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Baby, it’s cold outside

January 13, 2009

On Friday, Jan 9, 2009, I am back in snowy Boston. This is my first winter here so the snow-white nature theme pleased me. However, the moment I stepped out of the airport I knew the piercing effect of the chill. It didnt lose an opportunity to underline its shrill presence. I responded by holing up in the nearest A/C cab. Next 40min was a ride. I could see the devastating effect of snow on a city. there was a considerable changeover of the city from what I had left it to what I was seeing now. I was witnessing the white-as-snow streets, trees bent dangerously with heavy snow, trees long dead, streets salted for the snow. People too, it appeared, were chill. The taxi driver immediately ascribed it to bad economy. He had tales to narrate, none good. For instance he recalled how there used to be a huge rush of cars at the Masspike toll gate a few months ago when on their way to offices or to downtown people would wave at acquaintances. Now there are fewer cars. People are spending cautiously. Recession is bad, more so in US! People’s morale is down. Good times, he mulled, are old times. I look at the crippling dead wood of the trees around and feel the chill again.

Having reached my home, I am having my hot tea standing behind the venetian blinds watching the snow accumulated in the lawn. The snow is hard and I could sense its slippery surface. It is -7C then but I am oblivious to the freeze, thanks to the heaters in the house. I can boast to my friends back in India that I have been in the worst of colds without being affected, not unduly. The tea was thick and tasty. I had put in it some chai masala specially brought in from Hyderabad. The aroma was fulfilling, the hot tea fumes warming my insides. There is no cold within now, only without.

The tea soothes my tired nerves. I recall the curious incident I had with the customs on my way out of the Boston Airport. Having finished with the formalities of stamping and while returning my passport, the officer tells me, ‘This is not your first trip to Boston’. I agree. ‘Then do you find any familiarity?’ What could the familiarity be, I was thinking hard. I looked around me in vain to find anything that I can claim familiar. Airports sicken me and I would not want to admit familiarity with them. I would feign ignorance even if I am familiar. I say, ‘I am sorry I dont understand you’. He beams at me, ‘Well, I was your customs officer when you were here in May’! Huh?! so what? Why would I remember him? But I was too tired to answer him back. My flight was 2 hours late and I was flying for more than 23 hours by then, not to mention the extra 3 hours I spent in the airports. I could not help looking at his badge. He was a Connelly. I will remember him now, I thought. Next time he better ask me!

The tea was wonderful. I slept peacefully; only to be woken up violently within 2 hours. It was a call for dinner. To hell! I was back to bed in 30min. Woke up at 4.30AM in the morning. Jet Lag?! I was staring at the darkness above. There is supposed to be a roof above, I tell myself and try to locate it in the dark. My eyes were dreamy, but there wasnt any sleep left. Managed to keep the bed depressed for an hour more until it was intolerable. I was ready to eat again in another hour’s time. Had a hearty breakfast. Eggs and Toast. Hot milk to go with it. It was only 7.30 when I was ready waiting for someone to wake. The earliest of the rest woke up at 11:50AM. I had a wonderful time, all by myself!

The saturday was wonderful. It passed by before I could notice it. Sunday was different in that I could notice the wonderful day. I woke up to find a feet of snowfall in my backyard. It was still snowing. I was safe in the closed, well-heated room staring out of the glass window. I check in my urge to dive into the snow. I dont want to fall sick the very second day in Boston. The trees were all covered with snow. The branches clung dangerously to the tree trunks. The parked cars are covered with snow. There were ice dunes around the house. There was a lady in the distant shoving off the snow from her lawn. It seemed to me a futile exercise as it hasnt stopped snowing yet. She could have waited a little longer, I felt. Had a good breakfast of eggs and rice for breakfast. The tea was ready when Kashif joined me. We set on a long conversation on world politics. Surprisingly, we chatted for more than 3 hours. Zionism, Anti-semitism, Adam Curtis’s documentary ‘Power of Nightmares’, the importance of character building, the myth of a nation, the metaphysics, Straussian philosophy, Neoconservatism, Monica Lewinsky, Henry Kissinger, Syed Qutb, Osama bin Laden, Tesla, Linda Goodman, Gandhi and Nehru were only a few of the things we discussed. The flurries out wouldnt stop. Baby, its cold outside!

It had been Christmas couple of weeks ago and I recall the ‘Baby, Its cold outside’ song. The lyrics are below. This song is sung by many artists over a period of time. This is from youtube sung by Doris Day and Bing Crosby. The lady, in the song, wants to leave for home, and the guy wants her to stay back. The lady gives a lot of excuses to leave, but it is evident that her attempts are half-hearted. Beautiful song.

I really can’t stay – Baby it’s cold outside
I’ve got to go away – Baby it’s cold outside
This evening has been – Been hoping that you’d drop in
So very nice – I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice
My mother will start to worry – Beautiful, what’s your hurry
My father will be pacing the floor – Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I’d better scurry – Beautiful, please don’t hurry
Well maybe just a half a drink more – Put some music on while I pour

The neighbors might think – Baby, it’s bad out there
Say, what’s in this drink – No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how – Your eyes are like starlight
To break the spell – I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no, sir – Mind if I move closer
At least I’m gonna say that I tried – What’s the sense in hurting my pride?
I really can’t stay – Baby don’t hold out
Ahh, but it’s cold outside

C’mon baby

I simply must go – Baby, it’s cold outside
The answer is no – Ooh darling, it’s cold outside
This welcome has been – I’m lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm – Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious – Man, your lips look delicious
My brother will be there at the door – Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious – Gosh your lips are delicious
Well maybe just a half a drink more – Never such a blizzard before

I’ve got to go home – Oh, baby, you’ll freeze out there
Say, lend me your coat – It’s up to your knees out there
You’ve really been grand – I thrill when you touch my hand
But don’t you see – How can you do this thing to me?
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow – Think of my life long sorrow
At least there will be plenty implied – If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can’t stay – Get over that hold out
Ahh, but it’s cold outside

Baby it’s cold outside
(
There could be errors in the lyrics, but none too damaging to morph its sense)

This day had been really cold. We set out to purchase this week’s groceries from a local store 2miles away. We all squeezed into a friend’s car. I was all decked up with warm wear and was looking, I thought, like a scarecrow. But in a land of scarecrows, I guess, one oughtn’t to stick out looking unlike a scarecrow. One might actually scare a crow then! (poor humour but I wont delete it).

With all this happening around me, its only natural that I will miss catching up with my friends back in India. Of course, I didn’t forget them.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Pooja permalink
    January 15, 2009 2:06 pm

    Hey i checked out the song.. Gud one!!

  2. January 15, 2009 3:57 pm

    Thanks Pooja. But do you know, this song may have influenced the world terrorist forces? Lot of todays terrorist groups could have a very interesting link to this song, including Al-Qaeda? Don’t you want to ask how? 🙂

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