As the car disappeared into the background, I stood there waving my hand, recollecting all the wonderful times I had with the Parekh family. As I walked towards my apartment, I saw some folks from my college in India. It turned out that Elvita was from my undergraduate college and was my neighbor. Elvita had come to Maryland immediately after getting her bachelor’s degree. I joined her in her apartment and it was sort of reunion of old folks. Guys from my college had come to meet her and they were all celebrating Brincely’s birthday. I never spoke to him when I was in college but what the hell, its never too late. I had a nice time talking with all of them. They asked me all sort of weird questions regarding my teaching experience in St. Francis, my engineering college in India. Finally the cake was cut and I enjoyed every bit of the cake slice which was given to me. The guys decided to take a nap. I again wished Brincely a happy birthday, thanked Elvita for the invite and headed to my apartment.
Mohan seemed to be a nice guy. He looked a bit confused at times. I met my third roommate, Bharat. He was loud character. He started narrating his exploits of previous night. He told us that had gone clubbing and had a nice time. I just sat there listening to him with a smile on my face. Mohan told me the split up of rent and I seemed cool with it. I went to my room and it seemed deserted. It was difficult for me to make the transition from living in a mansion with all possible luxuries at your reach to a room where there was nothing. I smiled and put my luggage in the closet. I lay there on the bare ground thinking about home, my parents pampering me, my granny telling me to take bath and suddenly someone started shaking me. I opened my eyes and Mohan stared at me. He told me that they were going to a friends place and invited me to join them. I was more than happy to explore and keep my mind occupied. After watching a few blocks, we arrived at an apartment. It seemed well furnished with sofa’s and TV. I got hold of a laptop and started typing an email to my parents. The occupants of the room were hard core tamil guys. It was fun watching them converse and the comfort level they enjoyed. I somehow was feeling out of place. This was something I had not considered. This was my first outing from away from home and here I was among a bunch of people from different community. It was stupid of me to think that way and I laugh about it when I think about it even today. I guess it was immature of me to think that way but that’s the way things went.
I met Deepak, who was wearing lungi. It was amusing to see someone so young wear a lungi. I came from Mumbai where we normally wore three fourths or shorts. Deepak was nice person to talk. He offered me coffee to drink. Later on Rajesh joined us in the hall and he turned out to be a Simpsons fan. Fortunately, Simpsons was being played on one of the channels and I enjoyed watching it. It was fun! We had sambhar rice as dinner. They got it from nearby temple. I slept that night on the bare floor eagerly waiting for my first day in college.