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Bangalore to Blacksburg

Not just a journey, but a change of the order of things. A different way of life from what I’ve known.. being alone, independent and adult. Leaving childhood, teenage, college and family so far behind in Bangalore, god only knows what possessed me to come to Blacksburg, flung between ridges on the Blue Ridge on the wrong side of this planet, to spend 5 yrs and earn a doctorate. But, as it is with life, it goes on and some of us are left writing about it :D.

A Prologue:

Up until ten days before i left for this country, i frankly did not believe that i would be doing so. Up until two days before i left, i didn’t even have my visa. So, I guess this makes for an interesting account :).

My visa had been placed under the 221(g) exclusion.. which is something the US govt deems to do on any visa they find suspicious enough. Apparently i must’ve had the ‘something-fishy’ look (or perhaps just my luck at play) that i had my visa put on hold. Now, put on hold is a very mild way of saying it. They delayed it for over 3 months! And during these 3 months all i did was check the US-VFS website every Tuesday and Friday to see if my case had progressed any further at all. Its surprising how quickly i’ve forgotten the torture of having hope build up and fall flat on its butt every week.. ooh, what an experience :D. Anyway, 10 days before i was to leave (or rather, my ticket would be valid) they cleared the visa. I rushed to Chennai to get my passport stamped and what do they say? Stamping may take 3-20 days. How i wanted to tell that lady that 3-20 is not a statistically valid range for anything. Everything was uncertain, and that too to an obsessively organised person like me, its no surprise i nearly went bald over the whole period.

In any case, i got my passport one fine Saturday morning and left the next day night. Packing was done in such a hurry and with only the bare necessities. Its almost ridiculous.. to think that i came so far away from home, to settle in such a foreign country, and start a very new way-of-life with 2 medium suitcases and a backpack. Could’ve been worse huh, i might have left the backpack behind :P. Cant complain with the packing mom and sis did though, i’m yet to think of anything materialistic i might have left behind.

Materialistic, of course. In the last min hurry, and the uncertainty of the previous two months… i forgot my goodbyes. Sheesh, i don’t know how any of you handled the parting, but mine was ridiculous! As soon as i entered the airport i checked in and got the boarding pass and went to the waiting lounge and realised that i hadn’t said farewell. That i hadn’t even turned around to see my family once. Or to my city, or my house or street or trees or the sky. Blech! bad bad feeling. That 4 hrs when a new sun rose over Bangalore and my flight was yet to be boarded were so miserable that i was in a state of shock. Of course, the minute i got on the plane and realised that i’m on my own… independent and young and free, oh boy :D. There was no looking back.


I’m writing this mail from Blacksburg, at my room in Virginia Tech. I’m almost a week late with this mail, and I’m really sorry, but its only now that I actually got my hands on an internet connection.
My update so far:
The university is beautiful :)! I had an unofficial tour of the place today. At some places its almost like a castle.! There’s a lot of histroy and ghosts, and a lot of “hokie-spirit” around here. Hokie is what the students of VT are called, and they’re ahem, we’re) very proud of that. Even the buildings are made of a stone called hokie stone, which is exclusive only to this university. Its a huge huge place! It’ll take me days to get around the whole campus. 
My dorm is simply outstanding, right out of the gone with the wind. Its one of the newer ones, but still looks great. The room’s really big, and I have a great view of the blue ridge mountains. First i’d thought that living here for 5 yrs maybe a bit hard, but then I went to the library… its so wonderful, big and appetizing :P. And they have fiction books and a dvd library, 5 yrs’s not enough to go thru it all! We had a welcome dinner today at the cranwell international centre, and they screened Lagaan for the international students. You can imagine how it was.
I dont have cam with me, sadly, but i’ll make sure I take a few pics from my friends cam and put them up as soon as I can. Then you wont have to rely on my description.
The town around is called blacksburg, and its a very small hill station (if i may say so). Its some 5 hrs from Washington DC, and pretty much in the middle of nowehere. Green and cool. I’ve noticed in such towns that the roads are so wide, and desolate. There are no people! Its all very neat and tidy, not exceptionally beautiful, but very few ppl around. Now Downtown, thats diff… you can see shops and some life around.
Throughout the country side is very plain actually, and it could almost be somewhere in India, except for the highway… US is not very different (so far). All I have to do is get used to the lil idiosyncracy’s like drinking straight from the sink (!), and their right hand driving. Oh, and of course the food. They have great snacks, but hardly what i’d call solid food :P. Another getting used to. Its funny, water is $1 but coke’s 65c! For most part of it I think I can mangae.
The people are very courteous and casual, and esp at the welcome dinner today we met students from everywhere. Almost feels like I know a lot of ppl around here.
I’m sorry this is a mail-to-all, but i’m eagerly waiting for replies. I’m not yet missing India and bangalore and home and all, but what’s scary is the distance between here and thr.
And mom, dad, I meant it when I said I need tickets to come back in decemeber :D. Hope all’s well over there :), and that no one’s missed me so far!

How it Stands-


Comments on: "Bangalore to Blacksburg" (2)

  1. 🙂 Nice post…

  2. How come there is no “How it stands?”

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