Little India magazine, a US publication for Indian communities in America, published a story about unhappy Indian immigrants in America, some of which came here against their will, interviewing several of them to reveal their thoughts and feelings. Among their complaints were the feelings of isolation and stress, the cold indifference of strangers and neighbors, general boredom, and feeling “unnecessary” and meaningless. You can read the story on their website at the link below. I’ve also included some key excerpts and quotes from the article: (I always enjoy hearing from East Indians by the way, because like me, they are spiritual and philosophically oriented)
The colors seemed to have been drained out of her life. Says Aparna, "The small pleasures of life I used to experience in
Here I would sit on the deck in the suburbs. All around me, there are beautiful trees, beautiful landscapes, and lovely cars. But there are no people. You might as well hang up a pretty picture in your living room and just keep on watching that. What's the difference?"
"My daughter is growing up here and I worry about her - that she will pick up the culture here and that constantly depresses me. I'm trying to blend in, but at times I still feel depressed and lonely. I think if I were 40 or 50, I would still prefer to go back. I cannot live here for good."
She adds: "I think each and every individual is here to make money. Personally if given a choice, each one of us would be there and not here. So I guess each one of us is compromising and trying to adjust."
"Everything seems to be artificial and formal and people seem to be pretending. You feel as if everyone has a mask on their face. They are not the same any more."
She feels in
She feels the financial rewards of
Well-wishers point out to her the glittering wonders of
Even more grueling than the poverty was the loneliness. He says, "If you live in isolation, if you live in loneliness, that is the worst thing that can happen to an immigrant."
His life in Southern and Central
It's miserable. If you have no job, you are ill or have some health problem, then that's the time you feel more isolated, more lonely. And that's the time you wish that you hadn't come to this country."
Partha Banerjee who works with New Immigrant Community Empowerment: “There are so many stories of unhappy people.”
It is often a rude awakening for a new immigrant to find himself in a rundown seedy apartment crawling with roaches and rats, counting pennies and struggling to hold on to a miserable job that he hates, if only for survival.
The faces of indifferent strangers greet him in the corridors and on the streets. At that moment, the string bed in the open courtyard of his village home, surrounded by loved ones and a pot of saag cooking on the family hearth, seems incredibly inviting.
This too is somebody's American Dream gone awry.
A reader on Little India’s site concurred, posting her feedback:
“1) Feedback added by Madhvi / 09-10-2005 (id 39)
What you have written is quite true. I also came here two months back and really feel like I am trapped in a gold cage. I was working in