(Lalli & Raju are sons and Nisha & Shweta are daughters-in-law of Mausi ji)
When the fire alarm went off there was little anxiety but no
panic. Though, Lalli had covered its sensor with a plastic carry bag, the smoke from Havan was enough to let it go. Thank God Fire Brigade did not get activated. We were at Sunita’s Mausi ji’s house in NYC, uptown for a weekend, and going through a pooja. As Estate Manager of a Shopping Mall in Jaipur, I found shop keepers doing the same with dhoop & aggarbatti. Apart from the false alarm it would pollute the HVAC system as well. We should be sensible not to do these smoky affairs in an air conditioned enclosed spaces. But faith and logic do not go together.
Thereafter, it was feast of Poori, Chhole, Halwa, and Choorma for lunch. For a moment we thought that we are back in India. Mausi ji was very excited to have us over and didn’t want to stop feeding us. I over ate that afternoon. Nisha and Lalli took us out for sightseeing in the evening and on Sunday afternoon to Jones Beach on Long Island. They were such a great company. Shweta insisted so much that we had to extend our stay by another day and enjoy her hospitality.
Much against our comfort, we were loaded with the gifts and on Monday morning, Raju drove us back right up to our apartment. I am thankful to him for saving us from the precarious train journey. we will foster this new found relationship and cherish every moment of i.We visited the Rehabilitation Centre where Sunita’s Mausa ji is battling with life for the last 12 years. He suffered a brain stroke which cruelly left him neuroleptic. It was heartening to see the way American society
looks after their old. We need to learn a lot from them. In fact the respect for human life that they have is laudable. On roads the motor cars wait for the walkers to cross, traffic comes to halt when a School Bus is collecting or disbursing children and juniors will offer seats to elders & ladies in the trains. The children and pets are protected by the law against all kind of violence, including punitive parents.
I, for the first time experienced the drive-in bank with Raju on our way back to Jersy City. You could do all your banking while sitting in the car with an amazing efficiency and speed. I observed that in USA it is the convenience of people which is paramount and the attitude of the providers is positive. They focus on “why Not?” rather “Why?” in India.That is what possibly, makes this country so strong and powerful.