Unbeknownst to me, I had stepped out of the script. As such, I had no idea how to proceed. Sure I filled out the forms (whatever they were) but evidently not all of them because I soon got an email saying that since I didn’t specify what kind of roommate I would like to have I was placed with a certain Umar Kahn.
He arrived a day late and I found him at an introductory mingling thing, you know the ones Americans love to have. He was a little brown boy compressed under the bulging arches of American muscle. I pulled him loose and got us to our dorm. He looked visibly shaken and the whites in his eyes shone in the dark as I dimmed the lights.
I was still incredibly fresh from the college and so lying on my back in the opposite side of the room, I ask poor Umar what Pakistanis thoughts of Ghandi.
“What do Pakistanis think of Ghandi?”
“He’s an idiot”
I guess I got what I wanted. Umar was sixteen at the time and I would later find out that no one I would ever meet would speak as quickly and with as much erudition as this boy who had never left Pakistan before.