More than a feeling…


“I looked out this morning and the sun was gone

Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away
It’s more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to play
I begin dreaming
‘So many people have come and gone
Their faces fade as the years go by
Yet I still recall as I wander on
as clear as the sun in the summer sky …” – Boston
My current favorite song is playing on my music player as I sit jammed between two corpulent females on the A- train and trying very hard not to hide my obvious discomfort (be a man !) on being the ham in between the burgers :p. The train lunges forward clearing away tunnel after tunnel in the dark underground. It is as if two cities exist in New York city; the one above ground and one underground. The one above is where Karan Johar shoots his OMG! New York city landscapes; the concrete jungles the unending queues of cars; all white people and white bacha log..no kaale junta…the great american dream…. Sharukh strolls the Brooklyn bridge dressed in angelic white humming kal ho na ho and lo all my friends who visit New York want to see the ‘kal-ho-na-ho’ bridge first and snap n-pictures with it in all possible poses and modualtions; the routine tourists gone crazy stuff you know.

And we Telugu guys (gults kisko bola re..tere @#$%^)…
The Kal-ho-na-ho aka Brooklyn bridge

let me narrate what I saw one fine evening on a casual stroll across the Brooklyn bridge

tel guy1: mama ee pose lo photo theyyu
tel guy 2 : click
t1 : ee red nike cap toh okati
t2: click
t1: arre seenu aa ray ban goggles itu ivvu bey ..nuvvu photo theyyu mama
t2: click
t1: aagu ra na Westline ‘original’ denim coat ni shoulders paina esukuntha
t2:click
t1: wait let me flex my biceps
t2 : click
t1: mama Sharukh kal-ho-na-ho pose lo okati …
t2 : dude !!!
t1: plz mama akkada vastunna tella porilu photo lo padinatu chudu ra..oka pic ra …plz ra orkut lo petukunta ra Racha in New York ani
t2: snap

well , you get the idea right ? that kind of stuff. I always thought of bridges as achievements of human innovation and design and his constant quest to conquer the forces of nature. The bridge though a mass of stone, cables and steel has a very human element to it. It acts as a connection between two points. It facilitates motion. And it stands right there with ‘in your face’ kind of attitude. And by the way Karan Johan shoots his movies only in Manhattan and that to only at a few chosen places. There is so much more to New York than Manhattan alone. You seen nothing yet. New York swarms with immigrants (legal and illegal) who add to the population daily a bit like amchi Mumbai. Every place has a culture of its own and almost everyone is constantly in pursuit of only one aim ” how to make a few dollars more”. Money drives this city. Everything is so damn expensive that it is as if the denizens here pay a tax in order to proudly claim that they are from New York city. I must admit I am in love with this fast paced life.
The New York Minute

A typical New York Man/ Woman : Ipod plugged, A cappuccino (mostly starbucks) in the left and a New York Times in the right hand,a laptop case slung over the shoulder, rapidly talking on the phone and walking as if a walking Olympics, speeding like an army of ants on a mission.
And this is not typical of a Wall street hotshot banker …Almost everyone is similarly dressed ; they all wear light and sober colors. The pace of this city is unnerving .

How to spot a desi in a crowd ? look for bright Red/ Orange/ Blue colored apparel in the crowd …Indiyeah baby !

There is this huge Ganesh temple in New York (which incidentally ex. President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam happened to visit a few weeks back) and me and a group of friends decided to pay homage to Vigneshwara. We go onto the right bus but din’t know where to get down so I asked the driver for the bus stop. First he looks flummoxed .. ” a temple ? what the hell is that ? … oh yeah I understand ! the done shaped thing where all those Indian people in strange clothes get down..I’ll let you know when it comes..take your seat please…” I was raged like my ass was on fire…how in the name of my 300 crore deities could I enlighten this bad mouthed creature as to what Hinduism is all about (cultural ambassador ?)…I thought ignorance is bliss and walked away.

