About Black Ice And Other Things

This was how it looked on our driveway when we awoke this morning.The temperatures were below freezing the whole of yesterday, and we also had precipitation in the form sleet the whole day. So, even though the conditions did not feel too bad outside this morning, I had to be extra careful going down the driveway to pick up the morning paper. There are enough bones that have already been broken in our home over time!

Black ice can be deadly, especially when it makes its appearance where people are not used to it. The scene at the site of a multi-vehicle crash on a highway in Texas a couple of days ago was horrifying. The video that was taken as the crash was happening was difficult to watch. You can see the fast moving vehicles, both large and small, approaching – speeding towards the already existing pile-up, not able to slow down because of the conditions on the road, not expecting a pileup to materialize right in front of them on a highway that is completely clear until this point. Then there are the individual crashes themselves. You anticipate them – one at a time. A loud thump from the other side of the road followed by the crunch of metal and the sight of debris flying into the air. It is especially horrifying to see this happen to 18-wheelers that, I assume, are moving at the speed limit.

The bad weather is moving through the midsection of the country. This is another Sunday without a visit to the park. There is no precipitation today, but we do not want to take a risk of falling because of the conditions on the ground. (Does one really want to hurt oneself on Valentines Day?!) Suffice to say that this has been an unusual winter so far. I cannot remember the last time we were prevented from going to the park three weekends in a row because of the weather.

Onto a different topic…

We watched a couple of notable movies this weekend. You will have to decide for yourselves if they are good ones. The first one was from the early 1980s. It is called My Favorite Year. The main reason that we ended up seeing this movie was because it brought back a memory from my graduate school days at StonyBrook. They used to have regular movie shows on campus during the weekends, mainly for the students living in the dorms. I watched the first showing of this movie and found it hilarious. I laughed out loud through the whole showing. When I returned to the dorm, I immediately told my friend, Ravi Korlipara, about it. The two of us went to see the next showing of the movie the same evening! Seeing the movie for the third time a couple of days back was a little bit anticlimactic for me. It took me back to a more innocent time. It was a time when one was less judgemental about the nature of, and the craftsmanship in, movies in general. Slapstick still made me laugh out loud then. (I think it is called a belly laugh.) And, perhaps, the topic of drinking and drunkenness – or at least how these were portrayed in movies – was looked at through a different lens by society at that time. Maybe it is only that I have changed since then. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the movie this time.

The other movie that we watched was called Mango Dreams. It is a more recent release. The story-line is a simple one, but it is effective. It deals with human relationships. It addresses particular aspects of the story of India, and the impacts of historical events on ordinary people. At the end of the day, I found it to be an uplifting story. I do have to note that I sometimes felt like I was watching a play being performed on a stage, but that does not take away from my positive review!

And so it goes. I miss not being able to go to the park and spend time in the outdoors as usual, but I do appreciate the diversions.

The last time I saw my friend from StonyBrook was in the 1980s. I have lost touch with him since then. Perhaps I will try to contact him once again the next time the opportunity presents itself.