We were in India for the weekend – well almost! We were in Niagara falls for memorial day weekend, and I had to see it to believe it – there were more desis there, than all of Pallagoundapalayam put together. One friend had told us, that on memorial day weekend, there would be so many desis that it would be difficult to find a good patch of grass that was not already covered by a jamakaalam and desis sitting on it. A combination of telugus, tamilians, maharashtrians, hindi speaking and IndiEnglish speaking crowd, some of whom were the typical TCS, Infy, CTS, Covansys groups talking in typical ‘Yes ya No ya’ lingo. Others were young families with parents from India – typical vaira thoddu maamis and maamas wearing layers of over-sized jackets and shoes and mufflers on a what we would consider a fairly warm day and trying to push along sleeping babies in strollers. Some of those were a bit more adventurous, wrapping up few month olds in blankets and ponchos, standing in line for more than an hour to see the cave of the winds, and then eventually making the trip down with wailing babies in hand.
The falls themselves were totally worth it. Huge volumes of water pouring over cliffs. The American falls, looked a little bit threatening and powerful. The horse shoe falls on the other hand were so graceful in their fall. The maid of the mist and the cave of the winds were both a unique experience. I would love to go there again, just this time, I would try to stay in a hotel with view of the falls.
It made me wonder, what it was that we desis saw that the locals apparently didn’t care for that much. A person at work who is probably in her 50s now, said she visited Niagara once when she was 2 and had no recollection of it. Perhaps, it is the idea that they cannot really camp out there and that Niagara falls cannot really be considered a spot for adventurous white water rafting, or skiing or quiet fishing. But we as an Indian population, really try to visit places that are a pleasure mainly to the eye, not necessarily something that requires physical interaction with nature or any kind of adventure. Perhaps, it is the lack of finding similar such spots (in South India) back home. Perhaps, it is the need for us to find a place that is friendly to people of all ages, us, our parents and our wailing babies, a place where vegetarian food is at least a possibility and the restrooms physically stay in the same place all the time.
It is no wonder then, that I spotted atleast 3 or 4 Indian restaurants within a few blocks (though they served shoddy food for the price, and were way too overcrowded).
All in all, I would have to say I had an enjoyable road trip (my first one in this country), and a memorable experience at the falls. Those of you, who haven’t yet been there, be sure to make a trip to this desi hot spot of America.
Now.. enjoy some pictures..