My first night in America : (no , no, not the wedding ke baad wala)

Me and my university mates (I din’t know them well enough then..now they are my lifelines)
got down at the New Jersey airport and since we had landed in the wrong airport like ‘ fresh off the boat’ types we were utterly clueless as to what to do. Thank Air India for this.

Our itinerary was
Hyd – Bombay – flight 1
Bombay – London – JFK (NY) – flight 2
But air India fucked up the schedules. By the time the Hyd- Bombay flight arrived our second flight had flewn away and I was scared shitless and angry also. No I am not going to say that I acted brave and heroic; went to the Air India counter and bet up the guy like Snajay Sahu would do in such a situation. Instead I calmly walked up to the over weight, lipstick smeared, orange saree lady and requested her what we could do now (never blame the airliner..what if they got pissed off and said…ok fine take your ticket money and get the fuck off from here)…she told me they would be putting us on a different flight to New Jersey and told us to proceed to checkout…all of this happened in such a haste that We din’t get a chance to inform the senior who was picking us up at NY, about the change in plans. And so we boarded the plane to the land of dreams. Our gait had a rhyme and rhythm to it. You could make out a song in the sound of our foot steps ” we- are- going -to- ame-rika”. And we kept on walking till the very end of the flight but there were no empty seats in sight. A blue saree air hostess aunty accosted (barrons word list no. ? :p) us. She said the flight was full and only the last row of seats were remaining. We had no other option but to have our back up against the wall. The flight began rapid descent and suddenly one of my friends began experiencing the effects of pressure drop as his ears started to suck up. The air aunty (lol ! ) was prompt to help (i read somewhere that the air aunties trained to spot people experiencing difficulty and scare the hell out of them). She came up to my friend and said ” here. now open and close your mouth like you are chewing some thing. Just like a cow.” And to my amazement she enacted a chewing movement which would have put a cow/buffalo/ox in short any chewing animal to shame. Only the grass was missing from her mouth.

The reason why most students choose to fly air india apart from the price and extra luggage to carry all those pickles is that they hear that the food served on the plane is top class indian khana kahazana. lol. It was appetizing to look at is the maximum praise I can give it (one lie par blog post sabi ko maaf hai :d) Guys around me were getting drunk on Vodka and Whiskey but I was in the company of women..what would they think..chee saala…India sey udthe hi shuru kar diya ab amerika mein kya karth ki… while guys around me were getting drunk for free (drinks included in the ticket price) me and the other guy told each other (fake) tales of our drinking habits of how we would gulp a bottle of Red label like it was mineral water . The rest of the journey was uneventful…I secretly hoped they would show a Balayya or Vijaykanth film on the in flight entertainment just for the kicks of it.


And as is with my wandering mind ; thoughts, images, sounds, songs automatically creep on to the silver screen of my imagination . In the telugu version Balayya would be a ex Marine Black Cat commando cum fighter jet pilot and in the Tamil one Vijaykanth took over. His wife has left him for a younger charming star and he is dejected with his life and libido. He takes a flight to Kashmir to find peace in the foothills of the Himalayas and find peace and celibacy. Enter Item girl Rakhi Sawanth who takes the seat next to our hero. And it is love at first sight for her. She sees his rippling muscles and thunderous thighs..his bald patch turns her on…there is an item number with balayya in lungi and gallu baniyan and rakhi in hot air hostess two piece dress… Song ends abruptly just as balayya is going to grab Raki’s…when three people suddenly get up and shout.. ” this plane is hijacked..it will now go to kandhar”..little do they know that Ballayya the super hero is abroad. He puts on a wig to disguise himself goes to the nearest hijacker and in his disguised hindi accent tells him” arre chotta bacha mere ko ucha a ra re lucha….ne mama barre.” The man is confused. Balayya uses the element of confusion and gives a punch to the hi jacker in the groin area. He drops down moaning about his fertility. The second hijacker shoots a bullet at ballaya..but old telugu movie saying ..balayya moves faster than the bullet…and he does…he catches the bullet with his fingers..reverses its direction and momentum and lo it hits the hijacker square in his chest…the third hijacker has entered the pilots cabin and there is commotion there…balayya thumps his thighs and there is a ear splitting noise…all the window panes break and the plane starts loosing altitude…oxygen masks drop and there is chaos everywhere…everyone looks angrily towards the here…his face is pink in embarrassment…meanwhile the third hijacker comes from the pilot’s cabin to see one of his mates incapacitated and the other dead..his blood boils…he rips off his shirt….and challenges our hero..both charge at each other like mad bulls..there is an east man color flash back before the two collide… they collide and the plane shakes like it’s been hit by a typhoon… wake up wake up shouts the air hostess in my ears….why are you sweating in our air conditioned economy class? ….we are beginning descent now..please fasten your seat belts…what ? I am already in America ? You mean to say all the while that the picture was running on my silver screen we entered American air space? Did i have a blackout ? or was it balayya magic all again.

