Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Times Square

Pic: Times Square

As I made yet another bus journey from Boston to New York last week, the feeling of awe had almost disappeared, as it had become a routine to make this trip every few days. Every time I traveled to New York, I was absorbed into a group; the group adding a different dimension to the city. The more I talk about NY, the less it seems, and that can just be attributed to the diverse floating population visiting the city throughout the year. Two of the best cities that I have visited, that have driven me to a feeling of absolute bliss, undoubtedly, have to be Paris and New York.

So, as the Memorial Day trip was made, there won't be any fun if I don't introduce the protagonists who had planned to get together for the three day weekend. Three day weekends are special, since it gives an opportunity to go one notch above, and travel that extra bit. Flight prices soar sky high, but when there are talks of meet up, it is too tempting to let go off the opportunity. Ok, let's get to the unholy introductions. There is no point in introducing about myself, because, I am a sort of guy about whom, The girl next door, would go and tell her mom "He is the 'bestest' guy in the world!"

Let me start with the important devil of the group, Shubhika. Half the time she talks, and the remaining time, she doesn't keep quiet. It is a different matter that her excitation levels are crammed at the peak of Mt. Everest, because that's where she is all the time. Oh, yes, she had me at boiling point on Friday evening, thanks to some last minute chaos!!! Just one of those days!

What about Yadu! If anybody has any ideas of a trip, this is one person you can count on. He would book the tickets a year in advance, and send us the itinerary, and ask us to make plans, when we would have no clue of what he is talking about! Another aspect of this great guy is the fact that, even if there are a hundred people shouting in a group, in excitement, he would remain hidden in a corner, as if he is soaking the world's emotions in silence! The pace at which he talks can actually leave you speechless. Maga,...he would start, and mostly, the others would end up finishing the sentence!

Pic: Liberty Aunty

Rama, the I-know-all man, belongs to a different species altogether. Sample this, Rama, do you know that they are doing...so and so...things in our University now? His response would be with a nonchalant swagger, Yeah, I know, I came to know last week itself!!! After some time, he would be asking us the details!!!

Karthik, aka KC, the guy for whom trash talk is everything in life. He can strike conversation even with a wooden statue, and find out the gossip it is involved in. He would scale all heights to find out the intricate details involved in your life! Machan, unakku oru vishayam theriyuma...(Dude, you know one thing...??)!

Sameer, my last minute planner. Both of us end up planning most of the things on the fly. He would give all possible ways to change your plan every fifteen seconds. He is more fickle minded than me, with a constant question hovering around his head Should I or Should I not? Mmm..., but I cannot blame a fellow Libran!

Gerry, another important character on this trip. He was the cause of the Friday confusion, but in the end, it turned out to be a great blessing in disguise. Thanks to him, Yadu and KC had to deal with the hoteliers to get us the rooms that were rightfully ours!!

Rama's parents, everyone would agree, were in a different league compared to the total bunch. I just pity them for having had to handle the set of different specimens. It is a different matter that they were completely impressed with me. But then, who is not?

About me, I am sure, my friends would spam the comments section with their value added opinion about me!!!

Pic: @ Hard Rock Cafe

Friday evening was filled with confusion, as Gerry was caught up at work, and after a whole lot of conversations exchanged between me and Shubhika, she eventually made up her mind to accompany me and Sameer in the 2:30 am bus. You just have to ask Sameer and Madan, as to how much time, we had spent on planning. It was fluctuating in such a way that the plan was changing every other second. Sameer had never been to the Statue of Liberty, so he stayed with us, the first day, and then, went his way to Philadelphia to spend time with his cousins. Two and a half days, and the number of places we visited were just too many - Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Times Square, Empire State, Brooklyn Bridge, UN building, Grand central station, and in the midst of it all, we had to go to Lexington Avenue for lunch on all three days. One of the things that seemed strange was the owner at Tamil Nadu Bhavan, who was so unfriendly, that I almost lost my temper. We were a group of eight, and as we entered the restaurant, he, in a very gruff voice spoke You have to sit at two separate tables. If you want to sit together at a single table, then there are no chairs. What did he expect of us? To sit on the floor and eat or what? I immediately told the guys, Let's vacate this place! But then, Yadu was like, Ask him to cool down, and let us get inside and sit at two separate tables.

Pic: On Brooklyn bridge

NY trip is great fun, but at the same time, it can be tiring too. Three days, and most of the time, you spend walking from one avenue to another. It was a challenge to keep pace with Rama's parents. They were a bundle of energy, and it was tough to keep pace with their enthusiastic attitude. One of the days, I was feeling so tired, that I was scared to ask the other guys whether they were feeling tired too. I didn't want a negative answer from them. But as the day progressed, I realized that everyone was as tired as I was. It was actually a comforting feeling, and, my energy levels shot up!!!

Pic: At Olive Gardens; The chocolate Almond drink was great!

These three days were a treat time for all. Yadu's birthday treat was the highlight of the trip, as we spent the evening at Olive Gardens, an Italian restaurant, on Times Square. Times Square is one place which can lift you from the worst of spirits. People from all walks of life assemble here, and the constantly moving population fills you with such a positive attitude like never before. The people, here, are lovely too! (wish you could see my grin!!!)

