The SDSI people at Florida made us choose room partners for our trip days. I did not have to bother because Saleem, my Pakistani colleague, put my name with his. In fact, the choice was made at a time when we did not know one another well. We had one or other logic to select somebody. Saleem must have chosen me because I could speak his language and we shared certain things due to our geographical proximity. Or at least because we shared the same neigbour, India.

Of similar nature was the team of Dr. Jouma and Dr. Basim. They shared Arabic, Islam and, perhaps, the age also. Their teaming seemed perfect at Miami. We could hear no complaint then. Basim in fact was calm and did not complain. Jouma said once or twice that Basim snored.

We came back to Gainesville and stayed for a fortnight. Towards the end, we were given option to change partners if we liked. Saleem and I made sure that we did not need to change, but expected the two fellows to switch. They did not do so in Orlando, so I thought no change was made. But in the morning of second day at New York city, Jouma showed ignorance about the whereabouts of Basim because they did not live together. He, Jouma, had Adolf now, and seemed satisfied that he had gotten rid of the snores finally!

Another morning in NYC Saleem and I had Adolf to share the table in the breakfast. He was a bit fidgety and was complaining that the Institute had poor management. His concerns were that he was not asked while switching partners, and that he could not live with this new one. He had talked to the director about his problem, and that she was not going to do anything about it. He was getting less sleep. The reason — Jouma snored terribly (this is what he said). We could only laugh!

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By hkafle

I am a University teacher, with passion for literature and music.

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