By: Madhur Prashant, Humber Alumna and International Student Ambassador
Niagara Falls and back…
On a surprisingly sunny North American day, I put my first excited step on a boat. With dozens running to grab the best spot, I was adjusting myself under a poncho, and simultaneously ‘touchscreening’ for perfect snapshots. My clicks were in full swing even before the boat had gathered momentum.
Boarding from Canada, my eyes were set on America, relaxing right across and reciprocating my stares. I felt anonymous in my transparent pink-red poncho, as if my peculiar dreams and childlike imagination were hidden underneath. Too many thoughts were going through my mind, one after the other. Here, I’ll lay them out, in some order.
I don’t have a visa yet to visit the US. For a visa, I need funds. For funds, I need a fat pay
And for that, I need a full-time job. Anyway, I was on the line that separates America from Canada.
The newly arrived summer day saw birds glide over the American rocks, shadowed by the greenery above. None were flying over Canada, and I wondered if these were migrant birds who, like me, longed to fly freely. America was a stone’s throw from the boat, although, that unclaimed, shapeless and emotionless hard matter of earth, the stone, was the only one to make it there without documents. My heart beat wildly. What if the boat gets caught in the frothing and gushing waters? Never mind, I thought. The furthest I’ll reach is USA. Yippee!
Okay, so I am not glorifying the USA. But there is no harm adding another name to the list of countries I have touched. It’s so strange that you can see, smell and hear from the country right across from you, but not touch its soil without some sacred papers? Like touch, just a finger touch.
Anyway, so from deep down, I looked up at the surrounding hills. Hundreds lined up on the edges and looked like ants peeping down a wide hole. And finally, the massive and boisterous Falls were right in front of me.
Amid loud cheers, the Falls blushed with a babyish flaunting glow! Imagine, people from two countries, honeymooners from across the world, love birds or incredulous children, and onlookers like me were in such awe.
Soft cool showers greeted us in return as we struggled to keep our eyes open and the flimsy and exuberant ponchos in place. White and milky, the thundering Falls were surprisingly calming.
On days like this one, I wonder more than usual. Why do we limit ourselves with borders, visas, nationalities and currencies, I ask. Standing right in front of an amazingly potent nature’s wonder, I pondered at humans' need to claim and own, and to feel powerful in return. I applaud the confidence; I resent the arrogance and laugh at the futile need for dominance. Ahh… yes, I harboured very deep thoughts amid a gentle cool shower, aboard an unstable water-machine, and over the mocking white waters.
I love Amreeka!