My kids are sometimes complaining when I take them to India – ‘what’s this, there is no electricity, the mosquitos are biting’ – but I let them know, in my day I never complained about the lack of electricity. Whenever we go back I teach them about how I grew up, which I think is very important.
When we first moved here I felt really lonely. I’m a very talkative person and like to be around others. But recently there has been humongous growth in Kwinana, I like it. It’s what I wanted. Now I can go to the park in my churidar (a traditional style of Indian dress) and nobody looks at me differently; I feel like I fit in. I completely respect the community here, and completely respect each and every person. It’s a good community.
I born country India. Earliest memory’s that always holding mum’s sari, moving with her. She’s beautiful when she wears red. She wears very neatly, but when she is doing houseworks and things it will be messy, quite messy. But I like the way she’s messy and I carry her, I wipe her face with the saris and, you know?
When they got married they go to the in laws’ house. We have to be – professionally – we have to be - traditionally saris is the one they have to wear every day. Even if I go to my in laws’ house I have to be traditionally respect my father in law and mother in law not wearing the modern dresses inside the house.
When you are certain age you are going to get married. You go to the next level of your life. It gives you little scare inside, you know; before you live in your mother’s place, but when you are moving to in laws’ place I don’t know who the peoples are, I don’t know how they take me, like that. But after support from my husband and things like that, now I’m quite comfortable.
We live in very small house. We don’t have much money, we don’t have much worry. We don’t have electric stove or gas stove, we only have firewood stove on that day. But when I grow, I have electricity, but not 24 hours. We use candles to - for dinners, we use candles to do our homeworks. I have to say there is no toilets, bathrooms, we don’t have. Because we have well on the other side, so ladies, there’s no protections to take bath or anything. So early morning we wake up, we take some water from the well, and we take bath in the morning before the sun comes out.
Every - if a parent got a girl baby, quickly they will marry when she got a certain age. That’s a very important role for the parents, to quickly give her to the other safe hands. That’s why my mum didn’t get the opportunity to work or go to university or anything after that. I’m a very lucky girl, I have to say. They left us to study in private schools. We can’t even afford to pay. The reason is want me to study well. They want to make me as a doctor, they want to see me as a doctor. Because they didn’t do it, they want their girl or kids has to do it.
I got a good marks and things like that, then one day got a selection from engineering college. I told to dad, ‘dad, you keep this – my engineering approval seat - as a frame and we keep it on the photo - memorable photo in our house,’ because we couldn’t afford the time to pay for the engineering college as well. But my dad said ‘no matter what it stops me, I’m going to borrow money from someone, I’m going to let you to study.’ That’s a big heart. I’m so lucky my dad, you know.
And I studied as engineer, when I come out as engineer I’m so proud. You know, my dad took a lot of effort to make me study but finally he was in the pressure to give me marry as well, you know. So that’s customs and traditions - I got married after that. Then I have a family commitments I didn’t worked, but I felt sorry for that.