Aren’t we ALL Immigrants or Descendants of Immigrants in America?

Among the many issues plaguing our country today, Immigration is firmly rooted in the American milieu.

I often think of how I came to the U.S as a young girl of 23, who had never seen the inside of an airplane, and had no place to live in (the dorms were full) and no money to live on. I found a place to live with a family close to my university— doing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen each evening after lab work, and on weekends I took care of four children aged 2 to 8, in addition to a few other chores in exchange for room and board. Within that first semester, I could send money home. I had come on a Fulbright Travel Grant which was my ticket to America — the only possible way to get here. At JFK airport, where I had to change planes, I stood in awe watching a “moving stair case” and thought, “My God, what a country!” Then I rode the escalator a few times 🙂

And now, while I dearly love India, the country I was born in, I love America just as much. There are no limits to Love and Gratitude.

The poem below is from my poetry book, “Mustard Seed: A Collage of Science, Art and Love Poems”

IMMIGRANT DANDELION

Deep within the mud-brown ground
of muscle and bone,
pith of water and cell,
a tap root and a million fibrous hairs
run deep
into the belly of the earth,
find room to grow
anywhere,
between cracks in pavements,
sidewalks, walls,
among blades of pristine grass
in purest lawns.
With sunflower yellow blooms
and feathery seeds,
it dares to live and succeed
undaunted by perennial labels,
damned nuisance,
common weed.

If you’d like a signed copy addressed to you, please go to “Books” on this website and click on Mustard Seed. Amazon also sells it but I won’t be able to sign and write in it for you.

4 thoughts on “Aren’t we ALL Immigrants or Descendants of Immigrants in America?”

  1. Oh, Lalita, I am so glad you are the woman you are now. So good to know that you are writing, ruminating, poetizing, and carrying on in your good way. There’s some English poem that at some point states “Blessings on your frosty pow.” I doubt yours is anywhere near frosty, but blessings on whatever color “pow” comes up with your lovely words.

  2. Thank you Lalita….. so simple and so true. I am the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of several immigrant families from Ireland when times were very hard. They would NOT be stopped from thriving. I did not hear their STORY – their shame in having to flee I suspect and the “nuisance” they were called. But they thrived and spread and I am so grateful for our connection. Mine to them, mine to you. much love…. Marni >

    1. Thank you, Marni. Back then, airplanes stopped on the tarmac and we walked to the airport. I remember dangling my leg on the last step of the stairs before I would touch soil….and saying, ” Jesus, please take care of me. I am so alone here.” And he did, as he still does. I can relate to your family. Yes, the first generation immigrants are driven to succeed in this country. Why else would we come here? Love you. Lalita

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