Friday, December 26, 2008

Rohit's American Adventure: Chapter 22.Spring Break 08

First few days into the spring semester, I was already missing home. Work and classes kept me busy. I did enjoy giving all my friends the gifts I had got for them from India. I had got authentic India tea for Ryan and Jason, an indian dress for Brittany Webster,a souvenir for Stephanie's grandparents, an Indian soap for Rafi's mom etc. I was looking forward to the Spring break to Miami which my friends, Rafi and Sammy had told me about. I enjoyed having Ariel and Rafi for Tea at my place. Ariel got to see my room for the first time and recommended the wardrobe I must carry for Miami. I made reservations at the local hostel and had no idea what I was getting myself into. With just a week left for Spring break, I got an interview call from a firm in New york city.
I did well in the phone interview and they called me for an office interview. The dates were colliding with my Spring break trip. I decided to go with the interview. I had my interview with the firm on Monday and then took the connecting flight to Miami. It worked out perfectly well except that it was St. Patrick's day celebration in NYC. I barely made it to my interview thanks to the road blocks and array of drunk people. It was a great time to be in NYC especially an Irishman and not that great time to give an interview. Walking along the streets of NYC can be confusing at times. It is a huge grid, which can get pretty overwhelming when you meet people who give you different directions to get to the same place. I did make it to Kennedy airport in NYC and was lucky to get an earlier flight. Had it not been for that, I would have to wait for 6 hours at Kennedy airport to catch my flight. I met two wonderful people at the Kennedy airport Lys and her sweet mom. In fact it was Lys's mom who had prompted me to get a transfer to an earlier flight. I had a stop over at Atlanta where I parted ways with Lys and her mom. I wished Lys good luck with college. My friend Ariel picked me up at MIA airport and the drive along the stretch was awesome. I was greeted by a welcome txt message from Rafi.We meet the boys at a local restaurant and after some talk we all headed our separate ways. I checked into my hostel and it was quite an experience. I was sleeping in a room of 10 dudes, which was not exactly what I had in mind. I slept that night looking forward to the next few days.

My first day in Miami was nothing short of random events which were fun. I met up with Rafi and then we were chilling at Ranan's apartment, which was awesome. That was officially the first time, I had a decent conversation with the great, Josh Alter. We spend the day chilling by the hotel pool and then went to the beach.
We went to Tzvi's place in the evening, where Sammy was staying. There was this positive energy about Tzvi which was so refreshing and unique. Tzvi was kind enough to let me stay at his place. So, from living in a hostel with 10 dudes, I was now living in a lavish apartment in South Beach. God has mysterious ways of helping. I went to the local basketball game in which Rafi, Tzvi and Sammy were playing. Post the game, it was time to go out. I had my first official drink thanks to Ranan and it was Vodka+Redbull. The night ended peacefully with everyone being excited to celebrate my birthday he next night. I had an interesting conversation with Adam Ziefer that night about sex, life and things we wanted to achieve. The stage was set for my birthday

On my 24 th birthday, I started drinking. That’s too late an age to start drinking isn’t it? I do not think so. Everything in life happens for a reason and I believe it was meant to happen on my 24 th birthday. My boys had crazy plans for me on the night of my birthday. Josh Alter said, that my birthday night was going to be three events of my life: my barmitswa, my 21st birthday and my bachelors party. It was a funny feeling to have my first beer on the night, I turned 24. I am pretty sure kids in America try it sooner than that. Two beers down, it was a different feeling to enter a bar, with everything seeming so chill. The shitty music seemed to sound good and the girls seemed to look friendly. Everything seemed so good and funny. Fast forward a couple of photographs with my boys and Vered and her girlfriends, I was swinging and walking the streets of South Beach Miami. I made sure I drank enough water to negate the effect of beer.

I have observed one thing: My jewish boys/brothers are always with the most gorgeous, beautiful girls. I dunno how they pull it off. We split into two groups that night. The first group went to Mansion and the other group went to this club, whose name I forgot. I was with the second group. Rafi made sure, I got in and what happened next was something amazing. My boys were keen on hooking me up with a girl. I actually had a Sex 101 session with my boys who educated me on how to use a condom. It sounds funny but prior to that night, the closest I have been to a woman is a hug. One more beer down my throat, I was chilling and my body was grooving to the music. I had my first official grind with this random girl for 25 mins and I seemed to be chillin. I remember, the first time, I had seen that step, I had asked the girl next to me to teach me that step. I never heard back from that girl. After grinding, that girl was dancing in front of me for 10 mins and I was doing the same, with couples making out in the background. I guess, I was na├»ve and didn’t know, I was supposed to grab her around her back.

We had to leave at 3am. I was sad because, I wanted to keep dancing till 5am and wanted to be the last person to leave the club. One of the guys, Josh Alter was supposed to take me to the strip club and buy me a lap dance but he got too drunk that night and the local strip club did not have a good reputation of having good strippers. I had some muffins at Dunking Donouts with Ariel and Rafi and that was sweet. Next night was not that great. We went to this shitty bar, which was not great. I chucked vodka and red bull which was not cool but Sammy was happy when I did it.