Overall, it was a great trip, and as always, it would be great to get to NY for a quick weekend outing. After every such trip, I realize that it is so important to have a good group to hang out together, else the whole entertainment value is lost. And it was a great one year, what with the last Memorial weekend (2007) too being spent in NY, and a part of the current crowd was with us at Boston some months back. It was also great to spend some quality time with elders, a great feeling of home away from home, with a luxurious first day breakfast of chappathis and aloo curry, and gojju! So, hoping for more long weekends ahead to have more colorful outings!


  1. alright..awesome post..but don't you think yo went over board in lying about yourself!!!I am sure all others will agree. Yes Friday was crazy..thanks to Jerry and you..Anyways it was a blessing in disguise and the trip was total fun!!! I esp enjoyed some moments in Pongal..courtesy Kc...everyone knows what I am talking about..right!!! Thanks once again o everyone who made the weekend great and a special thanks to Rama's parents for just being there and making it so much more fun with all the good food ;)

  2. GK..fickle minded..huh?? "After so many years, I don't have to prove anything to anyone" ;)
    was indeed a fun trip..u ROLLA guys r gr8 bunch of ppl..thanks again for a wonderful time and special thanks to Rama's parents!!

  3. Awesome blog!!! It was yet another FUNN trip after Boston!! I have somehow started to love East Coast after visiting just 2 cities in the East!! I might probably eat my words if I visit in Winter!! :-)
    But ya.. NY is in a totally different league.. The energy in NY is just unbeatable!! Lovely place.
    And BTW... Mr.GK: Look who's talking about gossip :-) I have never seen anyone as enthu as you to listen to some good (or bad) gossip; and you saying I am the one like that. You are the KING OF GOSSIP :-) For you, its like eating Jamoon!! ;)
    BTW... Friends.. Looks like GK wants to "SAVE MONEY" if you know what I mean :D

    Thanks to each and everyone of you esp. Rama's parents for that constant entertainment and for having stayed with us (bunch of characters) for 3 days and of course our gang in Boston for being an excellent guide!! :-)

    The next question that strikes me is: WHERE NEXT?? :)

  4. ........................(silence)

  5. Hmmmmmmmm.... so you had fun.

  6. Nice write GK esp abt Shubhika and Yadu.
    Loved the time spent

  7. Yeah, I had to keep my mouth closed because I could not bare your nonsense talk anymore. I still say my one sentence carries equal weight compared to your 100 sentences. I don’t know how much torture Rama’s parents would have undergone.

    Rama, Thanks for giving blank check, How much money do you have in your account?

    Prveen, Bestest guy???? Please don’t marry any other girl and spoil her life. The only one which can manage you is waiting for you in your future working city ;-).

    Anyway the trip itself was fun starting from Friday night. Don’t forget you got to stay in $400 a night hotel at $100. It was an eventful day filled with confusion.

    Even though I had planned this trip 4 months ahead (instead of 1 year as told by GK) somebody has to book ticket at the last moment by paying $700 just to say some Rajnikanth dialogue.

    Shubhika, as usual you executed the tour very well even though you were about to cancel. Our contract is more than fulfilled ;-). I hope we will have another trip dedicated to shopping!!!!

    Gerry, glad your SPI bus started working so you could catch the real bus :).

    BTW, for the people who don’t know, GK's new title is hor** desp* plunger.


  8. yadu!!!! brilliant....that is very very well said

  9. And Sameer,
    I know you will be celebrating the liberation from next month.

    Also let us know the photos at liberty works out for you ;)


  10. Cool ....
    And since when have u become sarcastic !!! ... lol

  11. Sounds like you people had lots of fun!!! Keep rocking!! :)

  12. Yup, it was an awesome trip, though all of you have your own exaggerated versions about me!!! Cuckoo & Lakshmi, yes, we had great fun. Worth the weekend :-)

    Sameer, you are not Tendulkar to say that :-) We are meant to entertain the world with our hyper energy levels!!!

    Yadu Don't feel hurt man, Truth is like the sun, it hurts :-) Whether you like it or not, it will require some time for you to get the "bestest" tag! Don't fret! I am sure you would have already booked your tickets for the Christmas trip :-)

    KC, The man for whom gossip is life, I don't want to save more than what I earn :-) Your solution is not worth it :-) I heard from some sources, that you are interested in the mode that you are suggesting me. Don't tell me it is just a rumor!!!!

    Shubhika: For me, truth is the ultimatum :-)

    Vasuki: How was Monaco GP? Sad that Force India got gutted out thanks to Kimi :-(

  13. u r right, Liberty Aunty! lol


  14. What a fun trip it seems to have been - New York does sound as good as it is.
    And the owner of TN Bhavan, I hope, is an exception in the hospitality business.

  15. Raji mami,
    Looks like I always have a problem when it comes to food :-)

    NY is a great place. Have you visited?

  16. Yes, Praveen, I have, my son and his wife work there.

    The last time we were there, we had the unusual experience of seeing ourselves( my husband, my son and me) on one of the h..u..g..e hoardings there as part of a publicity campaign for a car. They were stopping people who were walking by, and asking if they minded being photographed and appearing there atop a building. :-). We were not carrying a camera, unfortunately, to record the event.

    New York is indeed a terrific place.