WEBVTT 00:00:00.000 --> 01:15:24.000 [EMILY MUSZYNSKI]: Perfect. Okay, this is an interview with Renu Gandhi as part of the Indo (inaudible) at the John Hancock building. Renu Gandhi’s home address. Renu Gandhi is being interviewed by Emily Muszynski of the Indo-American Heritage Museum. Alright are you ready? 00:00:00.001 --> 01:15:24.001 [RENU GANDHI]: Mhm 00:00:00.002 --> 01:15:24.002 [EM]: Please state and spell your first and last name. 00:00:00.003 --> 01:15:24.003 [RG]: Renu Gandhi. R e n u and g a n d h i. 00:00:00.004 --> 01:15:24.004 [EM]: So we're going to start with just a couple of biographical questions. They're going to be pretty easy. When and where were you born? 00:00:00.005 --> 01:15:24.005 [RG]: I was born November 1948 and I was born in state of Gujrat, a place called Kodinar. Right. 00:00:00.006 --> 01:15:24.006 [EM]: Is it a big town? Is it a small— 00:00:00.007 --> 01:15:24.007 [RG]: It’s a small town, small, small town. 00:00:00.008 --> 01:15:24.008 [EM]: How many people would you say lived there? 00:00:00.009 --> 01:15:24.009 [RG]: I am so out of it, I would not be able to answer that. So, I don't know being honest. 00:00:00.010 --> 01:15:24.010 [EM]: Did you—how many siblings, did you have any siblings? 00:00:00.011 --> 01:15:24.011 [RG]: I have three siblings. 00:00:00.012 --> 01:15:24.012 [EM]: Can you state their names and their ages? 00:00:00.013 --> 01:15:24.013 [RG]: Mukesh, Prakash, and Daksha. And Mukesh, he's five years younger than me, so he was born in ’53. And my other brother was born in 1955, and my sister was born in 1957. 00:00:00.014 --> 01:15:24.014 [EM]: And so was that the typical sized family back then? Or were they— 00:00:00.015 --> 01:15:24.015 [RG]: Yes, I would definitely say four was a norm then. I think before it was eight to ten, yes. And then four, then two, and now it's moving to one. 00:00:00.016 --> 01:15:24.016 [EM]: Typical America too. What language did you speak at home? 00:00:00.017 --> 01:15:24.017 [RG]: Gujrati. 00:00:00.018 --> 01:15:24.018 [EM]: Was that a--did everybody in your town speak that? 00:00:00.019 --> 01:15:24.019 [RG]: Yes, it's a state of Gujarat. So, that is the language of the state. So, yes it would be different dialects, but it’s the same language. 00:00:00.020 --> 01:15:24.020 [EM]: So what about school? Did all the different dialects speak at school. 00:00:00.021 --> 01:15:24.021 [RG]: We moved out of that town when I was 4 years old. So, we moved to Mumbai, what's called now, or Bombay, before. So, my schooling all was done in Mumbai. 00:00:00.022 --> 01:15:24.022 [EM]: And that’s a bigger, bigger city. 00:00:00.023 --> 01:15:24.023 [RG]: Yes. We lived in the suburbs, yeah, it’s called Borivali. So, that's the suburb of Mumbai. 00:00:00.024 --> 01:15:24.024 [EM]: What was life like living there? 00:00:00.025 --> 01:15:24.025 [RG]: Quiet, peaceful, yes. So, nice. 00:00:00.026 --> 01:15:24.026 [EM]: What type of things did you do for fun? 00:00:00.027 --> 01:15:24.027 [RG]: Basically just played in the yard, we had a common yard. A large one. And all the children come out after school, and you play with, maybe some games, local games you play, with whatever is available, like you know, you stack the stones, and you throw the ball, and you have jump ropes and singing and that kind of stuff. 00:00:00.028 --> 01:15:24.028 [EM]: So, you lived around a lot of kids your age? 00:00:00.029 --> 01:15:24.029 [RG]: Yes. There were lot of children around is correct. 00:00:00.030 --> 01:15:24.030 [EM]: And you were close in age with your siblings too, so. 00:00:00.031 --> 01:15:24.031 [RG]: Yeah, for sure. 00:00:00.032 --> 01:15:24.032 [EM]: So, what about school? Where did you go? 00:00:00.033 --> 01:15:24.033 [RG]: I went, my elementary school in that suburb of Borivali. And that was a walking distance, perhaps 10 to 15 minutes. 00:00:00.034 --> 01:15:24.034 [EM]: Was it a big school or a smaller school? 00:00:00.035 --> 01:15:24.035 [RG]: It was a medium-sized school, and I believe it was there till fourth grade. 00:00:00.036 --> 01:15:24.036 [EM]: And then, you went to middle school? 00:00:00.037 --> 01:15:24.037 [RG]: Middle school, again we moved to proper Bombay, Mumbai. So, I think we moved in middle of the fourth grade, so, on my fifth grade, I went to, up to fourth grade it was a public school, and on fifth grade onwards, it was a private school. 00:00:00.038 --> 01:15:24.038 [EM]: What was the big differences between those two. 00:00:00.039 --> 01:15:24.039 [RG]: Quite a bit. More discipline, much, much, larger, bigger school. And varied subject matters, as well as extra-curricular activities that you want to participate. 00:00:00.040 --> 01:15:24.040 [EM]: What type of extra-curricular activities? 