Monday, June 27, 2005

Biggest Apple in the World

I was in the city last week. I mean, I was in THE city. The Big Apple.

I was all prepared to hate it. I mean, I did hate it when I was there before. Last year, I had a harried tourist's view of it - and I hate to have a harried view of anything. I enjoy discovering new things everytime I go to the Walmart in my town, so naturally, I didn't like finding myself rushed from one place to another in New York.

My hosts were very sweet, I should say - school pal Vidya and her hubby Aravind transported me from Boston to NY in their own car and took me around, touring the major attractions in the weekend. But still, I was disconcerted, cheated as if I had been served a badly cooked meal. So I went back to India feeling disillusioned.

But this time, it was different. I had time. I had a week in fact. And I was alone. Yayyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!

I stayed as a house-guest at 72nd Street. My writer-pal Shelley had very kindly invited me to share her gorgeous Manhattan Apartment and it was a week I'd never forget in my life. It's really surprising how different, how utterly refreshing things are when you are prepared to look at them in leisure.

Central Park didn't feature in our schedule last time. I spent every afternoon there last month.

Times Square left me cold last year. This year, I could barely stand still - the very air smelled thrilling.

And SAJA 2005 in Columbia University was pure manna. I finally felt like I belonged somewhere.

New York is like slow poison. By the time it was sunday, the day I had to leave, I felt sick - physically sick. But like all good things in the world, I knew I had to go - and I knew I always could come back.

Would come back.

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