Friday, November 25, 2005

Queues,Thanksgiving and Turkeys.

Think of Queues….
What is the first thing which comes into your mind?
At least for me, it is ‘Tirupathi’ and I instantly remember those long queues and the devotees standing in queue for hours to get the Dharshana. When I had been to Tirupathi last time, we had been in the queue for 4-5 hours. You may be thinking why this guy in US suddenly is talking about Tirupathi’s queue.

Now it is 2 in the morning & I just came back after doing the rounds in the city! Seeing huge queues in front of electronic shops here, Tirupathi flashed in my mind. Now you may be wondering why people here were standing in queues in front of electronic shops.

Last Thursday of November in US is celebrated as ‘Thanksgiving’ day and the day after is known as ‘Black Friday’. On every ‘Black Friday’ all shops offer grand discounts. But the biggest and most attractive offers are given by electronic shops. But the catch is that these offers are limited and only available to people having coupons. And how people get these coupons? Stand in the line from Thursday night till the time the shops open on Friday morning & distribute coupons. And on ‘Black Friday’ the shops open at 4-5 in the morning!

When I heard this from somebody here, I thought they may be joking. But as Thursday night began to grow, it was becoming true. Many people in apartment also started to go out. So I decided that I’ll go and check myself if this is true.

At some distance from our apartment, there is ‘Best buy’ and ‘Circuit City’. When I reached these places, it was a scene to look at. There was a huge line of people waiting outside the shops. They were totally cladded in winter wear. Everyone had brought the folding chairs/stools to stand (sit) in the queue. Few had brought the comforters and sleeping bags and I heard they were in the queue since 9 in the night!! There were families standing in the queue and enjoying the coffee they had brought!!!

So it was looking like people in the queue had well planned and well equipped to stand in the queue. Most people in the queue were Makkoos, Chincos and few Desis who were there to get the laptops, cameras, TVs, players and whatever they can at highly discounted prices.

Just a thought….
Isn’t that we spend most of the time in our lives in queues??
Queue to get ration, queue to get admission to school/college, queue to get movie tickets, queue for walk-in interviews. I have seen people who will be in the queue waiting to fall for a particular guy/gal!

Back to discount queues….
It is so different from the Tirupathi queues. There people wait in queues just to get a glimpse of the God, here they stand in queue to get the things which can be easily termed ‘materialistic’.
In both cases, people return back with a sense of happiness, here people return with a satisfaction that they were able to save so many dollars, there people return with a satisfaction that they were able to spend some time in presence of Almighty. For me one queue reflects materialistic world and another queue stand for spiritual world.

I just took ‘Discount Queue’ as example of ‘materialistic’ and ‘Tirupathi Queue’ as an example of ‘spiritual’. It may not be so clear cut as there may be elements of materialism in ‘Tirupathi Queue’ and vice versa??

Before I get too philosophical and bore you more, let me tell how the concept of ‘Thanksgiving’ day came into existence.

Several centuries back, it seems that few people from England got frustrated with the suffocating religious set-up there and fled to US . They called themselves ‘Pilgrims’. The first winter in US for pilgrims was very harsh with little flood & extreme cold, due to which many of them died. But the next harvest was extremely good for pilgrims. They had enough food and they also got lots of help from native Indians.

So in order to thank natives and thank for all the good things, they arranged a feast for natives. That practice grew up as ‘Thanksgiving’ over the years. It was formally declared a national celebration during Lincoln’s period.

One thing which is closely associated with Thanksgiving is Turkey. Although it is not clear how it became associated with Thanksgiving, this bigger version of hen has become a must for Thanksgiving lunch/dinner.

It is so much so popular that in white house every year there will be a ‘National Thanksgiving Turkey’ function where the US president does something called ‘official pardoning of the Turkey’! This year Turkey’s name which got pardoned was ‘Marshmallow’. This tradition was started when Truman was president and it involves pardoning Turkeys and retiring them to Park where they will spend rest of their live.

Such a contrast that when several thousands of Turkeys make their way to lunch-dinner on Thanksgiving, few lucky Turkeys gets ‘pardoned’ by president and they live rest of their life royally and guess what is the name of park where these royal Turkeys retire?

Frying Pan Park !!!!

1 comment:

Pretty said...

Gud one