00:00:00.041 --> 01:15:24.041 [RG]: Music, you know. And if you want to participate in some sport, things like that. 00:00:00.042 --> 01:15:24.042 [EM]: What were you most interested in participating in? 00:00:00.043 --> 01:15:24.043 [RG]: Well, I was, I think on the sideline watching things. I definitely am not musically inclined. So, I think my major thing is I did outside the school, is I learned languages in depth. But, that was not part of the school, I did that outside. 00:00:00.044 --> 01:15:24.044 [EM]: What did you guys, learn English in school, or? 00:00:00.045 --> 01:15:24.045 [RG]: See, this is how it went then. That first, you speak your mother tongue, which is mostly the state that your originally family comes from. So, originally, I’m from Gujrat, so I speak Gujrati. But then, Mumbai is in the state of Maharashtra. So that state language is Marathi. But then, there was no mandate at that time. But Hindi was a national language. So, they did teach that in school. So, in my school was in Gujarati medium, so I learn Gujarati, Hindi. 00:00:00.046 --> 01:15:24.046 Then in eighth grade, we started with English, that’s the international language, as well as, we started with Sanskrit, that is equivalent to here, what you call with English, Latin. It’s equivalent to Latin. So, lot of languages came through that language. So, so far, we were at language four. And eighth grade, four languages. 00:00:00.047 --> 01:15:24.047 [EM]: How did you keep them all straight? 00:00:00.048 --> 01:15:24.048 [RG]: You are a child and it's just the way of life. You don't think otherwise. That's your world and you just live in it. 00:00:00.049 --> 01:15:24.049 [EM]: Did your parents then learn—did they learn languages? 00:00:00.050 --> 01:15:24.050 [RG]: Yes, they could very well communicate on Hindi. It's a colloquial level. And they both speak Gujrati. My father spoke fluent English. My mother didn't. 00:00:00.051 --> 01:15:24.051 [EM]: What did they do for a living, your parents? 00:00:00.052 --> 01:15:24.052 [RG]: They were just the employment. So, they were, you know, the job. My father was in, working in pharmaceutical distributors center. So, that's what he did. My mother was a homemaker. Home minister. Home engineer. 00:00:00.053 --> 01:15:24.053 [EM]: That’s also a job too. 00:00:00.054 --> 01:15:24.054 [RG]: Oh, it’s a big job. 00:00:00.055 --> 01:15:24.055 [EM]: Can you describe what life was like when you were a little bit older than middle school? Like in high school? 00:00:00.056 --> 01:15:24.056 [RG]: High school, so my school started, it's like a sort of academy from fifth to, ‘til you graduate. So, all the way. And the last one was the eleventh grade. So, I was there for six standards, fifth to eleventh. And that was all one school, so there was not differentiation. It was then, now it keeps changing as the time goes. 00:00:00.057 --> 01:15:24.057 [EM]: Do you have a favorite memory from school? 00:00:00.058 --> 01:15:24.058 [RG]: Yes. It was a fun time. It was, you can be open and be yourself and make lot of friends, and even make friends with teachers. So, you learn a lot, you play a lot, you laugh a lot. So, yes very nice memories. 00:00:00.059 --> 01:15:24.059 [EM]: Did you find that in the private school you made more friends with the teachers than the public school? Did you see big differences between the two? I honestly don't know because up to fourth grade you are a child. Not that you grow a whole lot, but perhaps I definitely made friends with teachers. I think it's easy to do when you are also, how would I say, teachers also like students who are maybe, give them challenges, or they can come back with the smarter things. And then, your teacher starts recognize you by name, and then you just start like, you know, you can do away with small things, because they know. 00:00:00.060 --> 01:15:24.060 [EM]: Natural conversations. 00:00:00.061 --> 01:15:24.061 [RG]: Yes. 00:00:00.062 --> 01:15:24.062 [EM]: What religion did you practice? 00:00:00.063 --> 01:15:24.063 [RG]: At home, definitely Hinduism, part of Hinduism, or sect of Hinduism. We were Vaishnav, so we are worshipper of god Vishnu. And Vishnu is the sustainer of all the Earthly matters. So, Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the sustainer, and then Shiva is the destroyer part. Destroyer so the new things can come up. 00:00:00.064 --> 01:15:24.064 [EM]: And so, was most of your suburb, did they practice different sects of Hinduism? Or was it mostly all the same? 00:00:00.065 --> 01:15:24.065 [RG]: Where I lived? 00:00:00.066 --> 01:15:24.066 [EM]: Yeah. 00:00:00.067 --> 01:15:24.067 [RG]: No, we were in like, how we are in large building, we were also in a building with many, many different types of people. But, there were a lot of Jain, Jainism, Jain people. And a lot of Hindus, and all different types of language speaking, or from different state. But they all practiced some form or some branch of Hinduism. So, only my memory serves me is the Jainism and Hinduism. 