It’s an always a pleasure and fun thing to meet your childhood friends abroad. I have meet Suhas and his brother here. I have also meet Aditi and her family. We all meet at time square, like time square is our new Katta. In my native language “Marathi” we refer a place as katta where we all friends use to meet. I could have meet Anup too when he came to east coast in New York but unfortunately I was on my way towards Niagara. So when Rohan told me that he is going to come to New York I was 100% sure that I need to meet him. Last time we meet was four years ago. And if I miss this chance to meet him then god knows when we can meet again. He was coming to celebrate his sister’s commencement ceremony. His mother was also visiting to attend commencement ceremony. And we wanted to visit her too. And off course his maha-naughty kid “Arjun”. So overall this was a best opportunity to catch up with old buddy. But destiny always has different plans…
Just before one week Trupti started have severe lower back pain. She was not able to walk. So we have to cancel our New York trip. And we all were sad that now when can we meet. But then we decided whatever it takes let’s make sure we meet this time and we decided to do a road trip to Ithaca, NY. I have told at office that coming Friday I will be working from home for half day and then I will be off in the afternoon for the commencement ceremony. Though Shivani has completed her masters from Binghamton University she is living in Ithaca, NY. So we started our 444 KM journey to Ithaca, NY.
We started our peregrination from West Hartford around 4.15pm. We were little anxious about the thoroughfare near New York because of the traffic. Ways came handy this time. I loved this mobile app. The app creators tried gamifying the whole monotonous navigation task. It also have some nuance of social networking site where multiple people can post events such as vehicle stopped at shoulder, police patrol, accidents, traffic jams etc. But they need to improve on the commentary of the navigation. Sometimes it is confusing as opposed to Nokia here app.
I was thinking about Ithaca as a very normal city like may be “Hartford, CT”. And since Binghamton has a university it will be like student filled city. It took us almost 4.5 hrs to reach Ithaca. When we reached there picturesque town of Ithaca was looking little touristy. Rohan already invited us for dinner in Binghamton, Ny in a nice Mexican restaurant. It was so nostalgic to meet Rohan, Aparna and his mother and sister after four years. We had a delicious Mexican supper.
Next Day we attended Rohan’s sister commencement ceremony. She graduated last year itself but she wanted her mother to be present here to experience the ceremony, so she asked the college authorities to have it this year so that her mother can also attend it. The commencement ceremony is always a big gala. It’s a great thing to see parents feeling proud of their sons and daughters getting graduated. People from so much diverse background coming together with a dream of better life. The different speakers offered their speeches. One of the speakers (Sorry I don’t remember the name) made a really amazing point. He was explaining the value of time in different phases of life. When you are child you are not worried about time, you do spend most of the time doing nothing but playing and eating. In your teen years you are killing time in music, doing things you will wonder later in life with exclamation. But when you reach your thirties you better get realization of value of your time. You should know what your priorities in your life are and how you want to spend your rest of life. This is the phase of your life when you have most of the data pointers ready to make decisions so go ahead and use it.
There was another American couple who were there to congratulate Rohan’s sister. Rohan’s sister meets this elderly lady in her 50s in office. That lady has a daughter of same age as Shivani. Now they are so used to each other like she is part of their family. It’s amazing to see how unknown people meet and lifelong relations get created.
Someone has said it correctly there are no strangers, just friends who you haven’t met.
We also visited the Belhurst Castle. But will put new post dedicated to Belhurst Castle. I didn’t get a chance to visit the Tougnoack falls during this trip, but I will definitely include it next time.”
I am looking forward to visit Ithaca again in falls.
It was a great day. Our team won two consecutive matches in the intra-company Cricket Tournament. I was happy and tired due to this physical activity after almost gap of 1 month. It was already noon when we finished playing. I came home and took a nap for some time. I woke up and I was not feeling refreshed. I was tired and empty inside. Suddenly I started feeling lonely. I decided to go for a walk to the Blue Back Square.
Small and neat town of West Hartford has a place called Blue Back Square. This is very lively place. You can find Movie Theatre, Live music, Library, fitness club, restaurants etc. It’s a never ending list. How can I forget to mention about its people. Friendliest neighborhood I ever lived in. Beautiful place beautiful people. When I reach Blue Back Square I realized there is new movie recently released “100 Foot Journey”. The plot has some Indian connection. It triggered my curiosity and I was in the theatre. It was a real treat for eyes and soul. What a beautiful story, great cinematography! It really refreshed me inside out. Lead roles delivered amazing performances. It was nice to see beautiful terrains of France.
Movie finished and when came out of the theatre and some young lady was singing a song “What a beautiful world!”. That was a moment. I am happy that I was present there to experience it.
Music – Daily Tonic:
Sometimes I feel bad that I discovered Madan Mohan’s music very late. Most of his songs are my favorite but I was not aware that he was the creator of those. From last 5 years, Madan Mohan has taken over my love for RD. There is one beautiful connection between Pune and Madan Mohan. Madan Mohan Used to attend Sawai Gandharv Mahostav in Pune regularly. He used to proudly say that this festival is sea of music flowers. I collect music petals from here and try to decorate my songs. Some of my favorites from Madan Mohan are –
Lag Jaa Gale
Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho
Kaise Kate Gi Zindagi -
Dil Dhoondta Hai – Orginal in Madan Mohan voice
Tere Liye, Hum hai jiye
Finally the day has arrived. After lots of hype of “Mutton Paya Dish” from Zaika (www.desizaiqa.com) , yesterday I finally got a chance to have taste of this delicious dish. If you are in new England, you must taste this dish. Normally it takes three days to prepare this dish including marinating the meat. As mentioned in the 100 Foot Journey, food are memories. So true! Now this dish has joined my mutton memories. First one is mutton cooked by my mom, second one is Bengali style mutton prepared by Jayata and third is Mutton raan served in Kareem’s in Gudgaon, Noida, India.