Digging one’s nose in a public place in full view was a fashion statement in Ranchi a few years ago; as if to say “Hey there, I can do this in front of you and you can do nothin’ about it. I am the boss, you loser with your fancy pants sense of public decency”. Yup, it really was the in-thing to do.
I’ve often heard someone casually parrot the cliché ‘travel is a great way to get to know people’ and felt a wee bit uncomfortable about letting a glossy half-truth pass without a murmur of dissent. For I feel that friendships are either strained or strengthened while travelling – not by any dramatic event, but by a succession of small incidents that throw the spotlight on hitherto unnoticed flaws or virtues.
“Hey man, it’s such a long time!”
“Twenty-seven years. Wow!”
“You have not changed a bit. Ditto IIT looks. And you, you are now bald and have, err, gained weight. And you! What happened to your specs? Oh, contact lenses! Hey come in…….”
In many such rendezvous of old IIT friends, the introductions are similar. We get engrossed in our lives, lose touch and then we meet years, decades, nay life time after and feel excited as if we are living those magical IIT days again.
Our dining table was getting old, so my wife went and bought a new dining table. It was very nice. It had a very shiny, glossy surface and I would get immense pleasure just by looking at it.
Once upon a time (I am told that if one begins a story with these words it becomes an instant success. I will test this hypothesis here) a young Bhatia family came to the U.S. in search of greener pastures. The time goes so far back that there were neither Indian restaurants nor any Indian grocery stores anywhere within 50 miles of where they lived. So, if they ever wanted to eat any Indian delicacies like samosas, Batata Vadas or pakoras, they had to be made at home by the people themselves.
Once upon a time, there was a universe called JuNUun. That’s because its inhabitants wreaked their junoon on anyone who was right. In the view of the JuNUunites, right was wrong and left was right. It was a sprawling green campus, though the inhabitants were mostly red. Most colours were permitted in this universe, but saffron and khakhi were a strict no-no. The red Kanhaiahs and the evergreen kanyas that abounded in this universe were poets of sorts.
A question that was asked in the HSS department in the early 80s: Is it possible that if a monkey punches away on a typewriter (yes, typewriter. We’re talking about the 80s, remember?) endlessly, he will eventually type out Shakespeare Hamlet?