Shanti – How indian girl came to New York

Next story of Shanti: How indian girl came to New York from Mumbai to work for indian doctor couple.
I made plans of getting my siblings ready for my departure to the States.

I made sure they understood their responsibilities while I am not there and I paid up their rent upto date. Had joined a local Manipuri women’s Marup – lottery type of $$$ collection depending on the number of us in the group. It sure comes in handy when in need but we had to pay interest on it if we got it earlier. Anyway , the friends I trusted to hand over this amount to my siblings during my absence did become a different person & did not give the $$$ to them!

I had trusted this particular lady but she & her brother did not bother to give my siblings my share of the amount, it was not nice at all. Money can break or mar friendships! Anyway, I learnt my lesson the hard way. We drew lots monthly & contributed towards it.
I arrived in New York City with a Gujarati family arranged by my employer to to tag along with them, in the spring of ’99 amidst unknown uncertainties. This family was on their way to Florida for their vacation. I was seated in the economy seat in the plane while this family was in the business class,  but who cares!  I am being sponsored by my host family so I didn’t have to worry. There was not much conversation amongst us except the usual needed ones which was a ” yes” or ” no” type of answers – in India , there is a great wide gap between the rich & the poor! I was in the 2nd category but I did not care.
I was hired to work as a nanny for this Indian doctor couple in New York! Our flight left Bombay ( now Mumbai ) after midnight and I watched in flight movies to keep myself busy because I can’t fall asleep on flights. I have a hard time with this. Anyway, we call this ” Saat samu
ndar Paar
in Hindi i.e. Crossing the 7 seas “… When the pilot announced about the plane flying by the Statue of Liberty , I got so excited just to even think of the name of it! I craned my neck from my seat window to look at the lady Liberty, I couldn’t help feeling a sense of
excitement!
It was cold & windy in the Big Apple when we got out of the airport and my host came to pick me up from the airport! He was a nice young doctor in his early 30s. His father was a heart specialist at the reputed Jaslok hospital in Bombay!
I was warmly welcomed by this Punjabi Arora doctor couple. They lived on the 24th floor of a subsidized two bedroom apartment in Manhattan on 11th Avenue on 59th street. Their baby daughter Jahnavi was a sweet angel &. was just 4 months old. Me& her got attached quickly.
The parents were very happy & pleased with me! I loved babies & can’t help it!
I took care of this baby like my very own. The parents trusted me fully so I went about their medical internship fully. I did not even see them barely as both were busy with their studies & on call duties.
I took the baby out for walks & boy, she loved it. The baby’s mom requested me to speak to the baby in Hindi as she wanted her to know the language.
I enjoyed that too! I sang lots Bollywood Hindi movie songs to her and she squealed & laughed. I don’t know if she knew it was a song or not. I guess I was too animated & entertaining for her. We couldn’t know how the days passed by along, I was able to walk so many nooks & corners of Manhattan. The Central Park was quite close by! It was a great time of exploring the city, I carried the baby’s formula & fed her on time , changed her & made sure she got her fresh air & good walks on her stroller. I must say the Trump Tower & Hotel was right there by the Central Park, lol!
On some weekends when the baby’s mom had a day off, we went for walks together to the Central Park. She told me to taste the New York City street foods and she bought me an “Aunty Annie’s cinnamon Pretzel”… which was big & had powdered sugar sprinkled on it. I ate it & had the sugars all over my face. The other time she bought a banana muffin for me. Gosh!! I had never had such a thing in my life! I couldn’t finish it so I packed it & brought it back to the apartment to eat it later.
It was all a new experience for me. I was seeing so many international people from all over the world in this truly international city. I did not get a culture shock coming to this city as I was already used to such a big city atmosphere back in Bombay!
One time we all went to the Macy’s Mall & I had to use the restroom. I stood in line at the female restroom. It was a different feeling! I have a confession to make, I had even thought the Americans’ pee & poop wouldn’t stink! I thought they had white skin & their poop would be white too & not stink! 🙂 I told my boss lady in Hindi ( cos ppl would know if I said it out loud in English ). “mei nahi jaanti thi ki in ke tatti ki bhi badboo, honge”! We laughed so much!
Both this nice couple let me eat whatever I wanted. The wife’s older sis was a divorcee & had a 6 year old daughter. They came once in a while to visit. I learnt to cook “Bharta ” from her. This is smoked brinjal ( egg plant ) Punjabi dish. I even made yogurt ( Dahi , curd ) & enjoyed eating Indian dishes. We ate Rajma dish ( red beans ) & steamed Basmati rice and we loved it!
I could see the Empire State Building from the kitchen window! I couldn’t help thinking, am I really in New York City??
I only have seen it in the Hollywood movies back in India, so I had to pinch myself to see & check if I was in NY city for real! I would never have been able to get there on my own. Not in my lifetime if not for this nice Punjabi doctor couple who trusted me with taking care of their precious baby daughter. My hard work & sincerity, diligence, reliability& trustworthiness got me this far & of course God had a plan for me laid out for me!
Now I can say with surety “Akhir ham kissi se kam nahi”– I m not less than anyone !!

 

13 thoughts on “Shanti – How indian girl came to New York

  • 7.2.2017 at 19:31
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    Interesting! I enjoyed reading each parts. Waiting for next story 🙂

    Reply
  • 9.2.2017 at 3:26
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    A wonderful read. Hungry for more, che!

    Reply
  • 9.2.2017 at 5:15
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    Your story is inspiring. I encourage you to write your autobiography. God bless!

    Reply
  • 9.2.2017 at 15:16
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    Very inspiring for the fairer sex…loved the innocence and simplicity Shanti.
    Waiting for more such vitamins😊

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