Sunday, October 25, 2009


All of us, at some point of time or the other, take things for granted. Human nature, I guess. Even I do it. A lot. But worse, I end up acting all shocked and indignant when I realize what I've been taking for granted is slipping away from me, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Feels like a breach of trust by the other party, for going back on their promises. But what if the 'other party' is inanimate, and all those promises are just a product of my hyperactive imagination? All the more reason for getting upset, I’d say. Before you wonder what’s wrong with me, let me tell you myself.

Living on the east coast has its own advantages, one of the best being its seasonal diversity (you will not hear me say this during winter, when slush and subzero temperatures make me long for sultry Hyderabad even more. But since it’s not yet snowing, I can confidently say snow is my thing). Right now, Fall has unleashed its full glory and charm on my small town. From deep reds to golden yellows to the brightest of oranges, the range and intensity could put a rainbow to shame. Even a casual glance while walking across campus or looking out the window brings about a smile these days, and I have no attention left to spare for mundane thoughts when it’s all being held in captivity by nature.

Agreed, all this had almost made me forget that Fall is just a season, but you’d think it will stay on until at least end-of-sem (its ‘Fall semester’ for God’s sake!). But no, it had to go. The leaves had to start falling. And that’s what they’re busy doing. I was dead sure Fall would be longer, and I would have time to take in all of it, to explore pretty drives, to take enough pictures to hold this season in memory. Well, it wasn’t meant to be. Darn! I’d taken it for granted, and now it’s teaching me a lesson... for ignoring it (albeit unintentionally) when it was being good to me. Harsh, but just.

It got me thinking about human relationships, and I'm really glad they don't work that way. Dealing with blind justice when your feelings are involved is just not possible. And thankfully, people have never done that to me. At least those who really matter, whose presence has made a huge difference, who have touched my life in a special way making me a much better and happier person... I can go on and on praising the angels in my life, yet it will never be enough. No matter how much I take them for granted, their affection remains steadfast and their anger is just fleeting, ready to be relinquished over a single phone call or a short-n-sweet mail.

It means a lot to me, much more than I can express. And maybe that's why I don't often express gratitude for your unshakable trust. For putting up with my possessiveness, occasional crankiness and (a lot of) other idiosyncrasies with grace. For holding me responsible for your happiness. For your evergreen presence in my life, unlike fickle seasons that come and go. Here is to you, dearest family and friends! For being there... always.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

And then it thundered... Part III (where it actually did)

Warning to readers (if there still are any, after all these months of inactivity): this post is probably gonna sound totally anticlimactic. Truth is, I'm no good at this write-in-parts business. Whenever I found something else interesting to write about, the voice in my head went "No wait! Finish your other story first, lazy bones!" (I'm guessing it was my organized subconscious that didn't like the creative me). All the accumulated resentment against that voice, every time I wanted to write about something else, is gonna show up in this post (okay, that's enough. Louisville, here we are!)

The test-fire (plus random people shouting) finally reminded Priya and Nitya why they were there. Fries in hand, they started hurrying back to the venue. Apparently, it had the same effect on everybody around, and people began pushing, jolting and what-not so they wouldn't miss any of the fireworks. This didn't help Priya and Nitya at all, who ended up somewhere in the middle of this big sea of impatient (and seriously hefty) people. Priya sensed what it might just lead to...

Priya: We better throw the damn fries and concentrate on getting out of this alive!

Nitya: Ohh... let's keep the fries. Why are we throwing them? (budday girl didn't yet figure out they were in the middle of a would-be stampede)

Priya: Whaaa?! Oh, c'mon! Life or fries, tough choice...

Nitya: Uh...okay, okay. We're throwing them.

They did, and tried to inch their way back. Alas! Another bunch of rowdy people began joining the sea from their left. Priya totally panicked, and decided all this wasn't worth it.

Priya: Hey, let's push our way to the right and somehow get out of here, okay?

Nitya: Ohhhkay...but the show?

Priya (totally exasperated): Here we are, in the middle of a stampede, and all you can think of are some stupid fireworks...

Nitya: Are you serious??! Whoa, let's goooo!

That wasn't so easy either, but they finally managed to pull each other out of the mess (Priya tells us she actually had to yank budday girl by her jacket, after their hands slipped away in bollywood ishtyle). Luckily, the crowd cleared in a few minutes and they made their way back to us (a barrage of shrieks, questions, and shocked exclamations ensued, but lets not get into all that now :)).

Our adrenaline rush had barely subsided, and before we knew, the show began... and GOD! was it worth EVERYTHING!!! Fired from barges across a bridge over the Ohio river, the pyrotechnics display was truly magnificent... a riot of fiery sparks and bright colours lit up the night sky and the river, and it seemed as though the whole world was ablaze. And the sound! It shook the ground we were standing on, pounded in our hearts and numbed our minds... no wonder it's called Thunder! I lost track of everything, as a deep feeling of awe and childlike wonder washed over me... filling me with serenity in the midst of thunder and lightning...

And this time, the cute kid crinkled her eyes and smiled at me :)

P.S.: The return journey was not exactly uneventful, with me talking utter nonsense while trying hard to prove I wasn't asleep, and misguiding Seby on the highway with GPS device in hand (for a good number of miles)... but of course I'm not gonna tell you about it :)