Let The Light Shine On Me

The H4 Curse


26th May,2015

A day of reckoning for many of us. Nah, I’m not into a cult organization waiting for doomsday to come. I am waiting (literally) for the light to shine in my life. How dramatic am I?

While it’s not a bit deal for many women in all over the world, it’s a big deal for many of us in the USA. It will be a day that sets us free from the H4 Visa curse. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez announced today that, effective May 26, 2015; the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.

Feeling very excited I called up my friend in India and told her the news. Her reaction was very sublime.
“That is so nice, darling. Now you will be able to work in the USA.”

Work in the USA? Was this what we were all fighting for?

No. At least that is not the whole picture.

While working in the USA has its own benefits, how can we all forget the years we had spent in slavery. Don’t you dare tell me that we are dramatizing the situation? I do have a very loving husband who never made me feel the need for anything. But can you hear the words, ‘never made me feel.’ The vulnerability that I experienced behind those words?

Do I feel homemakers are inferior to working women?

This is one question my MIL has asked me every time I ‘rant’ about my condition. No Mummyji, I have utmost respect for all the women who have chosen this path. But they have ‘chosen’ it. That choice had been taken away from me. I wanted to ‘choose’ to be a homemaker. It should not be dictated to me. Is that so difficult to understand? Ok. Take it like this. I forbid you to go to the temple every day. It’s difficult for me to hire a person in Mumbai who will go with you to the temple every day, since my sister-in-law is busy in her job. Will my longing for a forbidden fruit finally reach you then?

And why single out my MIL for this? She is the last person I should have expected understanding from for her love for her son makes her blind to my plight. But the women in my family? How can they ask me what my problem was if my hubby does not abuse me or make my life hell? Of if my MIL does not run after me with a match stick? I know I am lucky. Touchwood!  All I need now is my independence.

Today like many I stand waiting in the line. Hoping no new laws or personal ideologies smother the beacon that has been lighted for us. When I say next time that I want to be a Housewife…. I should say it because that is what I want and not because it is something that is shoved down my throat.


About the author
Ina is my pen name. I am Rubina Ramesh, a writer, blogger and a book reviewer. Founder of The Book Club, an online group for reviewing and marketing of books. Reading and writing has always been in a part of my life but it took a backseat when I joined the corporate world to earn my greens. But now living in the USA, twiddling my thumb because of the H4 Visa curse, I have been in touch again with the writer within me. My daily mantra being,'see positive in every situation', is what keeps me smiling and being happy with what I have - A Life.
    • Ina Chatterjee - Reply

      Really feels good.. And fingers crossed that nothing changes from today till 26th.. I have started all the bhajans and kirtans :P

  1. gaya3manikandan@gmail.com'

    I could relate to what you are saying though amn’t in the same boat as you. I stay at home because that’s less stressful than juggling balls like a joker not even knowing what am upto. Not a choice, a dead end!

    • Ina Chatterjee - Reply

      I don’t mind being a stay at home Mom Gayathri. But no one should tell me that it is the only option I have. Who knows I might be a super mom .. or I might be one with a career and no time for kids.. but what ever fate has in store for me .. it should be a choice.. not a dictat of a country..

  2. sweetgirl251987@gmail.com'

    My heartfelt sympathies for people like you Ina .I sincerely wish that sun shines in your life .By giving a new lease to your life and lighten the rules of H4 Visa.

  3. uppalshelley@gmail.com'

    Not to aware of the visa restrictions but hey! Congratulations!
    Freedom of choice is so important. Glad the restrictions will be over. To work or not doesn’t matter but the option should always be there.

    • Ina Chatterjee - Reply

      There should always be a choice Indy, in a civilized society. How this rule was made in the first place is beyond me to understand.

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