Come to Chicago in summer: Roopa Sharma



In our special summer series, celebrated individuals from India’s Northeast share their secrets to beat the summer heat. So, stay cool, look chic and leave your imprint this summer


President of Asom Sahitya Sabha, North America (ASSNA), ROOPA SHARMA beautifully spells out how her summer unfolds


Chicagoans take great pride in their beautiful, wonderful city – rich in history, art, music, architecture and culture. We are blessed with three glorious seasons: Spring – end of a long harsh winter, new leaves on the trees, daffodils, tulips, Irises wherever you look, Summer – mild, breezy, sunny and packed with fun activities and events, and Autumn – with all her her colorful glory.
Winter? Aah, that’s a whole different story and we don’t even wanna go there.
I was requested to write about my summer plans. 
Summer always means travel and more travel for me. Since our daughter lives in London, that is my usual destination. From there, I go to other places. This year, I went during the Spring and returned home just when summer was arriving in London. We went to Paris for a few days – not so much as tourists but because we love Paris and keep going back. This time, my daughter took me to Giverny (Zee-ver-nee) – a town hour and half from Paris to visit our most favorite Impressionist Claude Monet’s home and garden – to see where the Leading Light of the Impressionist Movement painted most of his masterpieces. That was an awesome experience! 
Back home, now I am busy planting the veggies and flowers in my garden. This is my new hobby for last five years. 
I love to read – all the time. I have a few good books for summer read and have downloaded a couple into my kindle for my travel read. 
I have been telling myself, “Enjoy the down time Roopa, because in a few weeks, you’ll be spinning like a wheel!” 
End of this month, to New York City for a wedding, Back home just for two days and off to the West, to Las Vegas to attend the 36th Assam Convention. Part of my duties as the President of Asom Sahitya Sabha, North America (ASSNA) is to publish our annual magazine ‘Luitor Pora Mississippi’ (proud to include 17 write ups from well-known Assamese writers!). This year, we are inviting Arup Kumar Dutta, the celebrated writer from Assam to unveil the magazine. He will also speak at a special program. Next destination – Los Angeles to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of two dear friends. Santa Barbara will be my final stop before returning home. 
Chicago offers exceptional concerts, shows and exhibitions during the summer months. Throughout the summer, there are open air concerts in the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Blues Festival, Lit Fest and Art shows in downtown Chicago – all these free to the public. It will be a treat to attend a few. 
I see, others are writing about food and clothes. So, here I go…
Clothes: I like dark and bright colors. In summer, at home or in running errands, I am most comfortable in Capri, whites and khakis or skirt and a light colored top. For special occasions like Assam Conventions and weddings, I wear mekhela sadors. During casual get togethers – saree, pant or churidar – whatever I am in mood for. 
Mild Chicago summer allows us to wear not just cotton but even silk! 
Food: I’m a true-blue foodie. Not only do I enjoy good food, I also love cooking, baking and entertaining. I like the whole sensory experience, and the subtle  nuances of the herbs, spices and sauces. I had the most delectable all types of food in last two months in London. Now, I’m back to basics. At home, I am mostly vegeterian whether it is down home my favorite Oxomiya food (with occasional masor tenga) or something light and fresh like Mediterranean, I stay away from greasy and fried food. Water with lemon – that’s my summer drink, a chilled wine with company is a welcome change. No soft drink for me – never liked it. 
My favorite summer pleasure: Sitting in my patio for hours, surrounded by vibrant flowers, soaking up some sun, reading a good book! The cute little hummingbirds with fluttering wings over the bird-feed entertain me, a bowl of strawberry or blueberry on the table tells me why summer is so nice, and my phones and iPad nearby keep reminding me that I’m not actually in Heaven! 
Come to our city in the summer! You will fall in love with Chicago!