Fast forward to 4am in the morning, I was in the hot tub with five girls, we met at the bar. It was funny because I was floating in the hot tub. I walked some of the girls to their cab with Sammy which was cool. The next day, I was feeling shitty and I guess that was my first official hangover. I had a great shabat diner with Ariel’s family which was awesome. Later that night, I ventured out to South beach on my own and was lost. My jewish boys could not come because of shabat. I had funny conversation with two random finish girls at the bar until some dude came in and ruined in all the fun. I went to mansion club and asked every girl in the bar if I could dance with her, only to get a big no. I do not care as I had nothing to lose. I like to dance when I am tipsy. I met this random girl in the cab back home to Ariel’s place. Bouncers taught me how to call a cab and they helped me get into that cab. She asked me if I was some sort of a guru and I said, I could help her. She gave me her business card and told me to call her the next day. I did call her the next day but she did not reply. I am not surprised.

Post Maimi, things have changed. I go to bars often and have a great time, though am disappointed when I do not grind but that’s changing. The question is, why do I do it? Well, I do it because now is the right time. I am 24 and want to enjoy life and do crazy stuff. I do not want to bitch about not doing this when I am 50 odd driving past a bar. Deep down in my heart, I feel I was a sophomore. I wish I could go out with my boys every night and have a sic time. I just feel it has happened too late, which is making me sad. However, I want to make every day count and have a great time, every night I go out. I am happy, I can experience the American student life. Getting drunk, walking down the lanes of 7/11 to your dorms, doing funny things. I am happy I got a chance to experience and feel that and I wish I can live every moment to the fullest. As my friend, Ariel rightly put it, “It is my karma”. I was meant to experience these things at this part of my life with just few months to graduate.

I kind of feel sad that I do not have a girlfriend. I spent two years of my college life behind this girl who did not care a shit about me. I still believed it would work out because I thought it was special. It is like, I never wanted to have a girlfriend because I needed to have a girlfriend. I wanted to have a girlfriend, who was special, who I could see every day and forget about everything and make her the happiest woman in the world. I guess there is somewhere out there who will be crazy enough to fall for me. I am quite a sensation (may or may not be a hyperbolic statement) when I dance on the dance floors. That is the only point of drinking for me. I feel loose and can dance my ass off and I love dancing. It was funny last night as everyone (especially girls) enjoyed (I assume) seeing my dance, that every time, I was about to grind with this girl, I was cut off and everyone wanted to see me dancing solo.

I have had a great time in University of Maryland so far, apart from the shitty weather and some snobbish girls who block me off AIM just because I am nice and good to them. I write this chapter to raise a toast to all my wonderful friends who have added value to my life. My life would not be the same without you guys and girls. Special thanks to Ariel, Rafi and Sammy for making the Miami trip happen. You guys are my life. I love you all and wish you the very best.

Last but not the least, I want to thank God for everything and that is my message to all you wonderful friends all there. Believe in God, he will make sure wonderful things happen in your life.

I was asked to leave the Marc(local bar) last night, because the bouncer thought I was drunk. I was dancing my ass off and having a great time. I slipped on the floor when I was dancing because of the alcohol on the floor and the bouncer thought something else. That is why I hate bouncers and snobbish girls because they get freaked out too soon. Grow up people!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rohit's American Adventure: Chapter 21. Trip to India: the best ever

I was excited to return home.My joy knew no bounds when I saw my parents waiting outside the Airport arrivals gate. I was happy to see my younger brother as always , being energetic and positive. The drive back home was smooth. Driving in the streets in the wee hours of the morning is always fun. The empty streets, the occasional honking, the stinky odor that characterized some streets and off course the humidity made me feel back home. This might sound funny to all my American reader friends but my parents had rented a vehicle and hired a driver to drive us home from the airport. It is a common think to do in India but would be weird in America. I was greeted by open arms by my grandmother as I entered my home and I experienced the most wonderful feeling in my heart. I could feel it beating harder and giving me an emotion, which I cannot describe. I spent the first one hour unpacking my bag and giving the gifts to my family. I had bought shoes for my dad, some cool american beauty care products for my mom thanks to Stephanie Crist, coffee and skin cream for my grandmom and an mp3 player for my brother; not to forget the large bag of chocolates, which Jimmy had helped me get from Walmart. I had shower in my old bathroom and enjoyed it. I decided to take a nap but could not sleep. I decided to surprise my friends from college with a visit. I stopped over at Swapnil's place but he was not there. However, his mom was happy to see me and I enjoyed talking with her. The rest of the day passed by quickly and I slept like a baby that night next to my grandmother.

