Rediff

My Friend from Islamabad

My Friend from Islamabad

Summer vacation never meant days off for international graduate students in the United States but in those warm months we could take longer-than-usual coffee breaks without feeling guilty. Pocket Park, our campus coffee shop, was a tiny glass house wedged into the farthest corner of this small, open-air hangout. Tables, chairs, benches, stairs, the steps of a small wooden stage — we could seat ourselves anywhere. In the summer, the place was deserted and we usually picked a table under the trees. That day another […]



Driving Ms. Desi

Driving Ms. Desi

Even as we speak, hundreds of women in India are getting ready to enrol in universities across the United States for the fall semester. I was also a graduate student once, but I set out before the days of unlimited Internet access. Back then, America might well have been undiscovered for the precious little information I managed to gather about my destination. Once on campus, undergraduates have an option of being rushed into three-letter Greek societies, which let them build lasting friendships with others who […]



Languorous Noons

Languorous Noons

Like relatives, the monkeys would show up at a time we least wanted them to drop in. On Sunday afternoons at the only ladies’ hostel on campus. Sarayu was the official residence of close to 400 young women studying science and technology at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras . Many of them were pursuing their PhDs. They’d work through the day and get back to the labs, post-dinner to run experiments. Or go to the library to read journal articles. Whatever be the time of the time […]