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Devraj Banerjee

Far away on the road and hanging by a song…

Finally! Granby- the west entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. The 6 and 2 year old passengers had held up well through the winding and steep roads leading from the plains of central Colorado up to the west park entrance near Grand Lake at over 8000 ft. The splendid Colorado Rockies loomed closer. Majestic jagged peaks tipped with snow; an awe-inspiring relic of the slow up-heave that wrinkled the earth’s crust 600 miles from where the pacific oceanic plates slowly nudged themselves under the North American plate. 


I punctuated the journey with attempts to point out the geological events that had created such a beauty,  the liberal measure of passage of time and its effects on what we were now witnessing, the tremendous forces that had molded the earth, trying to convey, and maybe ignite a sense of wonder at the nature in play. The response had been far from the “wow!” and “how? “I was trying to get out of, at least one of them. The responses had varied between”.. Look a birdie!” from the 2 year old to “…when are we getting there…” from the 6 year old and quiet dozes from both.

Along the Trail Ridge road that winds between the two park entrances to a peak altitude of over 12000 feet, we stopped at a nature trail to stretch our collective legs and get out of the steel-and-glass traveling box. I walked ahead to take in the magnificent panorama of the snowcapped mountains and the headwater of a stream that eventually fed into the mighty Colorado river. 



Then I turn. I see two kids following the trail – one in an orange jacket, the other in blue, facing the mountains with the gurgling stream flowing next to them. The two were dancing in some fusion of chicken dance and swing, to a music I could not hear. The mirth and joy flowing from them lighted up the ancient mountains framed by a brilliant blue sky. Several still moments later a thought entered, ”…where the heck is my camera?”

This travelogue presented by Devraj Banerjee, a full time father, physician by profession and described by his childhood friends as a born healer.

A Snippet

Last few days were filled with nostalgia, our storytellers reminiscing about their childhood memories. Today’s story is by Devraj Banerjee, a full time father, physician by profession and described by his childhood friends as a born healer.

Tuesday afternoon, after an hour long stint at the  library, having strapped Mira into her seat munching on corn chips and backing the car slowly out of the parking spot with Aditya buckling up:-
Aditya: Baba, are you mad?..Are you frustrated?
Baba: I am not mad Aditya, just frustrated. How did you know?
Aditya: Because Mira was not listening to you and you did Haaarh!
(Baba says something about not being the easily frustrated type until a few years ago and then becoming progressively prone to being frustrated)
Aditya: Because before…I was born, you and Mama were by yourself and did things by yourself and then when I was born you had to take care of me and cook and make sure I was Ok and mama had to work and you had no time for yourself and that is why you get frustrated.
Baba (stunned): Ahem! Well! Huh! It is a lot like that but there is more to it. Do you want to know?
Aditya: yes.
Mira:(Munching) I like it.
Baba: I will tell you what Baba was thinking when he got frustrated. Baba had hands full of books, Mira was walking on the street and you were on top of the ledge, which you could because you are older; then Mira wanted to do it as well and Baba had 3 options- ask you to get off the ledge nicely or rudely, ask Mira not to go climb the ledge, knowing she will not understand and I will have to grab her, and drop all the books so I could go after Mira. None of the options were good ones. And then Baba lost his sense of space. It all came together at the same time and Baba could not tease out and solve the problem. And so he went Hraaah! and grabbed Mira’s arm. So that was what being frustrated is- losing the sense of time, patience and feeling that the problem is too complex to solve optimally.
Aditya: Baba I saw a yellow and black bird on the house, and some dried leaves in the front. Where are the leaves coming from?
BabaJ(laughing to himself): That bird is an American Goldfinch and the leaves are from last year.. remember how we have some dried leave in our yard….

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