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Aditya Ranganathan flew off to the U.S after finishing his BTech from the IIT Madras in Chennai a year ago. Within a year he had not only applied for a VISA but also sat for the entrance exam for the MTech course at any of the US institutions.
Luckily, according to his high marks, he secured admission to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for his MTech in electrical engineering. He was glad to find a few of his seniors and many students like him from India studying there for undergraduate and postgraduate level studies.
In a month or so, he got himself adjusted to the atmosphere on the campus and also the cold climate of Boston, where the Institute is located, as compared to the warm and humid weather of Chennai. So, on campus, Aditya befriended a few undergraduate Indian students. A girl named Reena was one of them.
Reena Grewal was based in the US and her family hailed from Haryana, and she was a final-year student there. A bright and hard-working student, she was among those who were vocal about the issues faced by the community of Indian students studying and residing in Boston town.
A month later Adiya had a harrowing experience with racism in a local supermarket, where he had come to do some grocery shopping. The cost of hostel fees was very high, hence he preferred to stay in a cozy one-room apartment nearby his college. So, in the supermarket, he was stuck in an argument with an American for no particular reason.
It’s just that Aditya was wearing a Kurta that day, and the American thought that he was Pakistani or Iraqi, and yelled at him to leave the store. All the polite explanations about his being a South Indian went into vain. Not knowing what to do, Aditya called a few numbers on the student’s helpline.
Reena Grewal was quick to respond and she alone strode into the store to solve the matter. Four years of stay in Boston had hardened her to tackle sometimes irrational Americans. So first of all she gave the identity of Aditya and herself and then gave a fitting reply to the American in the slang language he understood. So as not to bother him or any Asian student in the future.
Aditya watched all of this in amazement. He was very impressed with this fiery Haryanvi Jat girl. He exclaimed to Reena,
“Whoa, you saved me as he was about to pounce on me.”
“Don’t worry, but I advise you not to move around alone as you are still new to this place,” Reena said.
After picking up his purchased stuff, both Aditya and Reena moved out of the supermarket together. They walked on the bylane and discussed life in general in America. They sometimes laughed and sometimes were serious about the hordes of issues including the student politics prevalent on the campus. Nevertheless, the Indian students in particular aced them all to chase the great American dream, Reena confessed.
Both smiled at each other and bade goodbye when they arrived at Aditya’s apartment, after a ten-minute walk.
“Nice talking to you, Reena. I learned so much about life here from you. Good night and thank you so much for your help in the nick of time.” Aditya told her.
“Oh, it’s my pleasure, Aditya. Take care. Bye Bye.” Reena replied and turned around to move to her girl’s hostel wing on the campus.
That day’s conversation soon formed a solid friendship between the two, that culminated in the blossoming of a newfound love. But that never interfered with their studies, as both of them were highly sorted out individuals.
After her graduation, Reena found a job at a company in Florida, where her parents stayed, who were Green-card holders. Aditya stayed in Boston till the completion of his PG. How the two-year stint ended, even he could not fathom.
Now it was time to leave the US. Reena had come to see him off at the New York airport, where Aditya boarded the flight to Mumbai. Both hugged each other tightly and promised to stay in touch forever.
Back in India, in Chennai Aditya was given a warm welcome by his parents, relatives, and friends. Some of his relatives were surprised to see him back, instead of deciding to settle down in the US. But Aditya had altogether different plans.
Like his father, he wished to serve India, his motherland, after studying abroad. Both father and son believed that family values exist successfully only in India. Plus, the recent episodes of shooting incidents had scared them to even think about settling down in America.
In a six-month time, Aditya too got a decent job at a large private organization. But he hadn’t forgotten about Reena, nor did she forget about him.
Both regularly chatted online and occasionally on the phone through video calling. They also conveyed to their parents their feelings for each other. Aditya on his part was adamant to live in India, and Reena appreciated his decision. As for her, it was hard to let go of her American citizenship for the sake of love.
So both decided to tie the marital knot shortly, but maintain the long-distance love and marriage till eternity, as they believed that relationship should be first and foremost among the souls, no matter where you existed.â¤