00:00:00.068 --> 01:15:24.068 [EM]: Was that a part of, was religion part of your private school? 00:00:00.069 --> 01:15:24.069 [RG]: No, there was no religious activity per se. But, we did just the prayer that’s non-denominational, something like devotional songs or something. But, no, we did not have any religious. 00:00:00.070 --> 01:15:24.070 [EM]: Do you still practice Hinduism? 00:00:00.071 --> 01:15:24.071 [RG]: I am a spiritual person. I went through where I did practice Hinduism, and now as I grow, I chose to be spiritual. So, per se, I do not do any Hindu whatever the, how would I say, that what you are supposed to do, like a church or— 00:00:00.072 --> 01:15:24.072 [EM]: Yeah, the traditions— 00:00:00.073 --> 01:15:24.073 [RG]: Yes, traditions, no I don't practice that. But, I believe in Hindu philosophy and spiritualism. 00:00:00.074 --> 01:15:24.074 [EM]: So, when did you start thinking about immigrating to the United States? 00:00:00.075 --> 01:15:24.075 [RG]: It happened suddenly, rather. Is I graduated from college, and then I was just looking for something, okay what would I do next. And then, then it's called a marrying age, at that time. So, of course, the thoughts were in the process, and then my father brought the prospect, my husband then, potential husband then. And he says, Hey, what do you think? In India it’s a common practice, again then, that parents would find someone suitable, and then you are introduced. And then it's up to the girl and boy, or man and woman, to say what they feel or think. And it happened very, very quickly. 00:00:00.076 --> 01:15:24.076 And my husband was, already had immigrated here. He graduated, second double graduation, chemical engineering happened here. And then he was working, and then he decided, I want to get married. And that’s a normal for the Indian tradition. So, he came back, took a vacation, maybe six weeks leave of absence here. And he came home. And then parents know that that their son or daughter is coming. And then, they have gone through the process of selections, so they say, well this, they line it up. And they meet and see where it takes. primary education is starting from Montessori to first standard, we had several vernacular groups, classes, in between. So, for four years after Montessori, I was at a local Gujarati school, local Parsi school, primarily for girls. And, so they would that take boys until they were about 8 or 9 years of age and then we moved on to a boy’s school. And so, I was there at the Parsi school, our community school, close to where we lived, for four years till I was age of 8 or so. And then moved on to another same kind of school, missionary school, called the Don Bosco High School. St. John Don Bosco. And they had a school that was newly opened, when I first started there. And that's where I graduated from high school, we call that secondary school certificate, SSC, at that time. So, that is my earlier scholastic life. inaudible 00:00:00.077 --> 01:15:24.077 And that's how it happened with us. So, we met on Sunday, no I take it back, we met on Monday, and we were engaged on Wednesday. And we were married on next Sunday. So it was six days. And then, after 13 days, he had to come back here, because his job. But I had to stay back for 10 months for my visa and paperwork. 00:00:00.078 --> 01:15:24.078 [EM]: That’s just a whirlwind romance. 00:00:00.079 --> 01:15:24.079 [RG]: Yes. 00:00:00.080 --> 01:15:24.080 [EM]: What was your first impression of him? 00:00:00.081 --> 01:15:24.081 [RG]: Of what? 00:00:00.082 --> 01:15:24.082 [EM]: Of your husband. 00:00:00.083 --> 01:15:24.083 [RG]: Oh well, we, family knew other, right. So, I had seen my husband, I knew what he was doing, and his family and everything. So, that all things were--that is the beauty when parents bring someone. If they have done the macro matching. Okay, the family, the background, the education, and they're all extended family history. So, they all know before, and so it's like, Okay. It seems like a process, you go through school, you get married, and you start family. So, it did not seem anything different than what I was familiarly as well as culturally, what I had absorbed. It was a normal way of life. 00:00:00.084 --> 01:15:24.084 [EM]: Let’s go back to college real quick. What did you study in college? 00:00:00.085 --> 01:15:24.085 [RG]: I have a bachelor's degree in chemistry major and physics minor. And, as I said, on the side, I studied languages. And also, I went then a lot of our scripture classes. I did attend those, so our scripture is Gita. And I was very well-versed with it, so those were the things that I did during the college. 