Day 24- Coming to America- Boston

This has been a long overdue post. Pardon me if it may seem haphazard by the end of the travelogue! I don’t know if I can even call it one because I have forgotten much of what I had wanted to say. I can’t even remember where I had jotted down all the notes on my observations and experiences of the place. Now all I have are just some pictures. Let me see if I can try gather some of my forgotten thoughts back when I browse through them…

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So we reached Boston after a wonderful experience in Washington which I have recounted here.

Let me admit, at first glance as soon as we stepped out of the airport, Boston didn’t impress me all that much. It was probably because we were still hungover from Washington which seemed much cleaner, more organized and more well laid-out. Boston on the other hand, looked ragged and very congested.

But as we got exploring, visited landmark sites that were witness to so many key events, oriented ourselves with its historic contribution to the American Revolution, we learned that beneath the raggedness were years of toil and sacrifices that made the city so much tougher. Here was the city where the seed of the “One Nation” dream was sowed.

And this DUCK below was what took us around on the first day of getting in…

A replica of a WW2 amphibious vehicle
Its a replica of a WW2 amphibious vehicle

The Duck Tour was a fun way to get introduced to the city. We had a rollicking guide as our ConDUCKtor who kept us all amused and amazed by his terrific sense of humour and a vast knowledge of the city, sharing interesting stories as we cruised past some of the significant monuments and structures. Needless to say, Namnam, had a thoroughly enjoyable ride in this bus which also turned into a boat as it splashed down right into the Charles River giving us a beautiful panoramic view of Boston and Cambridge skylines. And guess who got to steer the boat too!

The guy sitting next to the li'l captain was our ConDUCKtor who was gifted with a terrific sense of humour and a vast knowledge of the city as he took us past all the significant monuments and sites sharing amusing and amazing stories all the while.
😀

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One of our favourite haunts in the 3 days that we were there was The Faneuil Hall Market Place.

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Faneuil Hall was built in 1742 and has been a market place and a meeting hall ever since. It is also a popular stop on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile long walking track that passes along 16 historic sites significant to the building of this nation.

Since our hotel was close by, in the Waterfront area, we used to just head out there for an aimless stroll and to people-watch. The place would give out a very lively and festive vibe with performers, tourists and marketers thronging every evening.
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Boston’s Freedom Trail was not as elaborate as I had expected it to be because of the horribly hot weather. So out of the 16 locations, we could only get to tour about 4 or 5. It was quite enlightening nonetheless.

The Old State House, built in 1713, is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States. It was here that the American Revolution was set in motion. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read out from this balcony of the House.
The Old State House, built in 1713, is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States. It was here that the American Revolution was set in motion. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read out from this balcony of the House. It has now been turned into a history museum and is a conspicuous landmark on the Freedom Trail.

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The Old South Meeting House, built in 1729, was more of a meeting house than a church for colonists who gathered to challenge British rule. Among the many meetings conducted, the House was witness to one particular gathering that triggered one of the most important events leading to the American Revolution- The Boston Tea Party.
The Old South Meeting House, built in 1729, was more of a Puritan meeting house than a church for colonists who gathered to challenge British rule. Among the many meetings conducted, the House was witness to one particular gathering that triggered one of the most important events leading to the American Revolution- The Boston Tea Party of 1773.

So after a brush with history, we decided to spend a day in a place that had the power to shape a kid’s future. The Harvard University.

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Oh how I wished I could go back to college! Such was the electric vibe of the place. I was completely mesmerized. We were given a tour around the campus by a resident student who took us to all the key places..yes including the dorm buildings where Matt Damon and Natalie Portman stayed while they studied there.

And even Mark Zuckerberg!

Yes! That's the hostel he stayed in while he was a student there.
Yes! That’s the hostel he stayed in while he was a student there.

After that fulfilling tour of Harvard, I was content and ready to say my byes to Boston. But Namnam & R had one more pit stop to make. So we set out for our final stop where I chose to stay put and wait at the lobby while they went in to say their hellos to Freida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe and many others.

Leaving you all with a final set of pictures from the Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts

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Day 22- Ringing in Wintery Love

In the past 22 days, every waking hour of mine has elicited one emotion for sure- that of hope. The hope to find some prompt to post. Some fodder. Any grub that I can latch on to.

Today too was no different. I kept looking out for a sign that would tell me, “There! There’s your today’s post!” which came in the form of aloo-methi ki sabzi** and rotis! And while making them I kept feeling jubilant because to me aloo methi always meant that winter was round the corner.

 

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So when I went to check on the WordPress site for today’s prompt, I secretly wished that it would have something suitable for my state of mind. Voila! It sure did.

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As it turned out our dinner did elicit a sense of nostalgia in me. It took me home to Delhi where we would all be layered in our winter-wear, too cold and lazy to walk to the dining table so keep ourselves snuggled inside the razai and be served with hot and steaming chapatis and aloo methi ki sabzi or even methi ke parathe by Ma. Right when we would think that ringing in winter couldn’t get better, she would go one notch higher and serve us gajar-ka-halwa! And that would officially welcome the season.

Even though there is no “winter” here, there are signs still, that we have come to look forward to seeing that could elicit a certain kind of wintery love. So when those signs present themselves nothing can stop me or Namnam from feeling inexplicably happy.

 

** Aloo-Methi ki Sabzi- A curry made with Potato & Fenugreek leaves

Day 21- If we were having coffee..

I’d tell you that I’m not feeling too well today. I’m tired both physically and mentally. So I’d wonder if it would be ok to have tea instead since a good cup of karak chai is what can rejuvenate me, pep me up! I’m more of a tea guzzler than a coffee-lover you see.

I’d tell you that even though I had been meaning to read Go Set a Watchman, Scorpia’s post was what finally got me to borrow it from my library today.

I’d tell you that sometimes the need to prove yourself to people who make you feel accountable to them can take a toll on your peace of mind. Especially when you don’t owe them any explanation.

I’d tell you that when I feel buckled under pressure, all I need to see is an elated face of my child after she hears a simple “you were fantastic, Namnam!” from her music teacher to make me realize that not every achievement is measured by a rating or a certificate. A small word of appreciation, encouragement can make a world of difference. Every child is an achiever in his/her own right.

I’d tell you that the same uncle ji, a fellow volunteer  whom I met last week at the library was there today as well to help us out. And this time I remembered to tell him how I admired his zest for life. Oh how he blushed!

I’d tell you that I have made choley and parathas. So you’re most welcome to join us for dinner after you’ve finished your cuppa!