September 29, 2007

Anne Frank

She touched one of the deepest corners of my heart. I first heard about Anne Frank – The diary of a young girl’, more than a decade and a half ago and have ever since wanted to read this book, but for some reason or the other could not lay my hands on it. Finally I bought the book last February and was really excited about it and the next day I find out that I was expecting my baby. I was banned from reading anything that will make me even remotely sad. So it was another long wait and finally I read it these past days and it sure is one of the books that will leave a mark on me.

First of all I felt for the suffering she had to go through, but most of all I admired the way she handled it. I am amazed how a mere teenager that she was, adapted to the life changing events in her life. If I have taken something from this book, it’s the hope in life, the ability to live the best that you can in a given situation. For those of you who have not read this book and would like to read it, I do not want to give away too much. The book is a diary of a young Jewish girl who went into hiding with her family during the Holocaust in 1942. The book talks about her entire world in the small hiding place for 25 months. She writes about her day to day experiences, her innermost feelings and her hopes and fears for the future. This book is a must read!

While we are on this subject, I must mention that we visited the Holocaust museum in DC earlier this month. All I can say is anything visual has a deeper impact. We entered the museum only about half an hour before its closing time and so could not see everything. Children say it best, as what they say is straight from their heart, nothing more or nothing less. ‘Remember the Children – Daniel’s story’ is one exhibition in this museum which I will never forget.

Again while we are on this subject, if any of you have not watched the movie Life is Beautiful’, I recommend you to do so as soon as you get a chance.

There are many descriptions of the Holocaust in print, picture and video, all of them make you realize what the victims went through. But seeing it through the victim’s eyes is a whole other experience!

September 7, 2007

Three Cheers!!!

After a break of about a year I traveled to work this morning using modes of public transport and I am thrilled about it! It’s a 2 mile drive for me from home to the park and ride bus station. The parking is a 4 level covered parking, free of cost! Well, being in a DC metro I have to exclaim about free parking. Then it’s a 20 minute ride to a metro station and a 5 minute ride on the train to work (DC has an amazing subway train service). All in all I am at work in about 35 minutes, which believe me I cannot beat by driving alone.
As the bus cruised this morning on the HOV lane, I watched at the cars backed up on the other lanes and I had this sense of immense pleasure thinking of what I was not going through. I usually, well in Bangalore terms, foot-board on the train as I have to get off after 2 stops, and man oh man I cannot tell you the kicks I get out of that! This is the way I used to travel to work when I was expecting my baby last year and I cannot forget the looks on all the people’s faces when they kindly offered me a seat but I said no thank-you and stuck to my foot-boarding. Well, you cannot say no to a pregnant woman’s wish can you?
And how can I forget the luxury of all the time that you get at hand to do what you want. And I have so many options/wishes to make use of this time. I can read a book! I can think, meditate over my thoughts and ideas (Some more crazy fiction like the last one, anyone?). I can plan things like the menu for next week’s dinner party or get the grocery list for the week done or figure out how to better design my project or how to make variations in my baby’s menu…I can go on and on. Basically it is like adding a full hour to each day of my life to do what I want!!! Wow that is huge people!
And how can I forget about all the money that I am going to save on the parking and the toll! I found more things to think about now, what to shop with this additional money maybe?
And last but not the least I am contributing to the environment in my own small way! Can there be a better win-win situation now?
B sighs every night about how his workplace is 5 minutes from home and how I have to travel for 20 long miles, do I hear somebody saying they want to trade situations now??

September 4, 2007

Leaving behind

As he gathered the last of his bags, he turned to look at the house one last time. Everything looked exactly like the way they had planned it that night when they signed the papers of the house. They had dreamt together to own a place, and they had arranged to buy it just in time for their wedding. And that is where they went for their honeymoon, to their very first home.
The place was filled with sounds of their voices, their laughter, his music, her singing, the smells of the food they cooked together and the people they entertained together. It was their sanctuary, a place where they came back to unwind after a tiring day.

She had left her impression in every part of their home; each corner was adorned with love. You could tell she was happy and proud and wanted to scream it out to everybody who entered their home. He looked around to find the framed maple leaf that was the first work of art that colored their living room. They had handpicked it on one of their romantic walks one fall. If the things in the house could talk, each one would have a story to tell, a story of their origin, of their existence and of the love that they saw grow everyday.

He had decided to move out just a week before and had had very little time to organize the move. You could tell by the way he had packed. He looked around and his gaze stopped at the kitchen. He set the bags down and walked towards it. He was standing there feeling the cold granite countertop when a sense of warmth swept through him. He closed his eyes and saw her cooking in there. She looked up with that same look in her eyes and smiled at him, that smile had made his day, every single day. He smiled now and looked at the hazy shaking images of the empty room. He walked out of the room fast, determined not to look back.

He stood at the foot of the stairs deciding whether to go up to the bedroom or not. He could feel his heart beat fast and his legs shake as he began to ascend the stairs. He could hear her voice call out to him from upstairs, his pace quickened and then he came to a stop when he heard the front door. He turned around to see his wife, ‘Hurry lets leave’, she said in a stern tone. She really seemed to be in a hurry today, she had waited enough for two years for him to accept her, for him to welcome her into his house and make it their home, for him to leave behind his past.

He had been promising to his wife that he would leave behind his past and erase all her memories. He had finally decided to do so, when moving into their new house, in fear of being left alone again, just as he had been five years ago.