When I arrived in British Columbia from India, the very first day, I knew that this is the place where I wanted to live forever.
The air was fresh and clean. I could see tall trees, rivers and mountains all around me. In spite of so much traffic, all was quiet. It seemed as if everything is going smoothly… in harmony like cool breeze.
My 5 year son was a little bit sad because all his toys were left behind. My younger son was only 7 months old. He was unaware that in a span of 24 hours, he had moved from East to extreme end of West. My wife was apprehensive of the upcoming days, but I was sure that we would make it again.
I was more hopeful for my wife than myself. All through her studies, she always stood first. She topped the state in her Diploma in Nursing course. She had worked at the prestigious Apollo Hospital and at Northern Railway Central Hospital. All through the years, I heard the same thing: there are always jobs for nurses; they earn a good salary; they have a good life in the West. Yes, there are jobs for nurses, they earn a good salary, they have a good life but, that is not the whole truth. It takes a long time to get there. And you have to earn money to pay your bills.
You have to earn money as soon as possible. This phase is commonly called the ‘survival phase’. Many Canadian immigrants have to go through this phase, and sometimes it takes many years to move past it.
I was aware of my capabilities too. After completion of my Bachelor’s in Science and first semester of Diploma in Marketing, I always had worked for new start-ups. I started my career in a newspaper as trainee sub-editor and resigned from the official news agency of the country, Press Trust of India only four days ago before boarding the plane to Canada. Throughout my 20 years in journalism, I worked for two newspapers, two magazines, two dot coms, one production house, one television channel and two news agencies.
Along with full-time jobs, I always could steal time (of course, I was bachelor then) to do more. So, I explored another area and soon I found myself working as an official freelance translator and interpreter for the British High Commission for 16 years. I also translated more than 70 books from English to Hindi on various subjects, including the translation of 11 novels by the Father of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard. I also authored a 500 page book titled “How to Set up Small-Scale Industry” in Hindi.
I had a keen interest in science subjects and luck favoured me when I was offered the opportunity to translate English scripts of National Geographic Channel and History Channel into Hindi. I worked with both the channels until I came to Canada. However, my empathic and compassionate soul was craving to do more. So, I founded a non-profit organisation called PANKHUDI (the Petal) to work for underprivileged and poverty-stricken children, women and elderly.
But, my vast experience in different fields didn’t give me the job that I wanted in Canada. So, I stood still with my survival job and let my wife move forward to achieve her goal.
She completed the Health Care Assistant program at Stenberg College in April 2015 and successfully challenged her Licensed Practical Nurse exam. Now, she is pursuing her Registered Nurse credential.
I was waiting patiently for my time by sticking to my survival job for the last four years when my wife asked me to come out of my comfort zone and join the Career Connect program at Stenberg College. When I started the program, a whole horizon opened in front of me.
Stay tuned to find out more…