Friday, December 27, 2013

Revival (attempt)

Since I’m writing after so long, I’ll just start off from where I am. Some changes have happened in the last year, but I will attempt to reflect those in the writings that will follow in the next few days. I hope that makes my story contiguous and understandable.

Its nearly the end of the year. Peeps and I returned from a week long road trip in the Southwest. On our return journey, we got talking about what the US has and doesn’t have to offer. Amongst what it doesn’t have, are clearly, learnings from a long historical past or an intriguing culture. But we quickly moved to what it does have, something that most folks disagree with.

To start with, the geographic beauty in the US, from what little we have explored in the last few months, is nothing short of mind blowing. Specifically, our experiences in the Redwood forests, the lonely expanse of the Death Valley, never ending rocks at Zion or the vast grasslands at Tehachapi, all uncovered a magnificent visual, incomparable to anything I’ve seen before. We did enjoy the coast at the Big Sur, but acknowledged that it doesn’t come close to the ocean in South East Asia or East Africa, or the highway diversity, which can’t compare to India’s. But geological formations such as the one I just mentioned, were an eyeful for us.

Another thing which the West, and specifically the United States, offers is an insight in to the history of the last 200 years. The contrast across the last two centuries is strikingly visible here, probably due to the absence of anything meaningful before. But credit where credit is due. We travelled through the Borax works in the Death Valley and realized just how recently these vast distances were covered in much less sophisticated manner. India and most of my beloved third world, unfortunately doesn’t offer such contrasts as the extreme modernization still evades us there.

Moving beyond the travel, a third aspect of the US, which I absolutely and passionately love, is the choice of food it allows. I’m a relatively simple eater and don’t enjoy restaurants as much as many others do. In fact, holidays are often my reason to detoxify with simpler food, owing to the lives we ordinarily lead. This country allows me to do so much with food. I get what I want, where I want. It’s a joy to cook at home, and it’s not difficult to find clean and well-made food outside either. I can cook all kinds of healthy food, without it having to be boring. My experiments so far include burgers (medium rare), hung curd wraps, roasted sweet potatoes, lots of green juices, a variety of salads, and many more. For someone who has very little time but a big desire for well made, clean food, this country has a ton to offer.

I’m happy to be able to breathe some life in to this space, but know better than to commit to it yet. It’s that time when I make new plans and set new goals. This year I’ve asked Peepu to humor me with an experiment. We will make 3 resolutions (big or small), of which two will be those that we set for ourselves, but the third will be set for us, by each other. We need to be kind and practical, but at the same time, suggest something that we believe will overall make life better. Peepu has agreed to participate, so I’m keen to see how this works out. And as I type this, I realize how this is one of those grown up things, at which I would roll my eyes, a few years back. I guess the world will have to cope with me growing up.

There’s no music as I OD-ed on my playlist on our 530 mile drive back. But the song that’s still playing faint in my mind, is ‘This is the life’ by Amy MacDonald