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Showing posts from 2005

A blustery day in Chicago

There was an intermittent whomping of the bushes outside my window through out the night. The wind was biting cold and furious, never letting up. It was so comforting to be sitting in the cozy room, and under the blankets, watching the wind play havoc outside.

I casually glanced at the clock. It was 6.30 am. It was a Wednesday, and I was in no particular hurry to get up (read get out of the oh-so-warm bed). And then there were temptations to stay in; there was a book on the bedside table, which also held my laptop with the internet connection. The TV remote was within reach and the curtains on the window were drawn. If that was not incentive enough, the menu lay open to the breakfast page. I could simply call room service. There I was, lying in bed, isolated, yet connected in so many ways.
I chose the book (But naturally!) The escape it offers is incomparable and this one was by a particularly favourite author. Dog Stories by James Herriot. The atypical country vet painting the myriad c…

Spoilt for choice

Whenever and wherever I cross the hallowed portals of the Magnificient Mile in Chicago, you can be sure I’ll waltz out with something; however humble my acquisition may be. And what is more, the selection of that item will have taken a substantial amount of time. And this when I’m not one of those dazed, crazed individuals who haunts the aisles of America’s retailing emporia with starry eyes and a drunken gait. Faux malls like Foodworld, Pyramid’s, Westside etc. pale in comparison. And anyway, they don’t dot the landscape with such regularity.I love you, Walmart, Target and Payless Shoe Source. When I’m flush with the good stuff, I love you too, Banana Republic, Guess, Gap, Bath and Body Works, Godiva, Sears, and J C Penney. When I am absolutely loaded, I love Hollister and the like(note the conditional nature of this love...also, note that I have only named places where I actually made a purchase :-P )Even Walgreens Pharmacy has a certain charm. Can I forget the artistic stacks of mu…

Looking Forward OR Forward Looking?? :)

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For want of a few onions

The Staybridge suites <www.staybridge.com>have become a congregation point for all project hopping Indians visiting Lincolnshire, Chicago. Its true diversity and some part unity. Some experiences with desi guests leave much to be desired for it to be harmonious unity. These experiences leave you trying to confirm in no uncertain terms that you don’t identify with the perpetrators. But that’s another story for some other time.
It is the other bearable half, which makes our own kind endearing on foreign shores.
It all started with a plan. Hot prawn ( read shrimp) curry was the perfect solution to whet our spice hungry appetites. Jaydeep qualified hands down to be head chef. The guy owns a restaurant in Pune called Faso’s. He had to know how to wield a saucepan and tell the bland from the hot. And plan ahead. But as plans go, the end results are always too tantalizing to spend time over details such as the right ingredients. That being said, we found ourselves at the end of the day, …

Rodest is from Haiti

Rodest comes with a cell phone growing out of his ear. Rodest likes Indian girls. Rodest likes spicy food…your typical teenager right??

Wrong! Rodest is a taxi driver and he comes from Haiti.

In Chicago, if you are lucky, you find a taxi driver who speaks, then if you are really lucky, you find one who speaks something sounding like English and if you are the luckiest sod on earth, you find one who actually speaks English. That is how we met Rodest, or rather he met us.
When we called the taxi to take us to Devon Street for a Desi dinner, Rodest barely held his cell away from his ear, to ask where we wanted to go. We would have gone nowhere otherwise, anyway. The minute we drove off, he continued his yapping. We thought of the miserable person at the other end of the conversation, he was probably sleeping. Because only Rodest seemed to be doing the talking. He used some strange language. We caught some French words here and there, but could make no head or tail of it.
Then there was the f…

On travel by Greyhound

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A Greyhound Journey

If you want to know the true essence of the US of A, a journey by the Greyhound bus service is a must. Its like traveling by our ramshackle STs. You get to see the underbelly of the American way of life. You meet all sorts; from fiercely independent senior citizen fallen on bad times to loud mouthed bra burners; from medieval style traveling musicians to students going home from college. And then there was us, going on a trip to the Niagara Falls, looking forward to enduring a 14 hour bus ride through Toledo and Cleveland in Ohio to Buffalo in New York. They all had one thing in common with us though. Shoestring budgets!!

An hour’s journey by the local train, Metra took us downtown from where the Greyhounds start their journey. Report an hour earlier they told us, as if it were a plane ride. The reason for this became clear when we stepped into the station. There were baggage check in queues and since the best seat went to the early bird, they had queues in front of …

First

The pen is mightier than the sword..and the keyboard is Hercules in all his glory :-)

His twelve labours aren't enough for me though...I sure have a lot to say and a lot more chaos to exist in!!