Saturday, August 27, 2011


It is 1.13 am here at Princeton town in the New Jersey state. I am in the hotel room, TV on and a light drizzle just past us. The college freshman I am escorting is fast asleep at the end of a productive day on campus and surroundings. A peep out of the window shows up the pretty driveway, neat flower beds and cars parked in slots…not a soul in sight. We are far far away from home.

I sit here, marvelling at the technology and services that made it so convenient for the two of us to fly in, get comfortable and move on with campus familiarization. As we disembarked from the hotel shuttle on Nassau Street and walked into the campus this morning, my thoughts were of gratitude at the opportunity Asawari had obviously created for herself. It was a quiet time on the school lawns, just days from the international student and parent orientation. One cannot be too sure if their arrival will be affected by the hurricane Irene. We were told the restful market would pick up momentum, with the students trooping in a week or so later. 

We visited the Landau, New York Camera, the CVS Pharmacy and Subway!! As also the Labyrinth Book Store, the official Princeton University Store and Verizon Wireless Store. My thought stream ran, “What a charming place! Now I won’t be all that miserable on the lonely flight home, knowing Asawari is in this picturesque and safe spot.” The campus seemed exceedingly green, its structures reminding me of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. We visited the University Museum of Art and the Rockefeller College as also Buyers Hall, her residence to be.

People have been helpful and forthcoming, going so far as to assure me they would look out for Asawari. I am so very glad I decided to come with her despite her protestations that she would be all right. I will now be able to picture her clearly when I am back home in Delhi. 

There was one humbling moment today: the gentleman at New York Camera store on Nassau street said to Asawari, "Good luck young lady for your Princeton tenure but then you don't need luck if you are here, in the first place!!" My immediate thoughts were for those who made this formidable reputation possible and their consistently remarkable work. My parental wish was for my child to internalize this endless quest for knowledge and learning.

More was to come. A pillow at the University store read, “It is hard to be humble when you are from Princeton!"

It made me smile but I hoped Asawari would keep her head firmly screwed on her shoulder, never losing sight of the reason she is here, thousands of miles away from all that has been familiar thus far. I prayed that she would remember that “from those to whom much is given, much is expected.” Here, in one of the top most institutions of the world, she would have to remind herself constantly that she is an ambassador of her country, her schools as also her family back in India.


Gayatri said...

Geared towards the pursuit of all that which is desired and coveted...
It's her charm and her vigor towards achieving a passionate dream, which I've always admired. I'm also confident that she'd make most of the copious opportunities coming her way in the upcoming years.
Also, the campus looks marvelous. great pictures. Good luck!

Shashi Nayagam said...

I am sure she will do well.

Honey Sangha said...

Gayatri, that is very sweet and generous of you. Hope your classes are going well. Yes, she really is at the cusp of all kinds of opportunities, and you know her proclivity for action. Her challenge will be to strike a balance and she is already discovering that.

Honey Sangha said...

Shashi, the real realization of the extent and degree of opportunities facing her dawned on me as I stood at the Nassau Hall. You are right. She will do well and truly.