Tuesday, February 08, 2022


Like everyone who veers towards the Aspy side of the spectrum, I tend to obsess over details that other people don't even know exist. Not as bad as a friend who would always answer a question explanatorily, in three different formats, so that the unlucky questioneer would be sure to understand. I learned years ago not to ask him a question. Others weren't so smart. Which meant that, if I was nearby, I would hear the convoluted and unnecessary details and minutiae THREE times. Every single time, thrice. Exhaustive triplicate.

Sadly, he passed away a while back. He had an ability to retain data.
And was capable of some quite remarkable insights.

No, he wasn't an Indian computer engineer.
I've know quite a few of those too.
I've worked with them.

In fact, a number of them live in my neighborhood now, which probably explains why there are dabbas and roti places all over this quadrant of the city. Plus one or two restaurants where one can get idli, sambar, dosa. On an entirely unrelated note, I have some achars in my pantry, in addition to the multicultural reference samples of various chilipastes.

But all of that is beside the point; the gist of this essay is that I spent way too much time fussing over the compass rose trademark on the Kriswill pipe in the painting below. A detail.
Kriswill was a manufacturer that started in 1947 and shut down shortly after I started smoking a pipe during my teenage years, though that had no connection with them ceasing commercial activities. I did not see Kriswill pipes until years afterwards that I know of. I now own two of them. They're pretty good smokers. Elegant too.

It's a good thing I had none as a teenager. The walls are thin, and I would have bollicksed them up by hot-boxing the Balkan-style blends I smoked then. Nowadays I prefer Virginias and Virginia Perique blends, aged Virginia flakes, and similar more subtle products.

I was not a very temperate man when I was younger. Overloaded on the garlic, always coffee in lieu of tea, too many spices. Now I use garlic more sparingly, often have tea throughout the day (especially at work), and cook more subdued (lighter) dishes.

The constants have been the sambal on the side.
All meals still followed by a smoke.
Still no breakfast.

I've had my first cup of coffee. Going out for a walk and a pipeful soon.
Quiet time just by myself, with sparkling details.
Apparent as dawn light penetrates.

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