Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Togetherness!

It has been 3 years to our marriage recently and that is when I realized how one person becomes so irreplaceable in your life that you cannot think about your life without that person!

I have known Sujoy since a decade now. But marriage has changed the dynamics of our relationship completely. Moreover it has made me a better person! :) Rather I would say marriage has been my makeover therapy ;)

I still remember those dating days when I was learning Bengali to impress Thamma i.e. Sujoy's grandmother. It was Durga Puja time (a festival very dear to all Bengalis) and my now MIL thought it was a good time to get introduced to Sujoy's grandmother. So my MIL had taught me 4-5 lines in Bengali to speak with Thamma on the occasion of Bijoya (after Durga Puja, youngsters take blessings from elders). So I had revised, memorised my 5 bengali lines  - 
'Kemon acho?' (How are you?)
'Ami Pradnya bolchi. Chinte perecho ki?' (This is Pradnya on the line. Did you recognize me?)
'Amar bijoyar pranaam nav aar ashirwad daav' (Please accept my bijoya greetings and bless me)
'Pujo kemon katlo?' (How was your Durga puja?)
'Aajke ki ranna korecho?' (What did you cook today?)
'Rakchi eakhun' (I am hanging up now)

Phew! So these were the sentences taught to me. My talk with thamma went very well with prompting from my MIL. I was a super duper happy kid that day!

One month later I thought of calling thamma and speaking with her with my limited bengali. And in that conversation I inadvertently asked her again, 'Pujo kemon katlo?' And that was it. It was not Durga puja time then and this question made thamma laugh. From that day on, for a year atleast whenever I called any of Sujoy's relatives they would ask me 'Pujo kemon katlo?' and we would have a hearty laugh! Sujoy still teases me and asks, 'Pujo kemon katlo?' :P

It has been a long journey from that day to today where in I understand and speak bengali quite well.

I have lived a very serious and disciplined life before marriage. I always used to tell Sujoy, post marriage I will change all of you. I will make you guys get up early and have an early bath and have fresh start to your day! Little did I know the pleasures of waking up late, leisurely having breakfast and then taking a bath in the afternoon. The marriage made things work other way round - I started becoming more and more Datta than he becoming a Vernekar!

I have loosened up and have started taking life less seriously! The control freak within me is diminishing little by little. I am open to new things and do not freak out as before if something is not kept in its place. It took a lot of time for me to be here! With the restrictions gone away, life has become happier :)

Sujoy has given me all the freedom in life! When we were in Chennai and I was overly in love with my job, he took care of the kitchen and groceries. I traveled more than him for work. And he managed the house very well. Now in US also, he has always been very supportive in all activities I have wanted to do. He is the one who keeps on pushing me to keep myself busy. He is the one who will take me out every weekend to eat as he says I work very hard in the kitchen and I deserve rest over the weekend. And it is only because of him that I even ventured learning a four wheeler! The progress of which is another story though ;)

The best thing I like about our relationship is we respect each other and at the same time give space. He has his football, I have my reading and writing and we try to be a part of each others likings as much as possible. He has never treated me as a kitchen maid but always as an equal. We discuss all household issues together and hence the relationship is very mature! And why just household stuff, we even discuss grammar at home with me preaching him all the time :P

It sometimes surprises me that how one person has such impact in your life. You share almost everything with that person! The happiness when you see that person beside you in bed when you wake up every morning is enigmatic! Two individuals who become soul mates, and complement each other so well! Life is indeed worthwhile then! :)

And as they say, 'Together is a happy place to be.'  I know, I want to get old with this guy and hold his hand forever! :)




Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Thoughts Window

Disclaimer: All characters in this piece are non-fictitious and have full resemblance in real life. Please forgive me or better still my mind for wandering around this way!

So I sit down today to write a story. I have a couple of things in mind and as I try and articulate my abstract ideas into something tangible, my mind wanders to so many places. Trust me I thought 100 thoughts in a span of half an hour. And it occurred to me, I should document this....just to read one day and have a hearty laugh! I have kept some words in bold, not to emphasize but for the readers to know how my second thought was linked to the first one. Otherwise you will think I have gone crazy. On second thoughts, even if I do not make some words bold you are bound to think I am crazy!!!

So here is my today's writing ordeal - 

Abishek says my characters always are pursuing something. So this time maybe I should write about an independent woman who has it all. I need to be independent now. It is been ages that I am using the public transport or dependant on someone to drive me places. I am going to fail the driving test. How I wish during the driving test Sujoy's spirit incarnates into me and I pass the test. Or like 'I dream of Jeannie', I should fold my hands like Jeannie nod my head down and wink and Tadaaaaa...I pass the test. Or why can't I just practice more and pass the godamn driving test without any extra terrestrial help.

Extra terrestrials might be having 4 hands. Why extra terrestrials? Some humans behave as if they have 4 hands. Shweta can talk on a phone plus work on 3 things in the kitchen. She can study and listen to music. Mumma works on innumerable things in kitchen simultaneously. Phew! And me? I can do just one thing at a time. The time I tried cutting the vegetables and making curry simultaneously, disaster! But I have improved heaps and bounds in cooking. Mumma asked me recipe of kaju katli....Mumma....who is such a cooking expert asked me! Now that is a feat!

Kaju katlis are so tasty. I should have one now.

(I get up to take a bite of kaju katli and come back again to writing)

Chandrima says she found my NY blog a little too over the place and difficult to keep track of. I should write something which engrosses the reader till the end. Something like the 'Gone Girl'. But not the end. I hated the end. The entire movie kept me engrossed and then the end - I just hated it! Maybe I should read the book and find out more. 

'To kill a mockingbird' is a great book. I cannot believe it took me so long to get hold of this book. I am sure it must have churned a lot of advocates and litigators in the US after the book launch. Alicia Florrick did mention this in 'The Good Wife' series

I love 'The Newsroom'. Specially what I saw today. The Osama Bin Laden episode. Classy. Could not have asked for more. I should see that documentary on how they caught Bin Laden which Sujoy had recommended. 

Sujoy never says anything about my writing. He doesn't even show that he has read my blog. There is this one reader from Poland who reads my blog. Just solitary one from Poland. I do not know anyone from Poland. Every blog has one read from Poland. Who might this reader be? Sometimes extra statistics screws you over. Google gives a lot of statistics on the demographics of my blog readers.

But my blog on football was a hit amongst Sujoy's football buddies. It is my highest read blogs till date. Everybody could relate with it. Sujoy must have liked atleast that blog of mine.

