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The new year starts now 

Living in a college town has its peculiarities. Although it's been a year since I graduated, I still think in terms of semesters. Life appears to go through a four-month cycle. The new year is properly welcomed only when spring semester officially starts. New resolutions are decided upon in the third week of January. Old memories are thrown out, new ventures are looked into. 'Hope' springs eternal with the arrival of warmer weather.

I had to go to the campus today after a long time. Parking was a pain as usual and I had to park in the visitors' garage. As I walked on the campus roads, I could see the faces staring at me - an outcast, in my business attire - you get curious looks when you're too young to be a professor and slightly too well-dressed to be a poor desi student going to an on-campus interview.

Two Indias? 

Even when I lived there, I could sense the simmering casteism in my relatively urbanized area of residence. The undertones were there -- 'He's the head of the local Dalit association. He's constantly organizing meetings in his home'. But then, neighborly peevishness was always non-discriminatory. I've also heard, 'They are Pentecostals. They organize carol-singing in the night at their home with 20 people'.

Did I turn a blind eye to the real reason for these comments, or were they simply complaints of disturbing-the-peace?

But when a humor site like somethingawful posts about Dalits being driven out of refugee centers, you wonder if you lived in a different country than the one mentioned in the story.