Paartha Nyabagam – Px09 – 2100 Hrs Placard


Day 2… “California State University, Northridge – Indian Student Association welcomes U” read my placard.

I kept looking for almost 90 minutes. I haven’t smoked for almost 3 hours and I was increasingly getting restless and to top it up,

“Machan! You’re missing an awesome match… Sachin is clobbering…!” I disconnected the call without a second thought and was cursing myself. 

“Hi… Shall we?”


“You are from the CSUN, Northridge right”


I was blanked for a couple of minutes and said, “P…Preethi…”

“Hey! R…Raam!”

“Wow… You got to be kidding me…”

“Is that really you? For how long we would keep bumping into each other this way!”

I smiled. “So it’s just you then!”

“Yeah!” with a sweet tone she answered

“Cool. Let me help you out with the luggage…”

“Ouch! Looks like you emptied all of Chennai to come here”

“Haha…Got some provisions along with cooker and other utensils…”

“Do you cook?”

“No. I was just hoping that I could find someone who cooks…”

“Optimistic answer…”

“So how is life in Chennai?”


We both smiled.

“Anything for dinner”

“No… I am too tired. I want to sleep”

30 minutes passed by…

“Can I have your phone? I would like to call my parents and tell them that I had reached”

“Sure. Pick it up from the dashboard”

She spoke and informed them about the pickup at the airport that was arranged by the student association and I was someone whom she had known for quite sometime. I felt better.

An hour passed by…She was busy looking at the woods and checking the outer world even though it was grim dark. I couldn’t make out what she was looking at but I was sure she was into thinking mode.

“What about calling your boy friend?”

She blanked out for a moment and replied with a “Don’t ask me again” tone, “Not anymore!”