Year: September 2005
“We have a fresh batch of students coming in and we need 4 volunteers to pick them up from the airport and drop them at the university hostels… So who’s up for this task?” there was silence and none volunteered.
“Had I done the same thing to you guys when you all came over here, you would have had a tough time during the initial months of college…?”
A reluctant Praveen and Pooja stood up and this made our Indian students association at California State University president happy. Now you guys can choose the other two if they aren’t volunteering.
I want Raam and Suraj… said Pooja.
“I saw that coming… Alright now we have 4 people to receive, pick and drop at our university campus. We are good to go guys… the flight schedule for this weekend are in the sheets given to you. In case of any concerns, you guys can get in touch with me on the number mentioned in the schedule sheets”
My slots were Saturday 2 PM and Sunday 9 PM slot… “You just made my weekend splendid while all my friends would be going down for a football match…” I said and left.
The day turned out to be a horrible one. There were a group of students from Vijayawada. They never stopped calling me sir nor didn’t have any idea of what they were doing. They enquired about anything and everything they saw on the freeways.
“I am feeling hungry…”
“I need to brush my teeth…”
“I want to go to the rest room…”
“Do you mind pulling over somewhere over the side?”
“Guys… Guys… Please… Listen…” I said and continued.
“There is a MacDonald’s in the next 3 miles. I will pull over there for an hour and you can do what ever you guys wanna do”
“And stop calling me sir! My name is Raam…”
“Where are you from?”
“How long have you been in US?”
“Which is your specialization subject?”
“How are the professors in the university?”
Even the CIA, MI6 and KGB together wouldn’t have asked me so many questions. I just felt like saying,
“Welcome to India, Raam!”
To be continued…