That was the day - May 12th 2008 when with a lot of excitement and anxiety I reached IGIA, New Delhi to leave for Dubai. It was 4 AM in the morning that I reached the airport for my 8 AM flight. I waited there to look for my dear friend Raghavendra Mishra aka Raghu whom I knew for the past 7 years, thanks to my Engg. College, NIT Rourkela that I was able to share a bonding that had stood more than 8 years now and looks to continue till eternity.
Raghu came and we met like never before (we haven’t met for years now, though only chatted or talked on phone). And we moved in to find a motley crowd travelling with us to Dubai to fulfil their dreams and achieve more in life. I met Manuj at the airport and a few others as well.
We touched down at Dubai international airport and got out quickly. The fear and anxiety of landing and travelling to a new place, a new country was going through most of us who were travelling outside India for the first time. Gradually we reached the Immigration queue and came to know that all we students have to get into a separate queue for retina scanning and we rushed through to the counter, only to be stopped in our motions by a local Arab who spoke some very interesting English and asked us to maintain silence and discipline as we tried to break loose :)
Immigration done and we rushed to take a local sim card and made calls back home to announce our safe landing. We were 15-20 of us together who rushed to the DU mobile counter to buy the sim card and get going. In these days of mobile comm. it feels so irritating and frustrating to be without a working and running mobile even for 10 minutes and we had sat for almost 4-5 hours without a ringing mobile. That was shameful for each one of us who call themselves the doyens of the 21st century and yet were without a mobile for such a long duration. Here we went and got ourselves mobiled!!
After the travails for getting sim cards and calling back India were over, we started looking for S P Jain representatives at the airport to take us to the hostel. We found him; however our wait to travel on the roads of Dubai and reach the hostel were not over yet, as the rep. told us that we would have to wait some more time till the other flight comes in and those students get ready to move out. We all waited with gasping breaths as now each one of us was feeling hungry.
Not been able to handle the pressure of a hungry stomach, I and Raghu sneaked out and moved to a Cafe and had burgers and coffee to get some respite. Meanwhile, we could see the group getting bigger gradually by the minute as more and more starting flocking and started introducing each other. Sooner than later, our time to move out came and moved into the college buses standing out in the parking to travel to our hostels.
Reaching hostels, another kind of confusion started, no one knew how to get a room made available to you. We waited and waited till our dear warden; Dev Anand sir came in and started the process. Each one of us was called one by one and we started moving out to our respective rooms after getting our set of keys. I was allotted room on the 3rd floor and started moving in quickly.
Having reached the 3rd floor, I started looking for room 320, which was located on side of the floor. I opened the door and moved in, looking around in the room to find that I was the first person to get that room. I kept my luggage on one side of the room and started unpacking it so that I could change and freshen up a little.
After some time, Raghu came to the room looking for me to go out for Lunch and came in Sourabh, Raghu’s room mate. He came to help us out with a restaurant where we could get a decent meal.
After the meal, we moved back to our rooms and started connecting our laptops and getting ready for 24X7 home internet. We rested for a few hours as we were to go out to in the evening as the college had planned a visit to the market for those who wanted to purchase their laptops. I too moved out with Raghu (he had to purchase a new lappy).
After spending some hours at the Al Ain Center (Computer hardware centre of Dubai), we got back to the hostel as the new notices were awaiting us at the notice board. As we read them, we interacted with a few other fellow mates and started bonding with them.
As I reached back my room, I could feel the disturbance inside, only to know that I have new room mates and I was no more alone in the ladies den at C-11. A broad smile came to my face as I acknowledged my new roommates, Vaibhav and Upendra. We made friends quickly and started bonding easily as we talked effortlessly on our favourite topics and liked to talk seamlessly :)
We were talking like we used to do, and suddenly came in guys looking for me. I knew it was Biswajeet Mohanty, as knew him through a common friend of ours (though we had never met, only talked about on phone) and the other guy, I was sure was Sharad, about whom Biswajeet had told me he knew as he was his engg. college senior and was joining SP Jain with us. We sat together and chatted and laughed for hours and started a different kind of bonding between us, which each one of us knew would stand the tests of time. Biswajeet and Sharad left us in peels of laughter and we decided to sleep as we had to get up early to leave for our first day at college. Though, I laid on my bed, I could not sleep properly and I am sure many of us had gone through the same, as many thoughts rolled in and out of my mind.
I got up in the morning only to see the latest and last addition to our room, in the form of Sumit Agarwal, he was looking for something in his bag and the screeching noise of his poly bag woke up others too :) We got ready, bolted the door of the room and moved quickly towards the elevator, only to meet a few others from our floor. On moving downstairs, we met another set of people and got into the bus, feeling happy that there were so many of us who took the same bold decision to leave their happy paying jobs for a course of this order to get ahead in life and in profession. Congratulations guys!!