Following is a collection of my observations of the new things and people around me.
--> Crowd is really hot, hot, hot, hot AND hot here. You can call it TASHAN. Like imba, you know? And not just the girls, the guys are hot too ;) I kinda *love* the summers.
--> People in my town have some weird problem of jogging whole day. No matter what's the time. Early morning or late night or mid-afternoon with a scorching sun on top or evening or any time of day, you always find people jogging around. Whether its the campus or the town sidewalks. There are always hot guys and gals jogging. Nice muscles and abs.
--> If you're new and trying out new stuff at food joints. You will often leave the place cursing, "Damn did I really spend 4 dollars n 35 cents on that shitty thing?" Nevertheless it doesn't stop me from repeating the same mistake the next day albeit over another food item.
--> I swipe my ID card to access the door to my office. Technology? Hell yeah.
--> I just got this email on my official university address. "
--> Went to a "pool" party today. Only me and my two friends, we three were the only internationals there. And of the entire crowd around and inside the swimming pool, only 3 ppl were wearing clothes ;). Ye sheher nahin mehfil hai...
Life's been too busy around homeworks. Luckily got a little time to share some thoughts today.
In my entire life, I feel that I had this special connection with my teachers. There were some of them which I really didn't like but then there were a few which I really loved. And as for the teachers' side if anyone would go and ask them, their opinions too would be mostly at the extremities. For them either I had been the most careless and dumb student or I had been an exceptional student. Very few will rate me as a 'nice/normal/decent' student.
And in my bachelors degree, there was this thing that used to happen with me every semester. I used to get in the eyes of at least two teachers every semester. Of course one held love and the other held hate for me. And my record of living up to this phenomenon had been pretty consistent. When I came here in US and the semester began, I was again a bit worried and was wondering if this thing will continue.
Somehow, it did. And it didn't.
I "think" I came a quite close getting a bad reputation in front of a teacher but it seems like it never happened. It all just happened in my worried mind. Or it has but the teacher is not showing it. But yes, I "did" come close to another teacher that I think I really love and he in return appreciates my interests too.
He is a retired professor and quite old. He welcomed me in his office like perhaps no other teacher had ever done to me. And those precious minutes spent with him in the past few days strengthened my grip on my dreams. I know I am talking very vague here and not giving you people any specifics of "What, where and why?" But really, I can't. It's the nature of this blog to stay away from facts. Facts are too mundane and boring. I always try to stay away from names and facts and stuff.
It's all about fiction ;)
And yes, where was I? The meetings, the wise advice and some pivotal events in the past few days have really shaped my world the way I wanted it to. Talking with him, I felt overwhelmed at times on seeing his supportive and encouraging nature. I was "so" much reminded of the book "Tuesdays With Morrie" which I finished a week ago. The way I look at teaching, I sometimes feel that it is one of the most noble professions existing out there. But of course it doesn't suit everyone. You need to know a lot and then you need the right method of telling to novices whatever you know. I don't know about the present but yes maybe after 10 or 20 years, when I feel that I *know* enough stuff, I would love to be a teacher.
I would love to inspire, ignite and most importantly *help* students who would be nothing but my own younger selfs seeking direction.
A great teacher, someone to talk to, someone-someone who could understand everything that I have always meant to say, is what I was primary looking for after coming to US. And I guess I have found someone. It's really important to find that teacher in your life. It's not that I have a "guru" of my lifetime. But yes, for this current phase of my life, I have one. Yes, in past I had a series of teachers who played their roles in perfection. But there had been times when I had no one to guide me. Times of darkness, they were.
I see light now. Pure, infinite, illuminating, White Light.
