This week I complete 2 years of my stay in the US. It’s amazing how so much has happened over the last 2 years. I had landed here in the middle of the night, all ready to fall apart. My initial few memories of the US were long winding freeway roads, and buildings and flyovers that looked all brown and grey in the darkness. And now that I look at my own pictures 2 years back, my mood turns different shades of grey. It is amazing how thin and young and naïve I looked then. These 2 years I haven’t visited home even once, and my parents already think I am one of those who fly away never wanting to return again.
Looking back, I think I have had a good 2 years. I visited 10 out of 50 states, got to see a lot of new places one would mostly see in Discovery channels or Yash Chopra movies, collected dozens of fridge magnets, made many friends, put on pounds and lost my original shape, and acquired experiences of all kinds. I finally tasted sushi and saw the Statue of Liberty, visited Stanford and went to the first night club, wrote my first scientific paper and got my first paycheck in dollars. I’ll never know how my life would have been had I stayed back, but I don’t think I want to know. I made my own choices and have stuck to them so far. Regarding achievements, that too shall happen soon. My conviction is that more scientific papers would be written and more conferences attended, more magnets would be collected till I am forced to buy a bigger fridge, and more things would be discovered in life. But this shall remain a lesson forever, that time and age and experience makes you more independent and accountable for your actions, and that if there is that little voice in you that tells you to leave the safer shores and your comfort zone and set for an unknown journey, then despite these clichéd lines, NOW is the time to sail towards the unknown.
It’s been a great country to live in, and though I still miss my folks, the place I grew up in and the way of life I was used to, this is home now.