It was a flawless morning. The sky was dazzling red and the sun was rising above the big viridescent forest in front of my house. The elegant flowers were swaying happily to the steady bell chimes audible from the faraway Swayambhunath Temple. Tiny sparrows were chittering exuberantly as if it was the most ideal day of their life. Bluish gray pigeons were dancing to the rhythm of the whooshing wind. A crowd of people in luminous clothing were walking down the street, laughing hysterically. In midst this cheerful forenoon, there was probably only one downhearted soul in this whole entire town; me. There I was, leaning over the balcony in my navy blue pajamas, with bright swollen eyes, observing the town I lived nine years of my life, for one last time. This was the day I was leaving my beautiful motherland, Nepal behind and coming to the United States, a foreign land.
As I dragged my feet across the freshly polished aquamarine marble tiles of the enormous Tribhuvan International Airport, salty tears gushed out of my eyes. It was time to board the plane. Holding my mother’s cozy hands firmly, I glumly expressed my farewell to my lovely cousins who came to see us off. While I sobbed, my mother pulled my sister and I away from our native country and we walked out the door that leaded to the plane. The airplane was approximately fifteen feet away from where I stood. At a slow pace, I shuffled my feet. Ten feet away. My heart pounded noisily. Five feet away. Four feet away. My head throbbed due to my strained feelings, as I panickly thought to myself, Please tell me this is nothing, but a dreadful dream. I pinched myself so hard that if I didn’t know better, I would have mistaken it for a painful bee sting. Three feet away. Why am I not waking up? Am I really leaving? Two feet away. As my queasy stomach clenched up in knots, the sun’s glaring rays beamed on my tumid eyes, almost taking away my consciousness. One foot away. Sadikshya, please wake up! My mom and my sister mounted the lengthy stairs attached to the plane, and then it was my turn. At the moment I lifted my feet from the light soil of my stunning Nepal, my agonized heart sank. It took an enormous amount of effort to get my burning legs to ascend the stairs. After a while, when the plane started moving, my wretched eyes reached out, through the glistening window, to the place where I spent my childhood. The aeroplane flew off and with it, so did I, leaving behind my soul.
It has been twenty-five tedious hours since I first boarded the plane. We have transited through Doha International Airport and then London International Airport. In barely an hour, we will arrive in this unfamiliar place my parents refer to as the “land of opportunity”. I was uncomfortably anxious about moving to the opposite side of the world, from the old world, to the new world. However, my parents were having different thoughts.
“In the United States, you will more likely have a better career, future, and life,” my father had exclaimed over the phone a few days ago. He had been living in Massachusetts for the past four years, in hopes of gradually bringing us there.
Although I was extremely excited about seeing my dad after a prolonged time, I was just as worried about not being able to adjust in this nation. While these scattered thoughts wandered over my edgy brain, I didn’t even realize that the plane had landed, until the intercom opened its ear-splitting mouth to announce the arrival. We slowly began to file out of the aircraft. When I stepped on the glossy asphalt surface of Boston for the first time, I felt irresistibly jumpy, although conversely I was also excited.
Standing by the bleached white wall outside of the thoroughly developed Boston Logan International Airport, my father waved at us, merrily. As we enthusiastically ran to hug him, all the fretful worries faded. I felt a significant amount of joy at that moment. After putting away the hefty luggages, we were on our way to our apartment. On the route, when I looked out the mid sized window of my father’s pale brown Toyota RAV4, I saw colossal radiant buildings and advanced infrastructures and I started to distinguish the distinct differences between this urban city and the old fashioned Kathmandu City that I was casual with. Even though I lived in the metropolis of Nepal, I had never in my life seen such gigantic buildings. Once again, I began to feel agitated. The restless thoughts managed to weave its way back into my mind. My brain was blasting with “how’s” and “what if’s.” Will I be able to adjust here? What if people think I’m weird because I’m different? How will I manage to survive in this mysterious place where they call a lift an “elevator,” where they call biscuits, “cookies”? Do I belong here in the first place? I genuinely didn’t know.
Only two weeks after my arrival on May 25th 2010, my dad wanted me to go to school, even though there were only about fifteen days of school left. I was very timid about interacting with people here. When I first walked in the carmine door of Highlands Elementary School, I became very self-conscious of my frizzy black hair and plain brown eyes, as I noticed children with sleek blond hair, and steel blue eyes. Nervously, recalling my tour of this school from a week ago, I found my way to my noisy third-grade homeroom. Knock. Knock. The teacher, sitting behind her large desk in the other side of the room looked up, grinned and motioned for me to come in, while the children blankly stared at me. I jumpily thought, It’s okay. You will be fine. Despite the fact that I was trying my hardest to console myself, it wasn’t working very much.
“Everyone, this is Sadikshya. She will be here with us for the rest of the school year,” Mrs. Flaherty excitedly said, as she showed me my desk.
As I quietly sat down, my eyes anxiously skimmed everyone. Most of them smiled at me in a welcoming way, which made me ease up a bit. Class started, and time to time, people came up to me to introduce themselves. As lunch was about to break, the affable looking girl next to me, Samantha, asked me if I wanted to sit with her at lunch with her friends. I shyly nodded my head. We sat at a long table in the back of the huge cafeteria. These girls fascinatedly asked me questions about Nepal, how I like it here, and how I can speak English so well. They were so amiable, that in sometime, I started to feel better. At the end of the school day, when I walked out the building to a bright sunlit day, I thought to myself, Maybe you might belong here, Sadikshya.
Even though it was challenging to get comfortable with the disparities at the beginning, as time passed, I adapted to the dissimilarities, and respected the American way of living, even when my culture differentiated from theirs. I learned to talk frankly and make friends. Even though I still yearn to live in the greenery of my hometown, I enjoy living in this lovely place as much. After six years of this encounter, today, as I’m writing this I realize what a meaningful experience this was. This encounter has taught me time diminishes your wounds, but you have to heal them yourself. In order to do that, I had to change my perspective on things. Reminiscent memories of nine beautiful years I spent in Nepal are pierced within my soul and my soul is always with me, wherever I go. Therefore, I don’t have to cry over my past, because it will always be a part of me. I perceived I don’t have to let go but I do have to learn to move on and live life as it is. I learnt that you just need to trust that eventually everything will be alright.