Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A place called home - 52 weeks of creative exposure.

Week 10 and 11
The chicago river is green due to St Ptricks Day celebration 
It was beginning to get dark and I had promised to be home for dinner, we were planning to go out to an Indo-Chinese place that had just opened in the neighborhood. This was the ira before mobile technology had percolated into households. I got out of work, it was sweltering hot even at 7pm and it was only March . The city was bustling with traffic…walking through the crowd, I waded my way to the auto stand and got in - South Dilli (Delhi) as he zigzagged his way through the traffic I held on to my dhupatta ( stole) and covered my face - the soot from the blue line busses were getting to me. These were days when Delhi was safe, you never thought twice walking on the streets.

In an hour after my auto drive I was sipping jasmine tea in a Chinese restaurant. It was packed to the core….the air smelled of spicy soy sauce and freshly cooked soup. The aroma was overpowering ( in a good way) and it was hard to wait for food to come in.  I was treating my sister and her family from my first salary. My little nephew was right next too me, sipping his chicken-corn soup….as his little fingers reached out to get the spring roll - there was a huge party of youngsters who made their way to the table next to ours - looked like a birthday celebration. They seemed to be charmed by the little fellow next to me, they asked him his name, his favorite color, his school….


”April shower brings May flowers” there was still snow on the ground and the winds were bone chilling. “This is weird, it has never been like this, we don’t get snow in April”. I did not care, I was excited to see snow for the first time in my life, I felt like I lived in a snow globe - it was enchanting. Two years from a warm March evening in a Chinese restaurant in the heart of South Delhi, I was in Moline - a small city in the Midwest ,United States. 


We drove through empty roads trying to find ‘Olive Garden’ - we were told that it had the best Italian food.  “ No traffic - it’s a pleasure driving on these roads” I could see my better half enjoying the rental, well we can’t go past 35 mph anyway I thought to myself. “Is it a safe place, this looks desolate” I heard myself say…It was a decent size restaurant …there were hardly any people, an old man sipping a soup while reading the New York Times. A couple of youngsters scattered here and there. “ It’s Monday evening, it’s a week day ….you should see this place on a weekend “ Is what I was told, as my husband almost read my mind. We survived for a couple of months,  the pot lucks, mall, empty roads started to ware us down and even before we had settled in we were packing our  suitcase and moving to Chicago. 


I fell in love with Schaumburg ( suburb of Chicago) from the very first moment, it still felt pale compared to the hustle and bustle of Delhi, but I liked the quite, it was not lonely like Moline and not half as crowded as Delhi. Delhi, my days were packed, late nights - working on media reports till whee ours of morning....family, friends, street food, work, you can loose a life time without having a milli second to ponder. Here I was with time on my hands - that's all I had and a new life. These two lives were poles apart, as though they were from different eras. Slowly I become comfortable with my new life, and it became a part of me….walking on the streets of Chicago on a near perfect spring day, the traffic, walking through pedestrians, brings back memories of almost two decades. Even with it’s brutal cold winters, the city has an energy to it.  As we drove back to the exit that took us home, I saw the city lights fade into the horizon ....this was home....



#ChicagoDowntown #SimiJoisPhotography
#DowntownChicago #SimiJoisPhotography

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  1. I love reading you post Simi. Keep sharing :)

  2. Love your pictures. I feel like, I am visiting Chicago through your pictures.

  3. loved your write up and your photography..mesmerising

  4. loved your write up and your photography..mesmerising

  5. Simi.. for sometime i was transported to Delhi through your writeup..and then Chicago through Pictures. Lovely!!

  6. Lovely clicks. lense info please?


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