The US dream


(Author- Ritu Raj Baruah)

It is just another day at work for Vinit who sits cross-legged in his
office-chair at Infii Technologies, Bangalore. Vinit is trying to
re-collect the last time when he was in a state of bliss. The unending
work that he has had at office, the burden of expectations that his
family has on him, the reckless barking of the street dogs at night
coupled with the honking of the trucks and cars thereby leading to
disturbed sleeps and his dreams to have a posh apartment in the USA that
seems to be so far-fetched now, all this, has made him sick.

Vinit’s project is a hectic one and his boss has lured him with the prospect of
on-site opportunities if he keeps on working hard. Vinit joined his
current company in 2015. It has been 4 years in the same project. The
recent changes to the H1-B visa policy has created shock-waves all
across India. Vinit has also been petrified by it. His project is a US
one. He can easily switch to some other non-U.S. project, but he doesn’t
want that. United States is his dream. That’s where he wants to go.

Fast forward three years(it’s 2022)

Vinit is in US now. He was lucky to make the cut in the lottery (for
U.S. immigration) held in 2020. The Trump administration made a lot of changes in the immigration policy in 2019 and that has resulted in immigrants with higher pay and higher education (M.S/Ph. D/MBA
etc.) being more likely to get the H1-B visa. People with a work-profile similar to Vinit had zero to minimal chances of making the cut. Vinit was thus fortunate!

In US, Vinit is yet to buy the ‘posh apartment’ that he has
always dreamt of buying.

Fast forward one year( it’s 2023)

Vinit has been hardly getting time away from work. Back at home, everyone
thinks that Vinit is having the fun of his life. But only Vinit knows
what it is like to be completely immersed in work for 12-13 hours
everyday and facing challenges that sometimes raises his heart beat to
an alarming degree. He always starts for office at 8:00 in the morning
and reaches home after 9 PM. He has to be in office even on Saturdays.
Sunday is the only day that he truly lives. Although, he has been having
a hard life, he has been making money quite fast. Vinit knows that he
is inches close to making his dreams come true. The next month’s salary
coupled with the quarterly bonus will surely pave the way for getting a
home-loan. Vinit counts the number of days left for the month to end –
only two weeks remaining (a beaming smile lights up Vinit’s face) !

Fast forward one week

Vinit is about to get ready for office, he feels a stifling pain across
his chest. The pain rises fast and Vinit feels it hard to breathe.
Damn! His heart has given in to the insurmountable work-load and mental
tension that he has been dealing with over the last few years. Vinit
curses himself for being too hard on himself. All this years, he has
worked so hard towards his dream; but now, here he is, lying on the
floor, all alone, gasping for breath.

Minutes later, Vinit dies. And a dream dies with him !

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