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Gagan rued his luck. He was at the wrong place at a very wrong time. Everything seemed so wrong. 12 hours at the airport & still no announcement about the likely departure of the Newyork flight. The pilots were on strike & the solution was not in the viscinity. He had no where to go in the megapolis so it seemed the best way to get parked at the airport & watch the proceedings.
He had fought with his dad for this journey. His dad was not very keen to send him abroad for this Masters degree but in the end he had had his way. And here he was waiting for that long journey to start. It was the starting point of his dream which had just started taking shape of reality. A masters degree & then a job in a big company & eventually that green card. The plan was in place, there was no plan B. But he did not know what was in store for him.
Gagan got bored of the monotony & just looked around. There were lot of people seated around just like him. A man seated next to him was glancing through the news paper. As always, a newspapers sounds very interesting when somebody else is reading. Gagan turned to the person & asked him if he could share the remaining pages of news paper. The man smiled at him & gave him the whole bunch. "Take it son, happy reading, read it all,you are not going to find this news paper in newyork". It was Gagan's favourite newspaper & it dawned upon him that his mornings were going to be different without "Deshonnati" the regional news paper.
Once ice was broken they got talking & the discussion turned to the imminent topic of strikes. Gagan was asked, " what do you think ? are these pilots right to agitate that they want only the local language speaking pilots on all flights departing from the airport". Till then gagan had no clue about the strike. He was so engrossed in his own dream that he hardly had time to look at things around. Gagan started wondering what the fuss was about. He wondered how could people get so worked up against fellow citizens. The man suggested him, "Son dont worry the earth is round & the people are same everywhere.I have spent half of my life in newyork but still I feel like an outsider. people interact with you, you get a feeling of acceptance but for them you remain Indian. At first you dont feel it but slowly you start to read the signs. Every thing around shouts at you, telling ou that you are an outsider".
Gagan had hardly looked at this side of the dream. Their discussion continued the late night & without realizing something had changed in Gagan.
Morning arrived & with that also the news of end of the strike. But now. gagan seemed dis-interested. He picked up his luggage & walked out of the Airport. The journey had given him the courage to look at things in a new light.