One year and still struggling- Sandy Bhalla
It has been a year, but year needs to be spelled as YEAR! It seems that it is a big achievement in the life! I would like to share my thoughts on it.
What we did in this first year? I am looking back to see have we gain anything or we are just on the looser side? I am not negative but you have to be a good judge and can’t keep only good things on the paper.
The first day or rather night was good here. After completing immigration formalities at Vancouver, we landed at Calgary at 7.00 PM after China-eastern ‘s tiring journey. The city lights were amazing (or looked amazing at that time). The night was sleepless! You know lot of worry! But the eyes were full of dreams, which get shattered in first seven days.
Next morning we were taken by our kind host to Bear’s paw. The queue was long. Long enough to indicate us that how many people are coming to this country every day. Long enough to encourage us that when so many people are coming here we haven’t made any mistake! And long enough to discourage us that we have to face stiff competition from all these new immigrants. Of course the line was showing faces from all over the world.
The second day was not bad. At least it was better than rest of the days. After our eyes were settled after looking at the lights and glamour of Calgary Center and other malls,
I was advised to start looking for a job – any job – and be prepared even for a labor job! I was shocked – man! I am a Chartered Accountant, was in charge of a division in a PSU in India and you are asking me to do labor job!! He must be kidding I said to myself. Or he must be underestimating my skills.
Then came the shocks with the list of people doing labor jobs – Civil Engineers, Computer Engineers, MBAs, Mechanical Engineers. People gave example of people working in factory who were getting 50,000 Rupees salary in India per month. My wife told me to go back. I also thought for a while. Yes, she is right, we should go back. But when it came to a decision, lot of things came to mind – what people will tell, why so many people are still in Canada, There must be some hopes etc. And mind it, all this in Calgary which is stated to be the commercial hub of the Canada –post the discovery of oil there.
And after sleepless nights of about a week, I came out of frustration. It was good. I was prepared to do labor job. Why? Not to forget one factor that you are always afraid of critics back home who once were envious of your going abroad.
And my journey started with lifting boxes.
A Year!! It is over. It is over and we are happy though it was like a nightmare!! Five jobs in a year and two layoffs, good enough to get Canadian Experience. My wife – who never came out of our home at India to cut boxes and fill bottles of glue and sorted old dirty clothes – no choice we had to meet ends!!
A Car. One old 1988 Nissan which is noisy and giving me lot of trouble! I want to change it but money? It takes lot of courage to buy out of savings till you start earning. Those stupid apartment owners and ruthless government is taking major portion of our salary!! And if it is not enough the insurance companies are also not behind. 2000 dollars of amount just in Car insurance!! How strange!!
And those doctors, oh god, who fools giving this country best country rating? So
slow doctors, hospitals and asking for blood test for each every small problems. Who is handling it?
But the city is wonderful in terms of discipline and aesthetics. People here have a great respect for civic values and are generally caring. Police is really responsive. Imagine, you just call them for smallest of reasons and you are actually sure of them protecting you even if you are a lonely lady at home. Great memories.
After a year we are on the looser side. The moral is down, the education is ruined,
English is garbage, religion is at risk if you come from minorities in India.