Thirty-Five Years of Fighting for the American Dream
April 17th, 2014 by Nishi Kothari
This Memorial Day will represent my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary. However, more importantly, it will also represent their thirty-fifth anniversary of living in this country, and in Houston, Texas.
Leaving both of their families behind, and the only country that they had ever called home, my parents left India and came to Houston in 1979. Both of them came on student visas as they had been accepted to the masters program at The University of Houston. My parents have often spoken about those early years at UH – how they struggled to scrape up enough money to buy food, pay rent, and other such amenities. The idea of going out every night was unheard of. Perhaps it was during this time that my mother embraced the American affinity for finding the best possible deal and having a coupon for everything. Even to this day, when I go shopping, I can hear my mother’s voice in my head asking if I’ve thoroughly looked through the Sunday sale papers first.
Coming to America was difficult for my parents. Their parents did not understand why they would want to leave a life of comfort in India. In India, my dad had a job waiting for him at his father’s shop. My mother was top of her class and was bound to be able to do anything she wanted. However, as immigrant students, their choices were much more limited in Houston. Early on, my father worked for a couple different engineering firms. However, there was something inside of him that made him want more. Perhaps it was because he was living in a country that was built by people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, but, very early on, my father decided to start his own business. And I am proud to say, thirty-five years later, he is the proud owner and President of a thriving engineering company called Systel, Inc.
I would by lying if I said my parents never thought about going back to India. In fact, my brother and I spent a year of our lives living in India because my parents thought they may want to go back. But after toiling on their own, and pouring in their blood, sweat and tears to building a company, and truly achieving the “American Dream” of making it on their own, my parents could never really go back.
It’s no wonder then that when I was pursuing my own career options that I came to work at Arguello, Hope and Associates, a firm also built by someone whose parents came here from elsewhere. The passion and energy I see every day exuberated by our managing partner, Martin, is astounding. In my first week here, I could see the same determination and drive by everyone that works here that I’ve seen in my father all these years.
Not every immigrant story has the same happy ending that my parents have had. Not every single person might be as successful. However, the opportunity and chance to have that happy ending is what I believe in the most. If you or someone you know needs assistance with an immigration problem, please give us a call or use the form above. Your information remains confidential, and our experienced immigration attorneys are ready to help you pursue your own American dream.
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