What exactly is life made of? What is your life made of? Mine I think is made of small moments that I like to call "tiny pieces of heart shaped bubbles". As When I look back, I only remember them. Small little red colored heart shaped bubbles floating in my heart.
Off late, in the last four weeks, I have made so many such bubbles, just to be kept locked so safely, deep in my heart.
Starting from the take off at Bangalore airport, to the quick run at London Heathrow to catch the next flight to San Francisco. The view of the Golden Gate from the plane. Got a shock of my life seeing it "bright and sunny" at 8PM. Never really got used to it till I left the country. I myself found my amazement of such a small thing quite cute. Spoke to a bunch of friends Cow, Gowri , a cousin who lives in the bay area, and it was nice to catch up.
Beginning of a lovely day with Quay, his wife Sam and their adorable little boy, Jonathan. The first view of Pier 39 sea lions, the cruise on Blue & Gold fleet, freezing on the deck, trying to take pics of Balaji with the Golden Gate Bridge background while hands went completely numb! Saw the beach at such close waters, got tempted, asked Quay if I could go touch the water. Quickly took off shoes and ran to the beach while Balaji bought some nice hot coffee for me! The total peaceful walk on the Golden gate bridge with Sam, just talking about our lives. Pointed some Silk saree clad maamis wearing Nike shoes with Pothys bag to Balaji and it was so funny!! It was very pleasant to get a different perspective of how people on the other side of world live their lives. The funny ride along Lombard Street, the world's most crooked street, literally screaming and laughing in excitement as Quay drove down the road! Balaji went to work the next day, A friend of mine Aishu dropped by, we went shopping and had a lovely lunch at Amber India, generally talking about our lives. She took me home and sang a lovely Krithi for me. I was amazed that such a slim and frail looking girl has such a strong voice!
I also made a small bubble of Manoj, Arthi, both their mom's feeding Balaji and me with so much love, just as moms do. Balaji says, "Ok vasu, you have another 3 hours in SFO, what do you want to do?". Without batting an eyelid, I said," I want to see the Golden Gate one last time before I leave". The literal dash to the airport making it just in the nth minute!
I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and almost had no space for more bubbles. I thought thats it. I am done. But, as usual, Life was right, and I was wrong. I made more bubbles, and such lovely lovely ones at that.
The biggest one being the hug that my little cousin Maya gave me as soon as she saw me. The shocked expression on Manu's face after he saw me made my surprise visit a complete success and worth everything I ever dreamt of! The yummy food that my aunt cum best buddy made for me. Maya's softball game, my aunt's friends Luz and Neil, who said, just take kids off school and take them to Disney. Then it all began in earnest.
The planning for Disney Trip in Orlando. It was funny driving to Orlando listening to "Devuda Devuda Ezhu mala devuda" as Maya and me sang along! Just loved the first view of Disney's Magic Kingdom. Just L.O.V.E.D it. The Cinderella castle, the Jumbo ride, the teacup ride, car race with Manu (Just for the record, He lost and Maya and me won as Maya drove!!),Splash mountain a 50 feet dip into the water while Manu hid under my leg and Maya was looking around and smiling and clapping her hands! The Thunder Mountain fast and crazy ride, Buzz Light-year and really cute train ride along Kingdom which said," No eating, drinking, smoking, Kissing allowed in the train". Did a little bit of shopping @ the Disney store and everything was just way too cute and...Expensive!
Oh, how did I miss out the character parade. Its "THE" most adorable parade ever. Waved to, sang along with all the Disney characters! Mickey, Miney, Pooh,Chip and Dale, Cinderalla,Peter, Beauty and the Beast, Goofy, Donald and Daisy Duck are so much more adorable in real life! Saw some lovely fireworks from the car park as we decided to call it a day. I also made a tweeny weeny bubble of the leg pain that we all had at the end of the day after walking for miles together in a Magical land. But then, that pain reminded me, that I was after all a human being and I was real. All these are just fake. Just Magic. But, what beautiful magic....Sigh!
