Last year was what it was because of the people. What it was is for another post but while on the bus stuck in traffic, I started to define each one by a line taken verbatim from our conversations or by a quote. The result follows. (I strongly suspect this might just be part one!)
அப்பா – Always do your best.
(Together, these two form the kindest and capable-st people I know!)
Koki – I can’t even do one thing at once. So, I do many!
Sometimes, this one also lives by – You don’t have to save the world. Just being a good daughter is enough!
Sadhana – Can I have one more chocolate, please?
To her mother: If you keep scolding me, I’ll run away to Canada.
Me: Are you happy?
Sa: Of course!
Me: What makes you happy?
(She is full of surprises! She can also talk about Angela Davis, Billie Jean King and gender equality. And, to think she’s only seven.)
அவ்வா – (always in my memory) Of course, it’s happening in your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real?
The trio (A, G and S) – The Rock. My Rock. They rock.
Prof. L – In conversation, for context:
Me: But, I have really low tolerance towards failure and I am so old. It sucks!
Prof. L: (jumping in immediately) Yes, I’ve noticed. You have to realize failure is inevitable. It’s going to happen. You have to do it. Regardless.
In the same vein,
Samir – Of course! I won the Rhodes Scholarship and failure hasn’t touched me at all.
(In case, you’re wondering, he was entirely sarcastic although I have a hard time believing this completely invincible, wildly successful geriatric specialist has faced that soul crushing defeat I’m referring to!)
Anita – I believe in you.
Nidhi – Every cloud has a silver lining. If it doesn’t, it’s not a cloud. And, hey, there’s also the sweet rain with the darkest cloud. Oh, almost forgot about the rainbow after!
Tori – I am all about that bass, bout that bass, no treble.
(She specializes in serving up loving-kindness with sass.)
Chelsea – Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. (Also, the brainiest person/scientist I have the privilege of knowing)
Nirmala Rajaram – Stay humble. Stay foolish.
Joel – Delegation is key. But, of course, know your stuff too.
Pat – (beaming smile) I am good! Always good.
(His response on any given day, rain or shine. Even when it’s the morning of the day he has to let go of a member of his team).
Nick, the real Tintin – You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!
Ari and PD – Have you eaten, Swaa?
Narayana Murthy – You know Deepika Padukone? You remind me of her. She had to go to Bombay, an unfamiliar city outside of her home and work hard to make a name as a top actress. It’s remarkable!
Heather – You helped me too.
Ratna – Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the number of moments that take your breath away.
Gordana – Party hard. Work harder.
Maria – It’s okay to not know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life.
Anoop – You know what, Swathi, it’s my life’s mission to eliminate open defecation.
Jim – If you Google me, you won’t find anything on me… we turned several businesses around and then sold them. I’m the guy in the back fixing things.
Prof. Steinberg – How can I help you?
Abhi – Courage is not the absence of fear; rather the judgment that something is more important than fear.
Tullio – (after delivering some out-of-the-world hilarious jokes) You have to be careful with the jokes you crack in public. Never know when you cross the line! (winks)
Ginette/Guru – Dance. There’s nothing else I would do with my life.
Shambhavi – Live. Love. Laugh – a lot.
Mike – Good crying or bad crying? (Also, Song of the Builders by our shared favorite poet).
Shivali – It is time to move into uncharted lands. If you want to do something you have never done before, you have to do something you have never done before. If you want to go somewhere you have never gone before, you have to go somewhere you have never gone before. You cannot do something new by doing old things. If you want your life to change, you have to change your life. So go ahead. It's safe. And it's also...about time.
David – To live is to slowly be born.
Julia, Kathleen and MOOS family – (varying versions of) Don’t go over to the dark side.
Ina – Squat(h)i (Yeah, I am amazed at myself for picking this word-line!)
Maliha – (after we fan-girl talk about Elon) OMG! He’s awesome! I can’t get over it.
Laura – The great isn’t something accidental. It must be willed.
Liam – I don’t know how but I’ll fix you!
(He plays in a band and is currently developing a theory of music on my musical "tastes" in order to get me to listen to music and is a neuroscientist on the side. Oh, and he makes podcasts. About the brain. Not music.)
Jess – This is already so beautiful!
Omar – alright merci
to be continued...