Immigrant success story?

Four years in Canada

Last week was my 4th anniversary of moving to Canada. Coincidentally, the other day, my blog along with 3 other blogs was featured on a website under the the post Canada has a future. In that post, the writer used the cases of the four of us to demonstrate how recent immigrants to Canada had not only succeeded, but also contributed to the enrichment of the Canadian society. This made me reflect upon my story.

Canada flag in TimminsIn the conventional sense, perhaps I can be considered successful. In the past 4 years, I’ve finished an expensive masters degree, paid off my loans, found a partner, landed a job that I like and pretty soon I’ll be buying a house – looks glorious. That said, these four years have been far from perfect. I was stuck in a degree I didn’t fully like but finished only because it offered value for money. At one point, I was jobless, broke and had to resort to doing certain ‘jobs’ that I know my mother would disapprove. There were other events that I don’t want to write about here. Yet, I consider myself lucky when I hear horror stories of other immigrants – struggling with finances, facing language and race barriers, unable to adjust to the extreme weather, scared by the unfamiliarity, etc.

But forget about the material things like possessions and bank balance – these things come and go. If success is measured by inter-personal factors such as love, relationships, friendships, or societal factors such as respect, inclusiveness, equality, etc., then I do think I’m successful. And this success is attributed not to me, but more to Canada and Canadians.

There are lot of things that I still need to do and accept before calling myself a Canadian. While I consider myself sufficiently integrated in Toronto, the word ‘home’ still reminds me of India. I think that’s inevitable – afterall I’ve spent the first 25 wonderful and formative years of my life in Mumbai, India. I often wonder how I would have turned up if I had moved to Delhi, Moscow, Hong Kong, Berlin or somewhere random instead of Toronto. Would I feel at home? Probably not. Would I be able to live there. Certainly yes. I think I will be able to live happily in any society that is open to a certain degree. Living, afterall, is such a transitional thing. Aren’t all humans immigrants of some kind? It was only in the last few centuries that the concept of nation-state and boundaries was strictly defined. Prior to that, people moved. My ancestors probably came to India from Asia minor, humanity probably originated in Africa, I moved to Canada, its all random.

Canada flag in TimminsFour years back I made a decision before fully appreciating the consequences of it. But once I immigrated, there was no going back and I am very glad I went forward with it. I’m quite certain that it won’t be very long before I refer to Canada as “home.”

To put this in a cheesy way: Four years ago, I came to this country with only two suitcases of stuff and eyes full of dreams. Today, I have a home full of stuff and hundreds of dreams that have come true. Thank you Canada. :-)

Priyank

28 thoughts on “Immigrant success story?

  1. Wow Priyank this is beautiful story. You know 25 years ago I came with 2 suitcases (with my family), and now I have education, my own business, home and wonderful family of my own. Thank you Canada from me too. We came here for a better life, and more of all for the education – on the end I got more than I need.

    Anna :)

    • Hi Anna, 25 years ago? Wow. You were a teenager when you came here I am guessing! What has changed? Вы говорите немного украинского? Accent? Cabbage rolls and Borscht? hehe! Maybe you could write a post!

  2. From a 32-year emigree (yeah – I moved from England to Israel before you were born !!), Well done, Priyank!
    On TA, we still remember your wonderful blog of your trip to Israel, even sending the link to other Indians planning a trip, and hope to see you and your partner here again.

    • Oh thank you Debi, that is wonderful to know! I should stop by at the forum and say hello sometime. Also, I did not know that you emigrated from UK. Neat!

  3. It’s been four years already? That went quick eh? I’m happy that you’re settled down and is considered a success story: you seem content whenever I see you in person. Hopefully, I’ll get to that state sometime, although right now I am content with the way my life is fleeting and evanescent.

  4. Priyank
    one song that always reminds me of you. It truly goes with your character. It is a Hindi song from the film 3 idiots “Behti hawa sa tha woh…” just tune the song in headphone and hope you find me singing that song for you.
    Congrats again. Kautuk karel tevdh kameech. You are just beyond it. I wish you have more success stories in your life.
    Song kase hote te sang nantar.
    Tuza Mitra
    Amod.

  5. hey, i am getting further comments by other people on this post but didn’t get your reply. had to come here to see :))

  6. and i agree with amod.
    i will sing along with him for you — behti hawa sa tha wo, udti patang sa tha wo, kahan gaya use dhoondho…..

    i in fact also thought of you while watching social network :) you too are a genius na thats why:))

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