Brooklyn the movie pretty much sums my immigrant life in less than two hours. It’s beautifully filmed, well acted and has a theme that is so close to my heart, I have only good things to say about it. The dialogues in the movie are perfect and sound all the better with that Irish accent of Saoirse Ronan, who plays Ellis Lacey- the lead in the movie.
I’ve wanted to watch the movie Brooklyn in theaters before I left for my trip to India. But I didn’t get around to it. Very uncharacteristic of me, I watched it on my flight back. Possibly, since I didn’t have Ashwin traveling with me, to sprawl on and cuddle into in the airplane, I realized how much I depend on my husband. To kill time and catch up on what I had missed out in the winter, I watched the entire film!
The movie is really about an Irish girl moving to the United States and making this country home. Like all new immigrants she is lost at first, confused and home sick. But she works hard and finds her way around. She succeeds and finds a man to date and love. But when she goes home to visit she is happy and forgets why she left her little town in Ireland, until a little incident reminds her. She realizes Brooklyn is her home and that that’s where she belongs.
“Act like an America,” Ellis says when the movie ends. In a beautiful moment of paying it forward. She helps a new Irish immigrant into the United States, just as some one had helped her when she was first coming into the country. That’s exactly what been saying, ever since my first interview at the American Consulate in India. Brooklyn and possibly thousands of other immigrants have already said what I have wanted to say. Dang it!
But rather than calling quits on my initiative, I hope to share my voice and perspective with those of you that will listen. Maybe I will reach a different group of people, new immigrants. At the risk of repeating what so many others have said, I will go ahead and share my experiences.
Brooklyn was about an Irish immigrant to New York City, Brooklyn to be specific, which then and now is very different from Manhattan. Her story was years ago when phone calls, emails and Skype was none existent. Despite my love hate relationship with technology; I am immensely thankful that I could connect with my parents and husband whenever I wanted. Yet homesickness set in. And it was hard. But it passed. And as Ellis from the movie says, “You’ll feel so homesick that you’ll want to die, and there’s nothing you can do about it apart from endure it. But you will, and it won’t kill you.”
When you stay long enough some crazy little thing will draw you and make you call this country home. In Ellis’s words, “And one day, the sun will come out you might not even notice straight away-it’ll be that faint. And you’ll catch yourself thinking about something or someone who has no connection with the past, and you’ll realize that this is where your life is.”
I went back to India dreaming of all the good things I missed about it. I was on vacation; everything was perfect, rosy and enduring. I met my friends and we spoke about being children and playing. I missed this connection I had had with them. It felt great to have it back. I had forgotten all the things I had left behind; family pettiness, societal pressures and traditions that were not a part of my life and never were. For the few weeks that I spent there, India was perfect. I fell in love. I did not want to see the garbage, the smoke created by burning leaves in the streets, the noise pollution, and people telling me what I can and cannot do. I did not want to remember the fights and sadness so many things had caused me. It was in the past. While I was there, I had my love affair with the place. My visit was temporary and I knew, deep down, that if I stay everything I had forgotten will come back.
I was coming back to my home in the United States. I had a husband waiting for me and a life that we were making here together. Of course, New York City was going to be right there, always lifting my spirits, curing ‘home sickness’ and giving me the strength to carry on.
Brooklyn brought tears to my eyes. I related to Ellis, every step of the way. I could not wait to get off and wrap my arms around Ashwin and go home to my plants and sleep in my own bed.
There is lots I still have to learn and a long way to go to making relationships. But I can at least say, I was going home to America.
Moving And Living In America
- Talk like you belong. Act like you belong. Feel like you belong.
You will belong.
- It will take a while to make anew country feel like home. But if you truly want it and believe this is home and it will eventually feel like it.
- Make contacts with people who have been living in this country for generations and they will show you the ropes.
- Learn the ways of America, or of a particular city in America ( New York for instance.) They may be different from where you grew up. You will start to enjoy the place once you start to accept its way. 🙂