In less than 6 hours, I’ll be homebound to India after exactly three years. Ever since I planned and booked my India trip, people have been warning me of the reverse culture shock that awaited me. Everyone who goes back tells stories of how everything has changed and I bet I’ll have a similar tale (or maybe the story is getting too old). I’ll be stopping over in Bahrain first to meet with Ash’s family and spend five days with them. Hopefully, this will give them enough time to know me well and vice versa before they come down to India to meet my parents. Things are getting real serious now and after a bout of freaking out, I am actually looking forward to it all.
The past week has been extremely hectic. First of all, the International Office at TAMU gave me a scare by asking me to provide additional details to furnish a new I-20 and there just seemed too little time to get what they wanted. But by some stroke of luck, everything fell into place and I finally have my new I-20 that bears no financial responsibility on me (Yay!). I have to renew (Ok, get a new stamp on) my U.S. visa and the completely-funded I-20 through a combination of scholarship and assistantship definitely makes things easier. Of course, the consulate staff on the ‘judgment day’ can still be having a bad day and effectively ruin my career. But I am covering my bases and making sure they have no ‘logical’ reasons to do so.
Since I am leaving early (before 10th Dec.) to avoid the high season prices for airlines, I had to schedule my finals a week earlier. Of course, the final research projects and term papers are also due at the same time not to mention class presentations. I was literally drowning in semester-end work but after some deft time management and help from Ash, I am finally done. Not to mention an insane question on the Land Development final for which I had to drive all over College Station noting down retail outlets and taking pictures. Methinks it would be great if it was a midterm project or something like that. The
professor is surely going to
hear it from me on his evaluations. I might just attend his last class for doing that if nothing else a bureaucratic mixup left half the class with no evaluations and other half filling in two. Grrr!
Thankfully, Ash found a way to present the whole thing efficiently using Google Earth (it’s a kickass app, I must say; you can add it to your blog too). Also, the professor’s fondness and demand for a “most professional and most organized exam” is going to burn a hole in my pocket due to all those color prints. The final exam turned out to be much longer and
graphic-intensive than the research paper (40 pages versus 23 pages). Go figure! And I did the exam in three days flat, complete with the drive-around survey. My brain was literally fried on Sunday morning.
If that doesn’t explain the relative silence (I can see many of you say “yeah, right!”)on my blog, nothing else will. I hope to blog when I am in Bahrain but I won’t be surprised if I am unable to do so because it seems Ash’s parents have a schedule planned for my stay. Of course, I head to Bombay on the 16th. I’ll definitely be blogging my experiences, so be prepared for more personalized and varied posts. Until then entertain yourself on DesiPundit, other contributors will be keeping the fires burning. If that is not enough, for those who care, the Linking Park will be up on Sunday evening EST.
I’ll be back from the other side of the world.