Thursday, March 24, 2005

A Dreary March 23rd, 2005

Our front door is the least used door in the house. There are no finger stains around the doorknob and the paint is as fresh as the day the door got attached to its frame. This door never gets used because in this country we rarely have unexpected visitors or friendly neighbors stopping by for casual chit-chat. Even if they did they won’t ever find anyone home. The expected visitors, friends and family always enter through the garage door.

The other reason we forget, at times, that we have a front door, is the blanket of snow that carpets the walkway leading away from the door. It covers it all, the flower beds on the sides, our lawn, our driveway. We usually just hop into the garage, press the button that operates the garage door and drive out. Until last week.

It felt like spring. Every last bit of snow had melted away. That feeling of rejuvenation and regeneration was in the air. I looked out my bay windows and saw little yellow tulip buds bursting out of our little flower patch. I yelled out to my near and dear ones, “Hey! Spring is here! C’mon out you guys!” So after four long months we finally unlocked our front door and took a few tentative steps outside, looking for buds on the cherry tree and other signs of baby greens. We ambled around, drinking in the balminess, feeling so refreshed. The rest of the day was pleasant, spirits high.

Fast forward 24 hours. Misery! Utter misery. It snowed all day. Looking out the window of my 16th floor office, my quasi-home, I felt teary-eyed as I watched the large snow-flakes falling and slowly carpeting the streets of New York. It was a nasty, wet snow. People on the streets had their useless umbrellas out, the high winds had whipped most umbrellas inside-out and the folks attached to the umbrellas appeared as though they were about to pull a “Mary Poppins” act! This after the first day of spring, the vernal equinox! I felt physically assaulted by this most unwelcome return of the white, slippery, icy stuff. I COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

My bus left the terminal at 4:00 PM and crept along at the sedate pace of 5 mph. I fitfully dozed and read as the bus crept home, the wheels grinding ice below. Several overturned cars, flashing police lights and jack-knifed tractor-trailers later it finally pulled into the “park & ride” where I usually leave my car. My nightmare wasn’t over yet. I still had to clean the six inch accumulation of snow off my windshield and rear windows and then had to plan the best ice-driving strategy for my drive back home.

I got to work on my car as the ice pellets bruised my face. I tried to brush all the accumulated and partially frozen snow off my car at a pace faster than the rate of the falling snow.

Earlier in the day I had had this lengthy conversation, on a writers’ forum, about “Eve” being in “chains”! It kept replaying in my head as I performed this extremely strenuous task, formerly the exclusive domain of Adam. Where was my Adam? I also thought of the various enchained Eves I knew here in the US, who never learnt how to drive, or how to gas up their cars, or how to fill basic forms, or travel alone, who were completely paralyzed in the absence of their Adams! Perhaps they had the right idea. Who wants to shovel snow or drive alone in an ice storm!

Here I was, an unchained Eve in all my glory! Another voice came floating in from the deeper recesses of my brain, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun..”, sure was hard-pressed to find this elusive element today! I was also worried about the remaining drive back home and found Julie Andrews in my brain again, bursting forth with, “I have confidence in sunshine, I have confidence in rain, I have confidence in confidence alone, be-sides which you see I have confidence in me!”

3 comments:

Praneeta Paradkar said...

I enjoyed reading this image-rich, muse-filled descriptive piece...made an engrossing read, Pragya!

Praneeta

Dan Husain said...

Wonderfully rich Pragya! This vacillation between weather change and mood swings interspersed with Tulips and bubbling expectation to inhale spring. Loved it. You're a winner. :-)

tabalchi said...

Oh Pragya,
Its july now, I read this and had a flash back to two ridiculous winters, which span for about 7 months, in Syracuse. Why in the world would people want to live in Syracuse?
Looking at the rent in NYC n Jersey City, now I know why Syracuse might look tempting ;)