Last match Sujoy played was great the first half. Second half they just got bored it seems. They lost badly, 0-4. The first half was 0-0, and in second half everything went for a toss very quickly. Their first loss in the league so far. But I liked the fact that the opponent team's player came and chatted with Sujoy. He said, "If that beautiful pass you executed in the first half had been converted into a goal by the forward then that would have been the game changer."
An opponent player who does not even know Sujoy, came upto him to tell him this!
I felt so proud then :) Wish I had some passion that strong in my life!

And then I thought a lot about my life which I prefer not making public at this moment. Too much of deep thoughts which I will park aside currently...maybe some day when I want to have another hearty laugh I will open my Pandora's box of my take on life! Till then it is just these 100 thoughts which made me go offtrack so badly that I did not write my story at all!!!

PS: I filtered a lot of my thoughts before writing this blog. You know how your mind wanders sometimes ;)




Friday, October 31, 2014

The Walk!

We had a very hearty meal at an Indian restaurant in Miami last Sunday. Sujoy and me were so full with all the hogging that in the evening Sujoy suggested to take a walk in 'The Central Park'. I was amused thinking Sujoy is referring to the Central Park in New York. I still gave him the benefit of doubt thinking its the desi Kingfisher effect ;). But no my husband was completely sobre and in his senses and was talking about the Central Park in Plantation, where we stay. Till then I had not heard about this park.

So we took our car and drove to this park Sunday evening on a mission to get rid of some of the guilt associated with chicken tikka masala and buttery naan. The park is huge. Open spaces in the US still amaze me, the landscape and enormity of the parks gives me goosebumps. We enter the park and I can see 5 different fields where different types of sports are happening, a jogging track and a walking track around a lovely lake with a fountain.

The park seemed a busy place with lots of activities happening around and participants being people from all age groups. We started taking a walk around the fountain, which by the way was used by ducks too to commute. We saw an owl nesting area along our walk. 




There were multiple games happening on fields. Soccer game of girls on one field, some guys were practicing baseball and there was a group of kids practicing net ball. And I wondered to myself sports plays such a pivotal role in peoples' life here. The kids were in the best sports gear and helmets, something which you will not see back in India.

We took one round around the fountain when Sujoy decided to ditch me and go for a run on the jogging track. So here I was alone walking amongst a bunch of people doing the best I do, 'observe'.

So I listen to people's conversation who are walking alongwith me. Two women maybe in their 40s are discussing about a party they attended on Saturday and were completely disappointed with their host. Seems the host did not have enough of vegan options and how these women literally starved themselves at the party and ate after coming home. I speed up a little and decide to overtake these women.

Then I hear a girl asking her bf about what should she wear for the Halloween. She gives him 2-3 choices. The guy seemed bored (very normal I believe). Never the less he bravely picks up one choice and tells her. She makes a face and says, "I look fat in that". Guy gives a sigh. Then he picks other one. She says. "Hmmm....I can but maybe I will wear the third one". And I am thinking if she had already decided what to wear, why to go through all this drama. And the guy gave me a look as if he read my mind and was so agreeing with me. The couple disembarked from the track and went wandering on the grass.

I steadied my pace. Then I saw a group of small girls chasing the ducks. Poor ducks were running for their life into the lakes where the girls could not reach them. I thought of giving the girls a piece of my mind but controlled myself. With my bodyguard jogging somewhere far off, it was not a good idea to take up a fight with someone who are 8 in no. I ignored those girls and paced ahead.

There was this super enthusiastic exercise group. It was a mix group again. I loved the way they were enjoying their workout. Seemed so much fun. The instructor had engaged all of them with small small races and activities. The were hopping, frog jumping, stretching over the grass. There was a positive energy amidst this group.

My 2 rounds around the lake were done and still there was no sign of Sujoy. So I sat on a bench facing the fountain. And I was mitigating on something when a toddler came running to me and sat on the bench. He was followed by his mother and I made space for her also to sit. They were Spanish. But it did not matter as the toddler was still babbling and not forming words and it was immaterial if he spoke English, Spanish or Russian. It amazed me to see how two people can get connected without speaking the same language. 

I was playing with this toddler when there was a tap on my shoulder. And here at last my husband came back to me after abandoning me halfway. So we were leaving when the toddler babbled something and I heard, "Don't go". Such games your mind plays with you. But the toddler indeed did not want us to go. I came back to him and said we will meet soon.

The walk was refreshing and I was thinking we should come this park often. And as we were walking towards our car I asked Sujoy, "So what should I wear for the movie tonight?" And his face said it all and I was wondering if someone is listening to our conversation currently :)




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Eternal Beauty - Niagara

The journey from NYC to Niagara Falls was done in a Grey Hound bus equipped with free wifi and a charging point at every seat. The 9 hours journey could not have been more informative for me as I spent all the time hooked to my mobile reading more about WTC attack, how the rescue functions managed and how the US secret services tracked down Osama Bin Laden. The 9/11 memorial had a huge impact on me and hence all this digging out during the travel.

After reaching Niagara Falls - ya about this, even the city where Niagara Falls is situated is known as Niagara Falls! So after reaching there we headed to the hotel and freshened up for good Indian dinner. We were famished as we ate very little during our 9 hours bus travel. Niagara Falls has an array of Indian restaurants, all placed very close to each other. We had a wide choice and went to one which served Punjabi food.

It was 9 pm, when we ventured to the Niagara Falls. We parked our vehicle. I was expecting huge roars of the waterfall as we were in the vicinity of the falls. However I never heard anything except for the babble of the people around me walking towards the falls. You walk quite a lot from the parking till you see the Falls.

The first view of the falls - I was so mesmerized and captivated looking at the enormity of these falls. No photo, no video ever seen by you will match the thrill you experience seeing the falls by your own eyes! Trust me on that.....

The falls were a huge spread of water falling down. The water on the top was gushing and pushing with full force and energy. The moment it fell down, it became steady and saint like. Nature never fails to surprise me! The same water in two different forms - at the top and at the bottom.

Canada and USA are connected by a bridge called the Rainbow bridge. The border lies exactly in between of this bridge. The Niagara Falls lie between American and Canadian border. It is divided into 3 falls, from largest to smallest - Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The Horseshoe Falls lie mostly on the Canada side, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls lie on the American side. These falls are separated by small islands.


