You may feel crowded living in a major US city, with people everywhere bustling about, being stuck in afternoon traffic that slows to a crawl, or simply trying to get your shopping done over the holidays. But when I first moved to the States, the only thing I could think of, was how much space everyone had to move about. How you could walk down the street without livestock getting in your way, or heading out to do a random daily task and not being met with swathes of people crowding every street corner, at all hours of the day or night. This is what life was like in Bombay.
Mind you, a lot of these are memories from when I was really young, and when everyone around you is already a giant, having those numbers of individuals multiplied exponentially, it was really difficult to get my bearings at any time. My dad was a doctor, working in one of the major hospitals in the area, and my mom stayed home to take care of me and my sister. We would spend many days heading out to the market, going to school, and trying to get by in an area where it seemed like there was four people living in every cubic foot. When I was finishing my last year of elementary school, my parents decided that we were going to move to the US and try for a life there.
From seeing movies, and television shows, especially those set in big places like New York, I expected everything to be the same as it was in Bombay. Thousands of people milling about from morning to night, and constantly in a state of rush and momentum. What I didn’t picture though, was living in Kentucky. Why my parents picked this particular area, I’m still not sure, perhaps it was just the job opening, but my world was turned upside down when I first saw large areas of land inhabited by nothing but crops. Sleepy small towns in the regional area that only seemed to have a couple hundred people living there. It was a wake up call for sure, but finally felt like I could stretch out my legs.
Of course, there were some other major drawbacks that comes from moving from a place like Bombay to Kentucky. The cultural life was vastly different, and barely speaking much English, my family didn’t really fit in all that much, but we were still excited to make a life for ourselves in the area. We had an entirely new location, a new country and continent in which to formulate our dreams and follow them, without needing to compete against a million other people for scarce few opportunities. I suppose this is why I write this blog, for anyone wanting to know more about what life as an immigrant is life, or for those who are thinking about making the move themselves, to bring enlightenment and maybe some useful information.