17 February 2024

That sight harkens back to days nearly four decades back

Our IIT coach would take us to Elliott Beach in Chennai to practice soccer before Inter IIT games. I was the goalkeeper. So, I welcomed the soft landing in sand after diving. The problem, of course, was that the ball would drift more than I would anticipate in the wind. Almost broke my wrist for misjudging the ball by an inch while trying to thwart a thundering kick from Satish Sundar. That guy had the hardest kick in the team.

16 February 2024

That is a crazy coincidence!!

So, here I am in Puerto Rico. The main reason is to attend the wedding of somebody I know. Much younger to me, of course. I am on the board of the company that he is the CEO of. Turns out I was his mentor for a couple of years before that too. So, I show up with Sharmila at the Bacardi Distillery. It was a small and fairly intimate wedding.

Other than the bride and the groom I did not know anybody. Sharmila and I were intently watching the proceedings of the Indian wedding. All of ten minutes must have passed.

That “I did not know anybody”, bit? Completely unfounded.

Suddenly a gentleman in chic, traditional Malayali dress walks up to me and Sharmila.

“Rajib?”
“Guilty!”
“Hari. Hari Menon!”
“Wow! I would not have recognized you!!”
I knew Hari very well from the 90s. We had worked together. But I could not have picked him up from a crowd. He had however, recognized me in the gathering.

“Hari. Wait. What is your connection?”
“I am Vivek’s cousin”
“No way!”
The groom and I know each other for a few years now. In fact, he and his bride-to-be had gone out for dinner with Sharmila and me too. But we never figured out that we had such a common connection!!

Go figure!!

16 February 2024

This day came fairly early

Last year, I had come to Puerto Rico by myself. I had loved the Seven Seas Beach. Remember sitting at the spot behind the two trees in the background for hours. I remember calling Sharmila up and saying we need to come back together some time.

Did not realize it will happen within a year!! It is a great beach environment. The only problem is the bar sells mojito and pina colada – but not with alcohol! I asked her if it was because it was a public park. She thought I was out of my mind. I guess you can drink in public parks in PR. Turns out it is because of the owner’s religious beliefs.

15 February 2024

Coming to wall near you

This is the silhouette of Sharmila and me walking across a street in old San Juan and a car with bright lights coming uphill from our left. I did not get much of a chance to compose the shot in order to avoid getting hit but I might try next time with a little more thought.