Friday, August 14, 2009

Year Two

There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect.
- Gilbert Keith Chesterton
I picked up a friend from the city of Irving who returned from India last Monday and he will now stay with me as my roommate. Perhaps his was one of the easiest address for me to find - it's on the same road DFW's largest mosque is located on - 40 minutes from my place. I wonder how great it is for followers living in that locality to have a mosque so nearby. I long to hear Azan. It's been a year now since I heard it in the open sky. I called up my uncle who lives in the city of Murphy today and reminded him he picked me up from airport exactly a year ago. While having briyani for dinner I recollected the one I had as my first meal in America at his house. He and my aunt had taken so much care and even their mere presence makes peace for me. Alhamdulillah.

45 minutes ago I returned from one of the two swimming pools we have here in the apartment complex. I didn't go there to swim but just to lie there and talk to my friend who came along. It's not humid tonight and not cold either. The sprinklers stayed on for a while when our conversations were on. They never miss a day; even if it's raining. And they seem to serve every inch of grass and plantations that exist here. 7825 at McCallum Blvd is one of the best places to live around the university. Frequently I appreciate the decision taken by my friend's brother who booked this apartment even before I had arrived in Dallas.

Recently the writer of a blog I used to read stopped writing and shut her blog. When I read her post that she was going to close it down the coming Wednesday, I was shocked. Her posts were always around Islam talking about family, relationships and world affairs. There were eight to ten posts every week and I read them all. Now when her new posts don't appear on my Google Reader account it feels sad. Alhamdulillah at least I have them all saved with me in the same account. I guess I miss her blog already. I never thought I would come to miss something like this. I had been reading her for more then two years. I commented only once just recently - to let her know I am going to miss it.

It was a different world when I was with my cousin last weekend and Monday morning. She reminded what a home is. I had forgotten that somebody else could serve me food, place cup of water on the table even before I needed it, pack clothes for me, take care of stuff in my bedroom and see to it that I have no other thing to do except enjoying. Friday afternoon with her family I left for Corpus Christi after I reached her place driving alone for almost four hours. After getting back to Austin I stayed there for a night and returned to Dallas next afternoon. With no doubt the places I visited were all mesmerizing but the time I spent with my cousin, her husband and their children makes me want to visit them again. It's their presence and not the places that made my trip beautiful.

I saw USS Lexington, several beaches on the islands, stayed in a condominium on a canal with boats docked in it connected to the sea, did fishing, stepped into a swimming pool for the first time, saw many snakes, watched crocodiles and alligators being fed, wore shorts for the first time, talked, had conversations and spoke endlessly. My drive to Austin and the return drive to Dallas required me to take two servings for Monster each time and also a caplet of Nodoz. Alhamdulillah I did it good. I had this continuous fear of falling asleep. I stopped once while going and twice while returning. It took me 16 gallons of gas for the total journey and alhamdulillah my car surprised me with over 25 miles per gallon. Two quarts of oil were expected. This was for the first time I drove so much. Alhamdulillah. I even completed 7,000 miles since I bought my car - it took me six months. August 11th marked six months of my car purchase and 13th a year of my presence here.

My 7 year old niece who lives in Austin has her favorite color as pink. She only wears pink clothes, pink sandals and pink shoes. Her bedroom is all pink with pink curtains, pink soft-toys, pink teddy bears, pink carpets, pink trash can, pink wardrobe, pink bed spreads and everything else pink expect the walls. My cousin fears her obsession towards pink might decrease so getting walls pink could require repainting soon. My niece has two younger brothers. The elder one's favorite color is blue. According to her boys are supposed to have blue as their favorite color. She decided that her youngest brother should have green as his favorite and so green was dictated to him. He never had the luxury to decide his favorite. It's just green for him. All this makes it easy for their parents to buy clothes or any other stuff for them.

Every time I go out here for shopping at any store I keep looking for things and stuff I am going to have once I get a place here I am going to call home. But of course my home is in Hyderabad, this place deserves that too. The cars I see, the furniture, the electronics, the curtains, the bed spreads - they are all so disturbingly provocative. It's a fact alhamdulillah I can buy many of these things already but I have nowhere to keep them or use them. I live in a rented apartment with a bunch of roommate friends with idea how it's going to be once I am done with my masters. Every week I create new dreams, update old ones and plan. There isn't much meaning in detailing what all I did when I was out last weekend for a holiday - the pictures I posted on Facebook say it all. The day I returned I had a detailed talk on phone with my cousin again - just a few hours after I left her house; some conversations never end.