragrance of your love,
Tortures me every single moment of my life,
Whichever path I take to escape by,
It (the fragrance) blooms thousands of flowers (along that path)”