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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To Heaven and back

I visited my aunt last week. The trip was planned at a short notice. SG was going to Montana for a week and when I had gone to register for my Summer courses, my Program Director had advised: You are going to be really busy from July 13, enjoy the Summer till then.

I was running a temperature and my internship as a Marketing Research Analyst had started from June 11. It was a tough call. But I knew I wouldn't have time later. I told my boss about my trip and knew I'd make it up for him.

Seeing my cousins was a joy. Anupam ( Mashi's elder son) had grown up quite a bit since I last saw him in Xmas 2007. He picked me up from Washington Ronald Reagan National (DCA) airport. We took the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Yellow Line to Gallery Pi- Chinatown and then switched to the Red line to Silver Springs (The red line that smashed into another yesterday was on the way from Takoma to Fort Trotten. Takoma is the station before Silver Spring)

It was at Takoma where the man standing next to me said: Nice ring. I smiled and suggested: You can get it at Kay. He asked me if I was visiting or lived there. I looked at my cousin and mentioned that I was visiting my aunt. He asked a score of other questions like where I was from, whether I went to school etc. I scanned his dark business suit and wondered if he worked for the FBI. But I think he mentioned United States Department of Agriculture- quite innocuous. He said he was getting down at Silver Springs too. Before he could probe deeper, our station arrived and I got busy dragging my suitcase out in the crowd, and he shouted: 'Welcome to DC, have a great trip !!' I smiled at his affability and asked my cousin if it was common there to be so friendly. He said: I think he was trying to hit on you or something. And we both giggled. I saw the demographics was quite different from Boston. It was.. how shall I put it.. more diverse.

It was a vacation typical of my school days. I didn't have to cook. I had to sneak in to do my own dishes. I could drink tea without brushing and even had lunch once without having a bath first (very unlike me). No rules. Watched a couple of movies. Read : Stephen T. Kay's Boogeyman with homemade popcorn- oh yes, I did. Though, I don't think I can manage 'The Shining' all by myself yet. Boogeyman was not as scary as I thought it to be. It was all about confronting your fear. I liked the shots, well detailed and artistic. I usually like Sam Raimi's productions. My first kiss of fear was from Evil Dead. Ewww.
The 39 steps (1935) with homemade samosas and gulab jamuns. Hitchcock's depiction of a man and woman being tied in handcuffs together - now where have I seen this copied before? The 'Memory Man' concept was ingenious and hilarious. The following day, my aunt recommended that I watch Tales of the Kamasutra 2 :Monsoon. Helen Brodie looked good. Her father is Scottish I believe. Gulshan Grover was a convincing bad man. But the director could have done a better job. Later, we watched The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior and I think Michael Copon is cute.

I had picked The Kingfisher Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia by David Burnie and Anupam shirked : What are you reading? Personally, I found it interesting. The Argonauts for example. This unusual octopus spends most of its life in open water. The female is up to 20 times bigger than the male, and she has a paper- thin, spiral shell. Unlike other mollusks, the argonaut's shell is not attached to its body - the female holds it in place with her arms. She uses her shell to protect the eggs, and once they have hatched, she will often discard it.

I didn't know that Scorpions carried their young ones on their backs (or had forgotten the fact) and that some fishes have beauty consultants in Cleaner shrimps (a swimming decapod crustacean) who eat the parasites off their bodies and have a symbiotic relations with their hosts.

The overcast clouds spoiled most of our plans to go out, except when we attended a dinner invitation on Friday and went to Wheaton Mall on Saturday. I got the Transformers Blu-ray for Anupam and the Indiana Jones series for my collection. We tried to find four leafed clover, but in vain.

I saw something my father had said to me once.
Anupam showed me the Washington Monument while driving back to the airport on Sunday. Later, I recognized the obelisk in an Indiana Jones movie. Just like most movie makers show the Boston skyline with Prudential and the John Hancock towers to convince the audience.

Andy had recommended the Holocaust Museum but the rifle-wielding James von Brunn, an 88-year-old white supremacist from Maryland, fatally shooting a security guard marred our plans.( Apparently, he is a known Holocaust denier who created an anti-Semitic Web site called "The Holy Western Empire" and has repeatedly claimed that "The Diary of Anne Frank," is a hoax.)

I can't complain. I wanted some rest. Mashi and I bonded over some manicure. Anupam made a Transformers wallpaper and showed me the E3 2009 Batman Arkham Asylum demo.

I saw Anirban playing XBox online mostly. He has grown his hair and his back looks exactly like SG. We made a joke of it. Poor kid had fever when I left them. The Wasabi sauce with sushi cured me of my cold. I hope it helped him too. And the Jamaican Habanero sauce with shrimp and vegetables spaghetti was heavenly.

My flight on Sunday got delayed owing to inclement weather in Boston. It was a good break, but I was pining to be back. My roommate picked me from the airport after being chased twice by the traffic control. SG joined us for dinner at The Kebab Factory.

The following morning I had my weekly meeting. But I felt ready for it after a restful week. Last night, I made the Italian sausage recipe I had learned from my aunt. It was a hit.


Viraaj Shah said...

How do u manage to find these application sitemeter, esnips etc, they all r very helpful. Was a good post. keep going ;)

udy said...

The roommate deserved more limelight for sure..:P...

Debarshi Deb said...

and i wish that guy to b an FBI :P keep going :D