Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chamaedorea Elegans

Our flat has a new resident.


She doesn’t have a very exciting life, but she does have an east-facing window.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Agenda: Doughnuts

Two trainees from the Capital Markets group in our firm traditionally volunteer as “Doughnut Boy/Girl”. Their role is to pick up and distribute doughnuts and other snacks to everyone in the Capital Markets group (i.e. the 24th and 25th floors) on every second Friday.

Today I got a Microsoft Outlook meeting invitation from the other doughnut volunteer (Date: Friday 17 September, Venue: Waitrose). With it she had sent a note saying, “Sorry for being a geek, but if it’s not in my calendar I won’t remember!”

How I love lawyers. :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Debt

The London office of our law firm has a number of practice areas, and each has several groups within it. I am in Capital Markets, and my group is called Debt and Equity Capital Markets. The group mainly deals with the issuance of bonds and medium term notes and advises in respect of equity offerings. It is popularly known as DECM, or more simply, Debt.

A bunch of us joined the law firm together, and so our conversation often revolves around which practice area/group we have joined.

If one more person, just one more person, makes a “Are you in debt?” joke, I will stuff a Eurobond down their gullet.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One Month

...since I left Calcutta. Long separation from the Arsalan Mutton Biryani is slowly sapping my superpowers.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Llyn Cau

Most people who climb Cadair Idris camp at the base. It is in fact forbidden to camp on the mountain, but we are responsible campers who leave no trace, and we have a general disdain for organised campsites. Besides, we wanted to test the truth of the legend. So we pitched camp on the shores of Llyn Cau.

Llyn Cau is a classic cirque lake, not far below the summit of the mountain. With its crater-like shape and stark surroundings, it is a truly awe-inspiring sight.

It is not, however, a hospitable place to camp. Wild winds and crosscurrents rip across the lake, and the nights are bitterly cold.

Around midnight, Saha’s two-man tent – a rather flimsy affair – collapsed under the onslaught of the winds. We hastened to fix it, but it was a moonless night, the winds were fierce and erratic, and our fingers were numb from the cold. We soon realised that it was a hopeless task, and four of us huddled into the other two-man tent.

But while we were grappling with the tent, all of us had noticed a peculiar thing. There was someone with a flashlight on the opposite shore of the lake.

Once we were safely inside the other tent, as the wind howled and moaned around us, we began – inevitably – to talk about the light. The other side of the lake, where the light had appeared, was steep and rocky. Walking along that shore would be tricky even in the daytime; pitching a tent was out of the question. So it could not possibly be a camper. Besides, we knew for a fact that there were no other campers on the lakeshore, or indeed on our entire route. A shepherd then? But what lunatic shepherd would be out on that perilous slope, on a night such as this?

Then someone told a story about a serial killer who stalked hikers in the wild and slit their throats at night, and we realised that further discussion would only spook us further. We drifted off to an uneasy sleep.

The next morning we were already laughing about it (as perhaps you are laughing now), but each of us admitted to being pretty scared at the time. Each of us also admitted to disturbing visions of a serial killer creeping up to our tent in the dead of night.

Interestingly, everyone had a slightly different mental picture of the killer. Saha had pictured a handgun-wielding killer, Indro imagined him brandishing an axe, and the Quaker visualised a slasher with a knife. My version involved a huge brute clubbing us all to death with a baseball bat, with no one to hear our screams.

We checked the other shore in the morning, and there was no trace of a campsite.