T his was the first road trip I had taken since I moved to California as a child. My uncle and my dad, two brothers, wanted their mother, my grandmother, to see something spectacular. It was a kind of adventurous family time that they really enjoyed. In those pre-internet and pre-smartphone days, a roadtrip met forced proximity with the other people in the car, in this case, my cousins. We alternated between bonding and fighting and ignoring each other. Then when we arrived at the Grand Canyon, I was blown away by the sheer scale of it. I was collecting rocks at the time, and I remember being really excited to see all of the different types of rocks in the landscape. The Grand Canyon was so huge that I could not believe it was really one single place- I remember I kept asking where in this vast landscape the canyon was. I couldn't comprehend that everything I was seeing was part of the Grand Canyon. My grandmother was not easily impressed. We had taken her to see all the Southern California sights- Disneyland, Universal Studios, Malibu Beach- and she didn't express much excitement over any of them. She did find the Grand Canyon to be breathtaking.

One other memory from that road trip stands out for me. We stopped at a modest diner for lunch, and I still remember what my grandmother said, in Bengali, when the food arrived. Upon seeing the portion sizes, she said, "this country has demons instead of people! Who could possibly serve so much to one person?" So the scale of the Grand Canyon and the scale of restaurant meals both made an impression on my grandmother.

(As told to Nikaash Omachi)

Ananda Sarkar
Photo Location
Grand Canyon, AZ
Grand Canyon, AZ
We took this trip because my grandmother and uncle were visiting from India. My parents and I drove from Escondido, which is near San Diego, to my uncle's house in the LA suburbs, and then we all drove to Arizona. The picture has myself, my cousins, my parents, and my visiting uncle.

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