Looking back at how it all unfolded, it seemed more of a war than anything else!
Mugging answers for the Visa interview? Check.
Queuing up in front of the US Embassy on a winter morning? Check.
Purchasing twenty-odd woollens (none of which would suffice in the sub-zero temperature) from Gajkumar Brothers? Check.
Having boxes of sandeshspecially packaged for long trips? Check.
Packing Bangla magazines inside the bags? Check.
Then there was Bigraha’s paranoia to deal with: he would not be satisfied until he had cross-checked about sixty-two times that passports and tickets had been tucked safely inside his belt-bag
In the end, of course, it has been worth the effort. We were at the airport.
Then the eternal wait; the boarding; the “chicken” response to the ridiculous “chicken or pasta?” question.
Over to the next flight: the same concoction at the same temperature; and then – after what it seems like hours, or maybe years – the arrival.
Let me make this clear: I’ve always wanted to come to this country. I did appear for GRE but landed up with a terrible score, which left me with no alternative: I ended up marrying a software engineer. The guy is smart; earns a lot; dotes on me; watches CNBC; reads The Economic Times; can go on for hours on the stock-market in cocktail parties; and has somehow acquired memberships of all the important clubs. I guess he was completely worth falling in love with.
This isn’t really an onsite tour, though: this is just, as the Visa officers would say, a “pleasure-trip”. That doesn’t mean that we would be checking into a hotel, though: we’ll be put up at Bigraha’s Mashi’s place in Edison.
The moment we cleared customs Bigraha blurted out: “You remember, right?”
Bigraha’s Mesho seemed an amicable personality in a pleasantly rotund sort of way.
He complimented: “Wow, you really travel light!”
Mesho paused before starting the car: “Somdutta, I guess I should ask you something: has Bigraha told you anything of my wife’s idiosyncrasies?”
I was confused: “Er, can you be a bit more specific?”
“See, she has a thing for cleanliness. Things do not always,
well, remain within normal limits.”
Abhishek Mukherjee – Though he likes to believe he’s only a Cricket Historian, you have to read his humorous takes on Mythology at his blog to believe he’s the best. Few have overestimated himself the way Abhishek Mukherjee has. An aspiring author, cricketer, movie director, and Kolkata resident, he ended up being a blogger, cricket historian, and multiplex frequenter in Navi Mumbai, thereby missing out on a Pulitzer, a World Cup, and an Oscar. He has one daughter and zero pets, can beg, borrow, and possibly steal for Arsalan biryani.