00:00:00.086 --> 01:15:24.086 [EM]: Did you go to a private college or a public college? 00:00:00.087 --> 01:15:24.087 [RG]: Private. Definitely. One of the reputable ones. So, yes. And if you’ve seen the movie Namesake, or read the book. 00:00:00.088 --> 01:15:24.088 [EM]: I have not. 00:00:00.089 --> 01:15:24.089 [RG]: Oh okay, because it is about a Hindu immigrant, but it is from state of Bengal. So, like I'm from state of Gujrat. But that character in the movie was a Bengali set up. And it's very true depiction of the reality. So mine would be from state of Gujarat perspective, and theirs was from state of Bengal perspective. But how a boy meets girl, you say okay. And that’s it. You are husband and wife, and there is no thinking before, after, nothing. This is it. Now, we are married for life. And that's no other thoughts about it. I suggest you see the movie, you would gain a lot since you're doing this. Namesake. 00:00:00.090 --> 01:15:24.090 [EM]: I will. I will check it out. I’ll write it down. 00:00:00.091 --> 01:15:24.091 [RG]: I think it would give you more perspective in, if you are doing Indian immigrant history, and this relates to that. So there is also book. And then it was made into movie, and I think to me, I do both. I read the book as well as-- my son suggested that, I didn't know that. He read it first, and then he says, Read this, you’ll like it. And lo and behold, he was very right. Because I read first 50 pages, and I could not breathe. And literally, I was pacing, ‘cause I was out of air. And I called him, I’m like, This is too much. And he says, Yes. 00:00:00.092 --> 01:15:24.092 Because the initial part is about the mother, her journey. And then comes the son’s journey as a immigrant, or the first generation immigrant, or second generation. And my son could identify completely with that character. And then, he says, read this, and I completely identified with the immigrant generation and its portrayal. Yes, so that's why I'm recommending that, it would give you a deeper perspective and understanding both. 00:00:00.093 --> 01:15:24.093 [EM]: So, you have a son, do you have any other children? 00:00:00.094 --> 01:15:24.094 [RG]: I have a daughter, she's elder, elder than him, two years. So, it's one son, one daughter. 00:00:00.095 --> 01:15:24.095 [EM]: Did you encourage them to have an arranged marriage like you? Or did you adopt more of a American custom of— 00:00:00.096 --> 01:15:24.096 [RG]: Interesting. I had a lot of time as they were growing up, and in my mind, I was free to choose where I get married, where I come, I came to America. And I embraced, Okay, I am here. What does it mean? Because I was only 21 when I moved here. So, I was fresh graduate, I haven't seen the world, I was in, how would I say, protective custody of parents. I never lived on my own. And then, I became in my in-laws, a protective world that my in-laws had created. And now me and my husband are trying to create a better life on our own, without any support. 00:00:00.097 --> 01:15:24.097 So that, I had a lot of thinking and growing, and what I chose ultimately is, I went with value. Neither of the systems are perfect in my opinion. But, this is, I applied this in all aspects of my life that no system is perfect, no system is absolutely bad or absolutely perfect. So, I found myself to be very fortunate that I was closely related to two cultures. And I chose to take both of the cultures' best part and try to emulate in my thinking and in my behavior, whatever I thought. So, ultimately, I find that I became more I would call hybrid. No, I don't exactly, I go to India my thoughts are little bit varied. And I'm here, and my thoughts are still a little bit from the other culture, so in essence, I became hybrid. And I tried to instill that in my children. 00:00:00.098 --> 01:15:24.098 That because they--and I'm going to give you little elaborate answer in this manner, ‘cause as they went to school, for them, which I realized, in home they were Indian and Hindus, but as soon as they left for the school bus, they were Americans in American society, but with the brown skin. So they had a tougher task than I did, I was adult versus they were children. And children sometimes, unwittingly, can be cruel just because they are not understanding. So, children had to become Indian from four in the afternoon till eight in the morning. Indian customs, Indian language, Indian food, Indian philosophy, Indian religion. They go to the bus stop, and then they learn all this good American ways and words and, we were vegetarian, they were ridiculed for their name, they may be ridiculed for their food. And, lot of that. 00:00:00.099 --> 01:15:24.099 And when the children