Saturday, November 29, 2008

A really long Thanksgiving

When I think of Thanksgiving, the first thing that comes to my mind are the wonderful dinners at the Schneider's residence. Never would I ever meet two such fine people in a land away from home who made us feel so comfortable and treated like their own grand-children.
However this post is somewhat of an ode to a different set of people who have helped me tremendously and continue to do so.

Though I am only 29, I would not want to take chances on my memory lasting very late in life to write the following piece. So before Mr. Alzheimers kicks in and starts knocking those cells around, I would like to sincerely thank everyone that I can recollect who made the journey from end of fall 2002 to end of spring 2003 possible. There are multiple reasons, and more importantly people due to whom this reunion would remain etched in my mind forever.From the Enterprise rental manager who gave us an additional 50 miles a day to the new illegal immigrant who probably forgot to charge us $15 dollars or so at a gas station somewhere in ‘Bama. Nikhil's room-mates were simply wonderful and extremely accommodating and made us feel very comfortable. To bear with our non-sense and chatter for 5 days is no mean task and to top it off our weird timings of waking-up and dozing off. Mami, Vahini, Tai, Akka et al, as they were affectionately called, deserve a great deal of credit and so does Kothasthane for ensuring that we had a pleasant stay in Austin.

But most importantly however, this trip was made possible for me by a couple of angelic friends who helped me be a part of what were the best 17 days of my stay in the US. In the above "Re-Union" spaces, wherever there is a comment as "We", kindly drop my name wherever any reference to any form of payment is concerned. 4 months prior to our planned reunion date I was in educational doldrums and financially in a complete mess. (KindNote: This had nothing to do with Sharaab/Shabaab) I had nearly quit and was about to give up when I received the best of support from my friends. Through emails, phone calls, suggestions, they absolutely bombarded positive thoughts in me, which helped me overcome all the obstacles I had faced till then. In the second week of December I finally came out of my Scholastic Funk and thanks to my added working hours during the 3rd semester, I had saved enough for this trip. When we sat together later for financial settlements, I was kept so much in the dark and asked to pay so meager an amount that I almost could not believe. Till this day, this still remains to be the only financial settlement which I had not presided on!!
The only time I clearly remember paying (shared with Ameya) was once for a Papa Johns Pizza party and another time at Subway when we had a Clemson University visit.

I frequently did (and sometimes still do) rue the fact that I was unable to treat them better during their visit. They had spent hundreds of dollars traveling to Clemson, SC and another "n" hundreds during those days. In terms of today’s economy and standard those might seem a few knocked out thousands of rupees, but ask a Graduate student in the US and you will surely be able to gauge its worth in gold.

Again in the spring of 2003, I was short on dollars when I rang up a friend and asked for some "n" hundred dollars. I received a check of "n+1" hundred dollars the day after next I had made the phone call. He never made it a point to mention this then nor till date until I have done the same now. He never asked me when I was returning the same, but simply emailed/called me the day I paid it back, months later. It was a transaction between the best of friends, never tripartite.

In the simplest of words the above two are mortgages which are extremely difficult to shrug off and impossible to return. Just thoughts of mentioning this is going to draw a lot of ire, thanking them would be near blasphemous and trying to repay would be downright sinful.

5 years.., seems a small frame of time when compared to your lifetime but some span gets frozen in eternity. I have traveled a long way from being a 3-point someone and a jobless bugger to a well-settled professional in a sort-of-well-renowned company in Pune. I have struggled and worked extremely hard, but there is no denying the fact who all made it happen. From a person who had hit rock-bottom and was still digging, to a person who has reached beautiful heights and is yearning to climb yonder, I have no one to thank for but a wonderful set of friends.
It has been Thanksgiving for the last 5 years :)

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Blogger @ b h i said...

Hey Salil, nice post after loong time... I thought u quit blogging. Gr8 that u have such wonderful friends, that makes life worthwhile

liked the line "From a person who had hit rock-bottom and was still digging, to a person who has reached beautiful heights and is yearning to climb yonder" Way to go...

4:48 AM  
Blogger Matter Mahadevan said...

no more blogs? common dude ...

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Blogger Mukta A said...

you were 29 when you wrote this post. 3 years now, and you are 32 now :D
sorry to remind you of your age, but what happened to your posts when you met neha? :)

5:17 AM  

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