Saturday, March 7, 2009


"You might think that the name 'Grand' is a bit too unimaginative and simplistic", said Lewis Carol, our giant of a guide, "Just wait till you get there." The south rim of the Grand Canyon is a 5 hour bus ride away from the sheen and glitter of Las Vegas. After partying all night for the past two nights, a bus which starts at 6:30 in the morning is not the place where you'd want to be. But I was running short of time.

Moving through the sparse vegetation of the Arizona desert on both sides, with only rock mountains for company, the Native Americans had been making this journey for thousands of years. They had set out for the place where the spirits of their forefathers roamed and they felt the need to confer with them. The road was metalled now and we were ensconced in the comfort of a luxury coach but the journey felt like it would lead to something really special.

The parking lot is a long walk from the edge of the canyon and signs led you to your first glimpse of the stateliness of the Canyon. Sheer rock walls dropping thousands of feet below, their colours varying with every few feet of the change of depth. There were peculiar shapes all around this magical landscape, carved by the twin genies of wind and water. The water of the raging Colorado was so deep down below that it was a worm at the base of the canyon. The wind flew through the channels, at times singing, at times roaring, a wild, wonderful song. I had seen both sides of the world within the space of a few hours. One was the ultra-commercialized world of desires as exemplified by the city of Las Vegas, and this the timeless masterpiece by Nature carved of wind and stone yet embodied with a soul far greater than what was capable of residing in a single human. 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sin City

Forget about the trucks carrying giant billboards proclaiming "Girls direct to your room in 20 minutes!" on the roads. It's such an ugly thought that it brings last night's dinner right back up.

A few hours spent in Vegas will teach you not to give your heart out to that angelic little face who talks ever so sweetly to you at the casino table. It's only a matter of time before she tries to fix a rate with you.

The free ride that the cabbies offer to the scores of strip-clubs seem as interesting as a trip to the meat factory.

Money is meant to be burnt away for a number of pleasures, but it's just too gross to shell out any cash for a certain few activities. An opinion which seems to be shared by very few in the city of Las Vegas.

It's your first night out in this town and you know that none of the options discussed above are meant for you. Instead you go into the smoky, strobe light streaked interiors of a regular club/disc/lounge (Though a regular club in Vegas terms is really a spectacular club for any other city in the world). It's a vast cavern throbbing with music and psychedelic colours. Taut, shaped to perfection bodies groove in the space all around. You grab a Captain' n 'a Coke from the bar and take a look around. There's a group of girls right next to you and you sense that there's something in the air. Smells like a exquisite woman's perfume.

Within an instant, right in front of you in a lil' white dress is a pretty young blonde inviting you to dance. A quick confirmatory glance tells you that you'd be a raging maniac to take more than a second in making your decision.

"So where're you from?", you ask.

"I come from Oregon. And you?"

"From Bawston!", you say in the worst possible fake Irish accent.

You dance with her, entranced by her nymph like fluidity. A toss of her golden hair, the fleeting gaze of her blue eyes, the occasional smile, the twist' n 'twirl of her skirt all drag you deeper into this sensual paradise. A beauty induced state of hypnosis and wonder produces a rhythm that is impossible to disregard.

You think to yourself that maybe this was the reason why you were so resolutely single and commitment-phobic all your life; it was for these few moments of guiltless bliss. And then she whispers into your ear, "I think you're cute. You really needn't worry so much about touching me!"...

Welcome to Las Vegas. Welcome to Sin City!