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Ghosts, chai, aloo fry and mashed rice from a PhD’s point of view!

September 2, 2013

This article is meant for strictly humor purposes. Any resemblance to Jay, and Swati is purely coincidental.

After staying with Jay for five years, I realized how he and I view the world differently. May it be in the way he thinks, approaches life, or may be it be the way he speaks. I share some anecdotes and a few dialogues that I remember through this write-up.

On ghosts….

One evening, one PhD was talking to another PhD, one of them being my husband. I said, “Jay, I am feeling scared. The room looks quite dark.” I don’t believe in ghosts but I start believing in them in the night. And if one watches the movie paranormal activity at 8pm, one is usually convinced that ghosts exist! My irrational fear amused Jay’s rational friend. He said, “ What do you mean you are scared? There is no such thing as ghost!” I was thinking to myself, “I know that. But what about irrational fears, there is such a thing as that right? Not everything is logical mere bhai!” The person continued, “If you can’t see the ghost, the ghost can’t see you!” And then my husband and he started a conversation about how if you can’t see the ghost, the ghost can’t see you either. Here is excerpt from the conversation. I remember the conversation like this, but if they are any “technical errors,” ignore them in the spirit of humor! J

PhD 1: If the ghost can detect visible light (translation: if it can see me), then it cannot be 100% transparent to visible light (translation: I should be able to see it).

PhD 2: But what if the ghost is detecting you on different wavelength, say infrared?

The words ‘infrared’ ‘visible light’ hovered over my head while I was extremely concerned about one thing – Can the ghost see me or not? And these people still hadn’t reached a consensus.

On chai…

You would think making chai is a simple affair. Ah ah. But that is not the case. For making chai, one has to steep chai for exactly three minutes. Not more. Not less. Just three minutes. And if you thought a wrist watch is good enough to see time, you are wrong. A special timer for this purpose has to be installed in the kitchen. What I will admit is the process of making chai has been tried, tested and the end result is always perfect – awesome chai! The not so good part is Jay uses a specific cup for measuring water and if that cup decides to play hide and seek with him, my poor husband cannot figure out how to make chai! At such times, the kettle, the timer and I miss the indispensable cup!

On aloo fry (potato fry)…

Jay and I believe in division of labor, so one day, I decided to make dal and he decided to make aloo fry. On that day, my sister, Swati was also around. She and Jay decided to make the aloo fry together. An excerpt from their conversation:

Swati said, “Jija, I think the oil is not at an “optimal” temperature right now for frying. Let us wait for the oil to heat up. Meanwhile, I feel like having ice-cream soon. Let us keep it at four degree celcius.

(What is four degree celcius? I was puzzled.  Pravin (Swati’s husband) whispered into my ears, “she means, take it out of the freezer and keep it in the fridge. Hmm. Husband always knows what wife means or doesn’t mean. I am sure all married couples reading this would agree.)

Jay replied, “Ok.”

After putting the cut aloo pieces in the oil that was at optimal temperature, Swati said, “Jija, this rate-limiting aloo is cooked, I think.”

Jay replied, “Oh great.” (Somehow, he seemed to understand her language better!)

One thing was sure, the optimal temperature of oil and the rate limiting aloo ensured that the aloo fry was delicious!


On mashed rice…….

One day, Jay and I were mashing some rice to feed Avi. The consistency of rice did not look good enough.

I said, “Jay, the rice doesn’t look mushy enough!”

And Jay replied, “We should add water to discrete pieces of rice to make a homogeneous mass.”

I thought, “OK! Are we talking about the same thing here?” I smiled and Jay focused on turning the discrete pieces of rice into a homogenous mass. He looked up at me and said, “homogenous enough?” I smiled.

Different perspectives and different thought processes have enabled Jay and me to add joy and spice in each other’s life. I am sure Jay will agree!


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