With our recent membership and therefore multiple back to back visits to the California Academy of Sciences in the company of his marine-life savvy sister and mother, Viraj is getting quite well educated and aware of the ocean world that surrounds us. While his sister and his dad sit for the strictly-above-four-years-of-age planetarium shows, he and his Mama quietly observe the stunning and expansive Australian coral reef world that the Academy has so beautifully recreated.
The Australian Great Barrier coral reef has an abundant wonderfully-colorful fish, some common examples being the anemone clown fish and the strikingly blue tang fish – more famously known as Nemo and Dory, courtesy Pixar Corporation. Viraj can’t be blamed for being an ardent Nemo fan. He has also dared to watch some parts of the kid movie, though he finishes the entire movie in just 15 minutes as we forward most of the parts – believe me, Finding Nemo has it’s haunting moments if you try to see it via a two year old’s mind.
Early today morning, he came to me and requested that I find his plush toy Nemo. After handing him his latest fascination, I thought of showing him a few images of Nemo on Google. With the brightest twinkle in his eyes and a smile that is unmatched, he saw quite a few images, and then suddenly pointed to a thumbnail with a lot of concern. I clicked on the photograph and was horrified to see the image.
Viraj asked meekly – “What happened to Nemo?” and I sadly replied, “They found Nemo!”
While flipping bbc.com to read more about the triumphant killing of Osama Bin Laden, I stumbled upon a news snippet about “Royals on honeymoon”. The news was obviously about Prince Williams and his beloved, but it also somehow included a photograph of Prince Charles and Princess Diana walking hand in hand in a beautiful meadow somewhere in Scotland.
I could not help myself from straying away into my thoughts after reading this news bit. The craze for the British monarchy and the Royals might be too absurd to fathom and may result in a total failure in understanding all the hoopla behind them, but I have a secret confession to make. They hold quite sacred a spot in my heart. It all started thirty years ago, sometime in July, 1981. I was merely 5 years old, but the memory is so vivid and etched in every fiber of my being! My parents, my brother and I happened to have witnessed the grandest, the most talked about and eventually, the saddest of all weddings – the one between Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
My Dad’s company’s headquarters were in London and we timed our visit to coincide with this once-in-a-lifetime event. My fascination and admiration for lady Diana was unmatched. We would be walking down the narrow streets of London and at every corner curio shop, trinkets of all kinds were adorned with the would-be Royal couple. I had purchased a flag, a button, a brooch, a bag and countless other what-nots to express my fascination with the Lady. I can clearly remember how wildly the crowds were roaring at the event – tens of thousands of people, people like us, had gathered to witness the august couple. My brother’s hand wrapped in my mum’s palm, and I perched in my Dad’s arms was our strict posture as my Mom recalls, stressing the fearful possibility that if we wouldn’t have been connected this way we could have been lost in the crowds maybe forever! I vividly remember when the newly weds took their horse and buggy ride passing in front of us, and feeling that Princess Diana waved back directly at me!
Diana always has been and will always be, the most elegant fashion icon for me.