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August 23, 2005

Same day 5 years back (minus a 11 days)...


A quick diversion: Take a look at the Bitsian BLOB awards idea (thanks to Rathish)!

August 12th came and left and I forgot all about the day when I stepped into Lexington airport carrying among other suitcases, a heavily bandaged suitcase with some of its contents - a blue parachute coconut oil bottle, a couple of stainless steel ladles, a few heavy networking books - peeping outside for the world to see.

"You got a dirty old luggage from India and that's why it tore! I suppose you want to fill in a complaint form now?"

Those were pretty much the exact words spoken by the lady at the Atlanta airport when I showed her my suitcase which was very clearly torn by a sharp instrument all along its sides. I remember an old American airport attendee helping me out (bless his soul) - he helped tape my suitcase with a heavy duty plastic cover. The two Indian boys who were talking to me until then had to leave because it was time for their connecting flights. After the suitcase episode, I used my $10 calling card that USIS gave me during the orientation, punched in the numbers given in the instructions behind the calling card and told my parents in a breaking voice that I was fine and had reached Atlanta.

After the phone call, I had a sudden urge to cry for many reasons but did not. I did not know how to get to the terminal from which to board my connecting flight to Lexington. Hari, a bitsian senior recognized me and waved to me much to my relief - my guardian angel must have sent a familiar face - he must have noticed the expression on my face because he asked, "Shall I come and drop you at your terminal? Are you ok?" I said I will manage, thanked him and my lucky stars and stumbled into the train with my hand luggage.

I caught sight of another bitsian, m~, at the waiting lounge and he bought a hot cup of cappucino for me which I gratefully gulped down. He introduced me to his sister and her husband and their little kid which did a great job of lifting my spirits.

At Lexington airport, two guys had come for my pick up - s~ and s~v. They lifted my almost unmanageable suitcases and put it in the trunk of the car. I struggled with my seat belt and looked through the windows at the tall buildings and the well maintained roads. They dropped me at apartment D 202 and both my roommates were not in. I sat in the sofa and stared at the creamish walls of the empty room.

I had reached Lexington.

That night, a tall, lanky, bespectacled chap curiously counted the books in the huge pile behind which I sat silently unloading my remaining suitcases and said, "I know this girl has come here to study!"

Jotted down these lines after reading a series of related posts (and a related movie - Swades) IBH's, phil's and solilowkey's.

18 comments:

kamal said...

I think I counted about 25 books, 2 bags/25 books?????. Poor tall, lanky, bespectacled chap.

Eshwar said...

btw...did u get to file a complaint ??

Saranya Kishore said...

Hey nice post :)

Strange.. we seem to be hitting the same topics, the coo-chi-coo and the anniversary of landing in US.... but I dont write half as well as you.

Always envied a Bitsian. :)

Keep writing.

RS said...

kamal: "Poor tall, lanky, bespectacled chap"...

Am sure!

eshwar: No...I didn't want to make a fuss, the lady scared me and I felt embarassed that I was creating more work for them! Let me at 'em now...grrrr

saranya: Thanks :) Will defly have to check out your posts now!

IBH said...

indha varam US varam nu nenaikuren...
ur reading habit reminds me so much of my own hubby dear...he landed up in US with half his suitcase filled with books..the on he treasures!

Parth said...

Wouldn't let me post yesterday. Hmm, you had a varied entry to the US, with things working for and against you. I landed at Houston and went straight to my old neighbour's place where Aunty made good Gujarati food for me (piping hot rotis, sabzi, daal and some rice). It was literally a smooth landing :-)

Zeppelin said...

rs,

so u did write one too... :) my entry experience @ chicago was pretty rough... came in as a group from madras - about 15 or so people goin to UC.. I was the only one to be stopped for luggage checking by security officers... :) was sweating bullets and was also anxious cos my sis was waiting outside for me... :)

hmm.. now, its piece o' cake ...in and out of the airports in no time.. :)

subramoni said...

set foot in Lexington, the same day(as u did, Aug 12) 6 years ago. It was a sweltering 37C and for a moment it felt as if I was in India....only for a moment. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. Nostalgic post.

subramoni said...

forgot to add. That was probably my first weight-trainig session when I lugged along a 16 lb hand baggage, almost all of it books. It is a different matter that most of them have only been adorning my shelves ever since. :).

RS said...

ibh: sun tvla solra madiri..."US vaaaaaaaaaaaaram" :)

parth: smooth landing indeed! Wish that aunty had lived in Atlanta and wish I'd known her :))

phil: atleast you had a big gang with you, though can imagine what must have gone thru ur head when ur luggage was inspected with pickes, masala and all :)

subu: wow, thats cool. But the books make a nice impression on guests when they first see 'em arranged neatly on shelves though :))

RTD2 said...

It's funny but 4-5 years into it, and we are all so 'wise' and 'acculturated' into the US! It's awesome that u can take a humble step back and appraise your situation..Congratulations on turning five in your new life :)

RS said...

rtd2: true...

welcome back and thanks :)

Rathish said...

Thanks so much ramya!

ada-paavi!!!! said...

doesnt the airline like liable to pay damages and stuff?? (i am ignorent bout such things)

thennavan said...

Your US anniversary post made for interesting reading. This September 15th I'll be completing my 11 years in the US and had blogged about my "US landing" quite a while back here

:-)

RS said...

Rathish: You are most welcome :)

vatsan: They are liable to - I didnt know it then :)

thennavan: Read your post - well written, with a sort of dry humour :) It seems I pick the very same topics to write that you had written about a year back - first the thachi mamam post and now this :)

RT said...

u always land into some problem or other..u shd probably write a post on how u lost ur passport and other docs on ur trip back from pilani :-)

RS said...

rt: good idea! that's certainly a bigger adventure, if I can call it that!

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