Monday, June 30, 2008

Today I did something I dont normally do.
For the first time after moving to the new place, I managed to reach my favourite coffee shop by myself! In an hour and a half(instead of the breezy 5 minutes bus ride from the old doorsteps). A half mile walk in the blazing afternoon sun, 3 bus rides and an unsettled tiff(with the bus driver) later. In one ragged piece. With drooping shoulders and a soaring spirit.
Why am I making this such a big deal? Because it is, to me.
Not knowing how to drive and never having ventured out alone into the city(5 minutes bus rides daily for the last 4 months dont count at all!), I found myself physically trapped in the Iona House. It hit me pretty bad. I could not stand it. I was feeling gagged. And today, I decided I had to try. And I did.
I acknowledge that this mental block about venturing out alone, is not a legitimate trap that I had set for myself. And that I had to reason it out with myself long and hard - that the reasons for moving out of the trap definitely outweighed staying in and how!
It took a while to come to terms. Well, better late than never I suppose!
The trip was mostly uneventful. But a strange thing happened when I boarded the 3 rd bus, which was the campus connector to the university. I hurriedly sat down on an empty seat by the window, adjusted my back-pack and looked out towards the door for the driver to start the bus, still slightly ruffled by the tiff with the previous driver. And then,there amongst the strange white and coloured faces of students, I saw this one Indian boy sitting quietly by the door, his ipod plugged into his ears and smiling at me across the aisle. And as our eyes met, I suddenly felt warm. Some kind of a reassurance that all was not amiss with the world. Here in another country, amongst a million strange faces, here was another fellow Indian, who had come many miles across the oceans, to live his life here - just like me. There was this momentary truth of a connection. And then he looked away - thoroughly amused by my very antiquated response to his smile - a wild and enthusiastic 2-minute wave of my umbrella , over the heads of fellow commuters! The reasons for doing so? Beats me! But then again, ask people who really know me - I am known to do really absurd things like these,once in a small while!

* Piper turns red with embarrassment! *

I reached the campus in another 10 minutes. But I couldnt help wondering. I have come across millions of fellow Indians during my stay here. Why did I feel(and act!) the way I did today? Could it be that I was feeling rather unsettled by the tiff with this driver who had refused to halt at my bus stop? Could it be that I was a little shaken up by this, it being my first trip out alone and all? Or could it be that I hadnt come across any *really* good-looking Indian guy like him in a long time?! :-)) (Amen!)

Details on the Frisco trip in a later..

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