11 October 2021

That is not Bengali!

I was at the Fulton County Water department to get some stuff done regarding the new house. The staff was very courteous and efficient. I have been VERY pleased with the Tag and License office there too. For a government office, they are really efficient.

In any case, noticed this sign there. I know a bit of Bengali and Hindi. That sentence purportedly written in Bengali is anything but. Individual letters seemed to be Bengali script. Put together, it is gibberish. The Hindi one was much better – but still no cigar. The word “Hindi” itself is unreadable!!

I wonder how many of the other languages written there have the same issue. Full points for trying but they need better proof reading…

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10 October 2021

The biggest minimalist move ever for us

If there was ever an admission that we are “over the hill”, this has to be it. The last 30 years of our married life, the key word has been “expansion” – our family size increased from 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 (the last one came with four legs), our living spaces went from a 1000 sq ft apartment to 3500 sq ft house to 5500 sq ft house. Our lot sizes went from 0 (apartment) to 1/6 of an acre to 5 acres.

And now, we are staring down the day in less than 10 months when Nikita will leave for college and we will officially enter the “empty nester” zone. Sharmila and I have been thinking hard and long on how we should re-prioritize our lives once it is just the two of us. You know – with no early morning repeated alarm clocks ringing to wake every one of us up but the owner of the alarm clock OR last minute realization that something has to be bought from the store in the next few minutes OR no staying up late by her bed so she can finish up preparing for her test next day…

We realize that it is going to be hard not to have any of the children around. But we also realize that we may not have each other around for too long either. Both of us are way beyond the average life expectancy of somebody born in India in our respective birth years.

We think we want to minimize on maintenance to save time. We also want to be able to travel at the drop of a hat. And finally, we want to just walk to coffee shops, restaurants and bars so as to make as many friends as we can since our two best friends won’t be around us.

With that in mind – and mind you, this makes no financial sense – at the peak of house prices, we have bought ourselves a small house in Alpharetta downtown. It is less than half the size of our current house and we go straight from 5 acres to enough space for the dog to get his job done in the morning. Even that might be tight for him!!

Contraction – in business or life – is not an easy thing. We are going to give ourselves some time to make the move. There is a lot of stuff that we have to get rid of. It will be hard. But I am hoping that will bring the two of us closer since it will force us to decide what is important to us and what is not. Ideally, we would want to give up all the stuff like furniture etc and start it all over again.

Just like an expectant mother’s final contractions are incredibly painful and yet gives rise to the most beautiful thing – called a new life – so too, I expect our downsizing to be painful but hopefully a new life will emerge for both of us.

This picture was taken just as we had our final walkthru before closing. Our youngest friends – Mrinalda and Seemitadi – were there to witness our baby steps to the transition.

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