Bloomington Diary – Part 9 – Unexpected electric moment of my life

It was the very first morning in Chicago & as usual I was awake early & wondering whether we faced East or West? Instead of speculating, I decided to check it out & opened the curtain. I screamed at my husband to get up & then went completely quiet.

In front of me was the most beautiful & perfect setting of Nature that I have ever seen, staring directly at me. I have seen/watched many Sun rises back home & on numerous occasions have made my husband forcibly drive in the evenings to see the Sun set/Moon rise over the Arabian Sea in Kuwait but this one in front of me was out of ordinary.

Standing on the 31st floor facing the biggest fresh water body I have ever seen, I lost myself for a while. My feet numb, heavy as iron, heart singing like the early morning birds in the woods & mind floated away feeling so light- I have no idea what was happening to me. There it was the two opposite characters (fire & water) of nature creating the magic right in front of me. The whole scenario was electrifying & the moment froze for a while with pure bliss.

When I came out, at first it seemed like both were flirting with each other for eternity in unison. Mr. Sun creating vibrant, varying brilliant colours on the horizon, as if trying to peep-out to check on his partner & the graceful Lady with the crystal clear shimmering/gleaming water sans all the numerous boats of the previous night, welcoming with a smile. Then it seemed like she was challenging him with all her vast glory to evaporate all her water if he can!! However, both had one common purpose, perhaps a simple task for them, just to nourish the mortal creation.

Silence as the sound of the few early morning cars far below failed to reach my ears. Every Pico-second & every fleeting second, the sight was different. The magical beauty was too much for my brain to comprehend, collect or contain, tears rolling from eyes wishing the moment would never end… wishing somehow I could hold on to that divine moment… hold on to it forever & ever. Wondered if God almighty could create such beauty with basic things how vast thy/God’s beauty must be… Beauty come from beauty & only God almighty is capable of creating such magnificence. How blessed I was, even if for a fleeting second of such splendor. All good things come to an end so did this one. That’s why they are so very special & has to be experienced, felt deep inside & cannot be described!!

In the meantime with my screaming earlier & the silence thereafter made my husband jump out of the bed & join me by the window. He was excited & tried to sieze the moment in the camera. But no camera could do justice to some electrifying moment.

Next day I got up early to relive the electric moment again but unfortunately it was cloudy & Mr. Sun was playing hide & seek behind the clouds, as if to tease me for my greed. Perhaps some moments are meant to be exclusive. After all it was not Groundhog Day!!

No wonder opposite attract each other. I have realized that that is perhaps the secret of the success of my own marriage mixed with past karma & a common goal. Inspite of the difference there is a strong common thread which binds any kind of relationship & if we can isolate that thread, the relationship can be as magical as the sun rise or the sun set. Hope one day scientist would be able to discover or unearth the secret of matters in nature to bring harmony to humanity.

The vast body of fresh, crystal clear water form was the Lake Michigan* creating the illusion of meeting the horizon, not surprised they call it an ocean & call its shore a Beach. Things around us are sometimes confusing like the Chick-fil-A’s “moo.. moo” Mascot which is a cow! But at the end of the day, a mascot is only a mascot! For eg. No matter what, while every single individual project themselves as their alter ego of wild imagination, everyone & everything is the same beneath the skin!!

*Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes of North America & the only one located entirely within the US (others shared with Canada). I absolutely have no idea why even though it is a fresh water body surrounded entirely by land is referred to as Ocean & its shores as Beaches! I heard that the sands around Lake Michigan are known as singing sands because of the unique sound they make when you walk on them. When I was in Chicago I was not aware of this unique character & would try it next time (if there is one) on bare foot!!

Bloomington Diary – Part 7 – Homeless… is there a Utopia?

Both my husband & me belongs to different schools of thoughts & they say opposites always attracts so we are still together after donkeys’ years of marriage!! When I say something he always wants proof… just like the modern day youth…

Couple of years ago when we were in Boston for the first time, we saw a homeless man. It was the first summer weekend & practically the whole city was out either picnicking or just walking around or just doing something. When I asked my daughter why everyone is out she simply said its sunny & bright!! So even the homeless were out in the park-bench enjoying the sunshine! When I told my husband, his first question was, “how do you know?”… Well, I said, you should watch the movies or TV shows, then it’s easy to identify. He went to my daughter to confirm what I said was correct!!

