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Friday, December 26, 2014

Ring out the old

I shouldn’t want to end the year on a sour note, so here’s a few words of thanks to a few good people, and one or two other things:

Sumit Ganguly visited  a few months ago after eleven long years of being out of touch. In this age of drab universal mediocrity, he has lived the kind of life you can write stories about. Right now he is a thermite welder with Canadian Pacific, and doing well. He brought me a bottle of The Glenlivet single malt, adding by way of explanation that as a boy he had heard me praising such things, and made a mental note that if he ever turned up at my door again someday, he would bring a gift for me. Thank you for ‘the gift of grapes and the spirit in which it was given’ as the priest wrote to his parishioner, Sumit. Come again, with or without gifts.

Shreeja Das, all of seventeen summers, who had her last class with me in November 2013, had moved to Calcutta with her family since. The intervening year has been cruel to her: she lost both her grandparents, both her parents underwent major surgery, and her father is still bedridden. Nevertheless she made time to look me up, and said ‘How could I not?’ And so many people tell me they want to visit but they are ‘too pressed for time’. My best wishes, love and blessings for your family, Shreeja, and may your tribe increase.

Sunandini, it matters a great deal to me that you thought Sir was important enough to keep in the loop while your dad had a brush with death. If my prayers count for anything, he will have a very long new lease on life.

Lavona, thank you for just being there.

Forty four year old Satyen Das from Calcutta rode a rickshaw all the way to Ladakh earlier this year. He was featured on Sourav Ganguly’s Dadagiri show recently. I don’t admire people easily, but let it never be said that I can’t admire people at all.

And now it’s a lovely mild winter, I have one of my breaks, and my daughter’s here for a spell. Her school life is over, and she will be eighteen in a few days’ time. The next post will be about her. Meanwhile, may all good people around the world find peace and warmth and joy.

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