He forgets what I want him to remember; and remembers what I want him to forget. As he has several irons in the fire, he’s often clueless about the conferences he has agreed to speak at. I ask him to mail me the details about these conferences so I can remind him in advance. He thinks it’s a good idea. The only problem is that he now forgets to mail me these details! But his memory is not poor when it comes to incidents where I cut a sorry figure. On the day of our wedding reception, the photographer wanted us to stand together for a photo. As he stood ‘head and shoulders’ above me, there was a problem getting both our faces into the frame. I finally stood on a few bricks! This is one of the stories Kiruba enjoys narrating to every guest at our house.
When people ask me how I manage so many non-profit activities (such as promoting Wikipedia), I tell them there is someone holding the fort- my wife. She’ll make a great chief operations officer in any company. When we decided to become entrepreneurs, she volunteered to run the company. I held on to my 9-to-5 job till the ship steadied. It was a great sacrifice on her part, because she quit a 9-to-5 job she liked. When up a creek, I tend to lose composure. During a trip to Malaysia that mixed work with vocation, we learnt an hour before the flight that my name was not on the list. While I was arguing with the authorities, she quietly explored the possibility of talking another flight- we left the same day. We had a great time in Malaysia, and the travel agency owned up the mistake and refunded the money. But for her cool head I would be lost.
He prepares for a conference at the eleventh hour. Sometimes, he would work on a paper at 2 a.m. When he was a flight to catch at 6 a.m. He will go to bed at three, but I can’t. I watch over him and ensure he does not oversleep. He does not ask me to be his time keeper- I do it because I know there’s no way he’s going to wake up in time.
When I used to row at the boat club and follow it up with Frisbee at Marina, she would wake up at 3.30 a.m. and make an early breakfast. She won’t be bitter about it. Yes, we have arguments- it is invariably about how irresponsible I am. During these word bouts, our elder daughter, who is seven, plays the mediator.