brought that home, sometimes with tears, and you explain, yes, we look different and we feel different, because we have migrated from different place. But, it does not mean that to see the best in both. And it would make you stronger and bigger person and in your growth. So, I try to emulate. And then arranged marriage also fell in the same realm. Choose anyone with who believes in the similar value that you are. Who believes in education, who believes in family life, and who will support, and also believes that marriage of course is, you have a a spring season where everything looks green and fresh and new and romantic, and then comes the summer where it's 90 degrees and you are hot and there is no water around, and you’re supposed to grow some crop in the field, that's going to grow. 00:00:00.100 --> 01:15:24.100 So, I taught them love also has a season. So, when your spring goes and when your summer comes, how would you deal with that summer, with that sameness, with that boredom, and find that person who also believes that love has a season. And you will travel through the season and be ready and accepting of this. Or how many times you are going to look for that euphoria, the initial euphoric feelings that makes you fall in love. And now you are stabilized, so what would you do then? You look for that effervescence and that romance again, go through another set of partners, and again go through the same phase, you might go through three, four times in your life. But ultimately, you have to find a highway. This is the highway. It's your belief that is going to guide you, you find the similar person who has the same belief. 00:00:00.101 --> 01:15:24.101 And they also question that, My god, if you get married in six days, you take a divorce. I said, Look at us. How close, what do you think? Okay. Marriage is a skill, no person is fir and right. It’s like lock and key, sometimes you make the key and it won't fit the lock, because there is that little burr, that little thing that just stops that key to turn. Marriage is similar way. You learn, this person in absolute light is not bad. I am in absolute light, I'm not bad. But then, now you put together, there is some adjustments. And then you say this person is good in absolute, this is fine. And then, the small, I say that getting used to each other. I would not even call compromises, because that has a negative connotation. 00:00:00.102 --> 01:15:24.102 So, I say it’s know who the person is and learn what's the best way. And that's the philosophy I try to impart in them, at that young age whatever their absorbed, I don't know. All I have to say is my daughter is married for 18 years. He's a gentleman from America, and they have two beautiful children, and they are living very happy life. And so did my son who found not only Indian first generation, but Gujrati first generation, yes, girl for himself. And they have a happily marriage, and children 5 1/2 and 3 1/2. And they incidentally, we live in the same building. Yes. So, that's where that went. 00:00:00.103 --> 01:15:24.103 [EM]: Did you know her family? 00:00:00.104 --> 01:15:24.104 [RG]: Yes. We, in fact, we were friends before. But my son and my daughter-in-law did not see or met ever before. And then, it just happened that way. That friend of mine, we were in business meeting, and he brought her along. And then, whatever my son and her clicked, and the rest is history. So yes, we were friends before they men. Yes. Lot of stories. 00:00:00.105 --> 01:15:24.105 [EM]: Did you expect your son and daughter to find people from India to fall in love with? 00:00:00.106 --> 01:15:24.106 [RG]: Never had that mandate, never. I am very open-minded in that sense that you can choose yellow, brown, white, doesn't matter the color to me. And for that matter I was as liberal, and at that time, all this gay movement and LGBT was not as prevalent as it's today and accepted. But I said, you find a person that is willing to be with you, love you, support you, and spend life with you. Whoever that person may be, I did not specify gender, I did not specify ethnicity, just the value based. And me and my son had many interesting conversation about it. And I think I saw the movie just now, Mr. Patel. Okay, that also is a very true representation. 