By the time I was 15, I pondered a lot about love, romance and relationships. My family was a disturbed family and I was mostly alone at home. My father always abused my mom and used to hit her. I couldn't take this anymore when I reached junior high school.
It was the first time I saw her. She had a beautiful long hair, she looked very innocent. I was attracted to her the very first moment and the feelings came out natural. I don't know if they were right, I don't know if this should have happened .... There were many questions appearing in front of me but I slowly started walking towards her. No matter how we are to the outside world, but from inside everyone craves for romance and love. My imagination and attraction towards her were drawing my heart to a place which is not very normal for everyone. I slowly approached her and greeted her "Hi, you look sort of ... lost here!".
"Yeah!" she said. "Could you help me to find out my classroom? I am new here."
This is how we got introduced and turns out that she was in my class. Her name was Ashley. She was very sweet like a rose and charming. It took no time for me to get close to her and be her friend on the first day of my school. We started getting to know each other well. We took same classes, had lunch together and spent most of the time together.
Our final exams were due next week. She was behaving very differently with me. I tried to call her many times but she would never pick up her phone. I was more curious now to find out what's going on. Two days passed by and I couldn't take it anymore and I went to her home. She was very upset. Her parents were getting divorced. She never wanted to stay away from them. But few things were not in her hands. She was very happy to see me. She hugged me and cried a lot. I felt sorry for her. I just told her that she should be happy that instead of fighting with each other and physically abusing they are going to part away. This is many times better than what I saw in my childhood. She sort of understood but it was hard for her that very moment. I told her that I would come with my books next day and we should start studying seriously. She nodded her head. I felt like I should take the responsibility of her and protect her from any further damage. I don't know whether this was love, attraction or anything. But by the end of this week, I had the courage to tell myself that I am in love with Ashley!
I winked my eyes, pinched myself to make sure its not a dream. But I didn't want to say anything to her until our exams were over. On the last day of our exam, I managed to gather my guts and went near her. I kissed her on her lips and hugged her. Then I told her "Ashley, I think I am in love with you."
But she was shocked. 'What?? What's wrong with you? Do you think I am that kind of girl?".
"I just thought you were my very good friend, nothing else. I am not GAY !!! JEZZZZZZZ"
Yes, everyone that was the time I found out that I am GAY and I walked up with courage to someone in order to lead a better life.
"But I care about you. I love you and will support you throughout my life" I cried.
But alas as you might be guessing now, I was humiliated enough throughout my high school for being a gay. Well, my first love never happened. But I haven't lost hope. I know I will survive through this phase and will find a love of my life.
P.S. This post is a tribute to LGBT day !
A road trip with family or friends is always so fun. It is a great way to tell our own story. After all it is much more fun to read rather than a typical autobiography. Recently after seeing the bollywood movie "yeh jawani hai deewani" i remember a dialogue.
Deepika - "tum apni life se kya chate ho bunny"
Ranbir - "Raftaar..."
So, I want to narrate one of my upcoming picturesque tale of the journey across the country that I am awaiting to take! After hearing and reading about lot of cross country road trip experiences me and my husband decided to take the great america road trip. America is a huge country divided into 4 parts: West coast, east coast, Midwest and south. There are around 50 states that constitutes united states. The blessing of staying in America is that anyone with a car can go out anywhere. A driver's licence is the country's main identity. While in India I remember having PAN card or ration card to be the main identity. This is the country with major freeways, rest areas and services to support road trips. We have been hearing about people traveling from east coast to west coast in a span of 15 days. So, when we got jobs in the west coast we thought why not make this move interesting and memorable !
Traveling is mostly about dreams - dreaming of mountains, valleys, landscapes, animals. This made me to imagine myself in those locations. My dream involved driving miles of journey with smile. It involved the comfort, luxury, holding hands of my husband, imagining myself in the midst of the grand canyons, or caught in the forest of yellowstone ! The day when I had entered united states I had made up my mind to visit as many states as possible and collect the memoir from that place. I also had this crazy idea to stand in front of the welcome signs of different states in USA. Everything was going to come true. I want to keep a journal with me all the time to write down the most amazing things that I experienced in that particular city/town.
So, I started to map out all the interesting places to visit from Minneapolis to San Francisco. This is a pretty long road trip and I want to cover as many states as possible. After living here for sometime I am used to the lush greenery this state has and also Minnesota is known as land of 10,000 lakes. So, we start out from here and travel to the beautiful California.
First destination that we though is Mt. Rushmore, which is in south Dakota. I have been studying about presidents of United states and it would be an amazing experience to actually see them carved on a mountain. The distance from Minneapolis to mt. Rushmore is around 600 miles so this would be just endless driving on the roads. It is located in the black hills of south Dakota. This was the idea of Doane Robinson to draw people from all over the country to his place. It is one of the famous national monument of the united states. Four presidents who are carved on the mountain are George washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. It took 14 years to complete mount rushmore.
