Our escort in USA Mr. James Bodner when we reached New York in September 1988 had placed us in a big Limousine car driven by an Italian driver, without his company we reached at the gate of Columbia University, the moment we came out from car a beauty queen of Quaid I Azam University Islamabad and a few badges senior from us known by her nick name Tipi appeared on a gate as a big and pleasant surprise for me and my three other class fellows, after exchange of formal words we requested her to guide us towards Columbia University hostel where we were bound to stay for one week.
Soon we were comfortably placed in a hostel room, a Pakistani foreign office employee and currently doing PhD in Columbia university came to pay us a visit an Indian female student Devika also came along with him, another university fellow of us living in New York had brought roasted chickens from a Pakistani restaurant in New York for us, within few hours we became familiar with the campus environment.
In the evening me and my other fellow visitor Mr. Jamil Raza came out from our hostel room to buy Pizza for our only female colleague Miss Farzana Muzafar and Mr. Waheed Tariq, and the funny incident occurred, while walking towards Pizza shop we both male colleagues unaware of New York culture, were suddenly became alert when female students of Columbia university had started shouting while looking towards us ‘gays gays’ I was already maintaining a safe distance from my male colleague I had further distance my self from him, finally we have succeeded to buy Pizza, on the way back I was laughing at my self, in Pakistan where love making without formal marriage contract is crime and a culprit who do that is liable to receive 80 lashes on his back, and in case of a married man or woman if they got caught while making love with some one else other then their spouse are liable to be stoned to death, how can I even think about to have physical relations of sexual nature with any men or women, for rest of the week long stay in the campus of Columbia University I was quite careful while coming out from my hostel room was keeping quite a safe distance from my male colleagues and was mostly trying to keep the company of female colleague just to avoid gay label on myself.
We had a detailed meetings with Academia of the University most memorable was meting with blue eyed pipe smoking Chairman of Journalism department of Columbia University, the Chairman had enlightened us with his precious views, when we came out from his office life was having new meanings for all of us.
One another funny incident was occurred when Mr. James Bodner had asked me to look into the eyes of statue of goddess of wisdom installed in Columbia University campus, the saying is that after having eye contact with goddess of wisdom a person become wise, I looked into her eyes and then told Mr. Bodner Sir, she is a statue there is no harm in having eye contact with her, Mr. James Bodner was unaware of the fact that in Pakistani culture since my childhood I was trained to avoid eye contact with any female.
We had visited Liberty Island and paid homage to Statue of liberty, we had spent few hours their and again came back to New York in a fairy boat while doing shopping a big surprise in New York for us was a sex shop, in Pakistan there is no concept of a sex shop we were quite amused to see artificial male sex organs of different shapes and sizes and artificial female dolls, neatly decorated and exhibited in shop.