Moving Past Hardships

My parents were born and brought up in India. Life was not so easy in India. They encountered hardships and acquiring basic needs was one of the many problems. This was not a new thing since my grandparents were not well-off, therefore, they could not offer financial help. Lack of resources made it hard for my parents to get an education.

As a result of this, they could not get well-paying jobs. They tried selling accessories such as rings and bracelets in the city. Their stall was near major shopping centers. The stalls were portable because some owners of big stores did not want vendors around. Another reason was that the number of people within the city varied, so they had to move accordingly.

As each month went by, my parents send my grandparents money. Although they tried to support my grandparents in whatever capacity they could, they were always uncertain on how frequent they could visit them. My parents could not save enough. The amount of money they made each day could not fully sustain them in the city. They tried to move from city to city to seek better prospects but they could not get a breakthrough. Harassment from law enforcements was no new thing.

Kaur confirms that city vendors admit to harassment from law enforcers. Low standards of living make one vulnerable to harassment, not only from the law enforcers but also other people that are well-off. In most instances, police had to be bribed so that my parents could conduct their small business. Bribing the police did not help their business since they made very little. At times the police could show up unexpectedly and their stalls were destroyed. Goons took advantage of such situations and stole some of the goods.

My parents made a decision of leaving the country, India, and wanted to start afresh elsewhere. Their country of choice was the United States. Picking the US was not a problem but getting there was. They had no papers to clear with immigration offers. They had no choice but to board a ship and get into the country illegally. At this point in time, they were in their late 20s. They were accompanied by my uncle who was my brother’s father. They got to New York but faced many difficulties their as well due to having only Indian currency (rupees) which could do almost nothing compared to US dollars.

Due to lack of education, my parents as well as my uncle could not fluently speak English. This made it harder for them to get regular jobs since they could neither understand what most Americans customers were saying but also couldn’t fulfill the customers’ demand. Lack of employment meant that money was hard to come by. According to Singh, the number of Indian immigrants in the US is high yet most of them lack skills.

According to my uncle, my dad had to work in a car wash while he worked as a janitor since my mother was expectant. They were able to rent a small apartment after being homeless for 2 months. My uncle moved out because a new born was expected soon. After several months, the car wash was closed. My father no longer had a job.

However, both my uncle and my dad had saved some money. High standards of living in New York pushed my dad to look for a new place to move to because he could not afford bringing up a child and take care of my mom in New York. That is when he decided to move to Texas. He also improved in speaking English. In Texas, he worked in a supermarket where he was able to lay the financial foundation of our entire family.

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