21 October 2021

I do not want to look like I just wrestled down a tiger

Me: “Sharmila, I need a new pair of jeans”
She: “Why? What happened to your minimalism?”
Me: “I am worried of something worse.”
She: “What are you talking about?”
Me: “I am afraid people will think I am becoming fashion conscious.”
She: “WHAT???”

So, I showed her the pair of jeans I was wearing.

Me: “I think people will think I am wearing ripped jeans. I don’t think they will know that a decade old pair of jeans starts springing holes.”

The worst part is that the other pair of jeans I have is also disintegrating. I am totally pointing the finger of suspicion to my laundry guy.

She: “Do you know your size?”
Me (confidently): “Yes, large.”
After she had stopped laughing inconsolably, she blurted out “That is your shirt size!”
Me: “Oh!”

Apparently, there are 2 numbers that define a pair of jeans that I should know.

This is too complicated, man. Does anybody know if ripped jeans are going out of fashion soon? I really want to wear my current pairs and look out of fashion at the same time.

18 October 2021

“Every person is unknowable”

Good old Anand was in town. We met with some of our old friends. And that spanned three companies. Yes, Anand and I have worked together in three of the five companies I have ever worked in – and No, he does not hold the record. That would go to Raj Sundaramurthy – four out of the five companies!!

After finishing with our friends, Anand and I spent over an hour together reflecting on life. In a way you can do, with a person that you have known for over a quarter century. We were talking about our old friends and people we knew. I was telling him how I got to know many people more intimately (in terms of what they have gone thru in life) AFTER we actually stopped working together.

“Well, at some level, every person is unknowable”, said Anand.
“How do you mean?”, I asked, rather perplexed.
“Well, you know a person only to the part they will open up to. You never know how much more they are not letting you in”.

It took me a few moments to let the depth of his observation sink in.

Indeed, it is true that every impression I have of any individual is deeply flawed by the fact that it is based on only what they have let me on to. I really do not know what I do not know about them!!

Think about that for a moment!!

Thank you Anand for once again making me think deeply!!

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18 October 2021

There is a reason why we did not talk about the days when we worked together

Anand (Iyer) was visiting Atlanta from Portland. So, five more of us from Atlanta got together with him for drinks.

We have all worked together in our past in one or the other company. Guess why did not talk much about the past?

Because we could not decide which company to talk about!! Turns out we have dragged each other along wherever we have gone.

To wit, I have worked with Karthik in 2 different companies (and once in different companies but owned by the same PE firm). Anand and i have worked together in 3 different companies! Madhav and Karthik have worked together in 2 different companies! Vijay has worked in one company with Anand and me and yet another company with Karthik!! Anand (Srinivasa) has worked with all of us but Vijay once.

And I am no sure we are quite done!!

That was a great evening!!

16 October 2021

Saturday winding down

(To) Mere mehboob ne wada kiya hai
Paanchve din ka
(Aare) Kisi se sun liya hoga
Yeh duniya chaar din ki hai.

Roughly translated…

(So) She has promised to meet me
On the fifth day from today
(Perhaps) She also has heard from others that
This life is only for four days

(As a cultural context, “duniya chaar din ki hai” literally means that this world is for four more days… the point being life is only for a few short days more)

16 October 2021

Do you know the English word for this?

Growing up in India, we used to get our shoes repaired every time they sprung a hole or a nail got dislodged. I have not visited a cobbler ever since I came to this country. I suspect, it is cheaper to replace a pair of shoes than repair it these days. At least the kind of shoes I wear.

But in those days, a cobbler used to come by our neighborhood every Saturday and anybody who needed shoes repaired, got them done by him. As a small kid filled with curiosity, it was a marvel to watch the cobbler stitch the thread using a needle with a sidecut that would be used as a hook to loop the thread in and pull thru.

And he always carried a heavy anvil like the one in the picture. Do you remember this?

Did you know that there is an English word for this? I always thought of it as an anvil but as it turns out, there is an exact word to refer to this cobbler’s instrument.

What is it?