At night, you see the falls dancing in  the lights. The Canada side has a better view. But more than the view, I was overwhelmed with the vastness of the falls and I literally sat near the falls on the bench in a meditative mode enjoying the rhythm of the water and feeling myself very lucky to have seen this beauty alive.



We stayed around the falls for around 2 hours and then returned to our hotel, excited to see the falls again in the brightness of the day.

Niagara during the day is even more splendid than the night. The waters and the sun, play with each other to produce a dozen of rainbows. We must have experienced atleast 10 rainbows during our 5-6 hours near the falls.




The Niagara Falls State Park is where one must head to see these Falls. There are quite a few things you can do at this park - The Maid of the Mist (a boat ride which takes you into the falls), The Cave of the Winds (a staircase built at the side of the falls where the fall water comes on you), Niagara's scenic trolley (a trolley ride which takes you around the park with a guide), Aquarium, Adventure Theater (theater with regular shows on the adventures people did near the falls) Discover Centre and hiking in the Niagara gorge.

We had just one day and hence we did the Maid of the Mist, Trolley Ride, Adventure theater and the Cave of the Winds.

Maid of the Mist as I mentioned earlier is a boat ride which takes you to the heart of the falls. They give you ponchos (a raincoat which covers your entire body) to protect you from getting drenched completely in the waters. As you approach the falls, your heart starts beating fast as you are scared to go near the falls where the water is falling with full power and force. And then you reach amidst the falls. At one point the water from the falls spills so much on your face that you are blinded for sometime. And then when you get your sight back, you just look at the falls in awe. No other word - you are just awestruck!


After the Maid of the Mist, we headed towards the Cave of the Winds. The Cave of the Winds is a staircase built below the Bridal Veil falls coming within 7.6 metres from the Falls where you can experience the water from the falls lavishly falling on you. The Cave of the Winds provides you with a new set of poncho - yellow this time and these cool floaters to protect you from slipping on the staircase. There is a hurricane point on the deck where the force of the water is maximum and it feels as if you are standing below the falls.






After the Cave of the Winds, we went to the Adventure Theater to see the short film on the daring activities people did near the Niagara Falls. The film depicted stories about a woman who survived falling from the falls in a barrel with her cat, a gentleman who crossed the Niagara falls on a rope and a kid who accidentally fell from the falls from a boat however survived even after falling from that height! The short film made me have goose bumps with every adventure that unfolded.

With this our tryst with the falls came to an end. The Niagara Falls will always be one of the best places ever seen by me. The vastness of Niagara makes you feel a tiny piece in front of it thereby making you humble and grounded, its freshness makes you rejuvenated and its eternal beauty just soothes you and your belief in nature's miracles just strengthens. 

They say at the rate at which Niagara Falls is eroding, we may not have the falls in the future! And so as we returned to our hotel, my soul prayed to God for the longevity of the falls for many to experience its splendor forever. Long live the Niagara Falls! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

The City of Dreams - New York!

For at least a month, I was waiting for the day to come. The day when we were supposed to venture out of Florida and explore other parts of the US. Tickets were booked, places to visit decided....we just had to wait for a month for that day to come. The countdown had already begun for me. And finally with slow pace did that day arrive when we were supposed to go to the busy city of New York!

US is too vast. NY was a 3 hours flight from Fort Lauderdale. And can you believe NY has 3 airports? When NY itself is so huge, can't imagine how expansive US must be! Phew!

The moment we reached Newark Airport (one of the 3 airports in NY), we could see Indians around. Sight of desi people does give you a warm feeling in a foreign land. It is like finding Marathi speaking people at Chennai Airport waiting to board the Pune flight ;)

We took a taxi to our hotel in New Jersey. Trust me the driver drove as if he is participating in Formula 1 race. I was swooped to the left corner of the car when he took a sharp turn and he was laughing on that! And so here we were experiencing the world renowned NY taxi ride with a driver who thought he was Michael Schumacher. After such a dreadful ride the driver still had the audacity to ask for a tip! Beat that. Later in my trip I came to know from the tour guide, there are 30,000 yellow taxis running in NY. And the colour yellow was chosen as it can be spotted easily by human eye.

The hotel we had booked looked economical when we reached but prices were much higher compared to the amenities provided at the hotel. So this was our second cue on how expensive NY might be! They say you can guess if a city is overcrowded by the amount of traffic and the cleanliness/lack of cleanliness across the streets. By that standard NY has to be one of the most populous places in the US. The roads were packed with vehicles and streets were filled with litter. First time in the US, I saw something like this! So after all when the city cannot handle so many people this is what happens! And we blame Indian govt. for not giving basic amenities to its citizens!

We kept our luggage at the hotel and set out for lunch, both Sujoy and me were famished. We decided to have lunch at the Indian Street near Journal Square. It was a 10 minutes shuttle ride to the Indian street. When we got down there, it was like I was in mini India. The street had Indian restaurants, Indian grocery, beauty parlours and even Ramdev Baba's clinic along its sides. The feel was of India. Cuisines ranged from Indo chinese, punjabi, south indian, andhra biryani to assal mumbaiyya vada pav. It even had paan shops and we could not resist having a Calcutta mitha post our lunch. 

Can you see the kite paper decoration over the street? Just like back home

And then begun our NY Adventure!

New York is made up of 5 boroughs or pockets you may call them - Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. Each borough has its own character. There is a ferry which goes to Staten Island and can you believe for free! It is rare to get anything free in NY.

Whenever a major avenue meets a street they call it square like Times Square, Madison Square, Union Square etc. New York is made up of streets and avenues, they run cris cross to each other. One mile will have 15-20 blocks. You have to be in NY to experience this knit of streets and avenues. So if you have to give an address to the taxi driver giving just the street no. will not help, you have to specify the avenue no. also.  

Just to give an idea about this avenue street concept

It was night by then and we thought of hitting Times Sqaure. OMG! The amount of power used to lighten all those innumerable billboards in this square is enough to provide electricity to a third world country. Broadway ads, CBS sitcom ads - Madam Secretary playing on this massive billboard. 
There is a American Eagle shop there and a billboard just on its upper side. They call it the 30 seconds of fame - the folks who buy clothes there get a chance to be seen on this huge billboard for 30 seconds. And you should see folks screaming seeing themselves on that huge canvas and basking in the glory of fame :)

The next day we hit the city sight seeing cruise which takes you around NY through the water route! One thing about New York City is you will never miss the sky scrapers - It just tingles your eye sight with these longitudinal buildings and you need to strain your neck to catch the height of these monstrous outgrowths! Be it land or water, you just cannot get rid of it...you see it everywhere. 