For every Frodo needs a Gandalf
For every Harry needs a Dumbledore
*I wake up one day and realize that I need not cook or cut vegetables or take care of the utensils. Because today is not my turn. Because today my third flatmate has to cook. She's gonna take care of it. And it's amazing. (I finally get some time to blog too, not for long though)
*My apartment is awesome. With the attached bathroom feature my room looks more like a suite to me. (Especially considering the kinda places I have lived in past ofcourse excluding the _ hostel at _ University ;)
*The city is so serene and calm and peaceful and still so imba. I just love the crowd (undergrads? xD)
*I visited the both libraries (University library and Public library in town) on a single day. Seeing those books, smelling their faint odor, touching them as I walked past endless corridors of infinitely long shelves and racks, I was left in a state of awe. It's like I have been waiting for this my whole life. And it's there, right there, so close to me. Existing in a solid, silent and defying manner.
Waiting for me to come. (I remember that how in my past colleges(degree/diploma) I used to hang out in the most desolated fiction shelves/rack of the respective libraries. Among those limited number of fiction books crumpled inside academic libraries I used to look for jewels.
And here, it's a whole new treasure in front of me. I could call myself lucky.
*When you walk in the road, you feel like a mob lord or perhaps a king too. Any road you traverse, the car will stop 40 to 50 meters before you and give you ENOUGH space to happily cross at any pace you like. Pedestrians are given first preference, no matter what. The driver even smiles at you and nods if you smile back. Sometimes me and a car are stranded in middle of a road, me waiting for the car to pass by and the driver wait inside waiting for me pass by. It's no more like dodging the traffic with your life in your hands back there in home country.
Disclaimer: This does not hold true for entire US(Try this in California, NY or DC at your own risk). Only for small and hospitable towns, in one of which I currently live.
*The research is no child's play. It's spanned from the most basic to the highest level. Every day I sit at my desk just to understand what's going on. I am supposed to do literature review for a few weeks before I actually get to do stuff by hands. Looking at the equipment and machines in the lab, I can see what an "advanced" country really means. I had been playing with stones and sticks till now. It's time for big toys.
*There are hell lot of restaurants here with all kinds of food that I have never tasted or heard of. Mexican, Thai, Chinese, American ofcourse ;) and don't remember what else. I aim to taste every thing before I graduate.
*The buildings @ campus which have been standing in a majestic way since more than 100 years make me stop in my path and wonder aloud. "Is it real?" "Or it's just a dream?"
*I want to take down all activities offered here. Canoeing? Skiing? Caving? Trekking? Fooling around without purpose?
Bring it on.
And so, SOMEHOW I have reached US of A. As I type this, I am well settled in my nice apartment at my overly nice city(perhaps next blog post on this topic). Overall the trip was quite fruitless. I mean it had nothing I had expected from it. Nothing at all when compared to my expectations. Of course it had some weird events on the way but no big fruit in the end. Because I was expecting quite paranormal stuff to happen while I was in mid-air. But naah, no aliens came to hijack the plane. The fairies did not appear out of nowhere. The demons and witches did not stop by. And on the top of it all, our plan didn't hit turbulence and we did NOT crash in some unknown island. We did not get lost.
Duh, pretty fruitless.
The boring life continued and nothing extraordinary happened. Nothing much exciting (except at Chicago where my ticket was declared fraud->see below). I have finally reached a new place and have to do studies etc.
But anyway, I do have a few memories to share with you people. I wish I could write down my entire trip here but I can't because I have slightly forgotten it and also you will get bored. So let me just give you a few snippets of the things I observed.
The Random Terrorist Check Interview.
I reached the sleek new terminal T3 at New Delhi in time and my parents made sure that I was loaded with clothes and accessories to the maximum so that the bags in my hand won't exceed the baggage limits (which already were exceeding, anyway). I looked around and people and chix were dressed so casually and lightly but I was dressed like a snowman ready to conquer Alaska. I hauled up my 3 bags worried that if people nearby were staring at my clothing (which they totally were) and somehow cleared up with the long line of the people taking the flight with me. I was getting my boarding passes done (I needed 3 of them), only 2 were made yet and suddenly their computer flashed or something and they stamped my two passes and asked me to follow some police lady. I was supposed to be perhaps handed over the third boarding pass from Chicago to my final destination but it didn't happen and I guess that's what responsible for #5. Anyway, so the lady explained to me,
Police Lady (PL): Follow me for the Random check interview of passengers.
