Friday, 28 September 2012

Search Results

Existential messages generated by a computer are always funny, and this post reminded me of one of my favourites. I am no fan of Microsoft Outlook, but I love the question which appears below a search result.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Old School Close

Another Sunday, another cycling trip with Saha, another amusing street name.

None of your newfangled closes in Bromley: they like their old-school ones just fine, thank you very much.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Picnic People

Today is the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere. I can no longer live in denial: summer is truly over. 

But this has been a good summer in many ways, not least because we managed to organise several picnics. If I had to pick my one favourite thing about London, it’s probably the parks.

Monday, 17 September 2012


Saha and I went for a cycle ride this morning – a great route which included Greenwich Park, Blackheath, Gilbert’s Pit and the Thames Barrier.

On the way we saw this sign which would appear to be mocking motorists (and indeed cyclists).

In fact this is not a misplaced display of juvenile humour on the part of the civic authorities: Ha-Ha Road is a real road, named after the Royal Artillery Ha-Ha. This is one of my favourite street names in London, probably second only to Of Alley.

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Since I have posted photos of my bookshelf, my kitchen-shelf (which is equally, if not more important) should not go unrecognised.

From left to right, these are: water (labelled in a purely ironic sense), chili powder, turmeric, sugar, semolina, sesame, garam masala, coriander powder, pepper, cumin and (below that) cumin powder. There are others which I did not include in the photo.

When we finish, say, a jar of coffee, I clean it, remove the labels, stick on a handwritten label and use it to store spices. There are basically no downsides to this practice: aside from aesthetic considerations and the benefits of recycling, it also reminds me of an xkcd comic.

I get interesting reactions from visitors who look in our spice cupboard. Aditi visited shortly after mine and Saha’s parents, and opened the cupboard and said, “Wow. Who did this? Or rather, whose mom did this?”

Monday, 3 September 2012

Pimp My Cat

When I was in school, packing meant a family holiday. In college, I associated it with going home for vacations, or coming back to hostel at the beginning of next term – each exciting in its own way. When I was packing for my move from Calcutta to London, I was sad to say goodbye to family and friends, but thrilled about moving to a new city and starting work. Packing means change, and I like change, so (with one exception) I always get excited about packing.

This weekend we moved to a new flat which I really like, and not surprisingly, I was in high spirits while packing. And when I am in high spirits, I am apt to be reckless. From a conversation on Sunday:
Me: There’s a half-bottle each of virgin olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil. I am mixing the two so that it’s easier to pack.
Nirmalya (with a pained expression): Go ahead. A few hundred Italians just died, but go ahead.
In a similarly reckless spirit, I decided that Mafatlal (the cat who appeared in a previous post) looked too staid in brown, and could do with a makeover. Accordingly, I stuck it all over with bits of coloured paper, and finished it off with a layer of varnish. The effect, I think, is not disagreeable.