Suburban Sahibs: Three Immigrant Families and Their Passage from India to America

By S. Mitra Kalita | Go to book overview

12
Farewells

Lipi survives Lucent's round of layoffs in July, but not those in August. She is among the last ten people of her group asked to leave. The first phone call she makes is to Ashwin, her old boss at AT&T, who not only pushes his bosses to rehire her but schedules her start date for late September so she can finally spend time with her parents, who are still in the States.

That's what she's doing on September 11. They are sitting on the couch watching television when suddenly there is just one image on all the networks: towers burning, then falling. People running, people crying. Sanku calls from work;he's on his way home and will pick up Chiku from day care. The family remains glued to the television for the rest of the day, not even bothering to monitor it as they usually do for Chiku's young eyes.

When he sits down some days later to write how he feels, Lipi's father, Girish Chandra Phukan, thinks of the view from the World Trade Center's observation deck not so long ago. It had been

-147-

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Suburban Sahibs: Three Immigrant Families and Their Passage from India to America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Suburban Sahibs *
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Prologue: A New Year 15
  • 1 - Deported from Home 32
  • 2 - The Patels Journey 47
  • 3 - A Gold-Paved Entry 65
  • 4 - Exercising Rights 86
  • 5 - Wanting More 92
  • 6 - Shaky Ground 98
  • 7 - Destructive Times 104
  • 8 - Standing Room Only 107
  • 9 - Downturns 122
  • 10 - Under a Mango Tree 128
  • 11 - Meeting Elephants 138
  • 12 - Farewells 147
  • 13 - The Festival Family 151
  • 14 - Classified 155
  • 15 - The Victor 158
  • Epilogue 162
  • Notes 165
  • Selected Bibliography 171
  • About the Author 172
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