Friday, November 2, 2007

Home sweet home

It isn't, actually. It's a terrible mess, at the moment. My uncle and aunt left yesterday, the Sometimes Resident Engineer also disappeared for a few days. I think he's hoping for the magical transformation of our living space that sometimes happens when he's away. I'm aching and jet-lagged, and keep dreaming of tunnels and underground railways and conveyor belts- I guess fourteen flights and umpteen subway and tube and car rides can boggle the sub-conscious mind quite thoroughly.

The pink plastic mug was very very useful. We stayed at twelve different places for various lengths of time, and only three of them had mugs in the bathroom! (My sister-in-law had a bidet in her bathroom, but that seemed too exotic to me, so I remained loyal to my mug).

The trip was great. Meeting family in their own setting was a major part of it. Seeing young cousins and nephews as husbands and fathers and householders was marvellous. Seeing their involvement in their homes and in their children's lives was lovely. Meeting their wives in a different setting, now settled into their lives abroad. Meeting a beloved niece whom we have seen grow up, with her own lovely kids and her gentle, caring husband was great. Friends, some whom I have never met before, but with whom I immediately felt at home.
People I haven't met for decades, but with whom there has been intermittent communication over the years. Two sisters-in-law: both warm and wonderful people, in completely different settings and life situations. A very warm and loving niece and her delightfully zany husband who cooked wonderful meals for us, and their enthusiastic young son with his "welcome" sign on the front door. Another city, another toddler: the non-stop chatterbox and her dignified elder sister.
And our son, in his new city, his campus, his haunts............
We disrupted everyone's schedules, bedtimes and mealtimes, but were welcomed warmly everywhere. We are truly blessed with a wonderful family and wonderful friends.

As you must have realised by now, for me the people were what made the visit worthwhile. Sadly, we didn't have enough time to meet everyone. Hope we can do so some other time.......

Another time? Only if I can fly Business Class. I never realised how uncomfortable long flights can be. My entire being seemed to be settled upon my posterior. The seats seemed tinier than ever, and the hours infinitely long. Terra firma never seemed so inviting as it did then, when the plane seemed to be crawling across the sky..........


Our route was Kolkata to Frankfurt, and then on to Houston. The immigration queue was long, but the officer was courteous. We just walked through customs, delighted to see my cousin and his family waiting for us.
Houston was the beginning of the wide open spaces we saw everywhere in the US, except in New York. We went to a shopping centre in Sugarland that evening, and the shops seemed to be the size of warehouses. Although my cousin lived in an apartment, since it was on the ground floor and there were lots of plants in the patio, it felt like a bungalow. The next morning we were off to NASA, which is truly a great experience. We were able to see the continuous telecast from the International Space Station: it was like science fiction made real. A parallel universe peopled by men and women who have extended mankind's reach tremendously. Rockets and equipment that are part of humanity's collective history. Fun rides for my young nephew. And then a long drive to Austin......

8 comments:

DotMom said...

welcome back! just as I was getting some snacks and coffee to settle into a good read, the episode ended. waiting for part 2,3,4... hurry up already!

Parul said...

First time here, came over from Sue's. I am planning to get addicted - keep 'em coming!

Shobana said...

Happy to know you had a good time in the US and I hope you got a lot of stuff for people back home. Come on now, we need more details about the trip.

2B's mommy said...

welcome back Dipali and nice to read about the wonderful time you got to spend with your family :-) waiting for some more of your travel tales...

Space Bar said...

you're back! glad you had a good holiday!

choxbox said...

hey you're back. was nice talking to you :)

the mad momma said...

welcome back dipali!!!! And yes.. I also advise everyone to carry a mug :D

Anonymous said...

nice to have you back dipali!
d