This gorgeous image, courtesy Flickr archives, perfectly captures the punchdrunk sensation of absorbing the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales.
Until I went to England, I didn’t know one could overdose on sheer beauty. The day before I was to leave for the US, my friend Emma and I were driving back from our visit to see Alnwick Castle, better known as the Hogwarts location, in Northumberland. We were driving through just such gently rolling green hills, the sky a brilliant blue, fluffy white clouds puffed across the horizon while lambs gambolled in the distance, and I was drinking it all in, silently.
Suddenly, Emma turned to me and said, " So, tell me, Niti, what is your opinion of the impact of offshore call centers on the local workforce and economy in the United States? It’s been the subject of so much controversy here in England and I’ve been wondering if it’s the same over there. Besides helping the local Indian economy, doesn’t it hurt the rest of the world?" She had obviously been pondering deeply on these weighty matters.
Caught unawares, already high on the rich furnishings and artwork in halls and grand drawing rooms of the Duke of Northumberland’s Castle, and what little that was left of my reason utterly destroyed by the Dales, I said, "Urgh…" and looked at her, helplessly, unable to form a single coherent thought in response.
Concerned, for I could be relied upon to provide her with hours of conversation to relieve the monotony of the drive, she asked me if I was all right. I swear, my mouth worked frantically to form words that my mind could not even string together into one coherent sentence and gurgled again.
Finally, I was able to regain control of my synapses and explained to her that I was incapable at that moment of connecting words, much less creating, analytical thought. Would she forgive me – my mind was totally blank – full of fluffy white clouds gently swirling over rolling green hills, dotted with gambolling lambs under a blue, blue sky. It was on holiday, I feared.
She laughed out loud and to this day will remind me of "gambling lambs" when I display any signs of sloppy thinking.