So what happened when you came to America? Were your expectations met?
I came from a household where my dad was a big huge supporter of western culture, westernization, modernization, English language, food, coffee, cheese, cakes, pastries, ovens. He grew up with Shakespeare, and he grew up with Wordsworth, and Coleridge, and having this English European kind of a lifestyle. So he loved Europe and he loved European, the way they had established.
I think through me he was living, like she’s going to be in one of those beautiful cities in America, LA, Los Angeles. Cruising down the Sunset boulevard, looking at the beautiful city. And LA was beautiful in those times, and I came with all these dreams in my eyes, where I will be living the American dream. And I used to go ahead see these beautiful mansions and places and cars and everything. So at one point, yes, I was very much in love with the western culture and I think it lived up to my expectations with the way it was so clean, so noise free.
The loneliness was a problem, where I would be very lonely. And then once I started working, I started talking with people at work. We attended a lot of Indian and Pakistani get togethers. And that took care of my isolation.
Okay so you found community, or tried to?
Yes, yes, yes, that helped. That really really really helped me get into, not mainstream, but assimilated into American culture.
Was there anything that was disappointing?
I found it very very friendly and I found it very welcoming and I found it not demeaning or hateful. I loved it. Not a single time did I think of leaving home.
And then I kept in touch with my family so much. And their love and their support actually made me accept my life in America. “This is the best thing that has happened to you. Stay there. Live there. Make the most out of it. Be successful. Enjoy the beauty. Get whatever you want. Be the best. You can live the American dream.” And their love and support. “What are you going to do in India? There is no opportunities for your kids.”
And I think I made myself adjusted to this American life. And I don’t think that I came with the intention of returning to India. Like I’m married and this is what I have and this is what has been given to me my plate, this is what I’ve been served, and I better make the most out of it. Right? There’s no other choice for these women who come here.