Holiday gifts: Roni Choudhury

Roni Choudhury

"I just want to make people happy."

Gifts and giving are on most everyone's mind this month. So we're again asking people to share some thoughts on presents, past and present, charities -- and wishes for the next year.

Today we meet Roni Choudhury.

Roni is a native of Boston and Chicago who has lived in the Capital Region since 2012. He can usually be found writing software for his day job, discussing warp engines, playing retro video games, or eating something.

What gifts would you like to get this year?
A kick in the pants to go after my personal projects. I'm lucky to have a job I love, so I get up each morning ready to solve problems and get things done at work. By the time I get home, all I want to do is eat dinner with my wife (who works just as hard as I do) then zonk out with Netflix. There are lots of little, cool things I'd like to do with some of that time instead -- software projects, home improvements, lots of hobbies. I realize this is a gift I can give myself, but it's hard to aim at my own butt with my own foot.

What gifts would you like to give this year?
I don't know, but I think I just want to make people happy. I don't mean in the generic, cheeseball sense -- I'd like to give family and friends the sort of thing that makes them smile in the moment. Sometimes that's just an unexpected video chat, sometimes it's some particular thing they don't even know they want.

Here's a silly example: on a whim I bought my wife a box of cherry cordials. She loves them but never buys them for herself. She smiled when she saw them.

What charity would you like to support?
A friend of mine, Joe Paparone, works for the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State. They're doing great work on behalf of poor people, undocumented workers, and others in our area. I signed up for a small recurring monthly donation and got a cool t-shirt!

What is your most memorable gift?
My wife gives the best gifts (the kind that make you smile when you see them). We were watching Madam Secretary on Netflix several months ago (see Pants, Kick in the, above) and the dad character busts out this insane toy he had growing up in the 70s -- a working car engine that you build from plastic parts -- to build with his kids. I reacted pretty vocally in the moment -- "Wow, that's so neat!" -- and she filed that away for later use. She found me the same kit for my birthday a couple of months ago (though sadly, they discontinued the model that runs on actual fuel). It's "just a toy" but the point is that she saw something that lit me up and reminded me about it on my birthday. What a cool present!

What is your wish for the New Year?
Tall order, but I want our government leaders to stop being so cartoonishly villainous. I want good changes to come to our country and our people. I want everyone to be able to smile more often.
____

More holiday gifts
+ Holiday gifts: Alexandra Stafford
+ Holiday gifts: Jammella Anderson
+ Holiday gifts: Hali Bey Ramdene
+ Holiday gifts: Kristin Jackson
+ Holiday gifts: Evelyn Melendez
+ Holiday gifts: Nick Foster
+ Holiday gifts: Jason Vengersammy

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