Thursday, July 28, 2005


It's been exactly 2 years and 4 days since I arrived in the US of A, and the time seems to have flown by. Looking back and taking stock, how much have I changed? Actually not much! Of course, I have become more independent, but not really; my existence has almost exclusively been limited to home and university. I have not traveled around much, and haven't yet got my license, although I have learnt to take advantage of the reasonably good public transportation in Atlanta. I still have trouble opearting the M&M candy machines in restaurants, and it's been only last year that I finally started taking responsibility for the phone and electricity bills.
I have learnt to take many things in my stride, but at the same time, still have to shed off strands of emotional sensitivity and insecurity that can stifle a cheerful existence. Haven't made too many friends, if the term implies people whose "wavlength perfectly matches yours". I have, however, found a fantastic friend in my fellow classmate from Mexico, who provides inspiration and encouragement for everything. A brilliant chemist, he shares my passion for history, science, and music, and an awareness about the human condition manifested in all its small and great ways. Thanks to him, I have always found an outlet for the many interesting things that I have read or thought about, and which I am brimming over to tell someone.

* Books have been the backbone of my existence here. I cannot say what I would have done without them. The library provided, and will continue to provide, an intellectual as well as an emotional refuge like no other. In every moment of melancholiness, loneliness, and pensive thought, one or more scientists, statesmen, and facts from history, philosophy, and science, have always provided salvation, and for all of that, I am eternally thankful.

* My few Indian friends here, with whom I share the common language and culture, provide a warm, sentimental buttress, which strengthens my roots, and reassures me of the presence of dependable countrymen. No matter how many friends I may have, talking with a Punekar about Pu La is a unique experience that nothing else can beat!

* Conversations with the few across the seven seas that matter have proved incalculably invaluable for me. This includes first and foremost my parents, and then, a very select few extremely important friends in India, who have made being away from home infinitely more enduring for me. They have provided immense and lasting intellectual and emotional support, always brought a smile on my face in diverse ways and hoisted me away from my troubles, and I really cannot imagine how my life would be, if it were not for my constant communication with them. I can never thank them enough. Yahoo Messenger, I salute you...

* Last but not the least, blogging has been a creative and extremely salutary expressive activity for me. I found that I really enjoy writing about the things which matter to me. Most importantly, it connected me to people who I would have absolutely loved to meet earlier, but who I may never have met were it not for blogging. This includes wonderful people who I already knew in small and sundry ways, with whom I reconnected again, as well as wonderful new friends who I hope to always be in touch with.

Ok, I better stop now before this starts sounding like an Oscar speech.

The learning process continues...


Blogger Sumedha said...

I came to the USA exactly one year and one day ago :)
There is still so much to learn and so much to see; but the truth is, I can't wait to go home to Pune this August!!

America is still far from being anything like home.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous madhura said...

Touche' Sumedha, its still far from being home!

And Ashutosh, you have inspired me to write a similar on, that would be when I finish a year here!! :-)
I'm sure most of the things you've said here would appear in it though! :-)

11:25 AM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

In fact, it will NEVER be home...:-)
Looking forward to your post Madhura!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Hirak said...

I am also quite happy to be in a lab with interesting people.
Blogging and discovering new stuff has it charms, but nothing beats a one-on-one discussion.

2:36 PM  

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