Archive for December, 2008

2008, the Year it was

December 31, 2008

I wanted to recap all the immigration issues in 2008, but could not come up with anything uplifting. Maybe 2008 is ending with a whimper, but I’m not in the mood to write doom and gloom. There’s plenty of that out there. So I’m just going to write an immigrant story.

Nivas came to this country to study engineering at Duke University from Kolkata, India. He was a PhD student. Although at first he missed home, this country embraced him. The Bengali ladies from his hometown invited him for home cooking sometimes and slowly, gradually he adjusted. He completed his research and found a good job as a researcher in a private firm. His mother had already “picked out” a good bride for him, a woman from a “good household” who would cook, and care for him in Kolkata. Like a dutiful son, Nivas went back to Kolkata and married Sima. It did not matter that Sima, had nothing in common with Nivas. Nivas liked Hollywood movies, western music and intellectual discussions. Sima liked her saris, her Bengali lifestyleand had a disdain with Western culture. So Sima found it hard to adjust and always cherished the thought that some day they would return to Kolkata.

They had children, they raised them well, and eventually the children went off to ivy leagues.

Nivas, like so many other immigrants had performed his duty. To his family, to both is birth country and to his adopted country. However, somewhere in that story, he sacrificed his own life, his own happiness. This is indeed a typical immigrant story from India.

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