Playlist

  • Eyes on Fire - Blue Foundation
  • Rooster - Alice in Chains
  • Jigsaw Falling into Place - Radiohead
  • Quien Fuera - Silvio Rodriguez
  • La Tortura - Shakira

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Unannounced visit - Part 2

(Scroll down to read part 1 if you havn't read it already)

I lay there trying to call up my future brother-in-law so (incidentally also my namesake) he could let me in. After three calls spaced 15 minutes apart, he picked up. I duly apologized for disturbing him so early in the morning and swallowed hard as I asked if he could open the front door for me. For a couple of seconds, I heard nothing. He must've been thinking "it's too early for this guy to get drunk .. and even if he is, why is he trying to bug me? Can't he go bother Aparna?". Lucky for me, raising a newborn does prepare a man for crazy people like me. He chuckled warmly and came down to let me in. I picked up the bunch of flowers I purchased at a 24 hr grocery store a little while back and ran up the stairs praying that she was still asleep.

I opened the door gently to find her curled up and fast asleep, her silhouetted form lightly illuminated in the early morning blue light. I switched on the light at which I could feel her body recoil. She curled up further while managing to let out a muffled but supremely indignant 'why the hell did you switch on the damn light?'. It was directed at her sister - it had to be. I gently tugged at her sheet at which point, she had had it. She turned around .. facing me .. expecting to face her sister. In a matter of a couple of seconds, her expression changed from anger to fear to shock and eventually delight interspersed with a sharp breath and squeal. As she reached out to touch me to make sure it wasn't a dream, she said a few things that din't quite register but went something like "It's really you .. when? how? are you ok?". All this while, I had a ridiculous grin plastered across my tired face. I was satisified. It was worth the drive.

DRIVE:

Turned out later in the day that the dead deer I scrunched the previous night might have caused some damage. I heard some serious rattling noise when the engine was idling. Seasoned traveler that aparna is, she quickly called Enterprise's road side service and asked to switch with another car as the present one was giving us trouble. Guess what .. they din't have a car so I came back to Atlanta in a Dodge Dakota. It was the first time I drove a truck and it was quite an experience. It did consume a lot of gas though about which I dutifully cribbed while returning the vehicle and got a free day rental in compensation. This weekend couldn't have been any better.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

An unannounced visit

Atlanta to St. Louis

558 Miles. Approximately 9 hours by road.

I started around 7pm EST. It was a long drive. Coupled with 4 shots of caffeine and a deer carcass (I'll explain), my visual and aural senses were heightened pretty much thru the entire drive. I couldn't help noticing the beauty of the silhoutted treetops and mountains in the clear moonlit sky. When the music was not playing, even the road noise couldn't take anything away from the tranquility of the hills near Chattanooga. I'm sure they look beautiful during daytime, but there is something about the night. The stillness, peace and eerie effect of night all around you.

Tranquility and beauty apart, I couldn't help notice patches of caked blood at alarmingly frequent intervals on the road - DEER hit by vehicles. I gripped the steering harder, slowing down, determined not to collide with one should it appear. That fear more than made up for the wearing effects of caffeine that I consumed to keep me awake. Unfortunately, I did encounter one - a dead one. It showed up about 60 feet ahead of me as a pile on the road. At 75 miles/hr, there was little I could do. I eased my foot off the pedal, I felt the chassis complain loudly as I felt metal scrunch bone and flesh. I gripped the steering hard .. I swore quietly. I prayed that I'd have no trouble with the car. Luckily, it was a rental car - I wasn't too concerned. I drove on. Extra alert.

It's 4am CST in St. Louis. I type/write this as I sit in my car waiting outside my fiance's ( FIANCE??!!!??? ) sister's home in St. Louis. I'm afraid some cop patrolling the area will be very vary of a bloke with a laptop sitting outside a residential area at unearthly hours. I'm half expecting to get out of my car with my hands behind my head - a possible candidate for the show Cops or America's Funniest home Videos. At this stage I don't care. I'm just waiting for the clock to strike 6 so I don't totally piss people off in my attempts to surprise Aparna (Ah! a name).

In a short while (seems very long in the present situation), I'll be presenting Aparna yet another bunch of flowers. Only this time, she's blissfully sleeping unaware of the eager visitor outside her window. For all I know, she might just show a hint of surprise and warmly acknowledge my visit - completely dousing any hopes of a cinematic reaction. But know what? just imagining all her possible reactions made the journey a lot shorter than it actually was. There is something about the journey going in to meet a loved one. It's always exciting .. never boring .. the mind pregnant with exciting thoughts and anticipating the first encounter.

FIANCE??!!!??? (I swear I can hear a dozen acquaintances going - 'out with the story you sneaky bastard')

Yes. Aparna is the reason I havn't been rambling of late. We've been engaged and set to marry come this December. This is the fourth consecutive weekend that I'm managing to meet her (if I'm not arrested - in which case I'll still meet her. so no worries there). If you don't already know this, excuse thy friend. Watch this space for a detailed account of my Choti si Love Story. Wait a minute, since when did I start to think the few who actually read this blog read it in a chronological order?