I once spent a very long night in the Ranjit hotel in New Delhi.
It was our first night in India. We weren't staying in the North very long. I'd brought of few old sweaters to wear in the cooler north part of the country, intending to give them away before I went down south.
But I hadn't brought enough sweaters. I wore every sweater I'd brought that night in the Ranjit, trying to get some sleep, but getting up every once in awhile to try to get the heater working. I would doze for awhile in the cold room, my dreams full of the mystical symbolism of neurochemical reactions to my anti-malaria medication, then I would wake up and fiddle with the heater.
Not everyone's heater was broken, but nobody had a great night of sleep in the Ranjit.
After that, we developed a phrase that would stick with us for the rest of the trip and comes back to me now.
"Have you been to the hotel?"
"Yeah. It was OK."
"Like, Ranjit ok?"
"Better than Ranjit OK."
Ranjit OK was the minimum standard for something not worth actively avoiding. Something Ranjit OK was survivable, but not comfortable. Acceptable, but not awesome. Tolerated, but not enjoyed.
Perhaps the best thing about something Ranjit ok was that feeling of the grizzled veteran, of being able to look at one another and mutter "Ranjit OK?" at unpleasant events that weren't exactly tragedies.
My corporations final?