Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Some strange friends

Sometimes its so strange to talk to strangers, especially when you are on a different land with different people of different culture, different living habits and may be different thinking.

31st July I left India for the U.S. after my summer holidays were over. I moved over to Duluth, Minnesota, for my 4 months long internship. I had a fear....What will I do in Duluth without my friends?

In Duluth I shared a 2 BHK house with a girl named Melissa. I was almost confined to my room the first day, she was good enough to ask me for dinner but I said "I would cook something on my own, thanks anyways for asking". Well there was a thing to notice which I did not notice until she told me that her friend, Amy, was there at the house when I reached Duluth. Well the thing to notice was that, Amy was there with a purpose. The very second day Melissa told me that one of her friends was scammed by an Indian guy for a fake cheque which the guy gave for buying her friend's car. After this incident, Melissa had a negative impression of Indians and so did her friends and family. Amy was there to protect Melissa just in case if I was too a scammer.  To my surprise, before I reached Duluth, Melissa did also inquire about me with the company I got my internship at. Again it was really nice on her part to tell me this on her own. As days passed by, she could understand that not all Indians are scammers. We built a good friendship in just couple of weeks; whenever she was free..she used to take me around Duluth. After knowing my last year's passive experiences in the U.S. she wanted me to do "One new thing everyday", yeah that became a rule for me, each day I had to do something which I had never done before, may it be visiting some new place, eating new food, involving in a new sport or just anything. It was fun. I became friends with a lot of her friends. Later she also became my English grammar teacher :P

Two weeks later, one of Melissa's friend cum co-worker, Frank, came to live with us in the house. Frank's house and every little thing that he owned was damaged in the flood last month. I found Frank to be very quite for the first few days. Later I got to know of all he lost in flood, about his divorce, death of his dog who was with him for last 10 years and death of his very good friend recently. Man, he had seen a lot in last few months. He had our sympathy but the best part was that he knew how to tackle such situations in life, he was strong, atleast stronger than me.

Gradually me, Melissa and Frank started spending more time together at home and outside, we three became really good friends. Then one day I got a message from Melissa asking if I could call her asap, I was working in office but I gave her a call and she was crying on phone. That morning as she walked in the store where she used to work, she was fired for NO REASON. She felt like she was in middle of no where; some days later Frank figured out that it was the store owner's daughter who did not like Melissa for her happy and jolly nature and pulled her out of the job. But before we could know the reason, Melissa was all set to leave Duluth, she was all set to leave me and Frank.

Living with Melissa, I learned how to stay young and active, how we could experiment something new everyday and make life exciting, how to stay healthy and how to make friends. She was 28, mature enough to guide me while I am 23. It was her because of whom I made so many friends in Duluth, almost everyone at her work place knew me, she had taken me to her parent's house which probably is the most soothing place I have ever visited. But I was happy that she was moving ahead in life after this shocking experience, she got a new job. She left, I thought I would have no friends except for Frank. I was sad.

Just few days after she left, my interaction with Frank grew more. I learned about whole lot of friends he had in Duluth and as he says "There is no place I could go unnoticed in Duluth" and really every time we both hung outside together, atleast one of his friends crashed into him. Frank was a guy with patience for the most difficult phases of his life but an impatient one for the silliest of things like if someone drives slow in front of his car on road...that would piss him off like anything. Frank was 38 and he knew a lot more about life than I did. He was a history lover but he had knowledge of many different fields, he was geeky. I started going to Lake Ave Cafe with Frank where every Wednesday we used to play board games, I met a lot of new and lovely people there. And then started our series of late night parties. Yes, my last two months of stay at Duluth was full of some crazy parties I have ever been to including one 14 hours long drinking session with Frank, his family and friends. He had crazy friends and crazy family; thats what I loved about the parties. I even cannot count how many friends I made through Frank.

No doubt I had the toughest of my time in Duluth, there were some situations I had never imagined would come to me, there were times when I felt alcohol is the only solution, there were times when I burnt my lungs to death because I had nothing better to do. Whenever I was alone at home, I used to be so impatient, full of negative thoughts. "An empty mind is a devil's workshop"; I screwed my lovely 'personal life' to an extent where things became unrecoverable, I was marked with a permanent dent. There were times when I thought that may be doing this internship was the worst decision I have ever made.

But thanks to Melissa and Frank who have taught me some big lessons in life, it is just because of these two super awesome friends that I think doing my internship was worth an experience. So much you learn when you have friends to tell you of a totally different culture, how people think in their country, about their god, about their religion and its fun when they ask you about your country and culture.

I am back to my college in Michigan but still talking to them seems like the best thing to do. These friends were strange because the culture I belong to, one mostly has a friend circle of his/her age group but thanks to the culture of this country that we do not have an age barrier for making friends.

1 comment:

partyprincess said...

m glad to learn that u made some really gud frnds and i too liked wht MELISSA told u to do sumthing new each day...that surely would have arosen ur wild ideas...lol!
but seriously keep it up with ur creative thinking...