Arriving somewhere...

I've found myself a friendly corner by a glass wall at a Chipotle close to the university. I enjoy taking in the sights while stuffing myself with a bowl of carnitas loaded with the hottest sauce they have have there (not half as spicy as our friendly neighborhood Chaat Guy's kaara masala though).
Paid close attention to the music they play on their speakers. Tried ID'ing the songs for a while in vain. I wasn't even sure what genre they were. Felt humbled by the fact that a restaurant could play good indie-sounding music that I could appreciate without a clue about who it was by. Finally heard a familiar song on my way out (Banshee Beat - Animal Collective). 
What have I been up to other than being totally impressed by the high standard of the musical palate here? Well, I've been trying to take it easy on the overwhelming moments, choosing rather, to digest one thing at a time (and I'm not just talking about the carnitas. I like sitting at these quaintly situated seats along certain main streets with something to munch on and watch the city move in front of me. And suddenly, the world is no longer a sea of humanity and the expression of individuality that San Francisco is notorious for starts getting ever so noticeable. What do I mean by that? When I'm not totally disoriented and actually have a moment to breathe, I will typically begin getting conscious of my surroundings and the people in it... blond woman in business casuals with a little caterpillar tattooed behind her ear,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the sound of an approaching skateboard, a zero-emission tram passing by, tall man in razor sharp corporate attire walking with a copy of the WSJ folded in the crook of his tall-latte clutching arm and kidskin attache-case in the other, homeless man in the corner with all his worldly possessions inside a shopping cart beside him, girl on the train with flaming pink hair and neon-green nose ring reading a hardcover on the train and so on.
Spent most of the weekend with friendly people who made me feel at home. I'm quite thankful to them for that, goes a long way for someone in a strange land in the process of planting his feet on the ground.
I find several aspects of the so called 'American way of life' to be very strange compared to what I'm used to seeing. Pets in this country have a cushy life. The veterinary hospitals I've seen so far are about the same as those expensive private hospitals in Bangalore. Deep inside, I feel a strange painful feeling knowing that a large part of our masses have a lower standard of life than the animals here. I remember feeling guilty about occasionally driving to the grocery shop near home to buy bread and eggs. I saw one guy here who drove his monster truck, with wheels as tall as I am, to get ice cream.
I try and not compare everything I see against some unknown "ideal" and try and just accept things and get on with it, but sometimes I can't help but notice that this nation's been blessed immensely by a very gracious God. If they could only accept that very simple fact instead of being stuck in an existential hole in the ground and use all their energy figuring out if we're all meant to be deejays and homosexuals.
In church yesterday, we were shown a video of little kids in Uganda living (barely) on the brink of existence in starvation. How strange it is that those kids share this world with grotesquely obese people who are imprisoned in their own homes because they can't fit through the doorway.
I don't blame anybody for things being the way they are, I merely can't help but see these extreme contradictions and sigh.


  1. Suchin: You said 'Deep inside, I feel a strange painful feeling knowing that a large part of our masses have a lower standard of life than the animals here.'

    That's good to read because that means the Holy Spirit is alive and kicking and helping you consciously process what you see :) This could be the beginning of a 'burden'.

    You're not alone in processing these thoughts. Have you heard 'Kingdom of Comfort'? The last album by Delirious. Check it out if you can.

    Also watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPANKUHabx4 and see what you think.

  2. Slick, that was oddly very beautiful. :)