15 September 2017

The trio got together again!!

About a year back, Julio and I were in Sheboygan, WI for some meetings and I had taken him to my favorite dinner spot – Blind Horse. There we had met Paula who was working in the bar. You might remember her from the post I had put up about her interesting life story.

I remember asking her about her lineage. Which she could not answer. I found out that she was adopted when she was only a few days old. Also found out that her brother is adopted too. And he is married to an adopted lady. Guess from which country? India!! I remember further that Paula wanted to go back and finish her college and that she had never been on a plane.

A week back, I had written to her letting her know that Julio and I were going to be in the area again and would love to come by Blind Horse for a dinner and get an update on her life story. Unfortunately, she said, she did not work at Blind Horse anymore!

“Oh! So, where are you working now?”, I asked. Hoping that if it were nearby we still had a shot of seeing her.
“I now work at the bar in a resort called Osthoff”, she had replied.

Aha! Want to take a guess where was Julio and I headed for our meetings? It was at the Osthoff resort, believe it or not!! What are the chances of that?

This Tuesday, after our meetings were over, Julio and I strolled along to the bar in the property she worked in and had a great time catching up with her. We talked a lot about her new baby and her aspirations in life. We were very proud of her that she had worked herself out of all financial debts in her life!!

One of the things we talked about was her desire to find out her original roots (remember my very first question to her about her lineage?) Looks like she is getting started to find out the answer to my question.

Best of luck, Paula! We know these kind of processes take a long time.

Before leaving we took a picture of the three of us and we made sure we had aligned ourselves this time just like we had last time (see inset)!!

15 September 2017

Jerome Holbus!!!

I think it was around August or September of 1995. Sharmila and I had gone for a dinner party at Sanjiv’s house. He was the founder and CEO of the company I had just joined a couple of months back. We were introduced to some of the other guests – mostly people from the same company but I did not know all of them.

That is where I met Jerry for the first time. All I remember is that he and his wife were excited about moving to Europe (for business purpose) soon for a few years. After that, I probably saw him about a couple of times when he returned to the US and then soon left the company.

It was only during my call to him this year on last birthday that I found out he lives in Wisconsin. So, this week, when I had a gap in my meetings in Elkhart Lake, I offered to drive down to Milwaukee to see him. He graciously suggested that we meet midway in Grafton at Water Street Brewery. I figured – Brewery, Europe, beer in the afternoon – yep! the math works!!

Except that when I finally saw him after nearly two decades and we settled down at the bar, all he drank was coke!!! But we had a great time catching up on each other’s lives, kids and careers. Also, we caught up on our old friends.

Somewhere during the discussions he was talking about his current work and he mentioned somebody called “Buck” who was Indian. “Buck Chintamini, in fact”, he said. Out of a suspicion, I asked him if his formal name is Devasish. Jerry was not too sure about that. So, I fished out my phone and showed him a picture.

What do you know? All this time, he was talking about my classmate from MBA days!!! And as luck would have it, just this weekend, I was in touch with the same Buck for some personal stuff!! What is the chance of that? Is the world really small or what?

Jerry, it was great to see you after so many years. Let’s not wait for that long for the next one…

14 September 2017

Signing off in my favorite way…

This week was Quantum Spatial’s Annual Partner Event at the beautiful resort of Osthoff on Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin. As the outgoing CEO, this was one of my last formal duties as the transition to our new leader and my personal friend of three and a half years – Bob Hickey – begins. It was great meeting our partners and thanking them for all the business they enable.

Like I had said during my last year’s event, while I have always enjoyed the formal duties of being a CEO and certainly very proud of what the team has done (some would even suggest – in spite of me 🙂 ) in the last three and a half years, the real thrill was always in the informal perks of the job. Getting to know the backgrounds of my team members, their kids, their personal aspirations, the personal history of my peers in the industry, picking up some sharp one-liners from Bob and so on. But the best perk of all was being the official mixologist at our Partner Event. I truly get to know each and every one of them as individuals, their struggles and dreams as they build their own businesses and has almost always inspired me to try out some new ideas.

This year, keeping in mind that it was going to be a cooler day than last year, the theme was Old Fashioned. And we tipped our hats to our team mates in Lexington, Atlanta and Sheboygan by having three varieties of Old Fashioned with – Bourbon (Kentucky), Southern Comfort (South) and Brandy (if you did not know, this is the prevailing Wisconsin style of making an Old Fashioned).

How many times does one get to put one’s personal passion and professional passion together? Thank you Quantum Spatial and all the team mates from QSI for letting me sign off in a passionate way!!

13 September 2017

4 miles on the Ice Age Trail

Great run on a historic trail that marks the terminal moraine (the edge of the glacier where it dumped all the rocks that it carried) before the glaciers withdrew in the last Ice Age. About 1,200 miles in length (of which I ran only one mile 🙂 to and fro – twice), it is incredibly beautiful. And quiet. And narrow. You have to step aside for another person to pass.

My friend Bob ran this portion earlier in the day and had reported a lot of turkeys and even more deer. I was keeping my ears open for animals, since I had to keep the eyes on the trail. Else, I would have surely stumbled on all those rocks and roots on it.

Suddenly I could hear a turkey near me (and they are not particularly pleasant noise). I was so focused on trying to fix in my mind how far the turkey was from me, that I was not watching out for anything else. The trail took a turn and right when I went around the bend, I came face to face with the scariest of all animals – another human being! Apparently, she was trying to locate the turkey too. We landed up scaring the heck out of each other.

Anyways, we had a good laugh and then went our own ways to take in some more of the beauty and the solitude of the trail…

9 September 2017

Funny one

I was researching for something on the net and stumbled upon this image. Got a chuckle out of it! If you have not seen this before, this should give you a laughing start to this Saturday. Unless you are a friend of mine from Europe or Asia. In which case, it is too late in the day for you and I got nothing on you 🙂

9 September 2017

From the bartender’s corner – Moon River

Continuing with the theme of experimenting with gin and apricot brandy. This one is so far the best of the lot. Gin, Apricot Brandy, Galliano, Cointreau and Lemon juice. So many ingredients make it very complex. The nose is still that of the gin but the palette is taken over by the citrus (both lemon and orange). Garnished with a maraschino cherry.