The next few days were spend visiting family and friends which is always fun. People in India are always excited when they meet someone from a different country especially America. I enjoyed telling them about my experiences, my new found friends in America and my life. It was good to meet up with buddies from college. All of them had jobs in companies and were earning well now. We made a trip to the town side and it was a good feeling. The walk along Marine drive right next to the ocean was awesome, where we sat and talked about our love lifes, and professional experiences. I was happy for Omkar. He had a girlfriend and told me about his outings with her to the movies and the good times they shared together. Adrain seemed to be doing well in his job. He was an outstanding software programmer in college and I was not surprised to hear that. Swapnil had his usual stories of his encounters with the opposite sex and was as always a treat to have a conversation with. Roshan was doing well in his job too. He had just got back from England and was keen on doing further studies. We had dinner at a posh restaurant, something we dreamed of when we were at school and had no money. It was amazing to see the transformation of us as kids with money, jobs and a future.

My days used to be spent eating, walking in the neighborhood, helping grandmother with the daily chores and applying for jobs. I enjoyed the prospect of not worrying to cook as delicious food was served at regular times. I did pay a visit to my old college and it was good to meet up with friends and faculty. I also enjoyed giving Amit Chheda,one of my good college friends a visit. My evenings were spent chilling with Amar Khanda, listening to his musical compositions and meeting up with other friends. I was enjoying every bit of my time in India and did not feel like leaving. I enjoyed giving Biren, one of my old friends visit to his home and having a talk with his parents. I did give one of my friends, Rafi from America a call as promised and he was happy to hear from me. I called Stephanie Crist on Christmas and conveyed my wishes to her and she was excited.

I did pay a visit to my grandfather in Hyderabad and was happy to see him. He was renting the place he was living in and was keeping himself busy. I gave him the radioset and gum paste he had asked me to get for him. We then visited Krishna doda's ( my mom's elder sister) house. We did some sightseeing and then were on our way back home to Mumbai. It was an hour long flight but very pleasant. I celebrated my favorite festival Sankrati in the next few days and was enjoying every bit of it. Sankranti is an awesome festival of kites, where you fly kites the entire day. My description sounds silly but it is fun. Days had passed by quickly and there was about a week left for me to return to United States. I was not at all keen of coming back, considering how much warmth, comfort, I was experiencing at home. We spent the days shopping, packing my bags which was emotional. I always enjoyed shopping with dad as he loved to spend money on quality, whereas my mom was extreme opposite. I had bought a lot of gifts for my american friends who were girls and my mom was having a ball pulling my leg. I enjoyed visiting Amee( my dad's elder sister). My cousin sister had given birth to a daughter who was now about a year old and it was fun interacting with her. I lost track of the number of times she kissed me.

I did pay a surprise visit to one of my college professor's, Ms. Anuradha. She was happy to see me and it was a fun visit. She has two wonderful daughters and is a wonderful person. We did visit Kalpana Muttamma, my dad's brothers wife. She loved having me over and cooking those delicious meals for me. As a kid, I used to spend my summer vacations at Kalpana Muttama's place and they were fun. Kalpana Muttamma had a feast in store for me when she knew I was coming. I enjoyed the meal and it was good catching up with my cousins, Abhijeet and Abhisheck. I took Kalpana Muttamma and Ravi Muttappa's blessings and bid adieu to them.

In days to follow, we did visit a lot of temples and it was a great experience. The shopping continued till the last day; I remember my parents packing my bags on that night. I took a short walk around my neighborhood that night reliving all the good times, I had experienced over the duration of the past month. America is a great country, it was actually great because of the friends I had , who had changed my life but home was still home. I was torn between two worlds: my home for the past 22 years of my life and my new found home for the past one and a half year. I was crying when I was leaving home at 2 in the morning. I hugged my grandmother, who is the most important person in my life for all the warmth, love and comfort. I touched my parents feet and sought their blessings. I prayed to the God Dieties in my apartment and headed out. I did hug my younger brother at the airport and wished him luck and success. It was an emotional ride to the airport as no one wanted me to leave, but I was returning to America to pursue the American dream, to make a life for myself and my family. As I passed by departure gates, I waived to my parents not knowing when I would see them again. I had to pay extra money as one of my bags was over weight. I made one final call to my parents from the local phone in the airport, once I was done with the baggage check and told them I was all set to go. I was so emotional that I forgot my wallet at the local phone. I was lucky when just few minutes prior to the take off, security officials called my name , which kind of freaked me out but was relieved when one of them gave me my wallet and I hugged him. As the plane was gaining momentum, I closed my eyes and walked out through all the fun moments I had experienced in the past one month. I had never been so happy and was sad the good times had to come to an end. I cried the entire flight ( which was an annoying 24 hours long). I was tired after a long flight and my friends( family away from home) were patiently waiting to pick me up from the airport. I was back in America ready to start my last semester and had no idea what was in store for me. It definitely had a great start, with a stopover at Stephanie Crist's place to get some ice cream and the next day at bars with my Jewish friends