Eventful Diwali @ New York ...
Ah, what a topsy turvy weekend I had, lots of ups and downs. Saturday was quite ok I would say, when compared to the events that happened on Sunday. Saturday I and my cousin went to a place called Flushing where our Lord Ganesh has found himself a very beautiful place. It’s a pretty good temple with nice carvings on the pillars. As expected there were only tamil speaking brahmins in that temple and for a moment I thought I was in Kabali Temple, Mylapore. There were Ganesha, Muruga, Maha Lakahsmi, Venkatachalapathy, Ragavendra, Durgai and Navagrahas ...
We did a small archanai there, I did it on the name of swamy, instead of calling each and every name in my family and doing, if you happen to miss one, you will feel bad for the rest of the day. We had a pretty good darshan and it was 2:30 in the noon and the bell started to ring, not in the temple though, it's inside my tummy. There was a wonderful hotel / prasada koodam in that temple, where they serve you all kinds of south indian food. The menu items were mouth watering and also we were damn hungry, so we ordered 2 plates of Idly, 1 Chilli Masala Dosa (podi dosa), 1 Rava Dosa, 1 Sambar vada, and 1 Curd vada, adding on to that was Pulikaachal saadham and Thair saadham. It's too much rite, but as expected I could not eat all that I have ordered so I have to waste :-(.
After a sumptuous lunch, we both took a very long walk in the streets of flushing, as it is the time between winter and fall, all the trees on both sides of the road were splashing magnificent colors, some were red, somewhere orange, somewhere yellow, somewhere pale green, wow, I would say is as "Nature at its best", unfortunately I don’t have a camera, so I could not snap them all, I tried clicking few in my Blackberry, but that did not come out well. Then weather started to play spoil sport, it started to rain at 3:30 and it was on till mid-night. We both have to curtail our walk and rush to the railway station to catch our train to New York. It was pretty warm and cozy inside the train.
We reached New York by 5:00, in spite of those heavy drizzle, myself and my cousin went around the shops in New York, I wanted to get my paati a pencil which writes as dark as a charcoal, and at last I could find one and got a dozen of that. Then we checked for couple of software’s I wanted, but unfortunately I could not find them. I checked out my favorite BOSE home theatre system and it was available at a very cheap rate than INDIA, but any how I cannot carry them back to INIDA, so I took a deep breath and left the section, but one day, I will own that beauty. We both came home by 6:30, and had our dinner by 7:00, then we packed all our things as I have to move to a different hotel tomorrow. The packing got over by 8:00, we then watched a movie and went to bed by 9:30
Here comes that eventful Sunday. We got up at 7:30 and checked-out from the hotel by 8:15 and came to Club Quarters where I have to stay till the end of this trip. The hotel folks verified my identity and took all our baggage’s inside the "Claim Area" and then told me that, the room will be ready by 3:00 PM, I was like "What????", and questioned them for such a long delay in getting me the room, that not so good looking lady gave me a sleepish reply saying "This is a weekend and lots of guests will get up late and checkout late, so there are no rooms available now", so for a white skin to sleep late and get up late, I and my cousin have to wait outside the lobby is it ?. I told them that it’s not possible to wait till that time, as it was just 8:30 in the morning. But all our cries went in vain, so we decided to go to my cousin's apartment at "Povonia New Port"
We reached his apartment around 9:30 and he started to watch EPL and I started to call all my folks at Chennai and wish them a "Happy Diwali". His roommates made Maggi and I joined the party, by 11:30 I took bath and my cousin wanted to go to saloon to have a haircut, so we both went to a nearby mall called "Macy's". I somehow managed to get majority of things that I intended to buy and that list is truly private :-). By 3:00 PM we came back to his place and he took his bath, still we have not had our lunch, that morning maggi got settled well and I was not feeling hungry. By 4:00 we went to a nearby grocery shop and took few vegetables and yogurt's and we headed back to New York.
Here comes another interesting part, myself and my cousin boarded a train to a place called "33rd Street", from there we have to take a deviation and go to "51st Street", S was not sure of which train would go to 51st street and hence he was thinking hard to find a train. A train came to the station and S was sure that it will go to "51st Street", but after we got in, he checked the map and found out that it will not go. We both had ample bags in our hands and hence getting up and walking out of the train could not be done that easily, the bags weighed almost 6 kgs. When S told me that this train will not go, I took off from my seat and came out of the train, S was picking his bags, and he was a second delayed in doing that, the train's automatic doors closed :-(
It’s not like our place where you can board a running train, all the doors were closed and the train took off like a bullet, S waived me in action to stay where I am. It is a train which runs underground, so there is virtually no communication, as all your cell phone signals are dead. This being a weekend, the frequency of trains are one in 30 minutes, I was for a moment thought that I am gone, then waited patiently in the place where I waived S a tata. S came back to the same station in 15 mins and the beauty is, the train which we boarded initially will go to our destination, so we waited for the same train to come and reached New York around 6:30.
Here comes the biggest surprise. We both came to Club Quarters and then officially checked-in. The manager in charge threw a big bomb on me saying that my cousin cannot stay with me even though it is a double bed room. It took a while for me to get out of that shock, both of us were terribly upset and I am the one totally upset. All those vegetables and eatable will go waste if S is not going to stay with me, coz we have procured a lot. We thought for a while and then I decided to go and talk to the manager again on this. She then gave me a suggestion, she asked us to take a DELUX room instead of a Double room, and we have to adjust in that "Queen Size" bed, wowww, what else we need, that sounded like a great idea and we accepted to shift our rooms to a "Deluxe" one.
Both S and I were happy, S wanted to try out the Gym here, so I asked him to use to its fullest. This room has oven, refrigerator and other good amenities which were missing in my previous hotel. We both made dinner and had a tummy full meal. I called up home and wished paati, appa and athai a happy diwali and verified my accounts to ensure that I am spending well within my allocated budget, and by 10:30 I hit my sack and went to sleep. It was one unforgettable diwali in the US