Then I explained to him there is no such thing as Utopia in this Universe & no country is sans poverty (zero percentage) no matter what ever one says. I also added perhaps in yonder, somewhere in the distant past…. couple of centuries ago or more, before the Mughals, Portuguese, French, Britisher, etc., etc., came, India was almost close to Utopia… so good were some rulers starting from Sri Rama!! If only the correct history of India is in order…. not mixed-up-history we could learn so much….

So when I saw the first homeless in Bloomington & mentioned it to him, he agreed with me for a change. But the good thing was the next day morning we found her push cart lying empty around 350 meters from where we saw her the previous day. I said that’s a good thing & my daughter who was with us at that time said did you know that if this kind of cart is returned to the store by a homeless person, they pay money to them!! I don’t know who that they are?

It was on 15th when we were going out in the morning I saw a young woman standing opposite side pavement of Funeral Chapel with a placard that said, ‘help needed; family in trouble’. She was standing with all the humility which was soul touching. Perhaps it was the first time she was standing & I was wondering who could help her standing so far away. On 16th again I saw her still standing there in the evening. Then I said poor thing she is still standing there.

On 17th evening I saw a slim young man & another lady standing almost at the same spot holding a placard seeking help. Incidentally on the same day morning my husband read out to me in Indiana Daily student newspaper that Indiana closed the books on fiscal year 2014 on June 30, ending the year with a $106-million surplus & more than $2 billion in reserve. I said the economy must be still recouping even though some states have surplus. That’s why even with surplus there are homeless… For some obvious reason my husband got angry with me & said that does not mean the percentage of poor people is still much lower than India.

My argument was that I did not compare people & I never said that America is poor… I am just telling no country is sans poor or with families below poverty level. India has one too many mouths to feed & our politicians are greedy & selfish, we don’t teach the general public about family planning, etc., etc. This went on till both of us got tired of the subject.

On the 20th of July we went to Chicago to spend two & a half days there. A lovely city in summer & then I started counting the homeless… on the Lake Michigan banks, in the garden, on the footpath, in the park, I totally counted 16 of them. Some sitting on the bench asking extra change (disposable), some that can’t work for health reasons, some with messages on placards, some simply sitting without expecting anything from anyone & some sleeping. After the 10th my husband started showing them to me… either he had become an expert in identifying them… or he was simply teasing me, I have no idea.

I said listen my dear husband, I am not condemning or comparing anyone with anyone but many a times people try to say or project Indians as poor or snake charmers or beggars. When the Superpower could not control the homeless & jobless & poverty, how could India which has one billion plus population eliminate these problems? We still manage to educate our children as best as we can & best of all, we still have something left after so many countries tried to loot us to the core.

24th July the day before we left Bloomy we saw yet another man with pony tail standing opposite to the funeral chapel with a placard. I have no idea why everyone chose that particular place. And we saw a cart of a homeless person abandoned on the road opposite to Indiana Physicians Center. The first one which I had seen still lay close to where it was abandoned, slowly moving towards the Marsh!! For some reason both of us were not interested on discussing that matter!! Later I saw two young men with a trolley bag searching in different dustbins around the complex block. I have no idea what they were searching for. It reminded me of the scene opposite to our apartment in Kuwait where sometimes I see people searching & collecting the fruits & vegetable discarded by the nearby shop. So no county is a Utopia & free from some kind of poverty – poor or homeless!!

Around one kilometer from where I live there is a large garden called Rumaithya garden. One middle aged gentleman (I was told he is a local) used to live in the park for more than a year. It was the way in which he lived was the interesting factor. He used to have crates of mineral water, juice, fan (I don’t know how he got the electricity supply or perhaps battery operated), mattress, blanket, etc. He used to lean on the pillow & sit (typical divaniya style), at times he had visitors too. Sometimes he used to leave his domain, & sit on the bench & pass weird comments to passing women in particular. I don’t know how he managed his food. I made futile attempt to take his picture from far & half succeeded. Someone told me he has own house nearby… but why he was staying there God only knows!! One fine day he was forcibly evicted from there it seems…

Wonder if the CEO taxi driver I had met in Chicago could have some answer to my doubt.