 You just cannot miss the tall structures!


We saw the two bridges viz. Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge that connect two important boroughs of New York - Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Bridge has a cycling path as well as footpath for pedestrians and one can enjoy the view from the bridge on feet. That is such a thoughtful construction I would say for a bridge built almost a century ago. The bridge was completed in January 1867. Now that is a big feat!

The rusted look one is the Brooklyn bridge and the parallel one to it is the much newer Manhattan bridge


We were enjoying the water and sites from the cruise when we saw her! I could not help but stare at the royalty of the Roman goddess holding the torch in her hand held high. Yes, we saw a glimpse of Statue of Liberty which is a welcome sign to all the immigrants coming to USA and we were thrilled to see her live. Just then the tour guide announced that we will be having 15 minutes around the statute for the photo sessions and that sent a shrill of excitement all over the ferry! Statue of Liberty is huge and you have to see it to experience the magnificence of this fine sculpture standing haughtily in middle of the water!


The next place on our to do list was Madame Tussauds. We were greeted by Morgan Freeman at the entrance ;)
From a distance he looked so alive but as you approached near you could make out the difference. Madame Tussauds New York is a 3 floored museum having statues of most hollywood celebrities, few bollywood celebrities viz. Amitabh and Shahrukh, many politicians, peace workers and writers. I was not that overwhelmed being here, it was nice but did not impress me that much.


It was dark by the time we came out of Madame Tussauds and it was time to see the city that never sleeps from the top of a 70 floored building - Top of the Rock. The moment you come out of the lift on the 69th floor and peek through the glass windows - That's it - You are spell bound to see all those lights twinkling from the 69th floor of a skyscraper. It reminded me of my times when I used to travel from my native place Karwar to Pune after summer holidays in a state transport bus. The moment we used to hit Katraj ghat at night we used to see all these lights which used to hint on the proximity of Pune and that we were approaching it. I tend to divert to many places at one moment :)
So coming back to New York. The Empire State Building which is the tallest building in New York stood straight coloured in blue and green for the day. The view was awe inspiring and you just cannot take your eyes off those brimming buildings.



The green and blue building is the Empire State Building

The next day it was the time for Central Park. This park is spread over a 833 acres area. Those of you who thought Pune University is huge, this park is almost double the area of Pune University. Yes, that vast it spreads! We would have required one entire day to cover this park so we thought of visiting just a part of it and that had to be Strawberry Fields. To be frank I was not aware of the story behind Strawberry Fields. One of my best friends who is a John Lennon fan told me to visit it and take a picture there. That is when I searched about this place and discovered that Strawberry Fields is a living memorial to the world-famous singer, songwriter and peace activist, John Lennon. It gets its name from Lennon's famous song 'Strawberry fields forever'. The memorial is built here as he was shot in this place while getting out of his car to go to his place. There is big circle painting done at this spot!



Street vendors selling John Lennon buttons


We also had a chance to see the bow bridge from a distance. This bridge has been featured in quite a few hollywood movies like The Autumn in New York (this movie made me fall in New York for the first time), Spider man 3 and When in Rome to name a few. This is the first cast iron bridge in the park and the second oldest one in US, this bridge indeed has a romantic setting plus is a muse for photographers.



With Beatles song 'In my life' playing in my mind we set out to our next destination and that was the 9/11 Memorial Museum. You come to the place, you see a big void in between the ground....you come closer and then you see a double fountain on black marble. Water flows steadily over the marble and you come closer. You see names engraved on the marble, names of people who lost their lives in the most unfortunate man induced crisis. You are silent for a moment, you feel numb. You pray for the ones who could not make it and then thank God for not being a part of this mishap. Human nature, unless it affects your loved ones you tend to get over it fast...really fast.


The water fountains at the memorial
This memorial is built over the place where the WTC proudly stood before the attack. One can just imagine the actual ruins left after the attack and the havoc created by it. They say the ill effects of the attack were felt years to come and the task forces which worked on this site had huge impact on their health due to the radiations. Many folks lost their life post the attack due to irreparable damage to tissues and cells. A deed which no human should be proud of! I sometimes fail to understand the extent to which a human being can go to achieve their misguided notion of justice!


The engraved names of people who lost their lives in the attack!
There is a museum too but unfortunately we could not make it as it was closed when we had reached the place.

With a heavy heart we began to our next destination. How could we miss the aggressive charging bull of Wall Street. This was the perfect next destination for us to get over the gloom of the 9/11 memorial.  Did you know that the artist behind this bull Maestro Arturo Di Modica dropped it off in front of the New York Stock Exchange, in violation of city permits? Later when the sculpture hit stardom in just one fortnight, it was decided to keep it at the Wall Street. The belligerent bull is supposed to resemble the unpredictable nature of the stock market, and hence it fits in there perfectly.


The queue to click pictures here was huge disorganised line of people. And yet we managed to click our pics there!
With that came the end to our 2 and a half day trip in New York. These 2 days we were mostly on our feet and hop on and off open buses. We hogged at Chennai special Anjappar and Saravanna Bhavan on Lexington Avenue. This Avenue has all major Indian restaurants like Copper Chimney and the famous Hyderabad Paradise Biryani. We preferred to go south indian and relived our Chennai days ;)

The streets and footpaths of New York are always crowded. You will find people smoking at every corner, even teenagers. Makes me wonder the affluence this city has as one of the guides mentioned a cigarette pack in New York costs around $ 15. Now that is a big amount to waste puffing smoke! 

New York always bustles with swarms of people, the undying lights and innumerable dreams in every one's eyes.......no wonder they say New York - The City of Dreams!


And that is when I realised that I have fallen in love with this city all over again for the second time now! With a lot of memories of this place and dreams of my own mingled with the fervor of the city, I called it a day and went to sleep to start another adventure the next day - The Niagara Falls!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chasing the Rainbow! - Chapter Four


Anagha called Pete while both of them were looking at the rainbow having completely different thoughts at that moment. Pete answered the call from the unknown number. The voice on the other end made his head spin and too many thoughts and images encroached his mind at the same time.

Anagha: "Hello Pete."

Pete was silent for a few seconds and then said, "Is it you, Anagha?"

Anagha: "It is me. I was wondering if we can meet this Saturday. I am in New York currently and will be flying back to India this Sunday." 

Pete: "Sure. How about Saturday evening 5 pm at our usual Stumptown Coffee Roaster."

After saying that Pete just realized the blunder he made. He went to cover up saying something but before that Anagha agreed and she hung up.

