An Indian Expatriate

Rajan would have been overjoyed with the idea of settling in England, when he was young. However the opportunity came almost fifty years late!
He was seventy two, when he lost his spouse and his son who was forty two, resided in England came to India for a month for his mother’s last rites. Rajan’s daughter in law as well as his two grand children were busy with their lives and they couldn’t come.
Rajan’s son knew that he wouldn’t be able to manage alone in India and he suggested that he should also immigrate to England. Rajan didn’t have much choice, he knew that with each passing year it would get tougher to be able to manage alone, that too after the loss of his better half. He applied for immigration and in six months time, he finally bade good bye to his native land and migrated to England.
Rajan was aware that the new place offered many advantages like national health scheme, living with his kith and kin, greenery around and improved standard of living.
Rajan had previously travelled to England and a few more countries. Like when his son was posted in Australia and China before getting permanent residence in England. However those were short trips and he was always accompanied with his wife.
Outwardly Rajan’s life smoothly changed but inwardly his life underwent major overhaul. He didn’t realize that in a short time he would undergo a change of language, social life, food habits and daily routine.
Rajan had to adjust himself to the time schedules and the demands within the family. After grand children had left for school and his son and daughter in law had gone to work, he would get ready and leave for the park to sit in the sun on the bright days and he would sit in the living room and listen to music or read some books on rainy or cold days.
In park he would watch children play on slide, seesaw and swing, who were mostly accompanied with their wards. London has many immigrants and therefore he met people from different backgrounds. There used to be a few old men and women also who would share his bench or sit nearby. Sometimes they would greet each other. Mostly they would share information with regard to their ethnicities and backgrounds.
Rajan knew that it was a good life style and he could enjoy it as far he was healthy and on his feet. He didn’t want to look beyond, because sometimes the future looked too scary. He didn’t want to make any long time friends because of the uncertainties of life and because he himself was a dependent.
He would often have small conversations with his grand children or participate in their activities; however they were in early teens and were busy with their own lives.
There were many more activities which would keep him occupied. On Mondays he would go to a nearby gurudwara and attend ardas and bring kadha prasad. Sometimes he would go the public library and go through some of the literary classics.
Life had changed, in some way tougher but mostly more interesting. He would sometimes remember his bygone days- wife, parents, friends, his native land, the mother earth and much more , but then he would thank God that he could have so much in his life time and he was still healthy and well off to enjoy the fruits.

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