Three weeks ago…
A man in his late fifties was sitting next to me in the bus. After paying for the bus ticket, I found him fumbling for something in his pockets. It turned out he had lost his phone. So I offered mine to call his wife and son. He was on his way to the hospital. He was embarrassed to ask me for my phone so many times but I was only too happy to relent (hospital, patient, sympathy… you know). After making many calls he figured he had indeed lost his phone for good. I told him he could block his phone to prevent unauthorized access. Just when I was about to plug in my earphones, he initiated a conversation that had me going ‘Woaaaaaah’. He was head of operationalizing hospitals at Narayana Nethralaya (how silly of me to think he was a patient there). As the talk progressed, he told me about his family being a bunch of engineers and doctors and that he was passionate about healthcare management. His relatives treated him as a joke and mocked him for his choices but he went on to complete his post graduation and is now heading the management of a chain of around 20 hospitals in Bangalore (by then my jaw had dropped on the floor). So what drove him to take it up in the first place, I wanted to know. ‘Passion for healthcare,’ pat came the reply. In my head I had given him a standing ovation; passion is a word you seldom hear these days. We spoke some more and me being my inquisitive self asked him many questions that he answered happily. He told me he was due for retirement but the infectious energy he carried with him will see no retirement, no doubt. I realized I hadn’t even asked his name so when I finally did he gave me his visiting card and he said ‘take care’ before we parted ways. Sigh. If only all bus journeys were this fruitful!
Gaja’s schedule is more hectic than any of ours put together multiplied by 500. No kidding. She barely sleeps and yet she says ‘I have never been this happy’. I continue to be amazed and inspired by her dedication and relentless efforts in keeping her kids engaged. More power to her! One weekend when she finally managed to make time for a meeting, we both went to Kavya’s house. The meet felt almost like a therapy. Missed Sheekha and Rosh though. We spoke and spoke till we felt sleepy and then we spoke some more. Typical us, right? Kav had made pudina pulao with some delish raitha and aunty made her signature coffee for us. If bliss had a synonym, this would be it. Although our frequency of catching up is reducing slowly, I’m glad that we still find time for each other.
Back home, Nav participated in a Science quiz held at… hold your breath… MCC! The prelims was interesting, from the sound of it. Their team of four was split into two teams of two each and made to sit at the extreme ends of the classroom they were in. Both teams were given a set of questions, which were names of scientific phenomena like friction, dispersion, refraction, etc. and they had to illustrate them in three minutes. Later the sheets of the two sub teams were exchanged and they had to guess their teammates’ questions in under a minute (talk about pressure). The next two rounds were guessing the scientists and other general knowledge based stuff, which were apparently real easy. I was not surprised to hear that Nav’s team won the first place. It’s little Mr. Einstein after all, should’ve seen that coming. Way to go, baby bro!
Earlier last month, owing to my sudden crazy craving for something savory, I visited my favorite hangout Bread & Circus for some nachos & cheese. Unfortunately for me there was more cheese than nachos which instantaneously gave me a sore throat, a runny nose and a very, very hoarse voice. A week later in office a Dutch lunch at Absolute Barbecue was planned. I was extremely apprehensive about going as I was still coughing my way to work every day. At the very last minute I decided to go and boy, am I glad I didn’t give it a miss! It was fun as always. I got to try rabbit (soft flesh) and emu (was a little rubbery). Misbah and I went mad over the grilled watermelons, much to the amusement of others. It was too.damn.good. The prawns were a let-down though. This time around my taste buds weren’t impressed, guess Barbecue Nation had set the bar too high. Could not have the mains as I’d had too many starters (*ahem* watermelons). The desserts were okayish. We pretend-celebrated Meghana’s birthday with an awesome birthday song and a complementary cake. On the whole, we had a blast.
Christy had invited us for the launch of his sister and brother-in-law’s new book at DYU cafe last Saturday. It was a fun event that saw many artists including illustrators from Chumbak. Christy’s family is a lovely bunch of talented folks. Before the launch, they all decorated the tree with paper lanterns having scenes printed from their graphic novel. Arpita and Arindam turned up late in the evening. We were all so famished, we hadtohadtoHADTO eat something. Arpita ordered the veg stroganoff (rhymes with Kirchoff doesn’t it?), Arindam and I had the chicken schnitzel and all three of us shared the spicy roasted vegetable pizza. The icing on the cake was bumping into Komal and Deepika from college. Such a pleasant surprise! After we were done eating we headed downstairs to witness the launch. Some illustrators were doing live sketches for the customers. The matchbox comics were too too cute. It was a really eventful evening.
Roshni came home last week to return my camera. I hadn’t seen her in centuries. She told me I’ve lost weight; she’s not the first person telling me so. We both went on a ranting spree about the unbearable traffic. Tin factory, take this: %!$#?@!@
Work, traffic, blah, work, work, blah, traffic. I was reminded of what Kavya had once told me over a phone conversation – ‘An engineer breathes peacefully only after retirement!’ I have never laughed so much in recent times.
December, please be good to me.