PL: Everyday 5 or 6 people out of the thousands who travel daily are specially interviewed for security purposes. The computer assigns that.
Me: Uh? But (Face full of sweat and tension now)
PL: Oh its nothing, its nothing. The officer will ask just a few simple questions, don't worry, it's routine.
And that assurance of her made me doubt this random interview even MORE. True story.
So I was led into this special interrogation room where already a black man was getting interviewed. They were grilling him why he was carrying 60kg excess of baggage. And I guess he was not cool about disclosing the bags to these people and was trying to leave the airport. I was seated in front of a very stern looking bald Indian officer who began questioning me very sternly.
He asked me a few of questions like,
"What for in the univ?"
He was pretty cold in all these questions perhaps because all this time he was busy making all kinds of scratches on my Visa and passport. He was checking the authenticity of every part of my passport. Then,
"Which univ you studied before?"
"Bla blah blu"
"Oh that's a reputed university!" (His tone became a lil casual)
Then he handed me over my passport and said smilingly,
"Btw, your hair looks like a porcupine, ;)."
I exited the interrogation room with my passport in one hand and hand bag in other with an idiot like grin. This hairstyle and the comment was just the beginning of a new era.
When my flight landed at Frankfurt, Germany I had an excited and great time to see the airport for 3.5 hours. I very much intended to shop there. I had bought a chocolate like thingy at the large shopping complex in Delhi airport and now it was a Swiss chocolate that took my heart here at Germany. Also I wanted to shop just for the sake of saying "Yes I have shopped around a few continents…" So all this while roaming around the airport I found the Germans to be quite amusing. These German ladies were all hot and stuff. Redheads, you know? So they were like RED HOT. I had this imaginary conversation with a young hot german lady (YHGL).
YHGL: Qaustro quastro pero.
Me: Quastro quastro you're hot.
YHGL: Quastro quastro this is your first time in a developed country isn't it?
Me: Quastro quastro yes, indeeeeeeeeed. So there are others like you?
YHGL: Quastro quastro indeeeeeed.
ME: Quastro quastro, great, I look forward to more imbaness.
I left her alone then and wandered around to look for other Germans. There was this Gothic-druggist-gay type young man and he was quite hot too. He could have played a Dracula in any upcoming paranormal movie. But Germans were a bit loud. Not much, but yeah a bit. When I tried to talk to the airport staff when I was searching for my terminals, one german lady kinda told me stuff so loud that everyone around was staring at us or me. Lol.
The Chinki Brothers
I found these two guys from Nepal who were on same route Delhi-Frankfurt-Chicago and we 3 kinda stayed together most of the time. One was the Elder Chinki, 4 years elder to me and was going for some ultra noob university. His and mine major were coincidentally same but when I heard his univ's name I almost asked him "How did you get your Visa approved?". But he was all like in Nepal they are allowing easily this time. And then this Younger Chinki was 4 years younger to me and was going to some unknown university for his undergrad. Wierdos both of them.
But of course, not weirder than me. ;p
Sample, of course.
One thing I didn't like about Chinki brothesr was that in middle of our conversation they often started using their native language and I was all left like, "Huh wtf are you saying ppl," and then it came to their minds after a few minutes that they should speak in hindi. Their English sucked badly. When I say badly I mean even worse than mine. Now you can judge yourself.
But the thing I liked about them was their love for Bollywood. They could praise it endlessly. Even on the plane out of the 30 or so top Hollywood movies, they chose to watch the only one available Bollywood movie (some flop one) on their entertainment centers. And on this flight, they were sitting apart and still they watched exactly the same movie. I was like "LoL, how could you watch it.." And they were like, "Oh it was so funny!" and continued their praise for Bollywood. They also told me how expensive the dollar was for them because their rupee was quite weaker to the Indian rupee. If my ticket was for 50k rupees their's was for 75k :O
It happens rarely but that time I felt proud of being an Indian.
