Life is a series of accidents, happy and unhappy. Here are some random Texas Diary jottings of Sukanya. Her kaleidoscopic experiences create a tapestry of American life. She shares the tales of a mother with her two children, who in the face of adversaries find beauty and warmth. An exclusive glimpse of American life for Different Truths.
Some days start alright and then it is not so alright anymore. Then again looking at the larger picture, my life experience has taught me never to complain. I always look at things and say it could have been worse. Maybe it is escapism, maybe it is accepting reality. Today, we drove downtown to meet someone very dear to us. It was indeed an important day and we were all very happy. The meet went good, the kids were thrilled and in spurts bored. While we talked, RR (Royina and Rohak) kicked one another and played clapping games. Then it was time to head back.
I came out of the building but I did not see my car. A gentleman in blue hands me a paper, my car had been impounded. It was parked in the wrong spot. There were signs, but those signs were definitely not clear. And they had towed my car away, and I did not even have much knowledge of that area. My phone was left in the car for a particular reason, and I had no way of contacting anyone. As we stood in the empty streets with not a soul in sight and the unforgiving sun burnt me and RR, I had a sense of hopelessness, but I know panicking never works. Things eventually work out. And it did. In the name of Lilly Grey.
A car was parked in front of me. A car with tinted glass. I hesitated and tapped on the window. As the window rolled down, I saw a lady with three kids. She was on the phone. I asked if I could make a call. She handed me her phone and got off the car. After asking me what happened Ms. Lilly told me she will drive me to the impounded lot…since it was not at all within walking distance. Not only did she drive me there. She waited with me. I was told I had to pay a severe sum to get my car freed, not the kind of expense I was looking forward to.
Not now. And then with another sense of helplessness I realised that the little cash I has was nowhere near enough, and I had changed my purse in the morning and I had left my regular credit in the other purse. Luckily good friends were, and are, just a phone call away. As my friend paid over the phone, my car was eventually released.
Ms. Lilly was still waiting in her car to see that all was good with me. She gave me a tight hug and got up on her car and waved me goodbye as I drove away.
Yes, even though I paid a huge price to free my car, it still could have been worse. I could have been stranded in a desolate downtown. The car could have got into an accident instead of just being towed. And the bottom line is that we had that meeting which brought us many happiness.
Growing up in India the most dreaded months were the summer months. Hot, humid and treacherous. How we survived it. We had no air conditioning. Frequent power outages, just a rickety old fan. And in that heat we took the public bus to school. Crowded, squeezed and sweaty bodies sticking to one another. Wiping sweat and grime with our bare hands was a common sight. And then monsoon chased us. Monsoon was lovely. How I loved the dark ominous skies and then the sudden downpour. As torrential rain attacked us, I made sure I got drenched completely. Wading in those dirty water in the water logged lanes and by-lanes was an adventure in itself. So many romance blossomed under one umbrella and more than often no umbrella. Holding hands while soaking wet, water dripping from hair, down the neck, arms around one another, walking punctuated by stolen kisses. Love and monsoon worked in tandem it seems. Then, as I grew older I no longer liked getting drenched, I did not like my clothes getting all messed, my hair all wet and what I hated most were the mud splatters. I avoided water logged streets, the water was no more fun. It was simply dirty. I disliked the fact that my shoes got annihilated by the muddy water.
Here we do not have any season called monsoon. We have spurts and outbursts of rain. Be it summer or winter. Summer rains are welcoming, winter rains brings forth a feel of despondency. Days are shorter, its cold around that time of the year and the rain makes it worse. Rains here can be severe, it causes major flooding and horrifying damages. Getting caught on a flooded street while in your car can be outright dangerous.
My favourite season in this country is fall. We do not have fall colours in my part of Texas, but I still love the feel of that season. Summer is over and the weather cools down. One can almost smell cider and pumpkins. Some of the leaves turn brown. It is a strange feeling that fall brings…a feeling which borders sadness? And I love that feeling …I love feeling sad when summer ends, autumn arrives and winter approaches. That time of the year I want to feel sad …
There is this road I like. I like it a lot actually. I take that road often. It is nothing special, just a road that leads past our elementary school. There is a shallow canal, which fills up when there is incessant rain. As I drive by I see different kinds of birds, mainly lovely white cranes.
I think they are cranes, I do not know much about birds (later on I was informed that they are egrets). This road winds past a golf course, suburban American houses, a school, a day-care.
Anyway this road brings me a sense of comfort. I often wondered why and then one day I realised it is because this particular drive does not have stop lights blocking my view….for some precious moments it gives me the feel of an endless drive. It has stop signs though. I love driving on this road, and this sense of peace lasts only for three minutes or so. Then the road turns and I enter a busy thoroughfare.
A big turtle on the road, a busy road. I stopped the car and Royina jumped out to put it away safely. Instead of doing so she came hurried back saying that it has a long neck, maybe some claws and sharp teeth, its neck might extend far enough to bite her! I could not stay in the car because I would have got a ticket. So I drove away. And Rohak all the while, did not even bother to get down, kept on telling Royina how the untimely death of the turtle by a passing car will be on Royina’s conscience. How she could have held it from the bottom and saved its life. How in a few minutes it will get run down by and car and smashed to bits, etc., etc.
Royina was almost in tears and Rohak carried on…
Today, while the older one stayed back at home, I had gone out with the younger fellow. The GPS as usual messed up and instead of putting me up on I45, sent me hurtling down 610, TX 225 and then 146. As we drove over Sidney Sherman Bridge, we crossed the Port of Houston and the ship channel. We went past the refineries, slow moving trains carrying oil and gas (I think). He looked at those with awe, asking many questions to which I did not have answers.
The sight which was ungainly to me, amazed him. He found beauty in those concrete, steel architecture. He liked how long the train was and how slowly it moved. He liked looking at the flames coming out of the chemical plants. Somehow the setting but glowing sun added beauty to it. For this particular day in August, this was our mystery magical ride.
©Sukanya Juno Biswas
Pix from Net.
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