Begin the Journey of a Complicated, Adventurous and Thrilling Life with Egale through the Weekly Series, THE GIRL BEHIND THE SILVER DOOR.
It was 1999 and the time had come when Egale had to be informed about a new journey approaching. She had found out that the beginning of a journey in her life was destined to be at New York. Her dad had told her that life would be the best in the United States. However, the stress lines on Egale’s mom’s forehead brought back Egale’s anxiety. She had no idea about the massive impact this journey would have on her entire life…
Beginning of a Journey – Hearing about it for the First Time
Egale came back from her maternal grandparents’ house and saw her parents having a discussion with serious expressions on their faces. She entered the room and learned that her parents were talking about settling in New York.
She immediately felt uneasy about this but thought about the happy and confident girls same as her age whom she watched on all the American television shows and movies. She already had the most beautiful clothes, Barbie and Kelly dolls, Polly Pocket houses and elegant jewelleries as well as accessories but she wanted to shop from those big American stores and malls. She loved how those big shopping malls had sections for girls’ toys, cosmetics, clothes, accessories, etc. In Delhi, there were about one or two big shopping malls like those but they were not as shiny, appealingly decorated and squeaky clean as those American ones. The big shopping malls in Delhi actually used to be like those at first after they were launched. This was because the mall owners eventually became too focused on gaining more profits with the least amount of expenses. So, they tended to invest less on maintaining the appealing aesthetics. She wanted to eat authentic American junk food, eat at Japanese Sushi bars and have luscious desserts at famous American ice-cream parlours as well as patisseries.
Yet, she was excited about starting school in her hometown, Delhi before hearing this. She always thought about growing up in Delhi just like her other older cousins and relatives. She loved eating delicious Indian kebabs, Chinese/Thai food (Indian style) and Indian freshly made sweets. Her disappointment of not being able to initiate ‘the growing up’ phase in Delhi soon eased with her dad’s reassuring words. He told her that USA is a wonderful country compared to India and it was their one shot at living the happiest life possible.
She still felt nervous as she had heard her mom discussing how difficult adjusting to a Western culture might be for all of them. Living there would require them to speak English with an American accent. At the beginning, they would be lonely and unaware of a new culture, lifestyle, places and people. Egale could ultimately understand that the beginning of a journey at New York would be pleasant and rewarding only if her parents and she adapted and learned the American way of life. Otherwise, the beginning of a journey at New York may turn ugly if they display any trait of the Indian culture. The Americans may end up disliking or rejecting them if they see such unfamiliar traits that may appear odd to them.
Beginning of a Journey – Who Caused this?!
Egale’s beginning of a journey was because of a man called Tonnie. Tonnie was Egale’s dad’s old acquaintance and a distant relative. One bright morning, Tonnie came to Egale’s house. He had come from New York for a visit. Egale felt like a dark cloud of storm had entered her life, at her first glance at Tonnie. She could feel a cold, malicious presence from Tonnie as his eyes circulated around her entire house. His monstrous smile made Tonnie feel extremely uncomfortable as he kept repeating over and over again how beautiful Egale looked. According to him, she did not look Indian at all but like a pale American. Egale had a fair complexion, rosy cheeks and reddish-brown hair. She was used to hearing such comments about her appearance however, Tonnie’s comments did not seem like they were similar to those at all. Egale also heard Tonnie say to her dad that Egale’s dad was really lucky to have a beautiful daughter and wife. Tonnie’s wife apparently looked like a short midget and his daughter looked like a typical Indian girl (dark-brown complexion and dark black hair) even though she was born in New York. He looked at Egale and said that a beautiful girl like her deserves to live in America.
Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. -Samuel Smiles