Guessing how to operate the pay phone, wondering if those are actually quarters in your hand, sitting on the runway for more than an hour, reaching the destination, breathing a sigh of relief spotting the baggage, meeting new people, traveling on the right side of the road, listening to “Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera” (wtf!) in the car from the airport, traveling on interstate freeways, sleeping on the couch with empty stomach, waking up to watch India vs England streamed live on the laptop, on campus job search, blonds in fall clothing, puliyodarai with curd or bread with mayonnaise for lunch, yard sale, first lunch at Indian restaurant in months, sleepless nights, lunch less days, doing homework for the first time since 5th std, project submissions, open book exams, take home remedy tests, academic integrity speeches, complexity theories, network simulators, depth first searches, segmentation faults, grade distributions, fall breaks and thanksgiving breaks, lake visits, travel in 2 buses to go 10 miles, scary downtown visits, first career fair with an almost blank resume, praying for grades, horrible project demos, bad grades.
Throwing them out of the window and going on the first road trip in America, covering almost half of I-95, saying to yourself you are done seeing Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, New Jersey and finally the actual destination, New York City, standing in the middle of the bustling crowd at Penn station thinking whether you are in Bombay or New York, armed with a ticket to Mineola wondering whether you should take the Subway, the Long Island Rail Road or the NJ Transit and then realizing the obvious answer, making the customary visits to Liberty, the Bull and NYSE, remembering John Lennon near Dakota and CPW at 72nd Street, mastering the NY railroads in less than 24 hrs, falling in love with the city, wrapping it all off fast enough to make a stop at Washington D.C, sitting behind the White House at 7pm and frowning at the deserted look of the city, having a healthy argument about which one is Jefferson Memorial, which one is Lincoln and which is the Washington Monument. Because it was so damn dark.
Pissing away the rest of the vacation watching movies, making up for the six months lost, starting a new semester, tougher courses, more time wasted, making full use of roomie’s car, frequent blogging, internship hunts, career fairs, job applications, interview calls, recession talks, wondering where the hell did you land up, putting things into perspective, classifying grad students, writing an amateur movie script on desis, winter wears, gloves, skull caps, first snow, first spring break, making blog friends from Chennai to Delhi to Urbana to Bay Area, first interview, first job, second road trip, weekend visits to Indian restaurant and temple, getting back to driving, third road trip, breaking an year of teetotalism, movies at Galaxy and Mission Valley, regular work outs, better cooking, better eating, pressure free job, carefree living, India trip dreams, good job dreams, next semester nightmares and getting back to the grind. In a months time.
In between all this, a Masters degree, that is on course. Fair deal.
It’s exactly one year since I landed at Washington Dulles International. I was thrust into some seniors place where I stayed for almost 2 weeks. A new guy landed up at my door yesterday and would be staying for a week in my room before he gets his house. He walks out and goes, “It’s 8.45pm and not one bit dark!!” Full circle eh?