I set foot on JFK International Airport five years ago on this day - my passport bears the mark: August 9 2000. I felt weird all of yesterday; some of it had to do with it being a Monday but a lot of it had to do with the fact that so much time has flown by. I vividly remember being at Bombay airport, my folks and cousins waving me goodbye, getting on the plane that stood still for four hours at the terminal, the fiasco in London, the overnight stay at a hotel, etc, etc.
I have changed, a lot - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I've acquired new skills, become more independent, played every sport I had an inclination towards and while I've opened my mind to new ideas, I've formed strong notions about what works for me. You could attribute the forming of opinions to a function of growing older but I think being alone and having to fend for myself had a lot to do with this process. And I can't list enough adventures in this space but the ones that come rushing to mind are:
- Lost Passport
- Found passport three months later
- Going to Boston for an internship without knowing where I'm going to stay
- The Boston Experience
- Final semester at RPI
- White Water Rafting
- Mitika's 25th Birthday
- Surd's graduation
- Hangin' with the boys in Austin
I'm still in touch with just one person on the flight from Bombay to JFK. It was such an ordeal getting here to begin with that everything else has seemed to be easy to deal with. Incidentally, Mamta graduated with a PhD in Biology (some sub-field, she kept dealing with fruit flies) from CMU last week. And it was her birthday last week too but I'm not allowed to say how old she is. Though I give her a hard time about everything, I wish her the best. As regards me, I've learnt to make the best of what I have. Until I realize I'm missing out on something...
My mother was unwell a couple of days ago. When she was feeling much better, she described her state of mind during her illness to me - what stood out to me was the fact that she sought out the comfort and love of her mom (who passed away maybe fifteen years ago). I thought about what she said much later and I realized, I miss home most when I am unwell. There is something to be said about the warmth and affection I receive from my family and sometimes I wonder if being so far away from them is worth it. Bah, that made me feel even more down. I'm going to Karan's sometime this week to get a taste of home - that always makes me feel better. Call me a wimp and ask me if I care :p