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A Mid Summer Day's Dream

By: Toothless Posted Jul 13, 2015 General 589 Views
(Updated Jul 14, 2015 05:42 PM)

Mid-summer is usually the most frenzied time at work, this year has been no different; I have been working like a mule and sleeping like a beggar with a very clear knowledge that the light at the end of the tunnel in form of a promotion is nothing more than a freight train. Home has not been conducive either with my head steaming like a kettle on fire over the most trivial of things. Days like these are the ones where I find almost everything wrong; I don’t like the color of trees and the sobriety of tap water.

To balance things off, there is someone called a wife, however there was something wrong with this picture too. If my head was a steaming kettle; hers was Mt Vesuvius about to swallow Pompeii. We argued a lot in the past few weeks, our thoughts turned into statements, which turned into counting the number of favors each of us did for the other- with authoritative questions like “who was the last one to fill the water bottles?” “Who took out the trash last night?”, which turned into finding faults and finally my wife would unlock the vaults of her infinite memory where every single incident where I have been a complete moron in the past 8 years is recorded with the place, date and time accurate to the 1000th of a second. At this point, my victory would seem as distant as “The Road Runner” to Mr “Wiley E Coyote”, the only way out would be to retire to the bathroom – my own little man cave in my glorious apartment. The amenities include a radio and good American plumbing with running water.

So to sort things out and bring some calmness to the storm, we decided to go somewhere. When I say “WE”, I actually mean I nodded my head to wherever my wife decided that we should go. She had decided that we go to the new Akshar Dham Temple in New Jersey –about 2:30 hours drive from my home in Pennsylvania. Yes, I did nod my head but I too was looking forward to the day as folks who have read my blog posts would be aware of my interest in sculpture, ancient Indian arts and architecture. Friday we went to bed early so that all of us would be fresh on Saturday morning. Saturday morning came, we were up, my wife had prepared Idlis for breakfast. I freshened up in my man cave, ate about 9 idlis. By the time I had finished eating, my wife and my son were also ready. So we got into our car and thundered away.

No sooner did I start driving than I began to feel as if I had been hit with a tranquilizer dart in my bottom. I felt like a sedated Rhino being chased by the NGC camera crew, about to crash any minute on the scorching African earth. I could not keep my eyes open and my head was spinning out of control. By now my car had entered the freeway. The day was fantastic, bright blue skies with brilliant sunshine and absolutely no pain in the rump cars to block the freeway. However, things were not looking good for me and I realized that the calmness in the storm was actually the eye of the storm. My condition became worse and I pulled over at a service lane. All the while I did not have the nerve to tell my wife that I can’t drive and we should go back home; for two reasons 1) It would crush her and our son who had been very enthusiastic about the trip and 2) Since it was her idea, I feared that cancelling the trip would not go down well with her and the incident will make another entry into her memory vault – with the usual date and time stamp.

I got out of the car, entered a shop in the service lane and bought a bottle of 5-Hour energy(an energy drink with high caffeine). Got back in and drank the entire bottle. Now my wife got to know the seriousness of the affair and we began arguing again, while I battled again to keep my eyes open. The tranquilizer was no ordinary dart, it was probably a javelin dipped in a cocktail of Chloroform and Somras as after such a high intake of caffeine, I still was as drowsy as drunk Keshto Mukherjee. I was struggling to keep the car in lane and driving so slow that it was embarrassing to watch 80 year old grand mothers in their 80 year old Cadillacs overtake me.

We had traveled another 50 miles or so and I confessed to my wife that I can’t drive anymore, she took it pretty well and advised to pull over as soon as the first exit comes up which I did. The exit led to a mall near Philadelphia – The King of Prussia mall which is one of the largest malls in USA. I got out of the car and walked around, while my wife went shopping with our son. I felt much better after a few minutes of walking and didn’t have to strain myself to keep my eyes open. The dizziness also vanished, we had some food and then when I felt I had completely regained my wits, I decided to continue with the journey.

We arrived at the temple at around 4PM. The Akshar Dham temple in NJ, is an extraordinary work of art which is on course to become the world's largest temple complex by 2017. For the first time after let’s say a 1000 years I am proud of our architecture once again. Till now the only marvels I marveled at in USA were the skyscrapers and suspension bridges built by the Americans, but now I am proud to add this astonishing jewel of a temple to the list. Every single sculpture is carved out of rock, the intricacy and attention to detail is bewildering to the untrained eye. With so much going on at the same time at so many places – the sculptures of gods and demons, chariots and elephants, intricate patterns of squares and circles, spirals and arches keep going on for what seems like eternity.

I have had this feeling in some South Indian Temples of – Halebid & Belur near Mysore and the great temples of Tamil Nadu. When I saw those I thought that this would be the last time man ever made something so incredible but I was wrong. It is in our nature to build bigger jaw dropping structures and we may get delayed or swayed but eventually we will find our way and keep moving ahead.

At the temple we were in time for the Darshan. We sat there for a few minutes and then headed for the temple cafeteria where we purchased: Khandvi, Samosas, Shrikhand, laddoos and a host of religious books for our kid.

The hands on my watch were aligned in a straight line – 6 O’clock, time to drive home and end this beautiful day on which I weathered a Hurricane in my head; but thanks to the gods wishes and my loved one’s prayers we reached home safe. I enjoyed a good dose of Shrikhand while reading out the story of Hanumanji to my son before crashing for the night.

The mystery of the sudden attack of extreme drowsiness may be attributed to the Idlis I had for breakfast – it is just a theory, but I reckon the fermentation builds a lot of Alcohol in the dough and if a Rhino like me eats a ton of idlis, then the alcohol might cause some short-circuit in the brain. Other theory could relate to the sudden increase of Carbohydrates in the body due to idlis. Did this every happen to you?

In my wife’s defense – I will in my utter unexpurgated glory accept that 9 out of 10 times, I am the resident redneck with an IQ of 7.

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