Monday, August 4, 2008

4 Years of Changes - 4 Years of USA !!!

Today - 4th August 2008 ...

Rewind back, 4 years - 4th of August 2004 ....

How could I forget that day ... I was going to be a part of a land which is famously coined as "Uncle Sam" ... Ironically "SAM" being just a PART of my name, "SAMKIT" or maybe "SAMY" as most of the people in my life know me as .... But here I am standing at the LAX (Los Angeles Airport) figuring whether it would be "SAM"kit being a part of this land or will it turn the other way around and I would end up having uncle "SAM" just be a part of "SAM"kit ... At the end I had no answer to it, and I still don't have one ... lol !!!

So - Be it - I landed up in the land which is said to be the land of opportunities ... Well of course its up to us whether we can really find those opportunities or not, but at that point of time, I had no heck of an idea how my life down the line is going to be and what would I be doing in the year 2008 ....

Click "READ MORE" to read the entire post ...

That is what Life is all about - as a famous quote goes - "Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what is coming next, and you never know what will you get" - Its a surprise ...

I did not knew standing at the gates of the LAX airport watching numerous other Indian students like me walking by, and watching as those automatic glass doors slide back and forth, as if indicating that I should just make a U-turn and head back home in some days or should I exit those sliding doors and enter a whole new world of possibilities, experiences and surprises - all to be faced alone on my own for the first time without the protective cover of my family, my home, my culture and my roots ....

2004 to 2008 - If you would ask me has things changed ? Has the atmosphere changed ? Has my life changed ? Have I changed ? - The answer would be YES.
Just as a famous saying goes - "The Only Constant In Life, Is Change" ...

People have walked in and out of my life, memories got created, some made a deep mark within me, while some just disappeared with time, certain events came by, made their impact, positive or negative, and life still went on as it was supposed to be, after all at the end we all are just puppets and our strings are held high up above, thus guding us, governing us, controlling us, and we acting to the tune of the song which God has composed for us...

With this post, I would be trying to recollect what has changed since the day when I started this journey here in the US, till date, where I am still traveling and have not found the destination yet ... Lets see if you all out there can relate to some of these moments, some experiences to some extent and feel the same way as I am ...

All of 2004, till end of 2005, went quickly, with some pun and irony into it, that it went so fast, I never got a time to relax a bit and pen something down, which I have always wanted to since I started my undergrad back in India. So for starters that is what has changed in these recent years, now that you are reading this post, means I have changed and the pace of my life has changed a bit, where I can sit back and try to create some writings which I enjoy to the fullest, trying to express my self, my thoughts and more importantly, reach out to people.

Was the reason of time flying by fast - Studies, and only studies ? Nah !!! No way, well studies always came second, knowingly or unknowingly, which of-course I had to pay the price at the end, and that too you end up paying a costly one, if you are trying to obtain a Master of Science degree from "THE" University of Southern California, and that too in none other than, "THE" Electrical Engineering domain ... But yeah time did flew by, with some great friends, some nice relationships which have grown over time and have stood testimony of time, where each one of us have had their good and bad moments, but at the end what has mattered the most, is that these Few Relations In Earth Never Die - sums up to a word called "FRIEND"... We had a great time out there, the whole of 2004-2005, explored almost whole of Southern California, enjoying the summer of California, playing cricket, watching movies, eating junk food now and then, frequent trips to Taco Bell, creating havoc in 2717 orchard avenue, playing poker and partying almost every weekend ...

End of 2005, made a trip back to my home, to be with the family, to be in the comfort zone of familiar surroundings, not feeling out of the place, trying to figure out how my 2006 year would be shaping up with time running out fast, and finding myself, fighting on to survive in my endeavor of graduating from USC by getting just a bare 3.0 GPA - lol - now when I sit back and savor those moments, I feel like laughing out the tensed moments through which I had gone, trying to manage and get out of school, and start working ... At one point of time I had thought about giving up, which till day, thanks to my dad and mom, I never implemented that thought, and finally did manage "somehow" to get out with dignity and respect ... I owe that big time to my parents and some of my friends who were always there for me, to listen to my agony, my pain and yet holster me, boost me and cheer me up... That was truly the year of the real Trojan who had just one spirit in his heart - Fight On !!!

By the end of the year 2006 - a lot of things happened, and I term that year the defining year, the year of learning, being enlightened, and the year which would define of what I might just be the rest of my life, or at-least for a great amount of time, unless there would be other experiences which would teach me something.

There was a unique kind of victory, which was hidden in those tireless efforts, in the mental torture that I went through, those perplexed moments of frustration, trying hard and harder, waking up early in the nights, trying to figure out what I am gonna do - The whole of the year 2006, right from the moment I left home to come back here, and right till the moment I pursued all kind of different fields of engineering trying to get good grades, those fighting moments - Put it all in one nutshell, in one box, and that is all I carried out of USC, a box full of secrets to survive the surprises of Life, the strength to face the ups and downs of this roller coaster ride, and most importantly to ALWAYS remember those hard down moments during moments of success, to make me remain humble, to make me look back and nicely digest any success that might come my way, and more importantly to help myself keep my feet right on the ground where they should be and not fly in the air riding on the clouds of false arrogance and thinking as if I am "someone" ...

