1 January 2024

I wish you enough!

Keeping up with my tradition of starting the year by “wishing you enough”. A message worth repeating every year. As a person who arguably spends more time in airports than home and as somebody who spends time in hospices with folks who regularly say their “forever goodbyes”, the story and the moral of the story rings very true to me.

Even if you have read it last year, it is a great read again. Also acknowledging Larry Mason who had originally wished me enough…

“I wish you enough!”
By Bob Perks
I never really thought that I’d spend as much time in airports as I do. I don’t know why. I always wanted to be famous and that would mean lots of travel. But I’m not famous, yet I do see more than my share of airports.

I love them and I hate them. I love them because of the people I get to watch. But they are also the same reason why I hate airports. It all comes down to “hello” and “goodbye.”I must have mentioned this a few times while writing my stories for you.

I have great difficulties with saying goodbye. Even as I write this I am experiencing that pounding sensation in my heart. If I am watching such a scene in a movie I am affected so much that I need to sit up and take a few deep breaths. So when faced with a challenge in my life I have been known to go to our local airport and watch people say goodbye. I figure nothing that is happening to me at the time could be as bad as having to say goodbye.

Watching people cling to each other, crying, and holding each other in that last embrace makes me appreciate what I have even more. Seeing them finally pull apart, extending their arms until the tips of their fingers are the last to let go, is an image that stays forefront in my mind throughout the day.

On one of my recent business trips, when I arrived at the counter to check in, the woman said, “How are you today?” I replied, “I am missing my wife already and I haven’t even said goodbye.”
She then looked at my ticket and began to ask, “How long will you…Oh, my God. You will only be gone three days!” We all laughed. My problem was I still had to say goodbye.

But I learn from goodbye moments, too.

Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, “I love you. I wish you enough.” She in turn said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.”

They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me.

So I knew what this man was experiencing.

“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?” I asked.
“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back would be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?”

He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.” When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,” he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”
He then began to sob and walked away.

My friends, for 2024, I wish you enough!

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31 December 2023

Two big changes in the new year

Over the last 25 years, I have fine tuned my own crazy system to set and track goals. Some legitimately worry that I spend more time setting and tracking my goals than actually doing them!!

This year, one of the goals is to try minimalism on digital stuff. For me personally, it seems to create too much distractions and eats up my time. The experiment of minimalism on physical goods has yielded good results for me in terms of freeing up time and certainly having far less worries. Admittedly, my wife and friends have upped their worries on my sartorial sense, though!

The challenge is my OCD-level detailed system is all digital. Finally, after talking to Roger, decided to go his way and am headed the analog way for 2024. Of course, me being me, I had to convert all my digital templates (there are about a dozen of them) into paper and pen versions first.

In an another first, I have set all my 2024 goals before the year has begun! Usually it is middle of January when I get done.

Now, for some unscheduled afternoon nap!!!

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11 August 2023

Finally, some unwinding time

The week has been a bit hectic. Did manage to put in a walk to the bar with Sharmila and the dog every night though. But that was about it. Finally, today got some motorcycle time and then unwinding with an Asterix!

This is the 14th book – Asterix in Spain !

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1 June 2023

Somebody is laughing at my blog from eSwatini?

This morning I woke up to realize that a reader from the 168th country has visited by blog. That country being eSwatini. Many of you may know it as Swaziland. About 5 years back, the king (the only monarchy left in Africa, I believe) got tired of people confusing his country with another landlocked country – Switzerland – and changed the name to eSwatini.

What caught my eye was the region of the country that the reader came from – the notification said “Hho Hho” !! And I was like what did you find so funny?

A little research later, I learnt that the capital Mbabane (good luck pronouncing it) is in the region called Hho Hho. That made a little more sense that the first reader to my blog from that country would come from the capital.

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17 May 2023

What is “success”?

To switch up from rusting postal vehicles and dizzying runs, here is a question I have for you…

Three wise men and I had gathered a couple of days back at Mazzy’s to discuss a particular topic. Before I go any further, I have to tell you about Bengalis and “addas”. I do not know how it is in Bengal these days, but growing up, I was aware that we had a couple of reputations as a tribe.

First, we loved our “addas” (আড্ডা). These are basically a few Bengalis (say two to six – usually no more) hanging out. Constant drinking of tea was a paramount feature of such gatherings. The location could be outside – like the turn of the street, the benches outside the street side tea stalls or inside the coffee houses.

Second, we were known to be “আঁতেল” . Meaning intellectual. We would dive into poetry, philosophy, history, science … basically anything that did not require us to do some work. We would solve global hunger problems over a teacup but nary a step would we take to actually do something about it. For example, you could spot us going threadbare on what is giving rise to Kolkata’s street pollution problems and then watch us absentmindedly throw the earthen tea cup onto the street narrowly missing the scooter that just went by.

Deserved or not, in a bit of a revival of that reputation, Mrinal-da, Amitesh, Samaresh and I hung out at Mazzy’s. Since Mazzy’s does not know what “দুধ-চা” (the way tea is consumed in Bengal) is, we settled for a bottle of cabernet. (Nobody complained about it, I should add 🙂 )

Anyways, the topic de jure in this “adda” was “What is success?”

Fairly animated discussion, I should say.

To make this a virtual “adda“, I am curious about how you think about success. One of the things we were tripping up on was what is the difference between success and happiness? Is success a single variate or is it measured on multiple variables and stand together at the same time?

Think about the things you would say you have been successful in and the ones you have not been successful in. What was the definition of “success” did you just use when you made those self judgments?

Curious to hear your points of views. And feel free to join our “addas” if you are nearby.

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