Pete and Anagha pretended to continue their routine till finally Saturday evening arrived. Anagha arrived earlier and chose the table from where the view was the best of the outside world. Pete arrived in 5 minutes or so. It was a little awkward for both of them and they greeted each other fumblingly. They ordered their bistros and while the bistros came tried to make small talks.

Pete: "So did you watch 'The fault in Our Stars'. They made a movie finally from your favourite book."

Anagha: "No, I did not. The book was too beautiful for me and I have my own illustrations of that book. I did not want to ruin it with the movie."

Pete: "Oh........so what are you upto these days?"

Anagha: " I have started with an NGO back home and was in town for getting financial aid for the same. The name is 'Vaatsalya'."

Pete: "So you did what you always wished for! What does Waaats..what did you say the name was....what does it mean?"

Anagha: "V-a-a-t-s-a-l-y-a.....it means mother's unconditional love for her child.

Pete. Let us not do this. I will come straight to the point. When I came to New York, I did not fathom that I will meet you. I did not think that I will ever sum up the courage to see you again. But the rainbow........no nothing......
Something made me do this. 
I still want you to come and help me with my NGO back in India. No strings attached. Just a professional offer. I want the best people to make Vaatsalya a place for everyone doing the best for the under privileged. Just give it one chance. If you do not like it there in India, I will not force you to stay. You can work with my mom. I will not be interfering there as I am working on a different focus within Vaatsalya."

There was silence after that. Their eyes were searching each others eyes for any subtle hint as to what will happen next. Pete was the first one to withdraw his eyes from hers. He looked across the street. 

Pete did not say anything for a long time. After a while he mustered all his strength to say, "I don't know......I doubt if I will survive there."

And there they parted again and this time they thought forever.

Pete went to his Phily home straight from the coffee shop, drove for 4 hours without any stop with too many thoughts cluttered in the mind. When he barged at the door, Linda said giving a scorn "You are late for the marriage. It was today and not tomorrow."

Linda could have continued with her pestering and taunts but the aghast look on Pete's face made her stop. Being concerned she asked, "What is wrong? You look like you have seen a ghost."

Pete narrated the evening story to Linda. Both of them were silent for a moment. Pete had never told Linda the real reason for their break up, he had just announced that he is no longer seeing her.

Linda looked into his eyes and said, "You might be able to hide it from the rest of the world but Pete....I know your truth. I know why you cannot let go off New York."

Pete looked scandalized, he had taken enormous amount of effort to keep it as his treasured secret as he knew no one will understand it.

Linda with moist eyes said, "It is Grandpa. I know it is for him..."

And in that very moment Pete thought he was naked in front of the world. His heart gushed with too much blood from the arteries and mind flooded with so many memories. His Grandfather lived in NYC. The den where he lived currently belonged to his grandfather. His grandfather was more like a dad to him than Bill ever was or could be. He had too many treasured moments in NYC with his Grandpa until 9 years ago when he passed away.

He reminisced the time when he got his first pet, a Labrador which was just 2 months old. Grandpa had said, " He will be your best friend, the most selfless one with unwavering loyalty."
Pete had named him Balto after the famous sled dog who saved Alaska's children from diphtheria epidemic by delivering medicine over the frozen Tundra. Pete had always seens Balto's sculpture in Central Park while walking with his Grandpa and now thought I have my own Balto.

He remembered their fishing expeditions over Jamaica Bay. The pride he had felt when he caught his first fish and Grandpa was there to pat his back. Fishing while listening to Grandpa's childhood stories was the best thing ever.

Walking the Literary Walk in Central Park amongst the Elm trees and learning to observe folks around as Grandpa had taught him was his favourite pass time.

He felt his Grandpa's head on his shoulder in the hospital where he took his last breath. Everything came back in a flash to him.

Pete could take it no more and asked his mom to excuse him and went straight to his room.

Next day without informing anyone, he started driving for NYC. He directly went to Central Park. He walked to the Loch and sat looking at the springs coming out of the rocks. Hours passed and when he came back home he was a transformed man.

Something happened at the Loch that day and a week later Pete took a flight to India.

Had Murphy not played his part Pete would have never been able to take this chance. It was because of Murphy that he missed his guest lecture that day. Had he attended the lecture he would have missed Anagha's call and would have gone to Philadelphia for his neighbour's wedding over the weekend. He would not have been able to meet her then. Had it not been for the rain, the rainbow would not have come and Anagha would not have called Pete in the first place. So yes Murphy does work miracles sometimes.

The air hostess asked Pete to open the window shutter while landing. And as Pete opened the window, he saw a full bloomed rainbow going down towards the land. He did not know if he was going to stay there or not but in his mind he pondered, "Maybe this is the rainbow I have been wanting to chase all my life."




Monday, September 1, 2014

Chasing the Rainbow! - Chapter Three


Chapter One: Pete
Chapter Two: Anagha


Chapter Three: The Past

Pete and Anagha first met at New York University when Pete was there giving a guest lecture on disaster management and Anagha was an attendee. At the end of the lecture as always Pete requested everyone to enroll in the United Nations Volunteer Program and gave his email id for any further clarifications.

Anagha enrolled in the Program and fortunately or unfortunately it was Pete who took her interview.

Pete after flipping over her resume mused, "So why informatics and not something more conventional?"

Anagha took a deep breath and replied, "I love patterns. I love finding patterns in data, analyzing it and watch how miraculously patterns work. 

The thing with patterns is - it is not right or wrong. Like we look at the same stars in the sky and yet see such different things. Still everyone is correct in their perspective. 

It is this love for patterns that has drawn me towards this domain."

While she was narrating this, Pete could see the sparkled passion in her eyes and sense the musical fondness in her voice. She was a completely transformed person when she was talking about patterns. Anyone in the room could have sensed her immense love for patterns. Pete thought to himself, 'Someone who follows their passion....just like me.'

He had made his hiring decision right there but to ensure the interview did not seem too short, he asked a few more questions.

Anagha joined the United Nations as a volunteer and started contributing over the weekends. Everyone around used to call her Ana but Pete always referred her with her full name Anagha.

Anagha and Pete hit off with their relationship in just a month. It was bound to happen, both of them complemented each other too well.

One evening lying on the sofa, Anagha asked Pete, "So what does Pete mean?"

The question baffled Pete because he never thought names have meanings. Looking confused he said, "I don't know, do names really have meaning? What does Anagha mean?"

