Leaving India for the U.S.

Written By: Hemant Gore
E-mail: hemantgore@gmail.com

Headline Article Title: 9 years- Wow!!!

Today it will be 9 years since the first time I left India to come to the US. Yes 9 long and eventful years. It is unbelievable how fast time flies by. Almost a decade gone by in a flash, it seems like. It seems like only a few days back that I had decided that the job which I was working in India was far too boring and that I wanted to study more and had decided to give my GRE exam. After some time it was time to say goodbye to the family. There were parties being held before the departure with some enthusiastic relatives handing me flower bouquets at the party as well as the airport. I had flown just once before this and the excitement of flying was there initially. Then set in the fact that I was going to be away from the family for the very first time in 23 years and that too at such a distance that only digital communication would be the way to get in touch with them every now and then. After saying the goodbyes we went to check in fearing that the nice things that mom had prepared would be confiscated. Yes I had my future college roommate accompanying me during our Swiss Air flight. I remember meeting a sardarji sitting next to me and ranting about how he did not get a last minute flight with British Airways as they are the best in takeoff and landing. He literally gestured with his hands to show how the BA flight lands differently than all the other flights in the world. I thought that was funny at first but then it got irritating. During takeoff my roommate’s eyes were as wide as an owl staring at a flashlight.

After the long flight and some desperate measures to prevent our luggage from being stolen at Zurich airport, we landed in Atlanta and then took a flight to Kansas city. There was a person waiting for us who looked a little like Kurt Cobain. He was generous enough to drop us at our residential on-campus place. There we were pleased to see a swarm of Indian students ready to greet us. One of my very good friends now, this guy cooked for us rajma/chaval. I’ll be meeting him after a few years now when he comes to visit me during the Labor Day weekend this year.

There are some of the small things you tend to remember distinctly and some not so small things you tend to forget. Some first encounters with people in your life now are strikingly eventful, some are not. So after this initial phase of trying to find an apartment we finally moved into a nice polished one and were 6 of us. The 3 years thereafter were filled with some amazing memories to cherish forever. The doctor, the pretender, the ballerina, the boxer and the baby [since he was the youngest] were some really great guys that I had roommates during this time in Kansas City. The journey so far has been interesting with some achievements turning into fulfilled dreams, some not. We’ll see how it goes ;).

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