Pushes and pulls of re-rooting in foreign land

Pushes and pulls of re-rooting in foreign land

Sona Kathuriya feels at home in Germany

By Bhavya Talwar

Ms Moem writes, “Spread your wings It's time to fly. Make the leap. Own the sky”. Rumi stirs by suggesting, “Open the window in the centre of your chest and let the spirits fly in and out.”

There is no dearth of motivation and inspiration from thinkers and scholars on blurring man-made boundaries. Well, the goal of living a happier and more meaningful life has taken a more international turn. The entire globe is a workstation and there are no boundaries for those who dare to dream and strive to make it a reality.

“I wasn’t a gold digger but just wanted to find a better identity for myself, so, I found a connection in Dubai, sold the property and the gold I had, made several promises to my wife and son and came to Dubai full of aspirations for a life worth living.,’’ said Ravindra Dewan . Little did he know he was about to become the newest member of the Dubai mafia. He was subjected to unfair conditions, and experienced some sticky situations But as time passed, he got acquainted with some resourceful people and, with their help, was able to make a daring escape from the big bad world Although his wings were broken, he was not lost.

He learned from his mistakes and guided his wife to follow proper channels, get the right visa, work on the documentation, investigate and check the companies. His wife applied online, got selected and has a PR job in Dubai now. His son is studying computer science and is doing very well academically. Although Dewan is still a struggler, he is hopeful of possibilities Dubai has to offer.

The grass is always greener on the other side. Jatin Vedi was looking for a career leap and his desire to move to Singapore was stimulated by his money spinning friends, the captivating ambience of the country, diversity, openness , business spirit and the rich lifestyle . His initial days in Singapore were full of stress as he got his Employment pass with great difficulty and then was actually thrown off guard by the local strict laws and bans. Vedi had heard that Singapore was the happiest nation in Asia but his experience was contrary to that notion .

“Leaving your home country and settling outside sounds interesting but the biggest challenge you face is loneliness said Vedi, who works in a shipping company in Singapore. His house was just four rigid walls and lacked the warmth and the fragrance of mouth watering dishes that his mother made at home. No fireworks on Diwali, no stress busting chewing gums but hefty fines for silly mistakes were hard for him to cope with. He missed driving his own car as cars are ridiculously expensive in Singapore and with the salary he had he could not buy his own car.

He was disheartened but then he realized he was looking at only the negatives and missing out on all the fun So, he started interacting with local people. The pollution free and manicured beauty of Singapore filled him with happy thoughts and yes the traffic congestion made him forget about owning his own car. “I am contented now with the choice I made of moving to Singapore said Vedi.

A dream turns into reality only through determination, perseverance and making efforts in the right direction. Sumit Chadda, who is a Program Manager with Wipro in ‘Reading Ukhad to deal with the bitter winter season. He had to keep himself and his four month old son covered in several layers of clothing. Unpredictable UK weather made it more difficult as clothes would not dry up because of rains and hail. “I had to take care of my office as well as the household chores as my wife developed Chilblains and her body constantly ached because of extreme cold said Chadda.

Dry skin, regular sniffles, headaches, long period of darkness, confinement to indoors became a way of dull and treacherous life for them. He was actually scared initially. One of his co-workers came forward as a blessing and got him TV licences which kept the family entertained at home. A gym-worker living in the neighbourhood taught them how to get through the season , not just get through but actually enjoy it thoroughly. They all started regular exercises, were introduced to the clubs and campfires, discovered winter warming drinks like Irish coffee, hot toddy and muled wine, started enjoying layers of clothing as fashion statement and finally the beauty of Christmas and the Christmas markets was so enchanting that they did not want to be anywhere else in the world.

“ In an unfamiliar environment of Germany I kept wondering why people gave me weird looks.” said Sona Kathuria ,who works in an engineering company in the European country . Germans were hesitant sitting next to her in trains or buses. She was always uncomfortable whenever she went to buy provision or other materials as she experienced subtle racism here and there. “People looked at me like I am some kind of a zombie.” said Kathuria

She felt lost and lonely all the time. Kathuria was told by her immediate boss one day that she was not making an effort to sync in and he only guided her to learn German first and foremost. She focused on putting her best foot forward in the office, stayed punctual, honest and patient, always smiled and greeted and helped people around without expecting anything in return. “After a year or so I was thrilled at receiving a dinner invitation from my German colleague, which meant I was accepted in the German circle.”

Sona's experience in Germany

Kathuria came to understand that Germans believe in quality rather than quantity. She respects the cultural differences that they have and although it took her sometime but she has made ‘friends-forever’ in Germany who she knows would stand by her through thick and thin.

As Kathuria overcame all the obstacles by understanding German culture and learning German language, Ashmit Mehra who went to Dubai for studies also did the same. He said “language was the biggest challenge for me because most of the professors and students interact and communicate in Arabic and I was not at all familiar with that language’’. Social interaction was missing in his life. He could not even score good marks so he decided to learn this language and conquer this problem . He signed up for the language class in Dubai and also downloaded the language app. “The biggest mistake I made was coming to Dubai without preparing myself.” said Ashmit

Ashmit and the others suggested that advised aspiring migrants to be fully informed and prepared, use proper procedures and channels before flying out to any country. They also suggested to focus on positive things as it is one of the most important aspects in succeeding when faced with some difficulties .
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