About Me

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jaipur, rajasthan, India
retired Army Colonel

Friday, May 27, 2011

My USA visit. ......continued leg 3



       It was pleasure meeting Pritam Sirur after 32 years. Last we met was 16 Dec, 1978 in C squadron NDA. My memory had saved Pritam as 17 year old cadet. It took me a while to correct once we saw each other now. I cannot ever thank Pritam enough for his courtesy and hospitality. It was pouring that evening when he came to pick us up from Montgomery Street, Jersy City. He drove us 40 miles to Brunswick where he has a posh four bed room house with a nice back yard. The house is splendidly done up with an artistic flavour to it. Once we got settled our eyes were constantly searching for the lady of the house who was not seen around. May be she is working or gone out somewhere, I thought. But then we could not hold ourselves any further and asked for her. What came next was very horrifying. She had fallen victim to cancer a year ago. Now, she smiles in her incredible paintings and her artistic touch is felt all over the house. For few minutes it was all silence. Slowly   evening started moving again. Dhindsa and Kishan both ex NDA joined us along with their wives. They are working in UNO and doing pretty well. Rakesh Gupta another NDA mate could not join as expected. We were having wonderful evening. Pritam served best of the scotch and to my surprise 
       he was sipping Pepsi.  "I am driving you back so cannot take alcohol" he said. I was indebted to him for ever. He laid out multi-cuisine dinner for us and I kept wondering how single handedly? After that wonderful evening we were dropped back by Pritam.
      It was great.....
       Next time we wish to meet him with his lovely daughter who studies in Virginia and is home during vacations.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

......Continued Leg 2

……………We had left Kiran’s (my wife’s sister) place in Delhi at 2.00 AM in the morning on 14th April (IST) and reached at Yuvu’s apartment at 11.00 PM on 14th April (EST, USA) . Mr MS Rautela, comes to my mind who taught us geography at school and how to calculate local and standard time. Calculation tells; home to home we spent 30 hrs almost. You will appreciate even for a casual smoker like me the gap was long and the urge was quite pressing. First thing I wanted in US was a smoke. My son told me “Papa it is $ 8.00 a packet here.” Instant calculation told that it is Rs 360.00. But for cigarettes I would not buy them. Later, Yuvu told me that if, I get into this business of converting dollars into Rupees; my stay here is going to be quite strenuous. I immediately took to his advice.
The moment we entered the apartment Sunita and I said wow! Vidushi had kept it so tastefully. She had cooked and kept ready sumptuous chicken curry for dinner. I had stomach full after 30 hrs of journey. Sparkles in the eyes of Yuvu and excitement in Vidushi’s face were explaining all. It was so rewarding as both of them insisted on, and made our bed. Believe me my day was made.
First few days were fun with Dr Shubhra ( Kiran’s elder daughter) also joining us. We escorted her to Philadelphia for her day long exam. She wishes to do her specialisation from USA. That is how, we got a chance to see Phily as they call it here. It was an old beautiful city with marvellous architecture. I loved it.  Shubhra having gone for exam, Sunita and I were enjoying the hospitality of Marriot in our room when the fire alarm sounded and instructions started pouring. This was last thing we wanted at that point of time. Though, little worried we got our acts together. Later, it turned out that someone by mistake had pressed some wrong buttons. Sigh of relief followed.
With so many of us together party mood was obvious. Also, Sunitas birthday, then Yuvu’s then our marriage anniversary all were falling in a span of next 10 days. Eating out was more frequent. I got damn impressed with the Brownstone Diners who served some real huge helpings. Their sandwiches and omelettes are exceptionally good. I also found my favourite beer: Budwieser called as king of all beers. Bhawani, my friend warned me to watch out unless I get bloated. I restricted myself there on. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Yuvraj,had sent us return tickets of Kuwait Airways from New Delhi to NYC,USA some times in Feb. Quite excited, we were making every one know this in Jaipur. Yes! it was our first time.
Actually, Sunita always wanted to travel to USA as part of our Silver Jubilee itinerary in May,2005. It did not materialize; to put it straight I could not have afforded it. But then she is lucky to have a son who would fulfill her desire and we celebrated 30 yrs of our marriage in USA.

God was even more kind to us.

Deloite decided to send Adhiraj, my elder son, to NYC on a business visit of two weeks at the same time. The family, but for Shweta, whom we missed very dearly, got together in New York in summers. It was a boon bestowed upon us and proved  to be a perfect birthday gift for Sunita and Yuvraj. Happiness and just happiness.

The return dates on the flight tickets spanned our stay in US to over three and a half month. I kept wondering if it was right on our part to share time and space,that too for so long, with Vidushi and Yuvraj who just got married four months back. But, on the other hand, it was also our chance to know each other better as a family. You lose some where to gain some where.

It was Vidushi, clad in blood red jacket and pair of jeans, waving at us as we were coming out of JFK, Airport. Our flight had been bearable. Kuwait, was looking all sand and oil rigs from the window and the Air Port was quite a disappointment after IG International at Palam, New Delhi. Stop over at Heathrow came as a change in flight schedule. We got a chance to see Thames River, green meadows and a Golf Course while peeping through the window. In flight from Heathrow a five year old boy, on the next seat, kept me non stop amused with his very inquisitive but pertinent questions. He even ignored warnings from his young parents who were feeling little awkward. To be frank I liked  every moment of it . Does that mean I am ripe to have grand children? JFK was too slow to clear us off and at last I was walking or may be dragging with  hoards of baggage. It reminded me of my Infantry approach marches carrying packs all over.
Finally we had arrived in USA.
Yuvraj had hired Honda SUV big enough to accommodate all of us with baggage and a Golf set. To me it was quite scary driving on the right of the road and that too 60 MPH due to Indian Road mind set. We drove through Time Square and my first impression of USA was mind blowing.