A dear friend recently asked me if I regretted transferring to GW from the University of Missouri-Columbia my sophomore year. Without a moment’s hesitation, I said, “No.” My three years at GW have been a collection of bittersweet memories, which my heart will treasure and my mind will analyze forever.
I grew close to those I had never known, and closer to those who I had known for years.
Here is an abridged collection of my thoughts about the important people in my life.
I came to GW my sophomore year after realizing I needed to be in a dynamic environment to cultivate myself academically, socially and personally. The rolling hills of Missouri just did not provide the fodder I need to grow – it provided no challenges. My idealism made me believe there was a world out there and people out there that would open my eyes to things beyond my imagination.
Wide-eyed and inexperienced in many aspects of life, I came practically as innocent as they come. But circumstances helped me to learn about people, who in turn helped me learn about myself.
The first eye-opener was the fact that one of my two roommates – who I lived with for two years – was of the opposite sex. Unable to find housing on or off campus, I reluctantly accepted to live with Scott and Allison. Growing up in a conservative Indian family, I had limited male friends – but I want to note not all Indian families have the same rules or restrictions. I was so scared of living with a guy. But Scott became a good friend and confidante who would always listen and advise.
As one of my first close male friends, he helped me start to understand the way men think and behave. I still have not figured it out, and probably never will, but he clued me in quite a bit. One year older than me, he also took on the role of my big brother who helped me fine tune my wrestling skills every time I teased him about one of his girls. I love you Scott, and I missed living with you this year.
During my years at GW I also cultivated another friendship – a relationship I will treasure my entire life. Nikesh – what would I do without you? I remember every word we have ever exchanged over the phone. You have evoked so much from me. Our long-distance friendship has endured so much, and I hope you value it as much as I value you.
Preethy and Darshana – the dynamics of our apartment intrigue me. We are the best friends and possibly the worst roommates for each other. We have tested each other and made each other stronger this past year. I hope you know I truly care about you two. Where ever I maybe, you two will always be in my heart and my prayers. One last note – FLYING FISH!!!
Kathryn – you are an amazing person. I envy your elegant reticence. Our friendship has only begun, but I know it will stay true. I also know that we will watch each other mature and overcome obstacles. We will do this internally in similar ways, but externally completely different. When you are overseas covering some war, don’t forget about me.
Helder – Helder, Helder, Helder. I have finally mustered up the courage to tell you that you are the love of my life!! Not really, but you can keep thinking that if you like – or at least Kathryn can. Sometimes I want to beat you up so badly, you retard. I think it is because we are so much alike. But we try to ignore the fact that we agree with each other, so we can argue. You added a lot of masala to my weekends.
Stacey – our chats at Kiplinger’s have been so precious. Although we labeled them “gossip fests,” they were so much more than that. I will miss you next year. I hope Newhouse is ready for you, because I know you are ready for it.
Francesca – I admire your discipline and truthfulness and only hope to emulate you. You are a friend I give the utmost respect to.
Dave – our squabbles throughout the year bring a smile to my face. The flying projectile in the newsroom always made editing a little more exciting. By the way . it’s not your chair or your dictionary. 🙂
Becky – you have added several phrases to my vocab – “It’s all very lovely” . “I’m all about that.” Thanks for trying to control projectiles on Sundays.
Matt – professionally you have definitely tested my patience. But I have also seen a sweet side of you, which I hope continues to grow.
Dusty Gooker – you will lead The Hatchet magnificently next year. And I am giving you permission to put a cut-out poster of me in your office so you don’t miss making fun of me.
Rich – I see a renaissance man in you. Enough said.
To next year’s Hatchet crew – let loose and enjoy, but work your asses off as well! Keep your eyes and your minds open. Often sitting in the Hatchet House, we forget that our interests are not always the interests of the rest of the student body. Search for the untold and unheard. Look beyond the typical and expand the horizon of The Hatchet.
My desi crew .
Reena and Apoorva – I hope you take Awaaz further than I could possibly even imagine. I gave birth to it, but I know you will raise it as your own. I have a world of confidence in you two.
Kiranpreet – you may such close attention to every changing expression on my face. Your perceptiveness is ever-endearing. One more thing – you are the bhangra queen!
Jasmine – Mall Girls Unite!! We have become roommates even before we moved in together. You are a such a good friend.
Put- Put and Chuchi – I am just sorry we became friends so late in our college careers. One question – why did we do soooo many dances this year??
Rajan – I love arguing with you, because you challenge me just as much as I challenge you. Master P. our friendship means a lot to me, and I hope it continues to grow.
Vikram – You’ll lead the ISA in the right way.
Nyna – you are my best friend. Nothing will ever change that. You have known me since I was 14-years-old. Our friendship is so pure. No malice or bitterness has ever intruded. All I have to say is my phone bill is going to be monstrous when you move to London.
Harshu – Little brother, you have grown to be an admirable young man and my protector. I miss you daily.
Mom – You are last because I love you more than anything in this world. You are such a significant part of my being. We have helped each other through so much. So, why are we complete opposite? You listen to me whine and complain. You are there for my victories and my defeats. You were there for me when I fell in love, and you tried your best to hold me up when I endured heartbreak. Aai, please always be there. And don’t worry I will try to relax.
A friend recently told me, “Don’t worry about the future, it will take care of itself.” You tell me that always; it is a dictum I will hold close to my heart.
-Shruti Dat? will continue her illustrious journalism career at Kiplinger’s, for the time being. In her spare time, she will raise people’s awareness of the intricacies of curry and masala.
This article appeared in the April 26, 1999 issue of the Hatchet.