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A Sikh IN USA 1950's
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A Typical Sikh Family Stor-Movement Abroad


Even money could not buy this life style except for in Bombay to some extent which had plenty of wealth in Indian hands. It was a heady feeling comparable in exclusivity to Army in some ways but more up market in affluence. Childrens’ admission to the best schools was not an issue for a “Box wallah”. IAS was respected for their power but even they were looking for son-in-laws from the multinationals. IIM’s had not yet been set up in India. Despite the initial problems because of American background as against the more prevalent British education, one settled down to an exciting and privileged life. I was perhaps the first recruit, certainly so in the commercial stream, with American degree – something to be pitied because of misplaced American culture when looked through the British eyes. In 1980’s I had a serious look at leaving India but it was not seriously followed up.

The impact of association with ICI on children was that to them a white person was just like any one else. I am mentioning this because even some of the IIM, Ahmedabad, trainees with us were very much overawed, to put it mildly, even up to the 1980’s with white expats. So for our daughter Mini to seek to go to USA, Bryn Mawr, Pa., in 1987 for under graduate studies was a natural progression. Mini is now an American citizen.

I have jumped the gun a bit on time horizon. I got married to Livleen in 1967 whose mother was born and brought up in Burma. So there was a foreign connection of sorts. Livleen’s “Maasi” got married to a Pharmacist who settled in Canada after trying to find a satisfying livelihood in Bombay.

Back to 1982 when a closer connection with overseas through younger generation developed via Lachhman Singh’s older son Harbhajan’s ( retired as Lt.General, Chief of Signals, Indian Army) daughter Tina got married to an American, Harry Brar. Harry’s grand father had migrated (illegally to start with) in the 1930’s to California via Mexico. That is a story in itself to be expanded separately. The General was not looking for a match for his daughter in USA i.e. it was not a migration deal but it just so happened. This set in motion a green card for the General and his wife and student sponsorship of their younger son Andy. The later then got married to a recent Sikh Immigrant’s daughter and so the clan is now well established as US citizens. To complete the General’s story, his older son who is working in Merchant ships is a possible migrant to USA.....

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