Since October 2 , 2009, I have done many things for the first time. I used my passport for the purpose it is actually meant to be used. I left India, and my home in Bangalore, and came to the US of A to join the husband. As autumn gave way to winter in the following weeks, I clapped eyes on snow , for the first time in my life, one cold Saturday morning in December.
Would’ve missed it altogether if P hadn’t cut in on my call to the S-I-L , N who lives in the coolest part of Mumbai- the IIT Campus, with the Big Brother One and the little niece H. N never stops talking, on the phone especially if its your call, but more alarmingly, is an incurable shutterbug of whom one can only ask, “What makes her CLICK?” . She has been known to sneak into the room, waddling like a duck-billed platypus, trying to take a shot of you and the niece having a bedtime giggle, all because she doesn’t want to lose the “spontaneity of the moment”.
So when it came to the question of cutting the call and taking pictures of MY VIRGIN (IA) Snow which would be emailed and shared with her forthwith, she hung up. Forthwith. Another first for me, wielding the camera – ever since I’ve declared myself non-photogenic, I’ve longed for cameras became extinct. In my photogenic days, I had no camera, and it took a really long time before you got your copy. and by then you had degenerated further, and the picture was a RELIC and proof of your faded good looks, to be cherished as a bookmark in the ” reading now” book because you don’t want it to become dog-eared. Book and bookmark then get consigned to the upper shelves where it remains until little H grows up and is introduced to the pleasures of reading, and stumbles on the RELIC.
This is how things start small and SNOWBALL into a controversy.
Back to the snow.
The bright autumn colors that had welcomed me to America, the pond outside our living room window where the ducks (Plain ducks, no d-b platypus) waded about and sometimes disappeared ( flyin’ South for the winner?) had long since turned grey and everything had begun to look desolate. P had said it hadn’t snowed much these past few years, and there may not be much to write home about this year , either.
I got a lot of pictures, and even managed a video film of 6 min of the snow , which flickr-ed to the family with undue haste, and which was watched by said family even before I could call and tell them to watch it all , on mute, because the camera made such a din. When snow falls, it REALLY is Silent I quickly learnt, though the camera, obviously didn’t care.
There was another snow at Christmas, and New Year’s. But no one took the hint. Until last week, in FEBRUARY! There were snow-storm warnings,and, when P went out to stock up on the milk, water and groceries, he found everybody in Herndon had the same idea. It started snowing, silently, as usual, that Friday night, and it snowed all Saturday. We watched the pond turn icy, and the last of the 50-odd ducks leave reluctantly, in groups of four or six or ten, like troops returning home from Iraq, and the cars in the parking lot turn into snowy shells of their steel and glass selves. Trees began to look like Swarovski crystal creations.We could no longer discern the pond , as the last duck took a few slippery steps and flew away.
Over the weekend we were snug in our warm apartment, reading, net-ting and watching TV, and chatting online (not to each other,, though the idea does have possibilities) but to friends who hadn’t yet disappeared into la-la land back in B’lore)
By Monday, we’d had 32 inches of snow. No one wanted to even think of going out. I hated winter, at least the American one, and wanted nothing more to do with snow. The drone of planes taking off and landing at Dulles Airport , which is out backyard, was missing, for a change, but it wasn’t easy any longer to pretend there was no snow. The silence was deafening.
When another blizzard hit Tuesday, Obama , a year older as President, and wiser about snow, called it Snowmageddon.
Last year, snow in DC and how its denizens dealt with it had amused President Obama. and his daughters. His daughters’ snow day Wednesday, which meant they stayed home as it was too snowy to go to school for most of their mates, made him “want to see a little bit of flinty Chicago toughness. The girls’ school was canceled . Because of what? Some ice? he’d told reporters.
This year, it took 32 inches of snow, and his having to work through teleconferencing and phone and e-mail and notes sent by his staff for a couple of days, although he did make it to a Democratic National Committee meeting to give them a pep talk on healthcare for him to call it Snowmageddon.
The Winter Olympics have started in Vancouver. Ahead of it, people were worried there was not enough snow to go round!
Snowmageddon, also SnOMG! Snowpocalypse and SnObama to some, is a lesson. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.
I am happy.
I got my first snow.
Now there is one more thing I have to do for the first time. I have to learn to drive. P suspects I’m avoiding it. He’s right.
PS:- I hope the PS I live with doesn’t read this one.