HYDERABAD: Mohammed Mahmoud Mohammed Saga from Sudan was looking for the right place to study abroad. After conducting some research on the internet he felt that Indian certification has a lot of value compared to other places. That is how he landed in Hyderabad at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University.
Currently pursuing Masters in Electrical Power Engineering he says, “We have a lot less to read when compared to the Indian syllabus.”
One-and-a-half-year in the city and the 25 -year-old, just like any other expatriate has experienced culture shock and the first thing that struck him, “I was really shocked and also surprised to see people waking up early here, because back home our routine starts later in the day and the night.” And he prefers to stick to his native routine.
He further admits that he has been struggling to cope with this.
Saga excitedly shares that he has fallen in love with the city’s weather, considering the level of heat back home. “I also admire Indian beauty and the way the women carry themselves,” he shares. The lad also feels that Hyderabad keeps him closer to God. “There are mosques all over the city and that makes me feel closer to home too.”
Ask him if there is one treasured moment that he likes to share, he responds quickly, “The food that is served in our hostel is too spicy. So we had to look for a room elsewhere. A lot of people were hesitant. For obvious reasons that we were not from here.”
After a long search, Saga finally met one lady who let out her home for rent. Eventually they developed a strong bond with her. “Initially six of us shared the apartment. But when four of them had to leave, my roommate and I thought of leaving as we couldn’t afford the rent. Our land lady, however, was kind enough to let us pay as much as we could afford,” he recalls, smiling.
Besides this experience, Saga also had to face a tragedy.
“One of my friends met with an accident. When we took him to the hospital, they had to amputate his leg. He passed away after a few days. We buried him here itself,” he shares, emotionally.
On a daily basis, Saga admits that he has to face racism – sometimes subtly, but most times it is quite overtly. “People stare at me constantly. Once when I was having a burger at a restaurant, I could feel every pair of eyes in that place observing me carefully,” he recalls and laughs. He also has problem with how people stereotype him.“Why don’t give us a chance to prove ourselves?” he questions.
Saga wants to work hard. “I want to work towards making my country economically strong. Countries should help each other,” he opines.