Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Summer, some years ago

recyling from the old blog because recycling is good.

"Happy birth day", said S.
"Many more happy returns of the day", said P.
The watch showed 12.00 and moon was very much in sight. We were crossing the road, me with a laundry basket in hand.
That's how I greeted my 22nd birthday, on the roads of the grad school town with a laundry basket in tow.

Events leading to that particular incident had been truly amusing.

In the mountain-side university town, getting an accomodation especially with the building rules that the city had was expensive. Apparently, you can't build more than one floor else the view of the mountains will be blocked. For the whole of first year, we had to live in a well-maintained but beyond our means apartment. Rent was a whooping $1600(imagine grad. school ) for 4 people in 2 BR, a handerkerchief sized kitchen-cum hall apartment. Come summer, M kept reminding us that we had to look for an apartment. Ofcourse, We would have loved to move into the one building which was apparently every desi's address. I think engineering department didn't need to look for the address of a desi student. If the secretary spotted a desi sounding name, she just had to send the letter to the crack-side apartment. Even if the student did not live in that apartment they would still receive the mail. But the apartment manager wasnt sure of availability.

During casual walk, an encounter with 'I' gave us the ideal solution. 'I', one of the enterprising gals I had ever met, had suggested a 2 BR apartment, 3 mins away from the engineering building that too for a paltry sum of 1050$. The words sounded like god's own words. She also sooped it up by saying khoola khoola place. I had mentally imagined an 'alaipayuthey style' building with no walls(didn't she say khula khula!).

In the euphoria of this new found wonderland, we signed the lease. Ofcourse, facts like our current lease ended 20 days before the new lease looked too trivial to be considered. In true desi style, we asked(M and me would be the culprits) the current japanese resident of the house if she could put up with our stuff for 20 days which she agreed.

This was also the season when you receive random emails asking for accommodation, There would be emails asking if milk was available in US(if the answer was no, would you bring it?), Teaching assistants would be addressed as Faculty and would be asked about funding and so on M and me started receiving emails asking for accommodation.

Now, I have to tell you, things were not the same in the land of lilliputans.
From days of food festival with food from all across india(Marathi, Konakani, tamil and north indian was the mix) we had come to days of top-ramen noodle boxes.
Days of pillow fights went through the door and the days of in-fighting had arrived.
Somedays the dishes were abundant, some days the sink was abundant with the dishes.
Cooking turn had become a joke.
Days of groceries trip by the 4 promptly followed by M's splitting of bills were folklores.
The bill book from pune lay on the dining table gathering dust.

With the kargil scenario at home, I thought a new addition would bring the much needed relief to the scene. So, when Thalaivar(the name is a big story) asked us if we could accomodate a girl I had with all foresight of the pea-brain said yes. He had driven us all the way to utah in the midst of snow-storm gave us one of the best trips we had till date. The four seniors guys had been our saviours in several regards and indebtedness came into picture.

M had also agreed to accomodate another girl whose brother had called up from CA to ensure his kid sister's smooth arrival.

So, 6 girls.
12 India trip suitcases.
Enough vessels to make up for golt kalayanam.
And no place to stay in the midst of the scorching summer!

What happens next? Did we really end up living khulla khulla on the street.
Stay tuned....


  1. woah! And $1600??? :O I thought there is only one city that costs so much. There is a "university town" ? :O Curious!

    Lol @ golt kalyanam!

  2. ah...this brought back memories...several, except in my case there was not a single desi present...university accomodations are always fun, arent they? in spite of the miniscule size of the living space?

  3. Adithya: I hope you understood that the 1600$ was 1600/4 for me:) but still I got only half a bedroom while friends in other universities got a whole room for half of 1600/4.

    UL: not a single desi, impossible:) you went to montana?:) Though university crowd takes care even if you are the single desi. I think.

  4. Of course I know that! 1600/4 itself is costly to me. I was paying 715/4 :P

  5. ..nope, Wales in the UK, over eleven years ago...! :)- yep, i am old and grey :)