Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fun is not noise

About our experience in America

We in India associate fun with noise. Shor-gul na ho .... to kya maza?
Terrible remixes of melodious old songs blare from the speakers of the wedding pandals in front of our apartment in Delhi. To drown out that sound we play our U.Srinivas mandolin even louder. I have the grrr-kadkad-grrr of the mixer in my kitchen while I am making pudina chatni for the idlis, I hold my cell-phone close to my ear and and talk 'clearly' into it, mainly because I can't hear myself talking!!

Cut to Gatlinburg where we had gone for a weekend getaway. We went up a cable car to a mid mountain halt. This is made for tourists. Lots of interesting shops, eat outs, rides and photo-options.
on the streets of gatlinberg

There was this fudge place that gave away bits of fudge for free!There is a neat line of fudge-fans waiting for their chance at the freebie-window. I got a chunk with white and chocolate. While we munched our freebies we gazed upon families going round and round in the ice-skating rink down below. Oops! this young man had a bad fall and went skidding on his back.... Moms with kids in tow made a beeline to the merry-go-round. Our little grandson was fast asleep and so missed that one! We finally saw lots and lots of people. All having great fun...doing what they chose to do. But the place was so silent!

No one was screaming...or talking loudly. No kid was wailing or making a scene. Families were chatting but O so softly.... we dint get to hear tantalising bits of conversation as we passed by. I really wonder how they can say all they have to say without loud whoops and shrill exchanges!

Here I am back in our apartment. Just now a huge truck went past on the road outside. and believe me it made absolutely NO NOISE. This silence can be quite oppressive! Even the flush in the bathroom makes no sound.
this is juss too much!
i think i will try meditation here. the noise in my head does not have to compete with the noise outside!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Where is everybody??

About our trip to America
We get into the lovely silver grey Nissan. I notice my son in law is at the wheel and he is on the left. Well ofcourse I know that whats right is wrong here and while we keep to the left....or to what's left of the road....  here they keep to the right ... errr while driving the car!

We pass by fascinating green landscaped mounds, large shopping areas, and a choice of eating places. Every shopping area has massive parking lots. SUVs, cars, trucks, pick ups and motorbikes are lined up neatly at attendance.On road cars whizz past us with the regular whoosh whoosh. Clusters of horses and cows are munching on their greens lazily. The array of trees that we see on either side are beginning to change to the fall colours. Look! There's one that turned pink! The slight breeze makes the branches and leaves sway to rhythm of the music that we are playing in the car! ella sari!
....... but WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE???

There is not a soul on the neat pavement. When we are lucky we see families either getting off or getting into cars.

yelliruvey? manava kaduva roopasiye.....


American Airlines all the way

About our trip to America
We booked our entire holiday with american airlines. delhi-chicago-lexington-san jose-boston-chicago-delhi with american Airlines. We paid in Rupees at Delhi and the entire trip cost us 75,000/- per head. everyone tells me i got a good deal.
The the airbus is massive and we like trudge for miles before we reach our seats in the aisle way back...
they told me food might be a problem. but i am not very fussy ... surely i can survive for 15 hours on bread and water? but the food is surprisingly good. hot palatable vegetarian meals, a large snack bag and an elaborate breakfast 90 minutes before touch down. juice and amazing masala chai and luke warm weak coffee was available throughout the 14+ hour flight.

We are happy to have you with us
American Airlines told us constantly at the base of all their in-flight video links. I was hoping Uncle Sam had similar feelings too.

Chicago is a laaaarge airport. The customs officer was pleasant and we were thru in a jiffy!
well! we almost goofed up there! What is the status of your host? he asked me with a very large American accent....and for a moment I blanked out! I dint know the answer to his question!
are they on L1 or L2 or H1 ... he asked me patiently, prodding for an answer. Aaaah! Click aithu! L1.....I almost screamed in relief

We had a mild adventure locating the re-check in counter and walked into the wrong doorway. luckily the security officer was kind and re-opened the door for us so we could get back to the correct lobby! else we would have to make a long tiring journey with our check-in bags in tow.

We then located the station, caught a train to terminal 3. We had left our home in Delhi at 7 pm on Monday and at 7 am on Tuesday we were sitting at the Chicago terminal 3 Gate 1A sipping our first dollar purchase of Starbucks coffee waiting for the Lexington flight.

This one is like a cute small taxi. seats 60 passengers! our cabin bag with wheels barely squeezes into the aisle. After a quick hop we land in the Lexington airport. we are looking for the baggage carousal and we hear a BIG hieeeee. Akhila has walked right into the airport! and is busy locating our bags for us!!!!!

Now that we have reached home let me relax and make friends with my grandson.
You have a great day too.
I'll be back with many more stories....


Monday, September 19, 2011

Over the Atlantic

As a teenager i waited in eager anticipation when my uncles and cousins from the US visited us. We  planned a week in advance the saree or SKD we would wear to receive them at the airport!!!
All that seems like a different life!
'We flew over the Pacific', 'We crossed the Atlantic' 'Took a stop-over at Hongkong' they said nonchalantly and i gaped in wonder. For the whole language seemed so strange. Conjuring up for me adventure and unpredictability.
Today I will indeed be crossing over the Atlantic in one long 15+ hour flight to reach Chicago ... on the same day! We travel west so we keep flying into yesyterday!
There are some yesterdays i would happily fly into
and some that i would fly past!!
so wish us safe journey
and happy stay.
i will bring you my frank perception of the BIG, BOLD and HAPPENING Uncle Sam.
My mind is an alarming mix of thrilled anticipation and fluttering apprehension.
O the traps of worry ... we all know its a waste of time
but ... dil to baccha hai ji, and always thoda caccha hai ji.

We'll keep thinking of you India Gate. ... And will be back soon.
gtg. gotta make chakkalis

india gate