Anagha looked at him and smiled, "It means 'sinless' or 'without any fault'."

And Pete instantly hugged her, placed a peck on her cheek and beamed, "You are indeed my immaculate girl".

Their courtship had all the moments of love - rose bunches; walks by the water, park and roads; lots of talking and sharing; cooking; reading to each other; date nights; Broadway shows; silent moments; quarrels; teasing; the gifts; in short everything!

The moment of truth arrived when it was time to meet the parents. Anagha met Pete's parents. Bill instantly loved Anagha with her keenness towards urban structures and reality estate business. Linda took some time to understand Anagha completely but post that she never looked back. They were like girlfriends sharing all the gossip and making Pete the target of their incessant teasing. Anagha even cooked an authentic Indian meal for them one day which was enjoyed by all. Pete and Anagha thought everything is falling in place.

Anagha introduced Pete to her parents when they had flown to NY for Anagha's graduation ceremony. Before that they had spoken on phone but this was the big day. This was the moment when things would get momentum or they might just fall apart. Anagha was nervous all time but Pete gave her reassurance that all will be well.

The night of the graduation all of them went out for dinner. Sheetal asked Pete a barrage of questions on UN, humanitarian work, his short stint in Somalia, his approach towards the disaster management and what made him take up this field. In return she also narrated her experiences as a social worker. She mentioned about one of her students from Sirohi Rajasthan who won a scholarship in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in Social Sciences and how she came back to help other girls of her village post creating a mark as a renowned Social Science Professor. Sheetal spoke of all her students with the fondness of a mother for her favourite child. The dining table was humming with laughter and chuckles.

Mohan found Pete interesting but he had a few doubts in mind and he began his rifle shooting with the first question,

Mohan: "So how long have you known each other?"
Pete: "About a year now."
Mohan: "So you guys think a year is enough to make the decision and take the BIG leap?"
Pete and Anagha: "Yes we think so....."
Mohan: "Have you figured out where will you settle post marriage?"
Pete: "New York"
Anagha: "India"

And that was it! There was complete silence at the table post that and suddenly tension mounted. The dinner got over very soon after that and all went back to their homes having half filled stomachs but over filled minds with thoughts.

After coming home Mohan said to Anagha, "He is a good guy, but don't let anyone clip your wings and pet you in a cage. You are sensible, we will respect your decision."

Anagha did not call or meet Pete till her parents left for India nor did Pete try to call her.

They never imagined that the talk post Anagha's parents leaving would be their last talk. Anagha was ready for a mid way solution where she could stay the initial years of the marriage in NY and then later go back to India with Pete. She wanted to open a NGO in India in partnership with Pete once she had enough money to start up the operations. She wanted Pete to handle the humanitarian aspect while she concentrated on the planning and informatics. But Pete was hell bound on being in New York, not wanting to cut the umbilical cord with the place. He could not fathom a life outside New York.

Things went astray, bonds broke, poetry became venomous and Pete and Anagha went out their separate ways.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Chasing the Rainbow! - Chapter Two

Chapter One: Pete


Chapter Two: Anagha

Anagha began her day with going from one New York office to another, meeting up with her classmates and friends raising funds for her new venture back in India - 'Vaatsalya' meaning mother's unconditioned love for her kids. Vaatsalya was a shelter for the under privileged, the old and anyone who does not have a home. Vaatsalya also focused on urban science and informatics which included identifying and assessing urban problems in domains of transit, utilities and health. Vaatsalya was managed by Anagha and her mother Sheetal. Anagha was in charge of the urban science and informatics division while her mother looked after the shelter.

Anagha was a part of a typical Indian nuclear family staying with her parents and a younger brother. Her Father Mohan owned a small factory which manufactured industrial pumps. Mohan was a man allways ahead of his times and he gave Sheetal all the freedom even during those times when women were supposed to be in the kitchen according to the societal norms. Sheetal was a social worker all her life and had travelled extensively during her youth days working at grass root level helping in building schools and advocating girls' education and health. She had seen too much poverty and worst conditions around which kept her humble and rooted even though she belonged to an affluent family. Anagha's brother Saahil was currently pursuing his graduation in Architecture from one of the renowned colleges of India - Sir J. J. College of Architecture, Mumbai. Their family was a closely knit one with a lot of liberal minds and ideas at the dinner table.


After completing her graduation in India, Anagha had headed to the States for her post graduation. She spent 3 years in the States which included her one year Masters of Science course in Applied Urban Science and Informatics at the New York University and two years working at Lutron Inc. These 3 years had helped her create a network in New York on which she was banking currently for the aid of Vaatsalya's growth. After touring India and getting help from all known sources, she thought NRIs and her American friends are the next best bet to raise funds for her venture. And so she was in New York for a week, wearing off her shoe soles moving from one office to another and convincing folks to donate for Vaatsalya.


It was Thursday already and she was headed to India the coming Sunday. Last leg of visits were remaining when she thought of him. She wondered whether she should meet him just once before leaving for India. But then she brushed off the thought. 


She was staying in a cheap hostel in Manhattan. She woke up to her alarm and started getting ready for the day. Today she was going to head to Times Square and target all the plush offices down there. She took the bus from Manhattan to NYC, opened her diary and checked out the names to visit today. Scribbled in small font was a name.....and she went back to those times....


He was a charmer not in just looks but the way he carried himself. She used to feel at home with him. There used to be a time when they used to sit for hours in a room independently reading something - she 'The Fountainhead' and he 'The Crisis Caravan'. And yet she felt engaged with him. He would stroke her fringes and move it behind her ear lobe and in just the next moment put his fingers in her hair and mess it all up. He loved her cooked food especially the dosa and the spicy coconut chutney, he would call them love pancakes with a spicy twist. They would spend hours at Central Park, holding hands and walking and talking like the world will cease to exist tomorrow.  


Just then the passenger sitting next to her wanted to get down and requested Anagha to hold her purse while held her baby tightly. Anagha was awakened from her thoughts then. She pushed back all the thoughts in the 'do not open box' of her mind and read through the next names. While Anagha was getting down at her stop, the dashboard in the bus informed all the passengers of the heavy rains expected that evening. Anagha was distraught with the thought of having to wind up her expedition earlier today and heading back to her hostel, precious time lost. 


She finished her errands fast and caught the bus back to Manhattan. On her way to Manhattan, it started pouring and she saw the rainbow. 


Whenever he saw a rainbow he used to say to her, 'I want to chase that rainbow. I want to see what is there at the other side of it, at the extreme end of its horizon'.


