This is the story of my first day.*

Bangalore, India

New York City, New York




Yash: How old were you at the time?

Avva: 23.

Yash: What path did you take from India to America?

Avva: We came from Bangalore in Air India to New York. Then, we went to Detroit after 2-3 days.

Yash: What were your first impressions about the country?

Avva: I felt strange. Those days, we grew up in a different atmosphere, so such as our food habits were different. From the warm weather I came to mid-winter there, first day itself was too cold and a lot of snow.

Yash: That was your first time seeing snow?

Avva: Yes.

Yash: How were the people?

Avva: I didn’t interact much with other people. We went sightseeing and it was a nice experience.

Yash: When you came there weren’t many Indians?

Avva: Not many Indians were there.

Yash: How did that feel?

Avva: Felt lonely.

Yash: Were there Indians in Detroit?

Avva: There were a few Indians there which Thatha already knew.

Yash: Did it take a long time to get settled down?

Avva: Not really-- Thatha already had a house and all so it was easy.

Yash: Did Thatha come on H-1 Visa?

Avva: I cannot remember, let me ask him.
(consults with my grandfather)

Avva: No, exchange visitor visa. I came as a dependent.

Yash: Why did you decide to go back after my mom and aunt were born?

Avva: We felt we had to be in our country-- Thatha wanted to serve people here (India). Otherwise, it was a nice country to stay.

Yash: When you came to the US, did you plan to stay for a long time?

Avva: No, not really. We decided to stay for a few years and come back. We had good memories about the US-- we still do have.

Yash: Were you nervous about coming here?

Avva: A little bit. Do you have a set of questions?

Yash: No, I am just asking questions about your first day as we go along.

Avva: I don’t have that much else, I think that’s all I can say about the first day.

* The contributor of this story has asked that their name be withheld.