I whole-heartedly jumped into the American education system.
Many happy moments accumulated from acquisitions and accomplishments.
I read the Gettysburg address inscribed on the wall, remembering parts of it that I had memorised in school.
As I gazed at the other shimmering monuments that defined the capital of the country that would become my home for the next decade and half, I soaked in the atmosphere and the sentiments embedded in the words of its founders.
One Friday night, returning from a Christmas party, I stepped out to find a blanket of snow covering the streets, street-lights and the twinkling holiday decorations that adorned them.
I trudged through fresh powdery snow, towards the statue of Abraham Lincoln that dominates the iconic building, not caring about the damp seeping through my new silk sari.The first time I saw falling snow was also the first time I saw the majestic Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.I had landed in America, a few weeks before Christmas, as a naïve twenty-two-year-old bride.On the day of my thesis defense, I stood in a long room lined with a plush carpet and oak bookcases, politely smiling as fellow students congratulated me and passed around the obligatory bottle of champagne.As my thesis advisors signed the page that signified the successful completion of my field of study and allowed me to use the prefix “Doctor”, the overwhelming feeling was not one of glory, but sadness.I could only think of what I wanted but did not have – a child of my own.I lived in a fully furnished apartment in a high-rise building, a stone’s throw away from prestigious research institutes.The older one cuts out the words “Live, laugh, love” from an old newspaper and sticks it on her bedroom wall while the younger one puts up a “Do not enter” sign on her door.With no personal car and taxi rides being special treats, we quickly learn the nuances of riding in buses and trains.To go out for a walk at night, sometimes all of us, sometimes alone.To allow each other the space to do what they like, whether it is a visit to the library for me, Saturday morning squash games for my husband, time and space for everyone to listen, to speak, to cry if needed, without interruption or judgment.