Tuesday, June 21

I'll never be the same

10 years ago this August I said goodbye to my family and friends and left for the United States. I was going to study, or so I thought. In truth I did not know why I was leaving home and a still unwritten future. It seemed like the thing to do; the rite that was expected of me and whose crushing inevitability then still mystifies me now.

The University of Birmingham, Birmingham - AL. Where licence plates did not make bold statements as in the North but suggested a quiet, deep faith that reflected the local religious fervour. 'Stars Fall On Alabama'. Yes they do. A strange, alien state vastly distanced and different from the images covered by popular television shows like Remington Steele, Baywatch and CSI. I was someone else back then. Unable to say if I now am a better or worse man. Nursing my grief, unsure of an extended existence away from home and family, lonely in my journey, lonelier when I reached another shore and plagued by the infinite demons of self-doubt and fear. And somewhere deep inside there was a precious flicker of thrill. A bit like Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit, I suppose.

To commemorate the occasion, I plan on writing a series of short posts that are reminiscent of that time. I will try not to rehash old tales because lord knows it's all we seem to do nowadays. Instead, it will be an attempt to share other stories and moments and dissect my experiences with a more nuanced eye.

Birmingham, Alabama. Where this blog was born.

Song for the moment: Manha de Carnaval (Morning of the Carnival) - Luiz Bonfa

4 comments:

gt said...

Waiting in anticipation..

G said...

Chalo koi toh hai :P

Crafting the next one already. Should be out this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Nothing says "aspirational Indian middle class" like the ritualistic, mindless struggle of getting to the US, for higher education. A few lucky ones either travel for the right reasons or realize they are playing a game they never really had a desire for and make amends, stat. Most however, become slaves to their delusion and continue to "make the most of" what they've ended up with by day, and pine over what they had by night. Be glad for where you are, irrespective of whether or not the experience itself was worth it.

G said...

Er, yes. I was getting to that. Want to re-examine the whole "go abroad" phenomenon with the benefit of hindsight.