Like a faithful partner she is sticking along; And to add to
it, she is coming down towards us with all her fury – poring down all along her
path, soon to arrive here. Sitting in the Dulles Airport at Washington, we were
trying to catch an early flight back, I tried connecting to the free WiFi
network, but the strength is low. So I guess I just write it now and publish it
from the hotel once I am back.
Back? Yep, back to Big Apple. Landed there on Tuesday
morning; big city, big – big city. A city of dreams for many, seems like a non
stop milieu of faces and concrete. Yes concrete – a concrete jungle; from the
air – the downtown looks like a aberration on earth – with numbers of pillars
protruding skywards, as if defying the normalcy of earth. A huge green of
central park in the middle of the island puts it more in contrast – a dry land.
Seemed to some extent like Nariman point of Mumbai. Somehow I didn’t like the
Staying right in front of the Madison Square Garden and Penn
Station, in one of the oldest and most famous hotels in the city, walking down
Broadway, fashion street and Times Square – all seemed like achievement in some
sense; an achievement that failed to excite. Connected to a friend with whom I
last spoke in 1997. Hope to meet her too. Surprised some by calling back when
they were least expecting. Spoke to someone here who expected but was not sure
if I would call – and seemed like touched the chord, cant believe speaking to
someone for the first time and that too for nearly an hour!
Went to some places around – New Jersey’s Upper Saddle river
and Princeton. Met people and tried to break barriers. And then traveled to
Maryland and finally achieved another good success. And that too only after I
got that someone confirming her presence with me – cant be a coincidence
always. Took interviews of white skins – sitting on the other side of the table
– always fascinating; a feeling of power.
The trip to Maryland through Washington – a few things to
remember. First meeting the American storm – Ernesto tried catching up; we
escaped; On the way back met Gabriella with her Latin American mother and
Benjamin of German parents. The alternative flight we took to comeback early
kept on delaying; and as always I hit off with both, playing communicating with
people who as per their parents not used to go with all – especially strangers. That’s me in my
elements, the level I touch fastest and enjoy most. At this level, its so
simple, so less expectations, and so easy to communicate. So easy to express
and shower love.
Yesterday, it was our experience with the Broadway, one of
the classics – Mel Brooks, “The
Producers”. The one and a half bottle of Chardonnay before the show was having
a bit of effect no doubt, but soon the show took over. Enjoyed something I saw
for the first time – a musical theatre. Food wise, we had decided not to take
in anything remotely Indian till the weekend, so kept on going for Chinese –
both buffet and A-la-carte, as well as typical yank foods. But I preferred the
buffet style as I could eat as much as I want. Otherwise the amount they put in
one plate is more than my two meals. Seems like I am in perpetual diet compared
to these people. These are the real consumers of the world. Consuming food,
consuming electricity – look at all the neons and sign boards they put on. They
don’t even spare the footpaths or the walks as they call them. Till now I
haven’t got the chance to experience the NY sub. Rode the bus and the trains,
and the mono rails, and the plains which are much much smaller than anything we
rode back home. The Express carriers of United Airlines carried 45 – 55 people,
with one hostess, who can never get even a job in the front office back in
India. Announcing instruction – reading
it from a paper? Overweight and lacking the basic appearance quotient? And on
top of it not even close to being an expert host.
The interaction of everyone from the store front lady to the
booking clerk in the railway station is so American – yep that’s the only word.
Being curt is something and being curt that hovers around the border of being
rude with customers is very different thing. And to think of that these are the
people who complain of our guys at the call cnters not knowing how to talk? I
felt even the girls who cant speak English properly in our domestic call
centers are much much courteous than any one of them. Maybe one can only
compare our government officials with them.
As client of in other interactions, it is very apparent that
they know so little. Especially when its about something out side the states.
The cities are full of cab drivers from Bangladesh and Punjab. They are
everywhere; but its easier to walk than ride a cab – the city is congested like
hell. Their tryst with big cars continues. Have they ever seen something called
a hatch back? Another form of consumption, fuel and all those resources that
goes to make them. Consume – consume – consume, that seems like the mantra
around. From Macy’s to Old Navy to the shady Conway all depicting the basic
nature of the city and the country.
The music on the streets during the weekends might make it
easier to digest. The Ernesto keeps lashing the city with rain. The long
weekend with Labor day on Monday, and still I have not met the Lady, who stands
on the sea with the torch. Don’t know when and how. The Empire State is right
around the corner. The weekend left, then Monday again to New Jersey and we
will fly to Chicago – the last leg of the journey. I am already feeling
homesick. Something that usually not common with the traveler in me. May be
it’s the habit of voice and the urge of communication that’s pulling me back
hard. Hoping that I will get the chance to indulge after this long long