30in30 : “If world were a single human body, India would be its heart!”

That’s what Mary here told me when I asked what image came  to her mind when she thought of India. Mark and Mary have been performing transcendental Meditation for 40 years now and that was visible in their happy peaceful  nature.  Sometimes I seek people, sometimes people seek me.  As I got back into the parking lot, standing next to my car was this couple who startled me by saying, “Hello Mr Gupta” ! My decked up car caught their eyes and they sought me!
TM family

30in30: Intermission

This Saturday, I will be completing two weeks of the four week Indo-US friendship tour across the United States of America. From Central Park in New York City to Greeley Colorado, I have crossed  the heart of America on my way to the western coast. I have heard stories of quite different types of families – a nice couple in a small town of Pennsylvania, a single Colombian woman in Cincinnati Ohio, an elderly couple in seventies in Bloomington Indiana with life long thirst for knowledge, a big family in Indiana with two dads and eight kids, a big family tree in Illinois with three generations to welcome me, a lively couple in Wisconsin, a birthday party in Minnesota, a widowed old artist in the sleepy town of Soux Falls, SD , three camping families in the Badlands of Dakotas, a native Indian family in America’s poorest region of Pine Ridge, a badass scholarly couple in Colorado with remarkable zest for life in their attempts to make the world more compassionate – and  countless men and women and speeding ticket issuing officers at gas stations, diners, rest areas, pullovers on highways, churches, bars, schools, pharmacies .. phew!

In all these stories, it might be a coincidence, I find a hope. Hope to live for tomorrow. There is lot of diversity in how the home is set up. How family chores are divided. What stage of life these people are in. Quite a lot of them seem content. Quite a lot are rebellious ones. Some of them know what they are doing and why. Some others still figuring out. Some have genuine fears in life. Others could not care less. But almost all of them share their concern for the world when asked what they think of tomorrow or if they have worries in life.

I am quite touched but their openness and kindness. Some of them at least knew of me. At least a day in advance. Some were total strangers. Some didn’t know of me till the moment I knocked their door. Yet, the response and kindness to talk to me, or feed me or shelter me has been incredible to say the least.

And I have touched not even the tip of this iceberg called America. I have not entered the home of an African America or Hispanic family yet. I have not had supper in a blue collar family home. I fear that if I broadcast that desire of mine too much, I might be accused of race tourism or poverty tourism or other things to that effect. But I rely on some random stroke of luck to have a family like that open door for me. I hope my genuine curiosity about them will be seen,

I look forward to the rest of the journey. I don’t have very many families or homes lined up as I go further west. But I have hope. Hope to go west another day.

Meanwhile, we have only fourteen ( 14 ) days to go before this kickstarter campaign gets over. We are little over the half mark of $2500. If we don’t get that in next two weeks, project will be scrapped off and movie won’t be funded. I am already deeply grateful for you for your support. Every buck counts. So please help spread the word. It is not the value of each contribution but the total number of backers that will get this project included in the list of FEATURED PROJECTS on this site. I believe in you and myself! Yes We Can !

Adios Amigos !

Gupta Goes Greek !

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30in30: Badlands of South Dakota

In Badlands National Park, I was fortunate from the get go.  As soon I entered the park –

Badlands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was told that camping sites are almost full and I may not get one.  By sheer stroke of luck, I was able to secure the last available one!

Car camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, I wondered if  camp grounds could be  a place for meeting American Families. And I was pleasantly surprised. First I met this gentleman who had the road to he does not know where. His diverse life and career was  indeed marvelous. His was like a free flowing breeze –

Family - Dan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He gave me this as a souvenir –

Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I met this sweet couple who were on their annual pilgrimage to visit their grand kids around the country –

Family Florida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, with lots of apprehension I approached this family. But their sense of openness and friendship really overwhelmed me.

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MN Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Emma gave me this as the parting gift –

Flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I indeed was a happy camper !

Me

 

30in30: Past Wisconsin and Minnesota , on to South Dakota

It were  wonderful past couple of days. On the drive from Illinois to Wisconsin, as soon as I saw the board Welcome to Wisconsin, the landscape changed, it was more green, less traffic, lots of vegetation. Met a wonderful couple who were so different from what I imagined they would be like.. they were so full of life. Spent an evening with them and moved to Minnesota next day. Tonne of forests around. Ran into a birthday party in Minneapolis and old friends. And now on to the wild wild west.. South Dakota !

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Kickoff Event for the Road Trip

This Saturday, July 12th, as I begin the one month road trip across the US, I want to meet my friends before hitting the road. For a journey starting from New York City, what better place to meet and greet than the Central Park!

Event : Picnic in Central Park / Kickoff 30in30 Road trip
Time : 12 – 2P
Location: The park near the pond.
Agenda : Just meeting friends from in and around NYC. I will bring snacks and refreshments – plenty of Indian and American snacks! You folks bring your awesome company.

Since the park is big, I will make it easy for you to find me.  First, here is the map –

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The nearest subway station is 5th Avenue / 59th St. As you get out of the station, you will see this big horse statue – Grand Army Plaza –

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As you cross the streets and go to that green area, staying on right side of statue, you enter the South East entrance of the Central Park.  Entering the park, walking down the stairs, you will see water pond. And on your right you will the park area, you will see this board

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this statue –

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and of course, me with giant flags of India and America!

See you soon !

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