Friday, August 04, 2006


"Follow Lane 12 for Lufthansa" screamed the signboard! Ram veered hard and was relieved to see a old woman give him way into the lane. After a couple of more lane changes, Ram found himself lugging the huge suitcase to the checkin counter. Ram was fascinated to see the people who were there checking passports and issuing tickets to the scores of people who were there, impatient to board their planes and be off. Ram's reverie was broken by "Have a great trip to India!" from the officer at the check in. The suitcase checked in, Ram found himself outside the Starbucks Shop. A cauldron having a variety of characters co-existing in a 200 square foot space - The Corporate Traveller, with the unmistakable business casuals, the students with their queer fashion sense..... Ram was thrown back to his own student days, when he boarded his flight from Madras that night. He was a far cry from the kids he was seeing here now. Half terrified (of leaving his parents) and half thrilled, Ram found speaking a difficult task when he had left India. But things were different now, what with a Masters Degree and a H1B Visa, life had become topsy turvy. Ram was not able to see things as they were 3 years ago...

Ram could still visualise the first few days in USA; Excited - about the new world into which he had come, Scared - of Dollar to Rupees Conversion, Desolate - without Appa, Amma and Thambi! Even to this day, he couldnt imagine how he put up without the "vambu" sessions with appa-amma, chocolate sandai with his bro and ofcourse the long winding drives on his bike. But all that were in a previous world, eons ago it seemed. Ram couldn't resist thinking what each of them would be doing when he would go home - dad tending to the plants, mom reading the sunday magazine, brother seeing CNN-IBN.

"Thanks, Ram for the ride. I shall meet you parents and give them the stuff you wanted to give them" said Ram's roomie as he started moving towards the gate, and Ram started to go back to the parking lot and thought about the production deficit which he had to counter before tomorrow's meeting