…every being in the Universe is tied to his birthplace by tiny invisible force tendrils composed of little quantum packets of guilt. If you travel far from your birthplace, these tendrils get stretched and distorted. This compares with an ancient Arcturan proverb. However fast the body travels, the soul travels at the speed of an Arcturan Megacamel. This would mean, in these days of hyperspace and Improbability Drive that most people’s souls are wandering unprotected in deep space in a state of some confusion, and this would account for a lot of things.
– Douglas Adams
For most people, the usual curve for adjustment to university life is longing for ‘old times’ initially and then slowly getting adjusted as time progress. That hasn’t been the case with me. From the word ‘go’, I’ve been buzzing with excitement ever since I came to the University of Surrey. While many others moped about home, I was the sugar-cereal-high kid. I gave an idea of the number of things I’ve become involved in since I came here.
And now that I find myself truly settled in and in the thick of things, I suddenly realise how far away my friends and family in India are. I suddenly realise how I need to go through shitty NHS to get a doctor appointment. I find it howlarious when people here talk of a ‘traffic situation’. (No really, someone should organize sightseeing trips from New Delhi to Guildford, with local residents looking wholesome and cool and talking of a ‘traffic situation’. We can sell it in New Delhi as a comedy excursion.) I’m paying UK prices for ‘Made In India’ clothes at Marks & Spencer. (I was very tempted to buy an Arthur Dent dressing gown at M&S.) I’m hundreds of miles away from a reasonably cheap packet of Maggi. I never really watched many Indian TV shows, but now I’ve the urge to watch some Indian TV. Ahem, I, er, even saw an episode of Bigg Boss 3 – something I’d probably never have done in India.
I met with a professor the other day, and I swear, he spent the first two minutes discussing the weather when he needed to ask something about university policies. Here’s how the conversation went:
“Jolly good sunshine eh?….[more talk of the weather]…No more of that bloody rain, ha ha ha…so what’s our policy on this?”
There’s no point going “Ugh, stereotype”. I had to use all my self-control to stop myself from laughing.
Oh, and here are some pictures!
This is me, with (most) of the MAD TV team. Most, because only one out the three executive members are in the picture.
And here’s one from our house party.
Basically, the university accommodation is made up of individual houses in which we’re allotted rooms. There are different housing complexes; I stay in Stag Hill where each house consists of rooms for 10 people. So that pic above is all of us from my house!
I’m a bit perplexed by the direction this blog post took. Here, I sat down to write about how the realization hit me that I missed family and friends, and halfway through I’m beaming again as I sift through pictures with my new friends at Surrey. Totally didn’t plan that! In a sense, it’s a zeitgeist of the emotions I’m experiencing right now. Now, more than ever so far, miss people but at the same time I’m so at ease here.
I think I’ll stop now. I seem to be repeating myself. I seem to be playing this song on repeat too. (LOL at “POD is so cool. Hey guys come here I have an idea!”) I keep listening to that song not because it’s good, but because every time I hear it I’m reminded of that comment, and then I have a laughing fit.
PS – I miss the hoopla around per-second billing for mobile phones. And I quite miss watching Indian advertisements, especially when friends discuss them online.