Tuesday, June 22, 2010
It was the usual Irving mid-summer - a soaring 96 degrees at 4 in the evening. We had almost gone on an undeclared entertainment spree since we had moved into our new apartment - a sprawling one for the two of us by all means.
Payel and I decided to go for our last minute groceries for the icings on the cakes, before the Saturday night dinner finale, armed with nothing but our umbrellas. Now, if you want to be Carie Bradshaw, who sucks at driving, walks around in her Manolos ... do it while you are in New York city, not for God's sake in the Dallas Fortworth metroplex, where the concept of "public transport" is still hovering somewhere between the Mesozoic and Paleozoic eras.
So here we were crossing the creek, on the narrowest side walk ever possible, on North MacArthur, where the 35mph speed limit has been a myth since the concept of "speed limit" has come into existence. The Texas sun, glaring to a "feels like 110 degrees", umbrellas on our heads, we walked in a queue, heavy bags in our hands. As the cars raced by one after the other, the Texans, completely unused to yet another concept called "walking", gazed at us in absolute dismay, paranoid drivers, honking once in a while, lest we, the mad-walkers, decide to get off the sidewalk on to the pavement.
No sooner had we got off the bridge than the sprinklers off the side walk decided to go off all at once, perhaps wondering if the sorry picture of the two girls needed some relief from the Texas summer and the long walk. Little did these annoying inanimate objects realize we would have preferred to wait for the showers in our tubs.
Soaked and drenched after long walks in scorching heat, isn't new to either Payel or me. The other life - the ever hot Calcutta summers, the unpredictable Nor' Westers to follow in the evenings ... the difference, hundreds of thousands homeward bound on Sector V streets, the incessant honking of the buses and cars and autos and rickshaws, the mad rush for a shuttle here or a bus there or the never ending queue for the auto, the wheels of almost every office bus of every IT company starting to roll all at once at 6:30pm, the chaotic madness yet a sweet reminiscence of something more grotesquely beautiful ... an enormity that is called LIFE ... even after two years in Dallas, I am yet to taste the enormity of life in the enormity of Texas.