Sunday, October 31, 2010

Abira Out Of Context

Abira often comes down from Bristol to spend the weekend in London, and I like it when she’s here. Among other things, she makes these odd comments which illustrate the pleasantly random nature of our lives.

This weekend:
Let’s keep it. Who knows when we might need an eye-drop?

Last weekend:
Abira (on the phone): *laughing*
Sarbajeet (on the other end): What happened?
Abira: Strawberries and a book went flying.

Two weekends ago:
(Peering into corners of the kitchen of a house she has stayed in for over six months): My God, there are, like, tube-lights everywhere!

Three weekends ago:
In fact, now that I think about it, my phone looks strangely like a bidet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

K. 626

Last Saturday I went to the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields to hear the Belmont Ensemble performing Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor.

It is difficult, in any setting, not to be moved by the austere beauty of the Requiem. As the voices of the choir swelled and filled the church – the trembling supplication of Requiem aeternam, the liquid run of Kyrie eleison, the towering majesty of Rex tremendae majestatus – I would like to tell you that I was moved to the very depths of my soul, swept away by lofty and powerful emotions. But to be honest, my thoughts were on food, and a summer afternoon in Calcutta five years ago.

The day after our third semester ended, seven of us had hit the streets with a camcorder – the plan being to eat at our ten favourite places in the city, all within the span of one day and a budget of 250 rupees, and to make a film while we were at it.

Golbari – one of our favourite haunts – was closed at the time because their workers had gone on strike, but we could not imagine leaving it out. So the film had a shot of a red traffic light at the Shyambazar crossing, and then a shot of us walking solemnly past the entrance of Golbari, heads bowed. The background music was Dies Irae from Mozart’s Requiem.

Day of wrath! O day of mourning!
See fulfilled the prophets' warning,
Heaven and earth in ashes burning!
(and so on in that vein)
I am known to have a penchant for melodrama, but this was over-the-top even by my standards.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John

Last week, in connection with an ongoing transaction, I received copies of a trust deed by post from New York. Inexplicably, the package also contained a training booklet for Republic salesmen. So I was reading the booklet at lunchtime (because I’m sad like that) and it says:
Saying hi and smiling at friends and family comes naturally. Just think of customers as new friends you’ve yet to meet and acknowledge them with the same genuine enthusiasm. When a customer enters the store make eye contact, say hi and smile!
Note - Don’t be disheartened if your customer doesn’t acknowledge you in return - remember we’re unique in our approach and they may not be expecting it.
I thought – well I thought several things, but now that I try to write them down I can’t quite find the words, and the thoughts don’t seem all that interesting either.

* * *

London has several Durga Pujas, and we were trying to figure out which ones are worth going to. One of them advertises itself as The Only Durga Puja in Tooting.

That’s quite a USP.

* * *

We are having Career Development Meetings at the firm to discuss which areas of work we are interested in. One of my preferences is Corporate 30L, better known as Private Funds. And already the jokes have started. “Hey I heard you are in Debt. Have you got Funds?”

There are nice people at the law firm and I like working with them, but by god, they make terrible jokes.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Festival People

I haven’t really been in a writing mood recently, but I’m always in a mood for posting pictures. These are from the Thames Festival which was held last month.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Law Firms and Language

Apologies to my readers (if any remain) for the unusually long interval between posts. The last two weeks were pretty crazy, work-wise, but I’m learning to fit more into my day, so things are looking up. To make up for radio silence, I bring you not one but two posts, clubbed together as a single post on the basis that they both qualify for the labels Law Firms and Language.

* * *

My friend Sarbajeet works in a building just around the corner, and we often exchange emails in the course of the day. The emails are about trivial everyday things – forwarding discount coupons or making lunch plans. As such, they are typically quite short.

But we both work at law firms and we send these mails from our work IDs. I found it quite amusing that, on an email exchange which goes something like:

–Dinner at home?
–Think so.
the legal disclaimers and confidentiality notices tacked onto the emails by our two firms run to a combined total of 2437 characters.

* * *

On one of the transactions that I am currently working on, we exchange a flurry of emails with our clients everyday around noon, just as I am beginning to feel hungry. If this goes on, one of these days I’m afraid I’ll slip up and address an email to Merrill Lunch.