My name is Vikrant Ghate.

Nagpur, India

New York, New York





00:05 I remember my first day coming to America. It was August 7th, 2003\. And I remember being full of wonder and confession because..Quiet honestly I had no idea what was going on. I was 7 years of age. And my parents just told me that we would be going to America for about a year or so, and it wasn't going to be long. So I had no idea what to expect, and I didn't even know what was packed in my bags. It was just a bunch of clothes. My parents basically just whisked me away to this new land. Upon arriving, I think it was more of a shock then I had expected, because in India there is a lot of motorcycles and mopeds and bikes. And just in general, people walking around and population wise, there was just a lot of people. There is no such thing as personal space sometimes. And the roads filled with richarts, bicycles and hand carts, all those kind of things. When I came to the U.S. I remember one of my dads Co-workers came to pick us up in his grey Honda Odessy minivan. And it was one of the coolest things that I had seen because it was such a long car which was rare in India. And it fit all of our four bags. One for each person in our family. And my dads co-worker was asking us how each of our journeys was and how everything went. And it was definitely interesting and as we were driving out of the airport I noticed there was no motorcycles or carts or anything like that, just a lack of people. It was very efficient and it scared me a little bit because we were in a car and it was a sunny day in the morning. It was kind of a lazy feel to the atmosphere and to the environment. When we finally got to our apartment it was in the suburbs and it was very very quiet and I'm used to hearing honking and or I was used to hearing honking. And a lot of noises and living in a city in India was very easy to communicate with other people but I don't think I had an interaction with another person until that evening when we had actually left the house to go get groceries and at that point we had to drive fifteen minutes away to an indian grocery place to go get our groceries. And when I got there it was just a whole new shopping experience. It wasn't that I had to go to the guy who sold grains, different types of grains, like wheat and rice and all that stuff to get wheat and rice. I could actually find everything in one place. I didn't have to go separately to the guy who sells chickens and eggs and the guy who sells milk. And the guy who sells cookies and stuff, or the bakery for bread. It was all in one location and one place. It really amazed me that I could find indian snacks, indian foods, that I didn't expect to see in such a foreign place. And I think that brought some comfort to me because i could still eat some cookies that I liked as a child in the U.S. So to me, I thought it was going to be ok. But that first day, that first initial day. Everything just felt lazy, efficient, and uhm..very laid back. In the sense that nothing was, you know, you couldn't really see people and you really couldn't interact with them pre say. It was very different because in India I was very used to everyone who looked like me in the sense. Like my hair, my skin, it was all the same. And all of a sudden I was thrust in an environment where sometimes i felt like a fly in a cup of vanilla ice cream.