Do you know about the performance points? You know the ones which you can use to get stuff.

I don’t have any. How do you get them?

I quickly scrambled to cover it up, just like when I told Yash I had 50 points and found out he had much more, and he tried to smooth it over. If we are doing better than other people, we tread carefully about the fact. So the taxi driver is boorish when he reveals that he has made a few hundred thousand betting on the world cup.

Who was that ? dough-quan… Who ? The guy that sits over there. Oh. Dequan. Its an e not an oh.

It’s in Chinese. One word. It means complete. Quan bu ? no, not that complicated. Valerie, Evangeline, everyone will say it when they’ve finished all their SIRS, they’ll be very happy. She swept her hands outwards to emphasize the completion of the SIRs. She was so earnest in this Chinese Charade, it made me laugh.

Have I told you that Korean story before? She said no, even though I remember telling it to her when Bharath and I were there on another one of those late nights in the office. It didn’t matter, I told the story again.

I also told her my dining hall in America story. There are many brownies and chocolate chips. So when you’re working, you just reach out and grab a cookie, and continue working. It’s easy to get fat. And when I went home, after 6 months, the first person I met was my sister. I built up to my punch line. My sister saw me, she said, “kor, you’re fat”. She continued staring at her laptop, and I felt mildly disappointed I had not drawn out a laugh. But if it doesn’t work, you stack forward to your next story and brush it off.

You have a lot of stories to tell, she said encouragingly. This fed my fantasy of me as master storyteller and talking animatedly to friends at a table over dinner, I vary my tone, I pause for effect, I’m all alpha, I am the ghost and the flame.

Binny has a muffled, husky voice. Her large heavy lidded eyes make her look sleepy. Together, they create the impression of languor. It has a pleasing effect. I did the hand grab test on her. Binny, put your hands together. Well, they say that if its right over left, you’re a guy, left over right, you’re a girl. Oh no, you’re telling me I’m a guy.

Binny had an arranged marriage. It sounds strange to me, but reminds me that we take our traditions for granted so easily. It is the most fascinating thing I found about her, and discussing it created room for some teasing. Nope, we don’t have arranged marriages, why else do you think I go for Salsa?


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