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.”
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!”
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.
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!!
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!!
“So, what are you doing in Atlanta?”, I asked the Martins as we walked from Avalon to Alpharetta downtown on the Alpha Loop.
“We came to see you!”, said Steve.
“And the pandas!”
Turns out Steve and Carolyn travel whenever they can now that they are empty nesters. Before that though Steve worked in Apple. Not coding and all that. That he did when I got to meet him on my first day at a startup called i2. He had shown me all the fan mail he used to get (meant for the actor Steve Martin). After leaving i2, he went to work for Apple at their retail stores. Doing what he liked doing the most… teaching customers one on one how to use the various applications.
You might remember from a story from June of 2017 how a picture he posted on Facebook made me realize that we were in the same airport at that instant and I ran to meet him for a minute just before he had to jump into the plane. I missed Carolyn that time since she had already stepped in. They were on their way to New York that time.
Another crazy coincidence with Steve that also includes Facebook happened the following year. I was on a business trip and had posted a picture from Natick, MA. Steve saw that and let me know that he was born there. On a whim, I found out the address of his birthplace, went to that house, introduced myself and took pictures of the house and sent it to Steve’s mom!! You can read the whole story here. (I found out from Steve this time that we both lost our moms literally two days apart last year).
Going back to the pandas… apparently, the Martins love pandas (who does not?) and they have made it a point to go visit all the pandas in the USA. Turns out only a few zoos have Pandas and Atlanta was the last one on their list!!
And thanks to the Martins, we got a taste of what empty nesting might look like for us. We walked from Avalon to Alpharetta downtown, bounced around three bars, had some interesting drinks (one included smoke and fire) and finally settled down for a nice dinner. And then walked back to Avalon!!
Thank you Steve and Carolyn for keeping Sharmila and me in your minds during your Atlanta visit. We got to do this again soon!!
(To) Mere mehboob ne wada kiya hai
Paanchve din ka
(Aare) Kisi se sun liya hoga
Yeh duniya chaar din ki hai.
(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)