Yes, a lot of things did change for good inside me, and ever since then I did not remain what I was back in 2004. But as it is always heard - "All that happens, happens for a reason, and the reason is always Good"...

The day came when I opened up my laptop, with trembling hands, the news had just come in, that the final grades have been posted, all I needed was a B+ to graduate with a perfect 3.0, and there I was, in San Jose, giving an interview the very next day, and I was caught in two minds - To look at the grades, or just wait for one more day ? Will anything affect my interview tomorrow ? What would happen, if I got anything lesser than a B+ ? Will I have the strength to still carry on the fight of graduating ? What ? When ? How ? Why ? - Whoosh !!!
I said to myself - Cut the crap, lets just see what the grades are, the worst could not be so simple, and so I pointed my mouse at the "View Grades" tab, closed my eyes, said a simple prayer, and clicked the tab !!!
BINGO !! There it was ....
Grade Obtained : A -
Final GPA : 3.0

I HAD DID IT !!! I finally had managed to call myself proudly, a USC Graduate !!! Tears filled my eyes, my mind was going through a whirlpool of emotions, never ever felt before, and can never be expressed ... Called up my parents, who were more happier than me, as their AIM, their purpose, had finally come to a happy end ...

I might write my whole experience in a different post sometime in the future, but for now, the gist was, I was a changed person, these 2.5 years at USC had transformed me into a different human being, with a different set of ideas, principles, values, appreciation, emotions, thoughts and what not ..

Got a job in that week, moved out of Los Angeles, to start a new life in the Silicon Valley in San Jose, got back with my old friends from USC, and seeing them I figured out that its not just ME who has changed, but time has changed most of us out there ... some changes were for good and for the better while some changes were there just not for the taking ... But things and the environment DID CHANGE !!!

The professional years 2007-2008(till date), had given me a whole new horizon to explore, and learn as much as I can, with no burden of studies, no pressure of proving anything, just trying to be myself, and being a stable human being with each passing day .... A lot of new things and experiences surfaced and taking just tangents of those events, I started my steep learning curve... The end ? Is it over ? Not at all... I am still learning and I still have a lot to catch up with .... But I am just taking it as it comes and not rushing after things ....

One thing that does stand out is one tends to become a bit more self-centric here, its all about "Me" and the words "I". The word "Mine" starts bearing more weight than the words "Us", "Our", "We" ... That is one of the biggest change I have seen over the years and its hard for some people like me to believe that, and in fact actually walk through that phase, its easier for some to give in to those type of changes... I have always found it hard to resist them and have been trying to runaway from being such a selfish individual ... Lets see if I can still hold it off - lol ! ;-)

But, looking back to these 4 years, it seemed that just like the season changes every quarter, year round, these years have impacted a lot of changes within me too, some for good, some for the better while some changes should not have took place ... But no regrets, no worries, life is still the same deep down inside ...

Just wanted to share something on completing 4 long years, and would really love to hear from you too about your experiences.. So drop in a few lines if you can ...

Cheers

Samy

8 comments:

Soham Shah said...

Wow man !!

This one is surely straight from the bottom of your heart .. Great post ..

We were, are and will be 'Proud Trojans' always .. No matter what FIGHT ON !!

karan said...

dude...
good one...i think i knew all of these ;)
all the very best for coming years...

Pankti Shah said...

well written!!!

i would complete 2 years coming monday!!!

USA has surely changed me too...for good/better/worse...time is yet to say!!!

One more thing that you pointed out is about I, Me, Myself....I have observed that change in me too...i guess it is just the way the lifestyle here is ....
this nation sure brings out the individuality in a person...

Rgds/P

PS I did leave a comment this time...i hope u nt upset ne mor!!!

Samy said...

@Soham - Thanks dude ... I know you must already recollect these moments as you were right there from the very first day till the end of our studies ... lol ... but yeah we had a hell of a time out there man .... kudos to being a trojan ...

@ Keku (Karan) - lol I know most of us who would read this being a part of this trojan dynasty at USC, already knows what it feels and how the experience is ... cheers ...

@Pankti - Thanks for stopping by and dropping in some comments ... I agree that the country does bring out the selfishness from any good human being ... but thats how life goes ... cheers... keep visiting ...

jaimin said...

Hey Samkit ....really liked the last post .....something that I can relate to as well to an extent ....as u know ....."Let the good stuff coming..!!"
cheers;
Jaimin

ruchi said...

reading ur post reminds me of 2.5 yrs i have spent in the US....and time flies, the day i left home is still fresh and its already 2.5 yrs and the most memorable and eventful years of my life.
n i do agree with u that lot of things have changed or rather the way we look at things..but it has surely been a great learning experience, which we would not have got in the protective shell.
Good luck for few more years here and rest of ur life back home!!

Pradeep said...

Hi Samkit..
Great post!!

kaushal said...

hey buddy, just chanced upon your blog somehow, and had a feeling that I was maybe destined to read this blog at this point of time, when I am contemplating doing my Masters in the USA, and just getting things in order for that purpose.
This post sent me into a futuristic time-travel mode, and I really began thinking where I would be, four years henceforth, who knows I may be lucky enough to be posting something like this on my blog!
Read a lot of your posts after these and did get a deja-vu feel.
Regards,
Kaushal