But then, these are times of novelty, when new things are happening. And spending the weekend with an old friend, one of only two who stayed in touched through those years after the fifth previous, was a truly wonderful experience. Chicago was, of course, the Promised Land, a marvel for Civil engineers and an inspiration for those who value human progress. Evanston, home of Northwester University, was a great albeit extraordinarily expensive city. My first American football game was exhilarating. But above all, the feeling of meeting an old friend in such an alien land was warming - a welcome change from the long grind of research.
In all my life, I have learned not to depend on friends - not just for physical aid but for emotional. I have known well that friends come and go and I do not hold any hopes of making any for too long. The past is the past - enshrined in memories and Facebook albums, but physically, far away. That is how it has always been for me. But sometimes, when the past returns, strange things can happen. What they are, I am not quite sure. Perhaps it is this lesson for which I came to America to learn.
Picture: Kartikey & I at Millennium Park, Chicago, IL