A civil war rages, a degree awaits, an uncle calls or greener shores beckons,

You fly, walk, navigate immigration, sneak over the border,

You don’t know it yet but you are an immigrant.

You speak, they don’t understand and neither do you theirs.

You learn new ways, new tongues. You work, be exploited, exploit.

You make friends, marry, have children, create a new life.

You are a immigrant living the dream.

You are a voice, a picture, a letter, email, Whatsapp, Whatever to those you left behind.

You are a spectator to their lives, new births, marriages, graduations,

You dread the midnight calls bringing news of illness and death,

and with every passing time you know fewer and fewer and have lesser and lesser to say.

Your children are of here. Your dreams are of there.

You are an immigrant in both worlds.

Ramanathan has lived in the Princeton area for more than 20 years. He works as a software developer.