Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Calling and Closure (The Lowland -2)

(An email came in my inbox last night)

"I get connected to your blog 3/4 years ago. I read your blog once in a while since I am a physician also working in the USA. To be precise, I am an Urologist. I came to this country a long time ago before you came. Your blog makes me feel relevant. I got compel to write this email as "The Lowland" came in my life at a very crucial time. And, surprisingly you completely missed that point in your review.

I came to this country, married a white American woman and for two decades had a very good family life. Then, my kids moved out. My wife divorced me and at age 54, I was again a lonely man. Over time I lost complete touch with my community. My parents passed away and siblings were living their own life in Pakistan. I was done with women. For ten years I came to an empty house. I tried to adopt some hobbies. I  learned to play golf. I start travelling. I start contributing to local charity causes. But nothing brought relief.

I read "the Lowland" over Thanksgiving. I took off from work and planned to go and play golf. I picked this book at airport. I was stuck in Dallas hotel as it was all icy outside. When I reached the chapter, where Gauri suddenly bought ticket to India at Heathrow airport, I felt like doing the same thing. I asked my partners to cover me for a month. I packed stuff and just took flight to Lahore. My mind was empty. I had lost myself. I didn't know why I am alive. Kids education was paid off and they were gone except texts and few emails.

After 40 years Lahore was a resurrection for me (why it is always 40 years?). I get deeply connected with my old childhood friends, my brothers and my two sisters. My nieces and nephews were a pure delight speaking Urdu. But there comes an accidental meeting with an old surgeon friend, running a charity hospital and needed a good surgeon. I made deal with him to spend six weeks in winter every year to do free surgeries for him. That was my calling and closure to me.

How did you miss that closure and calling we all immigrants need at old age? Perhaps because you are too young for that.

(Keep my name private)  

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