Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why come to Mansfield

For the lack of a lot of interesting things to do here in Mansfield, I have had a lot of time on my hands to pay a little more attention to my blog. But being the lazy ass that I am, I have been less than productive with that time. Being in Mansfield does that to me. What is Mansfield like they ask, because I haven't ever talked about Mansfield on my blog before.

Mansfield is a small town that used to be very prosperous and industrial once upon a time. Or so I have been told. If you want actual statistics and history, head over to wikipedia. Naniji has been telling me a lot about Mansfield and its history. With personal accounts of what it was like back when they moved here. But due to the recession, businesses and factories are shutting down. Most notable being the GM plant that's shutting down.

Apart from the factories, there are also a few farms. Being here in the summer is amazing. The house is located right next to a sprawling field. The corn grows so tall that it is almost like a wall to the road; which itself is not flat or level at all, but instead goes up and down the uneven terrain. It is great fun to bike on these roads. 

The house and surroundings are always very quiet and serene. The sky at night is filled with more stars than I've seen at a place in a long time. Even a small place like Seoni (M.P. India) has so much light pollution today. Mansfield is perfect for star gazing, taking star trail pictures, and looking at meteor showers. I tried taking star trail photos the last time I was in Mansfield, but my camera wasn't quite up to it.

I did bring my camera and lenses as well as the tripod with me. But I dare not venture out in the cold unless I absolutely have to. Besides the overcast sky doesn't make it look very pretty most of the time. But with the flash and the wireless trigger, I have been using the basement as my studio. Yes, naniji's house has a basement with a bar on one side. The deck from the living room has a barbecue/grill and sitting on the deck, we can look at the winding road recede into the distance and the farms on both sides of it.

We are located pretty much at the outskirts of Mansfield. We have to drive into town for all the shopping and recreation. And there are only  a few things to do for recreation. Especially during the winter. The only time I went outside the past week was to go black friday shopping. (Not counting the uncle and auntie's dinner parties.)

There seem to be a lot of Indian families in the vicinity. And they get together often to celebrate almost anything. Thanksgiving we went to a house which was buzzing with doctor uncles, Aunties and their sons and daughters who were all older than I. Uncles talked about everything from current US politics to pre independence India and the freedom struggle. Aunties swarmed around naniji and for a good length of time talked about her visit to the white house. Mamaji, Mausiji and other 'children' gathered together among themselves while I watched tv downstairs with the only other kid younger than me: Aditya, he's 12.

Being a small place, people in Mansfield are very nice. I have found better behaved people at restaurants and other public service jobs here than I did in Savannah. Southern hospitality sounds like a bunch of bull. Food here beats that of most joints in Savannah. I have come so close to some people I am sure they treat me no different from their own family.

Being here also constantly reminds me of my own family. Naniji of mom and nanaji of dad. Anju mausiji and jay mamaji; the way they tease each other reminds me of Divya and me. I feel the need to reconnect with old friends and distant family. I feel like a kid again…

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