Sunday, September 17, 2006


I had a short stint of 100 days in U.S.. I used to write everyday to my two daughters. The following is one such page from my journal. This is a day’s experience – to be precise on the Day 41.

DAY 41 19.03.’02 MONDAY

It is the 41st day. So far it had never happened this way. Only today – now – I am crying. Tears are rolling down my cheeks. I don’t know what to do. The day started like any other day, or rather started well since I woke up only at 10.20. Till then had a very peaceful sleep. On days without class mostly I had been taking brunch. That makes things easier. I take a late brunch and then go to the lab and stay back for long. So, thought of taking a brunch today also as any other day.

On a day started so well, I am now sitting in the kitchen alone and crying. Cao, the Chinese friend, has gone to Chicago and is yet to come back. I am lonely. Luckily none is there to see my tears. I feel so helpless. I am unable to stop the stream of tears that is running down my cheeks on to the t-shirt. I don’t even try to wipe them off with my hands. What’s the use?

I think of you people at home. Tears well in my eyes more and more. Is it the same thing they too experience, I wonder. Still the tears are running down. Then I feel that I am lucky since this will be all over exactly in another 60 days. On the 60th day from this day I will be flying back to home, sweet home. But even this thought does not bring the tears to halt. I keep shedding them unashamedly.

Then a bit of reality and philosophy. Reality – it is only for another 60 days. Then things will straighten themselves out. Philosophy – if I have to shed tears when I cut onion for making sambar like this, how long you, the womenfolk have been suffering all along and will be suffering!

Well! even all that does not start well likes this ends well. With all the tears and all that, today’s sambar has come out good. Almost like that I used to have at home, except for the density – it was a bit dense. So, a great cook is born, nay, made today! I patted myself for that.

post script:

Things were quite good in all respects in those 100 days. However one major problem I had to tackle was to prepare my own food and more than that eating it too! The times in the kitchen were the trying times for me. Before the eyes of my Chinese room-mate, Cao I had to many a time crouch down in the kitchen. He was such a good cook and I had never ventured more than trying my hand in preparing tea at home. When I tried to fry fish it turned out to be கருவாடு! When I tried to heat the readymade chappaathi in the oven it turned into முறு முறு அப்பளம்! குழம்பு became கூட்டு and vice versa. Got so fed up with this, on the end of my stay there I preferred fresh veg with vegetable dip and fruits. However, things are so different now since with vengence I tried my hand once I was back to India!