Her hands unconsciously reached her cell and she dialed his number.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chasing the Rainbow!





Chapter One: Pete

Pete was hurrying up at the Times Square like any other New Yorker on a weekday, barking and hustling through the crowd during the rush morning hours to reach his workplace. It was a nice bright Thursday Spring morning. On the way, he dashed against a passer by and was drenched in the hot coffee spilled all over his shirt by the dashing opponent. And Pete said to himself, 'God, please tell me that this is the only incidence for today where Murphy has played his role.'

Pete entered his work building. Macy at the reception greeted him as everyday. Pete smiled at her and rushed into his office. He opened his cabinet and took out a new shirt (this was not the first time he had coffee all over him and had learnt his lesson) and replaced the wet one on his body. He then sat and took a deep breath! Just then the phone rang. It was from the New York University where he was supposed to engage in a guest lecture on disaster management. They wanted him to come in earlier than expected as heavy rains were predicted for later that day. Pete agreed and started off for the University.

Pete worked at the United Nations and was currently stationed at their Headquarters as a Humanitarian Affairs Officer. His main area of work included providing humanitarian assistance/disaster relief in emergency situations. He virtually collaborated with the numerous folks on the field, helping them in planning and ensuring the necessary support by providing policy advice grounded in international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles. He did all this via sitting in New York - Be it be preparing a briefing for the Humanitarian Council on the situation of the mudslides in Badakhshan, Afghanistan; or working with a dedicated team as far lorn as Argo city in Afghanistan to help put together operational emergency response strategies; or be it helping in raising funding appeals for the floods in South Africa; or giving guest lectures in New York University in disaster management.....everything was done being in New York.  

This was partly because he loved New York and did not want to go anywhere else. He did have small stints in Somalia and Kenya but those were for two months. At the end of one month itself he used to start getting unsettled and yearned to back to New York, to his den reading in the dim light while trying to sleep on his bed. He did not mind the difficult conditions on the field but being home was what he always looked for ward to. He adored New York city. The 24*7 energy and constant motion gave him a boost each day when he stepped out of his den. And so he took up this role at UN Headquarters.

Pete was the only child of his parents - Bill and Linda Becket. They lived in Philadelphia, a less than 5 hour drive from New York. Pete visited them every weekend, or most weekends when he did not have to work. Bill was a Real Estate Agent and he never truly understood Pete's overwhelming interest in volunteering work that he took it as a career. Linda was more grounded and adored her son like any other mother would. Her relationship with Pete was much profound and they had this unwavering bond which tightly encompassed them. Linda was an archaeologist and currently was on sabbatical to be at home and relax. 

He hailed a taxi for New York University. Just then his mom called. 

Linda interrogated, "Did you receive the invitation card for Bethany's marriage?" 

Pete had received the card. Bethany was Pete's schoolmate and neighbour back in Philly. Pete lied saying, 
"No, I have not! Who is the unlucky chap anyways." 

Linda said, "Stop lying, you have received the card."

Pete with wrinkles on his forehead replied, "Ya ok, I have received the card but I am not coming. I have work to do  Mom, people may be stranded on some broken bridge at that time and they would need me."

Linda wickedly replied, "Stop acting like Batman and showcasing your pursuit to save Gotham.....pack your bags and come over this weekend for the marriage. Or else Batman's mother has enough tricks up her sleeves to drag her son wherever she wants him to be"

Pete giving up sighed, "Ok I will come...just do not do something to embarrass me"

Linda gave a nice hearty laugh and said, "Love you son, see you over the weekend in a black tie" and hung up.

Pete hung up and saw out of the window to realize he was still at the same spot as he was 20 minutes ago. It had already started pouring and the traffic was not moving forward at all. He cursed Murphy again under his breath and looked through the window. There was a kid with his mother who refused to be under the umbrella and preferred to get wet in the rain. A guy was trying to cover the bunch of roses in his hand protecting it from getting wet. Pete wondered if those roses were for a proposal tonight or for a hospital visit. There was teenager on a call talking animatedly and Pete pondered bet she is gossiping with her girl friend. 

40 minutes passed and the traffic did not move. By now it had started raining heavily and Pete gave up the idea of going to the University. He got out of the cab and ran into the nearest Dunkin Donuts. He called up the University to apologize and rescheduled the lecture. He then bought a coffee and sat at a corner table waiting for the rain to calm down not knowing what Murphy exactly had in mind for him.

Looking out of the glass door, he spotted a full bloomed rainbow. And then his cell rang. It was an unknown number. Contemplating on whether to answer or not to answer that call and looking intently at the seven colours, he thought I want to chase that rainbow!




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Breaking Free

Sara Maria was sipping on her iced vodka glancing at the 23 folks sitting with her on this huge table at this award winning Spanish restaurant in the uber areas of never sleeping Mumbai. It was a party to celebrate her (or rather their) latest conquest at work - An ad campaign that brought laurels and not to mention a lot of affluence to the corporate. She should be happy but there was a tinge of bitterness to this success. It was not exactly portrayed as her solo success, as her boss took most of the limelight and that was hurting. Given a choice, she would have loved to quit and start working on that novel which was ripening now in her mind. But alas, she was stuck here!

She wanted to go home, but going to that shit hole called home was also not very beckoning. Hence she sat there, staring at drunk faces and letting the vodka drown all their banter.

It was easier to slip in some other times. When life was carefree and pure. Sara Maria, initially Sara George was from Goa. Her childhood was joyous like any other catholic kid with God worshiping parents and an affluent home to take care of all her needs. She was the only child and highly pampered.

While munching on the Spanish Poached Lobster with Roasted Red Pepper Salt, she sneaked into her childhood. She used to love sea food. Freshly caught fish, prepared in coconut curry accompanied by bountiful of rice. She used to hate vegetables. Her mom used to put small prawns pieces in the vegetables to make her eat the veggies. But Sara would pick only the prawns and eat, leaving all the vegetables untouched in her plate. Putting her mother's stupendous efforts all in vain!

She reminisced the beach days when she and her cousins used to run behind the small crabs on the sand with always being defeated by the F1 running crabs. The oily fish fry which they used to hog at the stalls. And the innumerable sand fights to decide who will eat the best piece of the fish at the dinner table. The ultimate pleasure about the beach was the feeling of the sea when you first immerse your feet into its vastness. 

She felt the same sensation now and was revoked from her memory lane. A colleague had spilled water on her feet! She went to the rest room to clean up the mess but in reality to take a break from all the chaos.