We began our descent into New Jersey (I kinda remembered seeing this airport in Shivaji 😉 )
I got out walked down the aisle and took my first saans of american air…hell ! it was no different from the one in Panjagutta..I hurted…this is so un-american baap. Whateva…we walked to the customs. The guy gave my picture in the passport a long and hard stare and I silently chuckled ” great work with the photoshop effects studio uncle…he din’t notice that the picture of the guy in the passport is my brother and not me ” :P) LOl ! He asked me if I was carrying any life food stuffs .. I said it was deeply tucked in my multi layered belly undergoing it’s digestive cycle…he stamped my passport and off I went. The luggage collection was hell. Damn man ! why has everyone to buy cloth suitcases from palem leathers panjagutta branch.. it makes identification so difficult. After much trouble all of us had our stuff and started reeling the carts away..it was a long line and one of my friend’s cart got stuck and she was stranded in the middle people behind her unable to move…some white male shouted ‘bloody fucking indians’..waht could I do..punch him in the face ? so that they could put me back on the next flight home to dream up an another balayya blockbuster..no sir… did I travel all these air miles for just going back ? A friendly airport coolie(that’s what you would call him in India) came and wheeled away the cart.
Shortly afterwards my pickup car came and I had my first original american cheese burger at Burger king…man I still remember the taste of my first meal in America. And like a true american I had to wash it (the burger) down with soda..water as a drink seems non existent.

It is 6 am by my clock and even though I want to write tomes I feel these disambiguated rants will keep you busy for some time.

till then

Cherios

P.S. watch this video. It has a very homer simpson element to it :p

11 thoughts on “More than a feeling…

  1. A much delayed post, out finally. This could have, as well been on my blog, as yours. Have’nt we been living the same life for the past 7 months 28 days 😛

  2. still no trace of the original sid.. you probably know what i am talking about.. this post was typed just for the heck of it.. not even a smile across my face.. guess you need to roll back your american polished brain drivers back to the time when you were in India..lemme know when you do that..

  3. mast maama.. em raasinaavu ra.. it is completely fun and entertaining throughout.. Just make sure folks at ur University don’t read it and take serious action!! 😉 Good work buddy, and it was hillarious!

  4. Its a hilarious post and reminds me of my journey here for the first time from India,I won’t talk about the Air India mess-up,they reimbursed me well(five star hotel in Mumbai for a day)But my immigrations experience was terrible where a Choudary(Indian born officer yeah !)was extremely rude to me and asked me to study hard and also told me there is no money in Computers(???)I grinned like an idiot(What else cud I do?) and sweetly asked him-I thought that is where all the money is!Another rude satre plus study hard advice(again) later,he letme go.And yes,Baggage claim is hell.In India,all I need to do is throw my feminist beliefs out of the window and bat my eyelids 😛

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