Brimming with pride

Last Updated 13 November 2014, 18:53 IST

We were transiting the London airport on our journey to the USA to be with our son for a few days.

I saw an elderly Indian couple looking lost and worried. When I approached them, I found that they didn’t know any language other than Telugu.

With my limited Telugu vocabulary, I learnt that they were from a remote village in Andhra Pradesh and were travelling for the first time by air to visit their son in Chicago.

With pride they said that their son, who has a” big job” in the US, had sent them air tickets. Since my destination was Chicago, too, I asked them to join me and made them board their flight.

As I entered my son’s apartment complex, I was assailed by the aroma of sambhar and upma.

I was told that Indian techies had virtually taken over that residential area ousting out other nationalities.

Naturally, on my morning walk the next day the people I came across were all Indians, and the languages I heard included Telugu, Hindi, Tamil and Kannada.

Many of my generation said hello to me and spoke proudly of their children much to the chagrin of the youngsters.

One Saturday, we went to a Balaji temple built through the munificence of Indian diaspora.

It was as crowded as the Tirupati temple back home. At the temple canteen, it was amusing to see the youngsters showing their elders how to clean up the tables and put the used plates in the garbage bins.

On a long weekend, we went to Niagara Falls and once there, I felt that I was back in India!

Most visitors were three generations of Indians walking together. I didn’t fail to notice the awe, fascination, pride and joy on the faces of visiting Indians.

When we were relaxing on a park bench, a young man brought his mother and requested us to keep her company while he and his wife went sightseeing.

The old lady said that she lives in a small town near Pune with modest means.

Her son, an engineer, had bought a car and had brought her sightseeing all the way from Washington D.C.

On my return journey, too, I met an Indian couple at the airport. They informed me that they ran a small tailoring firm and had managed to make their son an engineer.

He had landed a job in an IT firm, got posted to the USA and was sending enough money home to take care of the family.

They said that while they had not even seen their own state capital, they have seen the US thanks to their son.

I told them that their son is following true Indian values and definitely deserves appreciation, but our IT firms deserve a bigger thanks for bringing about a social revolution making even families at the bottom of the pyramid hold their heads high and proudly declare that they are “foreign returned”.

(Published 13 November 2014, 18:53 IST)

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