Chicago from Above
While aboard I tried to sleep most of the times or read my book. I partially watched the movie "How to train your dragon" and I found it pretty cool. Some of the scenes were so mesmerizing and analogous to the view outside my window (I had window seat yay :D) Like in the movie the kid was exhilarated driving his dragon so I too clapped in excitement when I saw the thin wings of the plan slicing through the huge clouds. It was like wafting over mountains of cotton or perhaps snow. And when we neared Chicago as our plane began to descend, I was able to see those huge sky scrapers of the city. They looked so majestic. I wanted to write the description of the aerial view of the city then and there only. One line that I formed in my mind was something like this,
"The skyscrapers were pieces of tall, cold steel on the face of flat, warm earth."
Then I nudged my Elder Chinki brother and said, "Hey see the view outside! Wow! the buildings!" He gave the most dispassionate and not-interested brief glance and resumed his preparation for the landing. I was all like perhaps he too being a civil engineer might like the view outside and understand my feelings for the structures. I was all crazy on seeing those huge structures. But this guy clearly wasn't. He had a lot of issues actually.
Like the entire time, he wore his seat belts. LOL. And when the plane landed or took off he used to hold the side handles of his seat and sit up straight. I was like, "C'mon, we won't die so soon."
"Your travel agency is fraud sir, your name is not on the flight."
Till I reached Chicago the trip was quite awesome and I had a nice time making fun of everything and everyone around me. But after seeing me act like a smartass for a long time, the God guy gave my life a little twist. Yeah a LITTLE twist. I had around 3 hours at Chicago airport to catch my last connecting flight out of which more than 1 hour was wasted at the Customs line where I nearly escaped nabbing by a lady and her smelling doggy. The smelling small doggy was moving around the line and sniffing everyone's bags. He passed mine and I got a sigh of relief but the Elder chinki guy's bag made him stop wagging his tail so there were some problems. I don't know what happened later with his cuz at this point, our paths had diverged.
Then I checked in my bags for the next flight and when I reached the counter to Check in MYSELF, here's how the convo between me and a rude bald American guy went:
Guy: Which flight you are on? (Scanning my passport)
Me: The UA@#$ at bla bla to bla bla..
Guy: Nope, you are'not.
Me: Huh? But my e-ticket has #$%@$#@$ $ @#$
Guy: I am looking at the ticket in the computer and you have no such booking sir.
Me: I booked through MAKEMYTRIP guys and how it is possible??
Guy: Your travel agency is fraud sir, your name is not on the flight. Sorry you need to redo the whole thing and go to terminal 1.
He returned my passport and disappeared. At that very moment, all the fun and excitement vanished in thin air. I was like, "Ohkay, now you're getting to me, USA" So it was like, my baggage was already sent to the next flight BUT I wasn't. So I ran here and there and finally found a special counter where people could address their problems. A long queue was there and I somehow got my boarding pass made and entered the flight just 5 mins before they closed gates. I think it was probably because of the event that happened at the Delhi airport.
All sweaty and tired and full of jet lag and thirsty as I finally sat on the domestic plane, I grabbed what they offered me shortly afterward. I opted for some can of Apple and Cranberry juice with an empty glass full of crushed ice. It was refreshing. After a few minutes I noticed it had "Cocktail" written all over it. I thought I had tasted alcohol kinda thingy. So I asked the American sitting next to me,
"This isn't beer right?"
He laughed at me and said that it was just juice.
I was like, "Ohkay, anyway I have taken too much stuff upon myself today. So whatever."
|Just an example what I mean by Indian Saints|
|Example of Namaste. Also, your weekly dose of hot chix-pix.|
|Sample pic of bread pakoras.|
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