Woke up next morning to a cloudy day with the sun thankfully playing hide and seek. Made a nice little bubble of memory of Epcot. The huge white ball, which stands proud as the symbol of Epcot will always be fresh in my mind! We did some amazing rides here. Landing on Mars, Mission Space (Btw, this was Powered by HP), Finding Nemo and the most most most fantastic of the lot, Soarin' . What a wonderful ride flying from coast to coast of the US. The ride got over and everyone who did the ride with us started clapping! For some strange reason, that stays in my mind.
The countries, O Cananda, Morrocco, Mexico, the drummers in front of Japan , Posing in front of the mock Eiffil Tower, trying hard to explain that we were vegetarian to the lady who took our orders for lunch repeatedly saying, "No beef, no meat, no chicken and no egg", she gave us a looks that said, "Then what will you eat?", and we returned a look that said, "Grass" :D
The ride back home to Coral Springs while we all just...slept while the poor aunt stayed awake and took us home!
The days sped past doing some record-time shopping at JC Penny, Ross, picking stuff for folks at WalMart,and a neat mall called Sawgrass Mills Malls. All this in between picking and dropping the kids to school and Maya's softball game. I enjoyed a run along the park where Maya played. Met some wonderful friends of aunt, Michelle, Sunny uncle, Jessi aunty, their two kids, Jyothsna aunty and Naresh Uncle. Balaji's friend dropped in to say hello and it was very interesting to meet different kinds of people and exchange ideas and thoughts. Also went to Deerfield beach. Lovely blue, clean and ice-cold water. Made sand castles with Maya and collected shells with Manu :-)
Even before I knew it, it was time to leave and literally with both Manu and Maya sticking next to me all the way to the airport, talking about how the trip was and how much fun we had being together. I would not make a bubble of the tears at the airport, but they invariably became a part of the memory :-(
The six hour flight was crazy, without a wink of sleep, looking at all the pics and videos and missing the kids so badly :-(
Seeing Balaji at the LA airport was like the sun had come out of a cloud! There he was standing with the entire luggage wearing a bright warm smile on his face with his hand outstretched. LA was a different bubble altogether. Lights everywhere, tall buildings, sweet wide roads, traffic just like Bangalore :-)
Next day, Balaji went too office, worried what I will do all day alone in the Hotel Room, but then, Off I went exploring LA on my own! Took a Burbank local bus and went to Malls, ate at Chipotle, walked around, spent a few quiet hours at the $1 bookstore and generally was hanging out. Did not have the guys to Hollywood street on my own. I probably should have done that considering ti was not very far from where we stayed.
Visited Universal Studios and oh man! So much fun at the Water Show, a really funny Animal Show ,Shrek , Horror Lane Walk, wow, this was really scary! Throat almost went sore screaming! Jurassic Park ride with a 84 feet dip and dinosaurs spitting water on us, The Mummy Ride , Simpsons ride, Terminator were really enjoyable except for that annoying lady at the Terminator ride saying "Super" in an annoying tone. Someone should get her to grow up. We said hello to Dora and Shrek as well :-)
Next day, did a quick walk along Hollywood Walk of fame, saw the white Hollywood sign on the hill, The Kodak theater, Madam Taussad's (did not go in, had a flight to catch the same day evening, so just walked past). Had some Dal Chawal at the Indian restaurant in LA and it felt quite odd, and definitely relieving not to be eating Grass in Subway and drinking Starbucks coffee.
The ride back home felt terribly long and never ending as we just tried hard and struggled to fall asleep. Got back to the BLR airport got picked up by the wrong car. Somehow cleared the confusion and fell asleep laughing at the goof up.
Its one week that I am back home, working till midnight on almost daily basis and hence the delay in sharing my bubbles. Will put pics up very soon and share!
Off I go now, cherishing these bubbles and making more as days of my life come by.