Saturday, April 20, 2013


I think about Boston every day. Every single day.

It's a very charming and endearing city. Some may like bustling New York, or the glitzy Los Angeles, but I love Boston for its very special quaint little ways. This is a city I remember fondly for many things. Amongst other things, I remember how the occasional freak wind (which turned out not to be that occasional) broke three umbrellas of mine in a couple of months. I gave up using umbrellas from then on.

Where I stayed, I never worried about my safety- police patrol cars spun around my neighbourhood all day long. The only things that appeared to threaten the peace of the neighbourhood was 1) when the fire trucks pulled up next block a couple of times, probably for the forgetful old lady who didn't switch off the stove and 2) when news channels tell you that a possible hurricane's going to hit Boston.

Winter is incredibly long and the skies often open to offload their stockpile of accumulated snow. Because of Boston, I no longer have illusions of white powdery snow. When the snow melts, it often leaves puddles of black ice for the unwary pedestrian, making people on crutches a common sight during winter. At the same time, winter gave me the opportunity of receiving random acts of kindness, one of which was where a complete stranger on the road offered a hand to me so that I could leap over a few feet of snow.

When the gruelling winter finally ends, blue skies grace the city with its presence once again. It's indeed worthy of celebration because it reminds us that something else exists besides the bitter cold. It's a time when the pathetic-looking tree branches start to fill up with life, vigour and beautiful flowers again. Encased in a thin layer of snow, these buds often manage to emerge strong and bloom beautifully. Walking along the neighbourhoods, I often marvel at the blooming pink magnolias and the other flowers planted along the roadside. The colours of white, grey and black have finally given way to a new palette of colours.

Patriot's day, which is also when the Boston Marathon is held, is a very significant event in Boston. A couple of years ago, I woke up with much anticipation because I wanted to witness the runners conquer the Boston Marathon. The skies were blue, a change from the usual grey skies. The television at home was switched on so that we could track the event. People with balconies held day-long parties while watching the race at the same time. Although it was still slightly chilly in April, people lined the sidewalks to support these runners.

So, why did tragedy land on this beautiful city? 

Nothing of this sort should ever happen anywhere. Definitely not in Boston. And worst of all, definitely not on an occasion where the people who worked hard for their goals came together, to be supported by their beloved family and friends and strangers.

As life in Boston regains normalcy, this episode will definitely cast a shadow on Bostonians. But it is very heartwarming to see how the folks of Beantown helped one another in this time of misfortune. My thoughts go out to them.



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