Tumi - the definition of a relationship

Tumi: A simple word in the Bangla language. There is no translation for the word in English. If one were to claim, "you" as the translation, then that would simply lose the beauty of the Bangla word. Perhaps the Spanish, "TĂș" comes close, but it still does not. Because the tumi stands between two other salutations, "aapni" close to the "Usted" in Spanish and "tui" for which there is no real equivalent in Spanish, let alone English. But that is only at the dry linguistic level. The real power of 'tumi' lies in the way some people can use it to create a sense of peace and comfort for the people around them. I know of a person who would start with tumi with anyone and completely bypass the "aapni." The ease with which the person does this is admirable and creates a connection that can only come from the correct use of the tumi hailing. Because tumi creates a sense of connection that overcomes the stiffness of the aapni wh


Ambiguity. A bondhu recently said, looking at two people, "there is no ambiguity" in the bondhutta (friendship) between the two people. Such an important moment in a relationship when others can watch, and they observe the complete lack of speculation. Sanguineness is a rough opposite of ambiguity. And finding that certainty is a difficult thing in life. Afterall, life is a series of risks with one risk-free event. Until then everything is risky. And in that theater of risk, finding a moment of peace - knowing that "All Iz Well" is something we all seek, but often find difficult to pin down. The classic clichĂ© of "does he love me? Does he love me not?” while plucking out the petals of a flower has been memorialized by the romantics, with the obvious predictable, although mostly false answer, depending on the number of petals and which question one starts with conveniently ignored by the romantics. But there are moments in life when one runs across a situation w

The generation dilemma

The generation dilemma. I am not aging the way I am supposed to. This is a problem. I have a 10-year-old trapped in a body that has countable years left. Interestingly, from the moment you are born, you have countable years left, but you don’t seem to notice it until you can count them with your ten fingers. That's when you start to realize that there will come a point when the people around you will miss you for a bit and move on with their countable years. The insignificance of my existence stares me in my face when I realize that there is no reason for anyone to remember me. I have asked this in an earlier posting: Will you be offended if someone your family invited to your death ceremony did not show up? I have done this to people, and I have felt guilty, but will you be a forgiving dead and understand that you were not as important as you thought you were. Based on all possible statistics, and correcting for improvements in medical technology, I should be dust to dust, or just

Who do you really love?

Who do you really love? A question that poets and authors have struggled with and written in great degree over Centuries. But that was before WhatsApp (WA). Completely encrypted messages sent over the security of a phone that might be equally secure with all kinds of protection. In many countries such as Brazil and India, WA has taken the people by storm. I myself am a member of several WA groups that deal with all kinds of content and contexts. But WA is essentially a personal messaging system - one on one - and that is where it gets interesting. There used to be a time when people would wake up and get to their computer to check their email. Now, it is in bed, multiple phones, and the gentle twinkle, sometimes personalized to the special person, that wakes one up, or a message a simple: "Morning" or "Hi" sent early in the morning that begins the day. Now, wonder who gets that first message? That first message of the day, the anticipation of the response, the disap

Work at home

Work at home. There used to be a particularly interesting slogan that said a variation of "behind every successful man there is a woman." In an anomalous way it simultaneously denigrated both the genders, or elevated both. There seems to be a certain presumption of the metric of success. The woman has no success other than the success of the man which the woman is motivating. This saying takes on a different meaning in a World where the rush to remote work has become a pandemic by itself. The pandemic provoked a certain kind of work where the place of work and the place of leisure conflated on the dining table during the numerous lockdowns across the World. The notion of work from home (WFH) became commonplace. But it also exposed a form of work whose history far predates the romance with WFH. That work is the nameless work at home (WAH) which is only acknowledged, obliquely, in the saying about the woman motivating the success of the man. But for generations people have done

Memories of Sounds

Memories of Sounds. The crows start cawing right around 3:45 am. The other birds start around 5:00 am. On the early spring morn as the fog rolls in over the lawn, and the screened porch is still dark, the bleating of the deer flows from the woods. And the early morning horn of the car that invariably blows its horn right in front of my bedroom at 5:45 am. The distant sound of the police car wailing away as the icy patches cause the invariable accidents on the main road duing the morning commute. The distant sound of the aajan (call to prayer) from a mosque whose location is probably across the canal. As I sip the morning coffee on the verandah the sound of the shunting trains at the train junction a couple of miles away resonate in the air. On some rainy mornings as the coffee maker rumbles the rain beats down on the chimney and the sound filter into the quiet living room. A little later the vegetable vendor calls out the ware followed by the voices of the day laborers flows into the d

Grin and Bear it

Grin and Bear it. This expression dates back to the 1700s going to show that people were accustomed to face misfortune and bad things with a good humor realizing that they were not in a position to change anything. It goes on as much today as it did 300 years ago or even earlier. I see it all around me in many of my dealings with the World. Much of it is a reminder that there is the expectation that one must compromise, it is a stark reminder that you are not as important as you thought you were. It is the answer that says, "Sorry I A'int here, I am Busy" when someone calls out, "Where Art Thou?" At that point you decide that the only option is to suffer pain in a stoic manner, and realize that you are much lower in priority than you imagined. These are realities of our lived experience, yet we do not seem to learn them well and probably not teach them well either. Consider how often aspirations and dreams are shattered and the person is simply reminded, "l