Twenty years ago a little boy peaked at a photograph in his father’s hand. The photo portrayed a majestic African elephant charging towards the world in all it’s glory. His dad was standing right next to it smiling and with an air of confidence in his poise. The scene captivated him and it was imprinted into his mind. He later learned that the elephant was a wax figure in a museum in DC. He patiently waited for twenty years to visit Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Last weekend, I was lucky enough to witness him realize his dream.
We planned a trip to DC for the 4th of July weekend with most of our wing members (dorm mates) from my undergrad. We had an initial head count of 10 people, but we ended with 3 when people heard that I was going. My friend “The silent guardian” and me “Write wing” decided to take the greyhound mobile. “The boy wonder” flew to DC. We rendezvoused at a protest near the White house and were stunned to see it flocked with so many people. We took a lot of pictures around that area to interrupt tourists. This never-ending stream of confusion concluded when the security guards chased the tourists out and then us. We decided to check into our hotel next.
The boy wonder had booked a very cheap hotel on the outskirts of Maryland which may have been controlled by the mob. “The boy” made me pay for the hotel as the card “miraculously” stopped working :P. We headed back to the city because we found the need to utilize our daily passes to their full financial extent. We loitered around the memorials took a lot of photographs of us posing next to the monument, posing as if we were not tired of walking and weren’t sleep deprived. Well, our ride was at 5 AM and I ended up watching Big Bang Theory instead of sleeping to recharge myself. Once we had enough pictures when photoshoped could fool people into thinking that were smart, good-looking and rich (It’s a new icon in the latest version) we decided to go have dinner. We chose a Mexican restaurant because I had a craving for flat bread and “the boy wonder” thought they were cheap.
“The silent guardian” used his gadget that used satellite technology to guide us to the hotel (would have been faster if I hadn’t dropped it earlier I guess). We walked quite a few dark alleys and didn’t draw attention to ourselves by yelling “I’m Batman” (Leave the boy wonder a voice mail saying you want to sell him something and he will be happy to return your call and repeat the same). After traveling around the entire neighbourhood following the gadget, we saw that the restaurant was next to the board that blinked “Mexican Grill” (Who would have known?).
The restaurant was playing a Spanish television channel and was light with dim red light. It had a guy in a suit singing (some would say yelling) to a tune. We pretended that weren’t new to this kind of stuff and sat calmly in our seats. The waitress blinked a lot at the silent guardian. She kept side glancing at him and rolling her eyes. The boy wonder told me that love was in the air, meaning him and I would have to sleep outside our hotel rooms that night. When our bill arrived the boy wonder tipped the waitress lightly and ran out of the restaurant. This was a ruse to prevent her from falling in love with the silent guardian. Fortunately, she didn’t chase us after we left the restaurant and we can never visit that “Mexican Grill” again ….. EVER.
We would have slept well if it weren’t for the boy wonder’s fascination of elephants which turned him into one when he slept. We decided to procrastinate for a few hours by attempting to break into a company website. This would have gone for the whole day, if the silent guardian hadn’t interrupted us by saying “YOUR GRANDMOTHER, YOU SPENT 200$ TO DO THIS IN A HOTEL ROOM OR SEE DC?” (In a hoarse voice in Kannada). Our escapade started with memorials and our routine of posing so we could be photoshopped and added to our timeline. We were hoping the sunlight would make us look fairer than we actually were so our friends would feel bad about their complexion.
Once, the boy wonder had enough photos for his matrimonial site we decided to go to the Museums. We paused in between to have icecream cones. We did a quick stop at the botanical gardens in DC where Jurassic Park (The old one) was filmed. We visited the Aersospace Museum, where they had the original equipment from the space visit. It kind of killed the magic after reading the conspiracy theories. The boy wonder and I tried a flight simulator. The silent guardian found two people locked in a closed space, that rolls and twists as they scream mildly disturbing. The goal was to fly towards the enemies and shoot them, but I read it as roll the plane in random directions and make your friend swear. I think, I hit 20 by the time we were done.
We were finally headed to the Museum. It started raining heavily and I ended up squeezing into the boy wonder’s umbrella(Because I lost mine, don’t tell me grandma!). We reached the elephant which was swarming with hundreds of people. The Museum had extended the hours that day so “The silent guardian” and I decided to visit the museum to learn something, but the boy wonder decided to take a nap to rejuvenate for the photo. Towards the end of the Museum hours, we managed to take a photo of the boy wonder that looks almost as bad as his driver’s licence. We asked a random passerby to take our photo and he managed to take a snap with all of us blinking and said it’s a great shot.
We went to Jefferson Memorial next, saw the fireworks which lasted for almost half an hour. In India, we can hear the sound when a cricket match ends (which happens all the time). It’s an incredible sight worth watching anyway. We walked a lot and reached on time to catch the last bus to our hotel. Since the Mexican grill was out of the question, we had dinner at iHOP. We all slept well that night because we were exhausted.
All of us were happy that the trip ended well with the boy wonder fulfilling his dream. He was also happy with the fact that I paid for the hotel. We were glad that he waited 20 years to take a photo next to an elephant instead of using photoshop ten years ago. If you have a place you want to visit, just wait two decades and my team from Gotham will be happy to take you there.
The boy wonder: NR
Write Wing: me
The silent guardian & Photo credits: Sisya
I wanted to add a satirical tone to our squeezed trip to DC, added a little of Melodrama from the Batman to make it theatrical. My friend Sisya took these amazing photos, kudos to him :). Satire was just to get over the writer’s block, hope you enjoyed it.
-> Photo Album