"At that time, I used to wear saris. And the thing was, I couldn't say, it was not that I had a I had a cultural barrier to you know, how do I change, you know, but also felt that I had come with all my saris and I just didn't feel like I should I change my wardrobe completely."
"So when I came here, and they were like, ‘Oh, your accent is so funny.’ I was like, ‘Your accent is funny [laughs] to me.’ So that was like, definitely one of the things that I was most noticed for. When I came in, I have, obviously, since changed to like, a white voice."
"And one of the classes was in the evening at 6pm. And that professor who was teaching it, I couldn't understand a single word he said on top of that, he used to bring his own sandwich during the class, and he will be eating it [laughs]"
"And I’m like “oh my god, snow!”. And at that point in my life, I’ve only been in snow, I think, only twice. So just to see it again, and to know that— it’ll now be a yearly part of my life— it was just so exciting..."
"I used to be a busy performer in Carnatic dancing, performing at least 50-60 performances each year. Nobody knew me here, and I struggled practicing on the fourth floor of my house, with neighbors who found it disturbing and annoying."
"My parents were so called helicopter parents who took care of me for everything, and coming here, taking care of myself, paying the bills, studying for the exams, cooking for myself, it was a challenge."
"So that's the thing. I was surprised. I wasn't nervous, really? I was definitely kind of excited, but not like 'jumping with joy'. I was excited, but I think I was surprised, and I think it's related to where the country was at the time. "
"I had the best time of my life, frankly speaking. I went around to museums, I went on dates, I went alone around places and checked things out and I was doing this in the middle of the night, the middle of day, it didn’t matter."
"I just wanted to see my dad. We are really close and it was the first time being without him for so long. He moved in September. My mom, sister, and I joined in December. I was only a kid; I just wanted my dad."
"On the night of 27th August 1968 my father's friend dropped me at Bombay airport and I took the Air India flight to London via Beirut, Frankfurt, Paris and I had to change the plane for the next part of the journey to the USA."
"But what I can tell you is my parents actually moved back to India when I was 10 because my dad said "I was just here to study. I'm moving back. Degrees will help my country." He was very patriotic, so we all moved back."
"I kind of understood the term ‘thundering silence’ for the first time. ‘Cause, where I grew up, I used to hear rickshaws ting-tinging outside and prostitutes fighting and things, you know? And now, nothing. Just quiet!"
"It was not a very happy day for me, because I had wanted to remain in the UK and attend Guy’s Hospital Medical School, which was a place I had wanted to go to ever since I was ten – I wanted to be a doctor like my dad."
"There happened to be one other Pakistani student who was the closest in culture at that time to me and we made a bond that I'll never forget, even though we came from countries where traditionally they were rivals."
"Landing in New York was something totally different – the huge skyscrapers, the ‘hustle and bustle,’ the speed of life was like a totally different world opening up to us when compared to London or pre-partition India."
"My entire childhood was spent in one of the seven UN camps for Bhutanese refugees. We came here because we are Bhutanese Nepalis and the Nepali government didn’t give us citizenship, so we came to the U.S.A. to work, get an education and have citizenship for the first time in our lives."
"In my first semester, I finished the money given to me for the year. I was not extravagant. So I worked in a Chinese restaurant two nights a week to make pocket money for extras such as personal items and clothing/shoes."