30 September 2015

Words you are likely to hear only from a Bengali mom

Coming to think of it… maybe it is not just Bengali moms… maybe it is Bengalis…

An actual quote from my daily phone call to my mom this morning. She was explaining how my dad is doing health wise… “Eto gorom porechhe je thanda legey gechhe”. If I could get a break from my peals of my laughter, I would translate it for you as “It is become so hot outside that he has caught a cold”!!!

We, the poor Bengalis can never quite figure out how to set this world’s thermostat correctly.

It is cold outside? Thou shalt catch a cold!
It is hot outside? Thou shalt catch a cold!
It is raining outside? Thou shalt catch a cold!
It is a little windy outside? Thou shalt catch a cold!
There is a lunar eclipse today? Thou shalt catch a cold!

It is like when we were created, our God was in so much hurry that he pressed “Page Down” before He could add the DNA covering sweaters in our genes. And of course, we do not know who to complain to. Bengalis have many many Gods (literally 330 million Gods – if they were to be distributed among my fellow Americans here, everybody would have gotten one and we would still have a few millions spare Gods left). Yet, we do not have a God manning the complaints department.

Arrgh!! Meanwhile, can you pass me my monkey cap, please? The sun is getting real hot today!

26 September 2015

Puzzle: Boarding a plane

Last morning, I was having a rather humorous email exchange with some of my friends from my previous job when one of them, Gasan, sent a very interesting puzzle. This is not that simple. What is surprising is his kids got this problem as a homework problem. Also Raj let me know that the answers are all over the internet. So, if you want to exercise your brain, do not Google it up. After you have given it whatever time you want to give, feel free to look up the answer.

Meanwhile, just to show how much fun we had as a team – or rather the team had at my expense, I am going to copy Gasan’s articulation of the problem as is…

A line of 100 airline passengers are waiting to board a plane. They each hold a ticket to one of the 100 seats on the flight. (for some reference, let’s say that the nth passenger in line has a ticket for the seat number n.)
Unfortunately, the first person in line is a crazy bald headed guy named Rajib, and will ignore the seat number on their ticket, picking a random seat to occupy. All the other passengers including Gasan, Chris, Sunjay, even Raj and Karthik are quite normal, and will go to their proper seat unless it is already occupied. If it is occupied, they will then find a free seat to sit in, at random.
What is the probability that the last (100th) person to board the plane will sit in their proper seat (#100)?

20 September 2015

Poet unknown…

“Aap gairon ki baat karte hain
Humne to apne bhi aazmayen hain
Log kaaton se bachke chalte hain,
Humne to phoolon se zakhm khaayen hain!!”

Roughly translated…

“You keep complaining about strangers
I have tried my own loved ones too
People try to stay clear of thorns
And I have been hurt by flowers!!”