Here we feature the sweet story of a dear friend to STW. After marrying her sweetheart, Shwetha Arun Devotta was faced with a life changing decision – to follow her heart or play it safe. It is a beautiful luxury some of us can enjoy today, where women have a choice to do exactly what we want, without the compulsions of firm expectations. She shares her ‘maiden’ voyage to The Big Apple.
“Ladies & gentlemen, this is your captain speaking – Qatar Airways flight QA083 will be beginning its descent to JFK airport shortly. The weather outside is a chilly -2 degrees and tomorrow we are expecting the season’s first snow”. Yipeeeeeeeeeeee….. Ooops was I too loud?! This was just the announcement I was waiting for, I thought to myself. I could hardly contain my excitement, for one, I was touching base after literally the longest flight of my life . The 18 hour long flight filled with a mixed bag of emotions both happy and sad; but the icing on the cake apart from the weather forecast, was the sheer excitement of reuniting with the love of my life and this time round with our newly acquired “Mr. & Mrs” status.
So, I finally made it from “Bengaluru to the Big Apple” , this hit me straight up, as soon as I stepped out of the airport. The first gush of ice cold winds hit my ears, where I would feel the pain for the next few days to come. Reaching home was another roller coaster in itself, these cars on auto gear are not my best friends. The sudden acceleration was felt with bouts of motion sickness in my case; but all was well in the end as I settled into my new home with my husband.
My first glimpses of the city brought back memories of the gazillion movies I have seen in the past, all shot in New York City (NYC). The high rise buildings most times so high, were quite literally a pain in my neck, the pedestrian priority on the roads, the fast paced New Yorkers as they rush through the day with a coffee and bagel on the go, women carrying 2 bags to work – so well planned with even a spare pair of flats to change after work, brushing on that make-up magic on the train, carrying their well behaved and cutely dressed pets in their totes, impeccably dressed men with their geeky glasses, classy hats and leather work bags; well these were my first impressions of the BIG APPLE.
After an 18 hour flight, more hours at the endless immigration line and then zipping across the city – by late evening I was dog tired. But my jet-lag had other plans for me. It was 3 am and I lay wide awake, clueless how to kill time, other than troubling my husband! So, I got out of bed and looked out of the window and I could not help but scream with joy! It was snowing! yayyyyyyy! My very first experience of snow 🙂 I spent a good 3 hours sitting by the window sill, watching the snow come down and managed to take a few pictures too. By 7am that morning I had coaxed my hubby into waking up, as I was all too ready to be out and about, to see and experience more of the snowed in Big Apple.
From that first day to now, well into 6 months living here, I must confess I feel super lucky to be living in one of the “best cities to live” in the world! Be it the crazily outrageous fashion bloopers, the tastefully done up store installations, the delightful customer service at restaurants, the sinful cup cakes, the plethora of cuisines on offer, the street performances which have me amazed at the talent on display, the different shapes and sizes of dogs I see and the ever friendly people of the city – I have seen and experienced it all. Like my husband always says “New York is my first love”, now I guess it’s mine too!
Learn more about Shwetha Arun Devotta.