Friday, September 17, 2004

Goodbye to Snowboarding

For the last 5 years, snowboarding has been a passion that surpassed everything else for me. People in Seattle cringe at the mention of winter. Winter brings months of gloomy weather, clouds that just won't go away, and rain that just about hangs over your head but never comes down. For me, winter meant snow on the slopes, the thrill of strapping my left boot into the binding as I got ready for my first ride up the hill, that feeling of being home again when my snowboard hits the snow for the first time off the lift and I start my ride down the mountain. My years in Seattle were always spent waiting for the winter to arrive. Summer had its own rewards, but there was something special about the cold days spent surrounded by white snow.

And now, after 5 snowboarding seasons (and one trip to south of the equator to catch some summer snowboarding) I shall leave Seattle. You might argue that I wouldn't leave if I loved it so much. I do love it this much, but it is time to do something new. I don't think I can ever get snowboarding out of my blood. It will always be there, clawing away at my tiring mind, beckoning me to the white mountains. But, as they say in Bangalore, what to do -- life's like that only.

Yes, I shall be heading back to my motherland (fatherland?) -- India. One would think I am going to the mecca of skiing, what with the tallest and the whitest of mountains spanning the entire breadth of the country. But alas, we Indians like to chill in the comfort of the quilts in our homes, with peanuts (maybe I should start calling them groundnuts?) and jaggery to keep ourselves busy. I have heard things have changed, and I have also heard that there are skiing resorts. Maybe it is time to explore the country I have been away from for several years. Bangalore being sufficiently away from the mountains in the north will pose a problem. But come winter, I know I will start itching to be on the snow, to once again put my snowboard on, race down the hill, feel the rush of cold air on my face, catch air and land on soft snow, adrenalin pumping in my veins... I know I will come back.