America Through My Eyes
Telugu Original : Dr K.Geeta
English Translation: V.Vijaya Kumar
When we woke up from the dream of the tulip fields the day before, we saw Mount Rainier towering like a big white cloud in the south of the Seattle skyline. We were thrilled to travel there that day. We didn’t plan to visit many places due to the eighty-mile journey back south from Seattle on the ghat roads, which could take a long time. In the evening, we intended to visit the world-famous Microsoft head quarters and the nearby Snoqualmie Falls, followed by dinner with our close friend’s family near our stay.
I used to train the children rigorously as a military disciplinarian, ensuring they went to bed at 10 o’clock and woke up by 8:00 in the morning. But I didn’t say anything to my mother. Varu remarked, “Daddy, mommy is afraid of her mother.” Nonetheless, my mother made efforts to complete tasks quickly without complaints.
Taking numerous photos is common in the age of digital photography, but the issue arises when camera memory quickly drains out. Satya, our diligent photo- grapher, usually transfers photos from the camera to the laptop every night. How ever, due to tiredness the night before, he forgot to upload and went to sleep. During our journey, we had to manage memory carefully, opting for photos over videos.
Our hotel, located 20 miles south of Seattle, spared us from crossing the city to reach Mount Rainier. The snow-covered mountain looked like a beautiful heap of snow from the surrounding areas, emitting mist with great beauty. Writing poetry seemed inevitable in the face of such breathtaking scenery.
If there was so much snow in April, it seemed unimaginable in winter. Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in Washington, stood as a great volcano with a height of about 14 thousand feet. It possessed beauty as well as danger, with incidents of climbers losing their lives in accidents such as ice peaks falling due to heavy snowfall.
Driving through winding roads, past tall pine trees and icy paths, the snow turned to water, glistening with wetness. There was a parking spot at the bend where the peak first came into view. Satya stopped the car, and my mother and I spent some time in the car feeding the children. Before Satya returned, we got down to take photos of the peak from behind.
Mount Rainier stood majestically, billowing smoke against the blue sky. Staring in awe at the snow peak, I felt a strange pleasure, like reaching there after many births to see that peak, tears welled up with pleasure. Cursing my ignorance sitting idly in the car wasting time, I crouched down on the small wall even though it’s wet there. There I am the sky and I am the mountain. A great love epic slowly changed my mind and made me a poetess. I did not get peace of mind until I put my mind to it that evening.
The poem I wrote:
The sky – The mountain – He and Me
As if he hugged me tightly
The Sky lifted the snowy mountain up there
The snow fogged the Seattle in white
like a heavy rug enwrapped bright
It’s beyond dreamy heights
The mountain Rainier
As if meditating for me thousands of years
standing like a proof in tears
in yoga mudra
For those boons I dreamt
When the clouds blast
The pinnacle of peak
An ample summit of cloud
He lifting the mountain cliff up against the sky
Leaving the land nestled in his arms in the sky
He is armless except encapsulated
with fluffy waves of clouds
The faceless sky except the longing desire
engulfed the whole body
The strength in his breathing airs
Clutch in my every strand of hairs
Prevailing unto my overall body
Those misty fumes ascending sky
scattered from the mountain upward
A deep kiss
A tear on a lash
Just Me and He
Watching the wonderment totally lost
They ran up the mountain
Feeling every part of it
Cajoled in crazy spirits
Turned like fluffy balls
Suddenly made their appearance
Like the offspring to the mountain and Sky
He then nestled them either side
Scrambled up the mountain
Stopped midway looking down at me
As if he missed his beating heart
At the moment I carried away
By the mountain and sky
I born again there into a piece of poetry
I danced in rapt lost in spirit
Trodden upon a paper
From there, as I proceeded to see the actual peak, my heart was filled with pain.
As we approached, the white peak seemed to invite us, stretching its two hands. The children, wearing Satya’s gloves, ran excitedly on the ice. Due to the mountain’s significant height, capturing pictures of the entire peak and the children together with normal cameras was impossible. Already, hundreds of children and adults were engaged in games. Since it was Sunday, there weren’t any services available; we had to play by ourselves.
As we had a long way to travel to the afternoon destinations, we bid farewell to Mount Rainier.
Afterward, we set out to see Snoqualmie Falls, embarking on about a three-hour journey. It was a pleasant drive through beautiful roads, reaching the falls around five o’clock in the evening. Formed by the flow of the Snoqualmie River between Snoqualmie and Fall City, the falls offered a beautiful experience when viewed from above. A hydroelectric power station, approximately 85 feet high, was situated near the waterfall. The children jumped with joy upon seeing it. That morning, having seen a magnificent snow mountain, it felt like I was gazing at heaven suddenly appearing from the sky.
It was a great experience, enjoying the reflecting rays in the water stream from the evening sun and spending a long time there. Since the gift shop was already closed, the children ran around in the bushes and plants. My mother and I chatted for a while while Satya explored. We left after an hour. I felt my body moving in the outer world, but my mind lingered where it pleased.
Another place on our itinerary for the day was the Microsoft office in Redmond, and it was already night when we arrived.
We took photos in front of the office during twilight. In fact, we had a good laugh realizing that we never visited the offices of Apple, just two steps away from our house, Google, five miles away, and Facebook, ten miles away.
Our long-time friend, Somayya garu, was staying at his son Ajay’s house, conveniently close to us. They invited us for dinner, and I brought my favorite apple pie dessert and bunches of tulips for them.
We traversed vast acres of roads and colonies to reach our friend’s house. Their little baby greeted us with violin music. We were delighted by the kindness shown by the family. Since the family had a keen interest in music and literature, we spent two to three hours comfortably.
The children were thoroughly enjoying themselves. It’s not an exaggeration to say that friends who suddenly meet like this fill the gap when we forget relatives far away from our own world and pass the time for years. Ajay provided us with a good guide through emails about what to see in Seattle.
We spent the whole day very happily. The next day marked our return journey. If it’s an evening flight, I thought of seeing something else in the morning.
(to be continued…)
A post graduate in English literature and language and in Economics. A few of my translations were published. I translated the poems of Dr. Andesri , Denchanala, Ayila Saida Chary and Urmila from Telugu to English. I write articles and reviews to magazines and news papers. To the field of poetry I am rather a new face.