Monday, May 14, 2007

Vignettes From DC - Part 1

J is very patient for someone her age but making her stand in line behind a few hundred people to see the Hope diamond at the Natural History Museum was more than she could take. The guy ahead of us joked that we must all have rocks in our heads to go through this to see another rock.

The last time J and I were standing in a serpentine line like this one was about five years ago when we were at
Tirupati for her mundan. Waiting in line becomes second nature when you grow up in India. There are always several hundred sometimes thousands of people ahead of you no matter what you are trying to get done. You learn to patiently await your turn. This is the only way we know to bring the masses into some semblance of order.

I have been out of touch with waiting the last few years. But this wait could not be more different from the one in Tirupati. My visit to there with J was the third in my life. The two other times were memorable and I looked forward to that moment we would get to be in front of the deity. The wait as before had been very worthwhile, there was a sense of exhilaration that I could give J this experience while she was still so young.

Here we were waiting to see the biggest blue diamond in the world with a legend of curse on anyone who possesses it. The experience was a lot like trying to catch a glimpse of a celebrity. When at last we reached our destination, it was a little underwhelming. I felt relieved to get out the door and out of the museum.

I was convinced that I must have rocks in my head to wait close to two hours to see another rock. But that's what that a heady mix of diamonds, kings, Gods and curses reduces ordinary mortals to. J was entirely unimpressed. It took the dinosaurs downstairs to redeem the trip somewhat. We must come back another time. Note to self - When in a museum, do not wander away in the direction of gemstones and the like. Show more consideration for J.

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