It’s been a year. 23 April 2018 will be etched in my milestones forever.
We made it here. To Canada.
I never actually focused about where I would settle in my life. The place never actually crossed my mind to really think about. Hence, it made it easier for me to settle down in India soon after my marriage.
I had my concerns about staying in India. Too many to list. Let’s just say, it got to a point where, whenever we be driving up the Mehdipatnam bridge, I would look at the sky and say a silent earnest prayer to God, that someday, please make me drive this bridge ( it lead to the airport at the very end of it), only to fly away from this land forever. Please make me see that trip where I would go away from this place forever.
I read somewhere, and to this day I wholeheartedly believe, that a prayer made earnestly never goes unheard. There are always angels around who carry the prayer upwards.
God put me in that country for 6 years. For reasons I now understand. He wanted me to learn a lot of lessons in life, learn to identify different types of people and attitudes, cultures, lifestyle. All of it was so starkly different from how I was brought up. And hence, the yearning to make a change happened. But I never prayed for any place in particular.
I always loved the gulf. Saudi Arabia in particular. That’s all where I thought I wanted to be. But did not exactly yearn for it. My husband on the other hand, had his eyes set on Canada since the early months of our marriage. Or so I thought. He told me eventually that he wanted to move to the West since his teenage.
For me, the West was far fetched. I never even thought in the direction of how one would go there, live or do anything about it. I knew the Gulf like the back of my hand.
My husband tried his first attempt to Canada along with one of his friends, back in 2012. It did not work out. We were to be having our first baby together. We had bought our first car together. I was just learning the ropes of marital adjustment in a joint family.
He then tried his luck in Dubai and then in Qatar. Middle East was not cut out for his skill type. We then stopped trying for the Gulf. He did. I did not think much about moving anywhere yet. I made one visit to my parents home in Saudi Arabia with my daughter. It was just a one and half month trip and I was back home in India.
India was a huge challenge for me. But I kept going. Kept moving on. One fine day, in the middle of 2015, my husband began this process of Canadian PR visa processing. He decided that we both should be writing the IELTS exam. I had a solid Bachelors Degree and a wonderful job experience oversees. He had 9 solid years of experience in his industry along with a masters degree. And so I began the preparation for writing the exam. We both wrote it and we both aced it. Eventually we got the processing of our visa started. Our family wasn’t hopeful we would make it. They doubted our success. But then it happened.
On the September of 2017, our visas came in. My husband, me and our two kids. We had got the stamp to live and die in Canada forever. We had gotten the Golden Goose. The Canadian PR Visa.
We decided to fly out in April, to let out the snow season pass. Then came April. My father-in-law lost his parents at an early age. Hence, he was reluctant and super disappointed that we were flying away from him, and taking the kids with us too. For us, it was our future. Heartbreakingly though, we bid our families goodbye.
The journey to Canada and consequently this one year, was an eye opener. A huge block of learning for me. I got a lot of time on my hands to retrospect myself. To think who I actually am, what all I wanted out of life, what all I wanted to do for my kids. Everything. My equation with my husband. My life with him. My life with myself alone. Both of us got a better chance to parent our kids. We got closer to them. Understanding them better.
For the kids, they got into an amazing school, with amazing teachers and friends. They got a chance to play in the park in the open and breathe in fresh air with all green around them. They got to play in the snow. They got to play on the sand and water on the beach. They got a chance to have a great start at life. Almost all of it they would have been deprived of, had they been continuing back home. They miss their grandparents, their aunts and uncles, though. Every gain has a loss that comes with it. My husband and me are trying our best to make a vacation back home soon, so the kids can meet all the folks they have missed out.
Me? An Asian woman is separated from her parents and siblings the day she walks out of the marriage function hall with the groom and his family. To top that all, I lived in India for 6 years and my parents and siblings continued to reside in Saudi Arabia. I was stripped of their comfort for so long, it did not sting me much when I moved to Canada. Except, that my mom used to make atleast one trip every year to India, and once in a while dad used to come along too and I got to meet them. Sometimes my siblings came along with them too. This is the first full year without meeting anyone and I really miss mom.
Last met mom and my last 3 siblings 1 year ago. My dad, 2 years ago. And my brother, 6 years ago. We all are a close knit family. Whatsapp our medium of connection as always. But human warmth is a whole different thing. Still, I am used to loneliness and physical comfort deprivation. I am holding on. Moving on.
Canada has been a wonderful country since our arrival. I have made some new friends. Checked out a few places. Experienced all of the weather conditions. Loved every bit of it. Regret none of it.
It has been one year since….and forever many more to go…God listened to me on that bridge someday…and here I am….Thank you God.