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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Colorado Colorado

Two of my friends came to springs from Texas last weekend. On Saturday we took the cog railway to Pikes Peak summit. Pikes Peak is the worlds second most visited peak after Mount Fuji in Japan. I had fallen in love with this mountain the day I first saw it when I arrived at Colorado Springs, two years ago. The view of the mountains from my apartment complex always wanted me to go there. And the trip wasn’t a long wait. A week after I arrived, my sister came down from LA to see me; that was when I first drove all the way to the summit. The view at every height was awesome. We also had a halfway trip when my boss from India arrived. We could not go to the summit due to snow.

The day I got to know that people hike up the mountain on 13 mile long Barr trail, I was all excited and wanted to climb the 14,110 Ft high Mountain. And in 2005, a month before leaving USA, I fulfilled that desire too. Four of us hiked the peak; it was a total new experience which I might publish some other time. We took 14 hours to reach the peak, which is a little more than expected due to some not so nice experiences on the way. I do have the post ready and will post it soon.

So the only other way left to reach the peak that I had not taken was Cog railway. So we took it this time. It was a very nice ride all the way to the summit on cog railway, as it makes it way twisting and turning through the mountain. Beautiful sights, wonderful landscapes and views enriched this journey.

At The Summit

Later we stopped by the Garden of Gods, Balanced rock and few more red rocks stand brilliantly beneath the peak. I often used to drive there in the night, sometimes alone. The view of the city from there is just amazing ecspecailly as night falls.

That evening, we had been invited to a colleague’s house for an “open house”. She and her husband are totally involved in the archeological surveys, trips to canyons, and sites of remains with Indian rock art. And they had displayed their and a friends photographs and paintings for sale. We enjoyed talking to them, listening to the stories of every picture, that obviously was very special to them and they had memories attached to it. I was inspired by their interest, their hobby, their work during free time. I want to grow old physically but not mentally, I thought. The enthusiasm in this couple touched me. I had been going to the seminars at their archeology group since I was here last time and I truly enjoy their spirits.

Sunday, we watched a very bad Indian film in Denver called- Babul. Please don’t watch it if you haven’t. This is not the time for movies on widow marriages and that too made so boringly, I think these topics had long been touched and remade. “Choker Bali” though deals with the same theme but of different era, is brilliantly made movie which highlights clearly the desires and emotions and jealousy of a young widow, performed brilliantly by Aish.

So after that boring movie, we went to Denver downtown, we took a walk on the 16th street. I recalled my memories of being there on New Years Eve of 2005. How crowded it was; people dancing on the street, enjoying the last few hours of the year and then the moment celebrated with grand firework. And today, it was empty, but yet with glimpses of that same enthusiasm; some with the lighting; some within me and my memories. After a walk we had dinner at an Indian restaurant and returned back home.


16th Street Denver Downtown

My friends left to Texas this morning.

Like every other day, this day has begun with a new life for me. Every day a new beginning, a new lesson that brings me closer and closer to the ultimate truth. Well I am back to my Philosophical statements that make less sense when read. But this has been a day of hurried emotions of various types for various reasons. I miss being myself. But the countdown has begun – 5 days to go. I need to break free from this pool of emotions and going back to Bangalore, looks the only probable solution. I love to be lost in the crowd once in a while. I love to disappear from everything I know at least for a while. I love to break free from bonds at least for a while. After all everybody needs their share of loneliness. Not the sad one but the self exploration kind.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Skiing!

We went skiing last weekend. What a wonderful experience. We got ready by 7:00 AM and left town to Monarch ski resort on Saturday. The drive was slow and long as it was snowing slightly. After loads of laughter and fun during the drive, we reached the ski resort at 11:00AM. We put on required jackets, coats, caps, glasses and gloves and then hired the equipments – ski boots, ski with bindings and ski poles. You can easily hire them at the ski resort. After struggling through with the heavy boots to walk around on snow, we finally got into action. Before I began, I had fallen down. :-) A passer by helped me up and tried to explain me a little about skiing. So we all had our rounds of falling, which I think was the fun part. Then we had to take the chairlift to the top and start the real action!

Chairlift


Well sitting on the chairs was easy; it takes you up to whatever level you are comfortable with. But the worst part was to get down, the chair pushes you down while you need to be prepared to take off, and people miserably fail the first few times. I fell many times, and enjoyed watching others fall too. Since we were in beginners section, there were plenty to accompany us. :-)


Thats How You Fall!


