Hi, I am Nikhil and I had spent most of my childhood in a village in South India. Once I finished my graduation, I went to Trichy and enrolled in a course on software testing. That helped me to get an entry into the hot, ultra hot IT industry. I got a job in Hyderabad. After a couple of years in that great city, I was feeling very nervous that I was moving out of Hyderabad to another city. My concerns were never ending – what would I do for food, would I face language problems, what would people be like to me, what would the babes like there – can I impress them with my Hyderabadi biryani cooking skills etc etc.
But a few days later, I reached my new home and was welcomed by Ismail. Ismail would be one of the 3 other flat mates, Amit, Sreesanth and Ajay. Ismail drove the car well and I looked out of the car at the landscape. Before I knew it, we were already at the apartment. It was quite a huge apartment complex with so many families, I wondered if this single complex could be 10 times the size of my village. The next few days slowly began to help me shirk off all my fears – this was my first exposure to a metropolitan environment. We took turns to cook our dinners. Sreesanth and Ajay were good at making traditional sambhar, rasam, Chettinad chicken curry, while Amit excelled at Paneer Butter masala and great North Indian food. Ismail and I kept unearthing nuances of biryani making. On Friday and Saurday nights, we drank to our heart’s content, often seriously hatching conspiracies to quit jobs and start a multi-cuisine restaurant. Our drunken super conscious states would also make us discuss on plans to woo good looking top ranking women from Hotel Management colleges across the city.
Our neighbors were from all parts of India too and just like my flat mates, belonged to different religions as well. Ismail visited a mosque close to the house and he didn’t mind driving us to the temple too. We would go there on a fortnightly basis, typically on Sunday afternoons to avoid the cooking rigmarole.
At the office, I was pleasantly surprised to see that we got along so well. Although I didn’t speak English too well, we taught each other our mother tongues. We were all learning and teaching at least 4 languages to each other – Marathi, Telegu, Hindi and Tamil. We were certainly on our way to becoming linguistic champs.
As always, time flew and before I knew it, it was 2 years since I had moved to my new city. I loved the tenure but with pressure from home, I went back to Hyderabad and dived deep into the marriage market. In 6 months, I did find the girl of my choice and it was time to go update my resume and find another stint at onsite. I proudly inserted the phrase, “Over 2 years of experience in the USA”. When I got called for a telephonic interview from a prospective client from Pittsburgh, I was very excited. After all, it was the same city where Ismail, Ajay, Sreesanth and I had such great memories. The client spoke in American accented English, and frankly, I didn’t understand much of what he said. He also asked me if I loved Steelers and I wondered why he wanted me to support a Football team. After all, I only followed cricket. I could code well and God knows why he expected me to get Americanised just because I had lived there. In fact, the reality was that the only American friend that I had was the bus driver of 38C. Even I had found it strange then that the bus was like a state bus in India, but what the hell?! We were there to save as much as we could as bachelors. I had seen Naykara folls, worn beautiful leather jockets – what more? Grrr … the strange expectations never end, I say!
I shall wait for another opportunity. After all, my Project Manager will send me to onsite, it’s his responsibility. I shall meanwhile shop for some Thermal wear so that my wife and I feel warm enough in the snowy lands of India, err … America.