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Bates Motel

That's the name of the new wifi network in my brother's home. Sandeep is the most tech-savvy person I know. He can do everything from laying cables to building routers to writing code while diagnosing his patients. He sent me this image as evidence.

When Sandeep and I were growing up, our house was like a motel. We joked that the house needed a "Vacancy" sign, permanently set to "No". It was rare that the family dined without at least one other guest, mostly multiple.

People descended on us because of how well our parents stayed in touch with family and friends and the way they treated acquaintances like long-lost friends. Our dining table was a gathering place for cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces, friends, foreigners passing through town, and occasionally people Sandeep and I had no clue about. Most stayed the night.

The strangers often turned out to be somebody's-somebody who had come to my father's diagnostic lab - adjacent to our home - for fasting blood work. My father would send them to my mother for breakfast before they wilted in the summer heat. When they returned for the results, they came back to thank my mother which meant tea and snacks or dinner. Our kitchen ran from the wee hours till late at night. Sandeep and I would shelter in our rooms from the uncles and aunts until mother called us for meals.

After I moved to the US, we went home every couple of years. We got a lot of attention from Sandeep as if he had truly missed us. About ten years ago, we started visiting India several times a year for professional reasons, rounding out our trips with a visit to him.

We arrive in our full Non-Resident-Indian glory from America, towing suitcases and backpacks, demanding bottled water and high bandwidth wifi. When we step into the house, Sandeep steps into his nightmare.

From across the room, he texts me: "When?" [will you leave]. "Never, muhaha!" is my reply.

Of all our demands, the wifi working steadily has been the bane of his existence. In his concrete home, the wifi signal has to navigate many impediments and gets lost in the process. My bro has multiple wifi networks in the house with repeaters in-between to keep me from having a meltdown.

Recently, he got a new router and called the network "Bates Motel". When I step into the shower, he says he will make Google Home play the theme music from "Psycho". I am sure he has some good knives to boot. Angry young man, this!

With the new network, he has found a perfect way to pay homage to his high-traffic house, unnerve his guests, and enshrine his disdain for my nagging. He got me this time. On my next visit, I'll have to arrive with a suitable gift: rocking chair and wig I am thinking.



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