America Through My Eyes

WASHINGTON DC- Niagara Day-2

Telugu Original : Dr K.Geeta 

English Translation: V.Vijaya Kumar

          We reached Niagara at dinner time. Snow piled up on the side of the road outside. In the light of brightly decorated lamps, the whole town is shining beautifully as if the sky landed on the ground. During the Christmas month, many downtowns in California decorated the roadside trees with electric lights. I don’t know if it is always like this here or because it is the month of December, but the electric lamps are shining on the sides of the roads and even on the dividers. Not to mention casinos and hotels. Buildings of lamps above the ground seem to sprout at night. On the other side of the coast, there is a glittering city. He said it was “Niagara on the Canadian side”.

          More than on the American side, there were flashes of light on the coast of Canada.

          “The hotel where we will be staying is within walking distance of the falls, you can walk to see the falls after check-in.” Our guide showed us the way from our bus.

          We were taken to the local artiste’s “Native Center” for dinner. We saw the Thundering Water Cultural Show there. The guide said that he had bought tickets for everyone to see the show after dinner. He suggested that we buy the tickets separately for lunch. Ten dollars a plated meal for a head. Dining arrangements were made on one side of the shop which is like a gift shop of Native Indian art forms in a large hall. On the other side, a temporary partition was made for the exhibition. The meal is very simple, with few vegetables, pasta, boiled millet, etc. There is some kind of rice-like item but none of the food is edible. We ate because we had to.

          It was a wonderful display of Native Indian artists there. I liked it very much. We felt like we would have missed it if we went by ourselves. It is an art form of dance that showed how the local primitive tribes worshiped the Powers of nature. Another attraction is the combination of ancient and aboriginal dance techniques. With bird feathered costumes, beaded laces, attractive multi-colored dresses, and the natural embellishments of the aboriginal tribes the demonstration was very impressive. After coming out, we took photos with the artists.

          It was 10 o’clock when we reached our accommodation. It’s bone-chilling cold outside. However, the feeling of not being able to stay away for a moment without watching Niagara pulsating in the heart drove us out. We came out to let all the three children sleep. Even though we were wearing coats and caps, The piles of snow on the side of the roads made us shiver. After crossing the arcs of electric lights that were dimly lit in the cold darkness, we crossed two roads and saw a big sign, Niagara Falls, and the way towards the park. I crossed the road briskly. Satya was coming behind me, as it was so slippery, he slipped in the snow, that I didn’t understand until then. One of the two others coming behind us lost their balance and fell. There were no lights inside the park and nothing visible except the light falling from the road. We started to get over the icy path that sank our feet walking down the winding path. Suddenly we heard the sound of the snow moving behind the fence. The heart stopped for a moment and started beating. When we looked at the iron railing, in the blue light of the night lamps, installed behind the falls, just there the Niagara appeared in front of our eyes, falling torrents of water packs down into the deep abyss. The startling scene at that moment was an unforgettable experience.

          The moment when the long-held desire to see Niagara was fulfilled was the greatest moment of my life. Even though the beautiful and incredible moments were passing away months into the past, the feelings were still hidden in the heart. Niagara is the one who possesses exquisite beauty that does not distract the eyes. At that moment, I wondered if anyone could overcome the coldness of the snow outside and stop the warm tears flowing into their eyes.

          It was so cold that I couldn’t take off my gloves to take a photo and hold the camera for a minute. Maybe impossible in such a situation where it was minus degrees. There was nothing to do but to take pictures with difficulty and quickly return. But, the mind that does not want to move overcomes the body, overcoming the circumstances around it. Both of us stayed there silently for a few moments, marveling at the amazing beauty of the waterfall. There was an amazing feeling in the heartbeats of both of us that was connecting us with threads of an inexplicable feeling. We held our hands and stood for a while speechless. No matter how few moments we spent there that day, great joy skimmed our hearts. No matter how many places I saw, there was nothing more appealing than Niagara. 

          After spending so long in the cold, I still wanted to wander around. Canada can be seen on the opposite coast. We walked forward to the entrance of Canada which is adjacent to the same park. The trail over the bridge said that you can go to Canada on foot. There were no major obstacles on this side either on foot or in vehicles, but you need a visa to come back to America. Perhaps Canadian authorities may ask at the endpoint in the return journey.

          We saw a car check post in the distance and walked back to the US side check post. There was a bit of a rush of cars. But the footpath was barren and there were no guards either.

          It’s already midnight. We should go quickly and sleep for a while. Our guide said that we should leave early the next day and visit Niagara city before noon and reach Boston at night.


(Rest in the next part)

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