I arrived at JFK airport from London Heathrow on a Saturday in August after having spent a few days in England with my uncle and a week in Geneva with my brother and his wife. My parents felt that since this was the first time that I was leaving India, it might be wise to give me an opportunity to acclimatize myself in the Western world while still in the company of family.
A close friend of mine had asked his cousin who lived in New Jersey to pick me up from the airport, so I was met by two kind strangers who were gracious and welcoming. They picked me up in their station wagon and drove me home to a delicious chicken curry and rice dinner.
The most exciting moment that I remember of my arrival was seeing the Manhattan skyline as we drove from JFK to New Jersey. As a student of literature and a lover of books I was familiar with New York stories and I had goosebumps when I saw the tall buildings of my favorite city.
I came to America on a scholarship to a liberal arts college called Elmira in upstate New York to study English Literature. It is on the grounds of Elmira College where Mark Twain's octagonal study is located. As a student of literature, whether English or American, to be where the great American author and humorist penned his masterpieces, like Huckleberry Finn, was indeed a remarkable blessing.