Saturday, December 27, 2008

Back to Reality - 18 inches of snow

I arrived home to a magnanimous pile up of snow everywhere your eyes can take. I had called my neighbor from Mumbai and he told me there was 18 inches of snow piled up on our street and it was impassable and my long uphill driveway resembled a ski slope.
The side and back yard of my house was being used by neighbors as a passable escape route to their vehicles parked in a make shift parking lot behind my house. The next door neighbor had cordoned off his yard with strings and a sign "Donot Trespass - Private Property". But what about the poor deer, who trespass every day?
There was no way I was going to be able to get my car out of the garage. Chains were required on all cars - life in the city had come to a grinding halt, there was not enough equipment to clean the roads and the city had shut down a few times. I can't even describe the chill down my spine when I heard this news. I was missing my munchkins and couldn't take any further marginalization, now at the hands of nature. I needed to see them and spend time with them.

What irony? People in Portland crave for a white Christmas. Now the universe had given them more than their fair share - as if to penalize us green conscious citizens for all wrong doings humanity has performed to nature in form of global warming. Ironically I have been reading "Hot, Flat and Crowded" by Thomas Friedman and ironically he discusses the wrath of nature coming in form of extreme climate changes. His words were prophetic. This was the most snow Portland had ever seen in recorded history and some dumbo justified it as "well it occurs every 100 years"......
Nevertheless, I was able to rent a not so gas guzzling 4X4 and drive up 1000 feet to the back of my house and drag nearly 60 kilos of luggage down the hill to my back door. All that shrubbery underneath, I hope they survive. I then had to climb up a 4 foot pile up of wet snow to open the door and finally I was "home". Luckily no water pipes had burst. I was in a daze as I had hardly slept and I was still recovering from the shock of how I breezed through customs this time with only one question "Are you bringing any jeera?" .. "No" I said with a smile and understood the humor in it... I controlled my laughter as I dragged myself out to the bus and freedom. I can buy plenty of Jeera at the local grocery store... I don't need to smuggle any from India.

So here I was finally home and in a winter wonderland. The Christmas tree had dried out and the timer on the lights had reset to turn on during the day, as there had been a power outage for many hours... I felt disoriented as I had not yet completely disconnected from Bangalore and Mysore. My mind was awake, but my body felt like it needed to crash and sleep.
It has now been four days since my return and I am still jet lagged. This always happens. Its not a new routine. Life is still not normal, the snow is still around and finally melting, but the cabin fever is atrocious. My munchkins and I had a nice Xmas day and my older pushed me to take them out - they had had enough of being trapped in the house the last seven days. We saw a movie "Bedtime Stories" and it brought so much joy to all of us, as we too make up stories at night, all from real life experiences.

I am still processing my experience from the trip from India. And then there are many balls in the air at home, more than I care to deal with, some I wish could just disappear. Its amazing to see how some things will just linger and fester and never seem to want to end, an infinite grind of reality of life. So the videos will need to wait some... there seems to be a surge of readers looking for guruji's 90th birthday celebrations. Please be patient. I must say it was worth the trip and for those who missed it, I promise there is more to see and there will be a lot more from RIMYI I am sure, as the entire 2 weeks was filmed by the second :)
In the meantime, I must say, I have gained a new respect for nature. I am more aware of the atrocities we have committed with the indiscriminate burning of fossil fuels and waste of energy. I am guilty as charged. The book I am reading has made an impact on me - the question now is what am I going to do about it? We all need to get serious about global warming and act NOW!.....


The Yogi

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