Christmas trees somehow make me feel good . They are the sign of happy times when we are celebrating and enjoying ourselves and all of humanity rises , generally , above petty issues and questionable troubles . So I felt thrilled to see the ginormous tree in Mandalay Bay and was even more satisfied to sit ‘chakle-matke ‘ (cross legged) in front of it while my dad gladly clicked a photo(to add to the annals of Chonu-me- having finally grown up but still being a kid).
They are be all of anything and everything. We can’t do without them ; my dream was to be the Chief Evangelist of any company simply because I love thinking up new ideas , about a variety of random , weird topics. Like photographing the Christmas decorations from below and from inside the tree and so on (including photos of olive bottles and coins, beat that) . Vegas was also built on ideas. Crazy , wonderful ideas of how to swindle money from people better .
Women are the more sensible lot of our species simply because they had the luck of not picking the short straw, of not having a heady mix of adrenaline and testosterone swirling through their system , on almost a constant basis . Why else are there so few of the fairer sex at the casinos ? Wait, no, my mistake , they ARE there but only so that there is more testosterone pumped in to make the guy feel he could probably be the next president. With all the reinforcement that is present , the coins grinding and clanking against each other to make the oh-so-satisfying sound of ‘you’ve won something’ and the wine and alcohol in the system telling you- ‘the next one , definitely the next one ‘, it comes as no surprise that pockets get emptied fast.
Vegas is an awesome study for the psychologically inclined , of motivations and conditioning and of easy manipulation. Being the staunch believers of Hindu philosophy that we are , me and my parents left the slot machines and the poker tables for something more intellectually satisfying , or not. We went to MGM Grand for a lion exhibit where all I felt was an overwhelming pity for the big cat and a desire to set him loose on the crowd to rampage and cause carnage (evil, aren’t i ? ). Then a CSI experience where we dabbled in the different sciences used by the police today to catch the culprits. An enlightening yet dull experience since I finished it in ten minutes. Then I felt a lingering disgust at all the soft minded fools who did not know what they were doing and just followed like blind sheep . This is what our society has been turned into-mindless blind sheep who just go the way they are pointed. Cynical as I may seem , the mind has been turned to mush by all the propaganda that goes around –political and otherwise.
Food is the eternal safe haven. I always eat when troubled. Or hungry of course . So I ordered a dish which I myself practically made since I chose all the vegetables and the sauce after which they gave me a pager which went beep once the order was completed . In my head I was elated at the advent of such technology that made having to go to the counter to repeatedly ask for the completion of the order a null and void scenario. I could’ve given the guy who invented THAT idea a huge treat .
So on the last day we did one of those things that makes life worth living . We went to the Grand Canyon. The precipice yields a drop thousands of feet deep and hundreds wide , made of brown sharp rock that promised a painful end to the one who dropped over but also a scenic, majestic view to one who gazed towards the lazy, twisting Colorado River. So when you stand on the architectural wonder known as the glass bridge through which you can look straight down into the depths of the canyon below , you are filled with a sense of smallness, of your tiny part in the huge concept we call life and at the same time a respect for human ingenuity and understanding of the forces of nature . Proof that hard work pays off . Now I had been told there was a place I could make a small trek so I went hunting and what I found didn’t really satisfy me but made for a picture prefect moment –straight out of a Bollywood movie , but what the hec , like I care about people’s sentiments , it could be a tollywood scene for all it mattered to me (no offence meant to tollywood fans out there). Chicken after that climb was a feel-good food .
After which was the ‘The End ‘ of our Las Vegas vacation and return to another metropolis I can never grow tired of –New York.
Rain tried to be a dampener of the spirits but since we never drank , it hardly mattered. And finally I had the genius in me to go to the top of The Stratosphere and ride in the freezing weather. Without my glasses. Though I’m telling you , even with my –10 power I swear I could see people down there , a hundred feet below(who am I kidding , it was probably my feet I was looking at). It was fun 🙂