A colleague of mine had previously undergone some classes, so he taught us the rules and it worked well after some trials. All you have to do is move your legs apart, bend the knees inward to stop, the skis need to pivot at the front and move apart at the back. If the skis get parallel, you are accelerating all the way down! And for beginners like me who don’t know how to stop, that is when we miserably fall and roll, but by the end of the day, it’s all fun; An awesome experience. Finally at the end, I skied all the way down at beginners area, without falling and got down the chair without tripping, which made me feel good. :-)

So after all that fun, we returned back home. It was a tiring drive since my body was already aching and over that, the road conditions were not so good; icy roads. Came back home, to collapse on the bed. Two days gone, but the body ache still knocks at my door. :-) But the fall, was all worth it.

Some funny moments –

- My first fall, I did not know how to get up.
- To watch others fall.
-Crashing down into each other. I was already there lying on the snow unable to get up and my friend bumped into me crashing.
- A lady coming to me and asking
“Don’t tell me you are skiing on just jeans.”
I nod and say – “yes, I am”
She- “What’s underneath that?”
Me – “Nothing” (with a big grin)
The expression on her face was worth watching. So I had to say – “I am not feeling cold.” :-)

- Fall from the chair is always fun until you get it right.

All together a fun experience, never to be missed if you are somewhere near a ski resort. None of us took our cameras, so I do not have specific pictures, but got these from some site.



Someday!

Friday, December 01, 2006

I Am Ignoring

I have been ignoring my blog and more than that my diary. I had not written my diary for almost a month after I landed in USA. So many thoughts went unwritten, so many emotions went unnoticed, and so many words just disappeared into mantle of forgetfulness. Relationships changed, new ones began, old one’s revisited and so many beautiful things felt and of course many tiring thoughts bothered. How I ignored my diary and my blog without updating my fun, my thoughts. I thought I need them no more, I thought I needed my diary less, but so wrong I was; I need my diary as much as I need to breath; I love my blog as much as I love my moments. And here I was thinking that I can just transfer my thoughts, deliver it at some other doors, but so wrong I was, to think so. My diary and blog is my best friend after myself and they can never be replaced. It is as true as the sky, the ocean or the sun. Ones best friend is none other than oneself.
So without wasting any more time, let me just brief you on what I have been doing in the US. One of the weekends we went to Sand Dunes National park. Isn’t it fun to watch a big heap of sand in between the greenery and mountains? Well for me the most exciting in the trip was, we got lost. We had some wrong map, or should I say correct map for wrong car. We had taken prints of a map that were suggested for four wheel drives, since they were primitive roads for a nice drive through the mountains. So in turn we did some research to go on a different way that again took us to some bumpy roads, making its way through small villages and forests; which was the fun part of the trip for me.

And of course climbing up the Sand dunes. I was unable to climb till the top last year, as it was terribly windy back then. But this time, I made it till the top, which was really tiring but once on the top, it’s all worth the pain. That’s what hike’s does to you; makes you go through the pain and then allows you to relax in midst of breath taking views.


Sand Dunes

That was the only trip I went on, other than Glenwood Canyons. I am not in a mood to travel a lot this time. I did have other plans, but they too died off due to some reason. I miss Bangalore and my family and friends there and this thought has made me eager to go back as early as possible.

I met a couple of friends from US and it felt so good to speak to them after one long year.

Spoke to a good friend from here, speaking to whom is always a great learning experience. He is a wonderful human being who enjoys life to the fullest.

Met another friend and her boy friend at Poor Richards Restaurant in Colorado downtown. Both teach in an university. It was fun talking to them about literature and their researches in respective fields. It’s very difficult to find someone who enjoys what you talk with the same spirit, who does not think you are crazy when you speak out your inner depths, inner thoughts. And this conversation was in the same manner fun, it was very nice to share opinions about one common interest.


Poor Richards is the best coffee shop I have been to in the US, maybe because of the company and talk we shared. But the ambience is excellent. Attached to the coffee shop is a book store where you get good second hand books for very few dollars. I found some Virginia Woolf books for $2.

Met another friend over lunch, who guides me to take proper decisions in investments. And met some other wonderful people from office.

We watched some movies in theater – “Don” (Not a good movie…I slept off) and “Umrao Jaan” (Worth watching, for excellent performance from Aish and good storyline)