The first week in the US has been part nostalgic and part discovery … The first day, was getting off at JFK and being picked up by Senthil and his father. Seeing Newton, Connecticut for the first time and getting to eat proper, authentic South Indian food made by Bindu, my namesake and Sara and sleeping in a room built in 1951 !!! The ice cream was divine and the only evidence of jet lag was not being able to smell the cows :):). Meeting Ananya, the alien was just the best thing and the banter between the uncle and niece priceless. Senthil and Bindu – you guys are lovely together and just meant for each other. Thanks for the opportunity to spend time with you, uncle, Ananya and Sara. I can’t remember if any of us stopped talking even for a minute, it was just like we were catching up non-stop.
The second day was a trip to New York – Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Times Square. I finally was in New York when everything was visible… Was remembering the last time there with Kumarika nearly eleven years back when I could breathe and my nose nearly turned blue due to the cold. We didnt even go up the Empire State Building since nothing could be seen and the Hudson was frozen over. We did go all the way to the 102nd floor this time and took in the awesome views. The Times Square was fascinating – billboards, the various folks dressed as Superman, Batman and Robin .. The man who had no hands but drummed to a tune playing on a phone and the streets that were not as clean as we had thought all of US to be. Missing the lunch at Saravana Bhavan and eating at Bhojan was not a bad deal – the food was tasty, just a lot of it. Then the dinner at Saravana Bhavan didn’t live upto my expectations … But am exacting and when it’s Saravana Bhavan, the expectations go higher !
The second night at Somerset Hills was comfortable for the next day’s visit to the New Jersey office. Meeting old and new colleagues and then leaving for the airport. The experience with Southwest is well documented so not going there again. But reaching Staybridge Suites in Lincolnshire on the 8th felt like reaching home. It was nice to be able to share the experience with Krishnan and to visit some of the old stores and restaurants that I have been to with him. Cooking at Kirti’s place, meeting Samviti and her dolls, and reminding Kirti of the “Stop” signs, was just too much fun. Then visiting Paul and Souk the next day… Well, Paul is better stocked with Indian condiments than me 🙂 loved the opportunity to cook at his place and enjoy the beautiful setting with the lake in the backdrop.
Seating at the office has changed so much that I struggled a bit to find some people but didnt get lost. My sense of direction remained intact.
The opportunity to meet old friends, swap stories, reminisce about old times … Just a warm glow.
Now at the prestigious Kellogg business school and the awesome Northwestern University campus as Term 9 begins. But that’s another blog.