America Through My Eyes


Telugu Original : Dr K.Geeta 

English Translation: V.Vijaya Kumar

          Varu should be taken to the skiing class at nine o’clock the next morning. In fact, Satya and Varu had classes at ten o’clock. But the kids had to be taken an hour earlier for the class to hand over to them. The ski resort, which is 5 miles from our hotel, is half an hour’s drive, no matter how slow, on a bumpy road. Everyone should be ready and have breakfast by getting up at least six o’clock to reach the resort by nine o’clock. It is always my responsibility to get everyone ready at the scheduled time.

          The AC in our hotel room made a loud noise and disturbed us all night. It became difficult for everyone to wake up lacking sound sleep. I opened all the curtains to let in the light to relieve the laziness. Looking through the window at the forest, which had been painted black all night, was shining brightly with white color. I yelled in wonderment. It was snowing like a shower of white cotton drops from the sky. There was about a foot and a half of snow on the roof next to the window.

          Hearing my cry, the children got up at once and came to the window. I put on my coat, wore my shoes, and started running out saying, “Hey! Maybe it will stop snowing… I will go outside and must get wet at once!”

          There was a reason for my joy. It was the first moment of seeing so much snow. Children were also getting ready with me! Who will take care of preparations if I go out early in the morning? Varu should be handed over to the class at the scheduled time. Time is running out. “The weather report says that there is a chance of snow outside all this time,” I was discouraged and listened to Satya’s words. I made the children half an hour earlier than expected and brought them downstairs for breakfast. Our hotel rooms are upstairs and the restaurant downstairs. When I stepped downstairs and saw our parked car through the mirrors, my mind blew up. The snow was piled up one and a half to two feet over the car. There was a little space between the cars and the difference in the height of the cars was visible as evidence of the presence of cars there.

          I found the anxiety in Satya’s face. The car is brand new so there is no need to worry about it. What are you afraid of? I asked him, He said anxiously, “How can we proceed in this snowfall without chains for the car?”

          I laughed. What is the use of worrying about it leaving the discussion of the issue at home in the middle? But in difficult times my theory is to use intelligence and not to panic. I said, “Don’t worry” I will go and inquire about all the restaurant people. But I know the answer. They don’t sell them and there is no such store nearby.

          However, I went out and inquired and said to him, “There is a store a mile and a half from here on the road to Dodgeridge, we may get there!”

          While sitting in the restaurant for a long time, enjoying the sight of the snow outside, I spent my time thinking about the car. Children were enjoying the snow.

          Suddenly a flash of a problem arose. Everything we needed to wear to the ski resort, including coats and boots, was in the trunk of the car. We did not expect that when we arrived at night, it would snow so badly even to thwart us from the accessibility of our car. Wherever we stayed in hotels, we took only the necessary items to the room. Everything else is always kept in the trunk of the car. This is a lesson learned.

          And while I was thinking that the sooner the breakfast session is finished, the better it is. Varu ordered something like pancakes and Satya something like omelette. The breakfast session killed a lot of time.

          I came out to go to the car. I brought the keys with me so that I can carry the stuff out of the trunk. Luckily we parked it in the parking lot adjacent to the hotel railing six feet away. I didn’t even have socks on my feet. I stepped into the snow with my sandals on.

          I will never forget the first moment I stepped into the snow. The boundless happiness that has been hidden in the layers of my brain since time immemorial suddenly spread to the whole body from the toes.

          One of my sandals delinked before I reached the trunk. I wiped out the snow on the trunk with my gloved hands. In a moment or so, the cold ran into the spine, and my arms and legs started to go numb. By the time I took out the coats from the trunk, Satya rushed to me and picked up everything. In two or three rounds, we brought everything inside and piled it on the hotel embankment. I couldn’t bear it anymore. I can’t walk with my numb legs on the hotel carpet. I limped to the fireplace wall and started heating up my body for fifteen minutes to regain my senses. The legs slowly recovered and got their normalcy. Another half hour was wasted.

          In the meantime, Siri sneaked outside into the snow. We had to change her wet clothes after she had completely soaked in the snow. Siri is very strong in all of us, she bore it well and simply remarked, “It’s so cold” even though her lips were trembling uncontrollably.

          We and the kids wore our ski clothes and boots. It felt nice and warm. And the next task is to take the car out from the snow heap to the road. Children were asked to put on their seat belts and Satya started the car. I was standing outside to see the reverse. Maybe because of the lack of a four-wheel-drive engine or due to the heavy snow, the wheels were spinning there, not moving even an inch ahead.

          I put gloves on my hands and kept working to keep the snow off the wheels as long as I could. As it was snowing heavily outside, we changed our positions. But no result. Now I resumed the driving seat and slowly tried to reverse taking the outside directions. A couple of car guys struggled outside and easily reversed and drove away, but none of them stopped and came to help us.

          Satya said with intolerance, “Let’s give up, cancel skiing now and go inside!” How can I admit so easily? I said, “Let’s try one more time!” Together, we dug the entire solid planks that were blocking the tires with our hands. This time I resumed the steering wheel and using my common sense, I ignited the car ahead in full gear, and suddenly the car jerked out and plunged to the road.

          Without further delay, I picked up Satya and drove off. I followed the car tracks in front of us. If we override the road margin, our situation will worsen again. Even though it was snowing outside, both of our faces were sweaty. Over a mile on the hardest route of our drive we found a notice sign that there is a shop nearby. The way to go inside was confusing and covered in snow. There is no guarantee whether the shop will be open in that snowfall even if we go there.

          Till then my plan was to take Satya and Varu to the ski resort, and bring Siri to the hotel to relax and then go again at eleven o’clock. When I drove in the snow, I felt it was very difficult to go anywhere with a baby on such snowy days. That’s why we decided to go together. That five-mile drive in the morning was a great adventurous drive. Best drive in my driving history. Satya didn’t listen no matter how much I tried to convince him to take a video. He dismissed, “Hey! stop it, I am in a totally embarrassed state!” A very adventurous and memorable experience. We could not get the chains until we went to the resort.

          Varu’s class has already started. We stopped the car in the snow, and ran inside, leaving the decision for the evening.


(to be continued)

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