In the rest room, tears filled her eyes when she remembered the day her dad passed away by an untimely attack and how everything changed for her alongwith her name. She started putting her mother's name as her surname to respect all the sacrifices her mother did to get her here! That was the turning point in her life.  She was a very happy child till then. However to avoid all the pitying eyes around she became more of a rebel. Se preferred people hating her, despising her rather than be looked with sympathy. The pampered girl broke out and became a fiercely aggressive independent woman at a very small age.

Just then someone entered the rest room. And to her surprise it was her classmate from the MBA college in Pune. They exchanged pleasantries, gave an update on current jobs, exchanged nos. and decided to be in touch (which we know happens so rarely). That small exchange of words made Sara maneuver into her college days when learning was so much fun.

Sara was one girl who came with an extra dose of attitude. Her MBA days were no exception to this trait. She spoke with just a bunch of folks and liked to keep her circle closed. Staying away from home with folks from diverse places was an overwhelming experience over all.

She recalled the funny nicknames they had kept for the professors at her MBA school. 'Spitting Snail' for the Prof who would shower all the students sitting on the first benches with his spit. 'Smelly Cat' for the Prof who seemed to be deprived of water and soap at his home. 'Chikni Chameli' for this uber hot Economics Prof. 'Kungfu Panda' for the Accounts Prof who was fat as an elephant but thought himself to be the fittest person. And very own Puneri 'Dada Kondke' for the Prof using alcohol smelling deodorant. You need to be a Maharshtrian or stayed in Maharashtra for considerable time to understand this!

Her friends were a crazy cluster. Theirs was this 6 people freaking group of 3 girls and 3 guys and strangely none of them ended up marrying each other. She was still in touch with each one of them. They did some really nasty things. There was this guy who used to add 'the' in front of every noun. And her freinds used to talk with him in the same way, "So did you go to THE Appa Balwant Chowk today to buy THE strategic management book written by THE Michael Porter". Sorry Mr. Porter, but yes they did that!

She loved Pune and always will. Though Pune lacked the beach, it covered up for it with the awesome weather, unlimited eateries, nearby hill stations and best of all the social life! She walked through Vaishali entrance waiting there for 20 minutes to get a seat every time she went there. The SBDP and idli sambar was just plain splendid. 

MG Road and its candidness always was refreshing. The walking plaza on Saturdays was fun with no vehicles around. MG Road visit inevitably ended up into hogging George Biryani, Rotisserie Chicken and Mutton Salli.

The shopping sprees were innumerable and never ending. Be it Hong Kong Lane (and you thought it is in Japan), FC Road, Laxmi Road or even Camp. The places were so many fitting into everyone's budget.

The phone rang and Sara was awakened from her Pune trip. Her colleagues were calling her, apparently it was time to go home. Something she dreaded doing these days.

Sara drove to her apartment. A 3 bedroom posh apartment in the niche area of BKC. She was in a live in relationship with her 5 year old relationship bf. It was past 1 am and the lights were still on. She wanted him to be asleep and not get into an argument yet again at this ghostly hour.

She was tired of being the man in the relationship. She was the one behind him to change his shitty job, paying all the bills, running errands, arranging all the holidays etc. And after all this, he was not ready to settle. She wanted to be married, settle like her other friends and snuggle into the happiness of having a home with your loving husband. Their arguments would be mostly on this and lately the drift had increased.

And yet she could not call it a day and break off with him. Post her dad passing away, he was the only one whom she had got so close to. She thought this was her only gateway to a joyous married life. And hence letting go off was getting difficult or rather did not seem plausible.

She entered the apartment to see no one in the hall, just lights dimming with shadows all around. She couched into the sofa. She put on her favourite musical - Breaking Free, one which both of them enjoyed and used to sing in chorus.

Troy:
We’re soarin’, flyin’
There’s not a star in heaven
That we can’t reach

Gabriella:
If we’re trying
So we’re breaking free

Troy:
You know the world can see us
In a way that’s different than who we are

Gabriella:
Creating space between us
‘Til we’re separate hearts

Both:
But your faith it gives me strength
Strength to believe

Troy:
We’re breakin’ free
Gabriella:
We’re soarin’
Troy:
Flyin’
Both:
There’s not a star in heaven
That we can’t reach
Troy:
If we’re trying
Both:
Yeah, we’re breaking free
Troy:
Oh, we’re breakin’ free
Gabriella:
Ohhhh
Troy:
Can you feel it building
Like a wave the ocean just can’t control
Gabriella:
Connected by a feeling
Ohhh, in our very souls
Both:
Rising ‘til it lifts us up
So every one can see

Troy: We’re breakin’ free
Gabriella: We’re soarin’
Troy: Flyin’
Both:
There’s not a star in heaven
That we can’t reach
Troy:
If we’re trying
Yeah we’re breaking free
Gabriella:
Ohhhh runnin’
Troy:
Climbin’
To get to that place
Both:
To be all that we can be
Troy:
Now’s the time
Both:
So we’re breaking free
Troy:
We’re breaking free
Gabriella:
Ohhh , yeah

Troy:
More than hope
More than faith
Gabriella:
This is true
This is fate
And together

Both:
We see it comin’
Troy:
More than you
More than me

Gabriella:
Not a want, but a need
Both:
Both of us breakin’ free

Gabriella: Soarin’
Troy: Flyin’
Both:
There’s not a star in heaven
That we can’t reach
If we’re trying
Troy: Yeah we’re breaking free
Gabriella:
Breaking free
Were runnin’
Troy:
Ohhhh, climbin’
Both:
To get to the place
To be all that we can be
Now’s the time
Troy: Now’s the time
Gabriella: So we’re breaking free
Troy: Ohhh, we’re breaking free
Gabriella: Ohhhh

Both:
You know the world can see us
In a way that’s different than who we are

And listening to this she slept off on the sofa.

The day began with a phone call at 7.30 am. It was her mother calling just after the church visit. Her mom muttered, "Sara, your childhood friend Dennis is setting up a small publishing office here and he wants you to come back to us and write that novel you always wanted to publish". 

That was her point of breaking free alone and not with her bf. Her avenue to break free of limelight hogging boss, her avenue of breaking free of a dependant bf, her avenue of breaking free of the daily chores and do what she loved and be where she loved to be. It was her chance......

The clock struck 8.00 am, and her daily alarm started ringing. Did she snooze and got back to her daily life or did she get up and got going to achieve what she always wanted?