America Through My Eyes


Telugu Original : Dr K.Geeta 

English Translation: V.Vijaya Kumar

          As the outside of the ski resort was snowing the veranda became wet with water. People queued at the entrance of the resort halfway up the hall. We stood at the end of the line. It is not possible to enter there without registration. Our turn came after another half hour. We stood in the equipment pickup line. Necessary ski boots and ski equipment were provided as part of the ski tutorial ticket, and helmets were charged an extra 10 dollars per head.

          While this process was going on, my duty was to control Siri who wriggled to sneak away all the while. It was a herculean task for me.

          Dodge Ridge Ski Resort was better than any other ski resort we have seen so far. On two or three small hills the thick snow was carefully carved and made smooth and sloped for skiing. If you look around you will see all the skiers on all three sides. On one side there were professionals, in the middle children and on the other side the recent learning adults.  Professionals go up hills and ski down. There are open lift services that take them to the top. Intermediary lifts were there to go to the middle of the hill and come down. Learners walk up the hill to a certain extent with a rope and ski down. A good thing is those who accompany the skiing people have the opportunity to roam freely to take photos and videos.

          Varu moved to her class. I could not accompany her as Siri kept running away from one side to another. Many batches of classes were going on. After half an hour, their coach came and picked her up. The class may be completed in another hour. Satya went to his class. As they wore ski boots, they both walked like astronauts, as if it was hard for them to take a step. I couldn’t help laughing. 

          The weather was clear till then, but all of a sudden it got cloudy and snow started to fall. In a minute, it became hazy. No one was seen around.

          My situation is horrible. I was to take photos with one camera and videos with another camera and keep an eye on Siri not to jump away. It’s like Ashtavadhanam. That’s why I took Siri to a safe place and then thought of doing something. It was impossible to crouch for more than five minutes in the heavy snow.

          A large glass cabin was seen on the second floor right in the middle where both of their classes were visible. It’s said that it’s a counter for a complex of restaurants at the resort. We can only get there through the snow. We don’t know whether it will stop sooner or later. The whole area of ​​the veranda where we were standing was soaked and chilly. It is impossible for me with this kid to go there carrying the luggage bags.

          I allured Siri with some small gummy bear chocolates and convinced her that I would give them to her if she walked along with me. She followed smartly. No sooner had we got down from the veranda and stepped into the snow, than we stuck our feet knee deep. Siri insisted on gummy chocolate for every step ahead. We walked some- how to the next building, and when we were about to climb the stairs, our shoes slipped on the stairs. 

          “Mommy, help me” cried Siri and started crawling in the snow. The gummy packet is already finished. I don’t know how I managed to climb the twenty steps while holding the child and the bags.

          When we got into the restaurant hall, we both were drenched in the snow. I hurriedly changed the baby’s clothes and warmed up.

          The sun sneaked out once in a half hour from the clouds while in the meantime, the clouds showered the snow. 

          It was a funny climatic condition. It’s warm and cozy inside the glass cabin. Will any childlike person be satisfied being hidden in the safety inside at those alluring moments?

          That whole day, Siri and I hit the snow when it was warm enough, and ran inside when it was too cold to stay there.

          I can’t say how pleasant it was to enjoy it.

          I dumped our luggage at the restaurant complex on a table, took out the camera, and came out. Both of us wore well-equipped clothes and gloves.

          The restaurant facade was covered in lumps of snow. It’s raining continuously outside. 

          The soft snow was falling hither and thither. When we tried to make a snowball it froze. We enjoyed the alluring whitish balls. They felt soft and sizzling on the palm, chilling and funny. I couldn’t help tasting it when it was pouring down straight away on us. 

          When she saw a frozen snow shape nearby, Siri exclaimed suddenly, “So man, Mommy, So man!” She means “Snowman!” Children make “snowmen” out of snow just like we build nests in the sand. They keep a smaller one on the big snow lump and carve their nose, and legs into the form of a man. We both worked together for an hour to make a “snowman”. It looked like a penguin because we didn’t find any scaffolding sticks nearby. Siri exclaimed, “Hurray, Snow Man!”

          While we were making this, two restaurant workers cleared the lumps every hour with machines to clean the benches and chairs stuck in the snow on the verandah. They kept clearing the snow, though it was falling continuously. They didn’t disturb our Snowman. It was kept intact until we left that place in the evening. Siri got tired and ready to sleep.

          When the sun was shining, we started making “snow angels” again. This time we went down the stairs and walked to the ski location. “Snow Angels” means lying down in the snow and waving arms like “butterflies” making impressions in the snow.

          We both spent the evening in that white-washed background where the earth and heaven met in the boundless world of nature.

          I  tried to take photos and videos of Varu and Sathya now and then.

          Varu came back in one hour from the class and went for her trails in the afternoon session. Satya after the lunch break went to his class. Siri and I relished various tastes while waiting outside.

          Classes were conducted for two hours only. After that, we can practice by ourselves till the closing time of the resort with their rented equipment. I watched keenly how Satya and Varu performed. Varu performed well going to the top hill coming down with great skill, Satya struggled a bit with a bit of imperfection.

          I had tried skiing before but fell and wounded my head. So this time I spent playing with my kid rather than skiing. But I wanted photos of skiing for a memory. So at the end of Satya’s session, I wore the equipment and posed for photos.

          Even though there was a lot of time before the resort closed, we packed up everything by 4 pm. Soon the snowfall subsided and the sun was shining bright. Outside the car parking, in the thin melted snow, the sun rays reflected in the water, turning the whole area yellow. A thin blade of snow clung to the back of our car, deflecting the sun’s rays. I kept my head on the car for a while and enjoyed the beautiful scene, forgetting about the surroundings.

          I may never forget that day in my life, which left me with a beautiful and incredible feeling that chilled me in the morning of that snowy day and made me sometimes scared and sometimes shivered my nerves as well. By the time we got back to the hotel, the snow that had been bothering us since morning had melted away and cleared the route for our car. We heaved a sigh of relief. 


(to be continued)

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