Our next destination would be the famous "Yellow stone national park". We definitely have to spend around 2 days to check this place out. This is one of the breath taking places in this country. Also, this is the country's first national park. This park was formed in 1872. The parks's size and its diverse national offerings would set it off from any other place in the world. Yellowstone's iconic geysers and bubbling pools of deep blue water constantly remind that the park sits on a super volcano who had massive eruptions. Park size is around 2.2 million acres, spread over northwestern Wyoming, parts of Idaho and Montana. I can only try to imagine how beautiful the scenery would be. Places like this are must visit if you live in USA. I am sure with heavy heart we need to move on with our trip.
Next stop is Denver, Colorado. The home of famous Indian actress Madhuri Dixit. I always wanted to visit Denver for the Rocky mountains. I have been studying and mapping the mountain on the chart during my school days and finally I would be visiting the place. Rocky mountains features majestic views of the hills, lakes and wild life. We have so many resources online to check the must visit places in here and not to mention we would love to see the downtown in Denver. Some funny facts about Denver is that it is the second most educated city in united states. There are around 200 mountain peaks visible from Denver. The panoramic picture would be a memorable one !
Moving on to next destination is the Arches national park. I have heard and read about this national park a lot. There are very nice hiking destinations. This national park is situated in Utah and has around 2000 natural sandstone arches. We would be very much excited to do hiking and little bit of rock climbing over here. I believe every picture taken in this place would be an eye catching one. Such is the beauty of this place. I am sure we would encounter some hiccups while hiking since during this activity we don't have any other form of entertainment than gossiping or fighting on unwanted stuff. But I would want to play some childhood games like Antakshari or screaming on top of my voice. There is abundance of wildlife in Arches and would love to take picture of the deers, mules.. but I hope not to meet Tiger or Lion. Then it would be "fun trip gone bad"
Next destination would be my favorite Grand Canyon. It has a vast history. Grand canyons are part of colorado river basins which has developed 40 million years ago. The natural curves that are seen on these mountains are formed by colorado river. Isn't it amazing to see a place which is that old. My itinerary for this place is amazing. I am planning to take an aerial tour of the Grand canyon. Since it is divided in three important rims. The northern rim, southern rim, western rim. My first destination is southern rim and with aerial tour I will be covering the northern rim as well. I am sure I will capture some breath taking pictures while flying. So, for now I am just attaching the google picture. I have plans to go for moderate hiking on the canyons. One such scenic hiking is Bright Angel trail. This is one of the steep trails in grand canyon but i am sure it would be an amazing experience. The website www.nps.gov gives complete information about any national park in the united states. So, all the database is enclosed ! The other nice trails are the grand rim trail, horse shoe trail etc.
Even if i leave grand canyon the journey is still incomplete. We will drive to grand canyon west and experience the skywalk. There is a rich cultural heritage in this western rim. For thousands of years this area has been inhabited by Hualapai tribals and other native americans who made many caves in midst of this giant rock formation. There are some bus tours that take close to these tribal living. The roads condition while driving in grand canyon is not that great. This is where we would feel happy for having a great SUV to drive on. Plus the fresh air because of the scent inside the car will bring us more close to the wilderness. Grand canyons is located in Arizona and from Minneapolis to here there will be a drastic climate condition change. This is what I like about traveling in united states. Each state is different in its own way ! Plus there is a time zone change from central time it will be the mountain time.
Winner winner, chicken dinner !This is a line from the famous gambling movie 21. Yes, finally I will be visiting the fabulous Las vegas. From the mountains and natural beauty to the man made creations. Las Vegas represents the fulfillment of all our hidden fantasies - easy money, risk, entertaining shows, drinking on the road etc. You can be who you want to be when you are in Vegas. Also, one more quote is "What you do in Vegas, stays in Vegas". The city scape would be mesmerizing with tall and world class hotels. Slow moving trucks with billboards that advertise girls for hire, restaurants, bars and nightlife. This city is sure going to dazzle me, until my eyes would believe. For all those natural creations, we have a man made version here. If you haven't seen Eiffel tower, now is the chance to see in front of hotel Paris. Not seen the egyptian pyramids and sphynx, you didn't loose much. You can see this in front of Luxor hotel. There are so many free shows in front of these hotels and one is the musical entertainer of Mirage by our own Zakir hussain. This is a city without limits. We too plan to gamble for some amount and try our luck here.
Last but not the least, famous Los Angeles whose name I heard since my childhood. There are so many beaches here and the famous Hollywood studious. After living in the fantasy world, its time to travel back to our destination San francisco. Home of giants (baseball team). City where the famous golden gate is situated.
I hope my wish comes true and I actually enjoy my journey as described in this post.
P.S. Images are taken from google.com since I haven't visited these places yet!