00:00:00.107 --> 01:15:24.107 [EM]: I saw that one. 00:00:00.108 --> 01:15:24.108 [RG]: Okay, you know what I am talking about. Yeah, so he would tease me and say, yes and no, and this. And we go through a lot. And he says, Yeah, you say this right now, but if I brought this—I’m like, Just do it. We’ll find out. This is what I believe. And lo and behold, I would be tested, and if I am not exactly there, and if there is any distance, but my belief is such that I would make the journey to arrive at the junction. Knowing that that's what I believe, in now I have to act what I believe. And I shall, because that's what I want. So, I said until I'm tested, I cannot tell you, but I’ll tell you this much, from my side, ‘cause I know who I am. 00:00:00.109 --> 01:15:24.109 [EM]: Do you feel like your journey to America helped you grow in that way? Or? 00:00:00.110 --> 01:15:24.110 [RG]: Lot of growth occurred. In fact, all my growth, I say my adult growth, occurred here. Because when I came, as I said I was 21, and it was a child who just grew up and thinks, I can take on the world, and I was no different. But actual what life means, to have your own life and grow from it, that all occurred here. 00:00:00.111 --> 01:15:24.111 [EM]: What was your expectations of America? ‘Cause you weren't even thinking about coming here, what were you expecting? 00:00:00.112 --> 01:15:24.112 [RG]: I had no picture or anything, but what I knew is--it's a funny story, that I was growing up, and in India that time, you have a palm reader who comes. And I was a child, maybe I must be 13, 12, I don't know, maybe younger, perhaps younger. And, so this palm reader comes and reads someone, and I run to the house and says, Give me a quarter right now. My mom says, Woah, breathe, what do you. Give me quarter, the guy will go, I have to go there. Okay, okay, fine calm down, calm down. So she gives me a quarter, I run there, and then I had all my friends around with us, and everyone had a quarter, and they are Showing, and they’re like, Who goes first. And I’m always the reserved type. I always sit back and watch first. So, as they all did theirs first, and their first question, Am I going to America? And I’m like, I don't know what this madness is about. 00:00:00.113 --> 01:15:24.113 But, America was, has impression of Hollywood, and like utopian, you know, heaven. So, everyone was striving, and I still at that point did not understand why the craze. So then, my turn comes, and he sees my palm. Now, mind you, I'm living in this studio apartment, like a building with just, old building is of studio apartment. So, it was that middle economy where I come from, and the guy sees and even though my friends asked him, he was very diplomatic in not saying yes or no. You are going to have a good life, you are going to have a good husband. So, he kind of maneuver, which my ears of course picked up, and then my hand comes and I just presented my hand, no question, no expectance. Well, you are going to America, you also is going to have a bungalow, means like a single-family home, in India, which is the big thing. You going to have cars, servants, and luxurious life. 00:00:00.114 --> 01:15:24.114 And in my head, I'm saying, Are you sure, ‘cause in India, we used to have a hand cart. So, we call it haath gadi. Haath means hands, gadi is a car. Haath gadi. So, I said in my head, like are you sure this is not gadi, but it's haath gadi like a couple of those. Because in my middle economy, there were no prospect, because people tried to find a person, especially of the higher echelon economy person, but would not go anywhere lower, or stay in the same band. So, my journey would be to stay in the same band, or somewhere else. I never expected that what he was describing was the upper echelon life, so I could not see it from my young eyes how that journey’s going to occur. I had no idea. But I listened and I’m like, Do you believe he said I'm going to have all this. Oh and then one more thing, that you going to travel the world. I mean imagine living in a studio apartment with parents and four siblings, in one studio apartment all my life. Now this guy is telling me something that I have not even thought or imagined, so I just brush it like whatever, you know. 00:00:00.115 --> 01:15:24.115 And lo and behold, the journey, because my husband came to America and I joined him, that's all my aspiration is follow my husband. When you watch namesake, you will understand, all right. So, I had no aspiration of myself or, you know, that what I want, or what. It's just, you just live life as it comes. And then, when I came here, and things happened, and that guy's prediction came absolutely true. In fact, today is the 33rd anniversary of when my husband started his own business. Because he was before was employment in that industry. And then he chose to leave employment and start his own business. He had that aspiration because he came from the family of business. And he wanted to migrate. And when his friend, his college roommate found out, he says, My god, ever since you have come, that's all you talk about is I want my business, I want my business. So, he made it happen, it took a while. So, today is that 33rd anniversary. I was just telling like, what a journey. Yes, what a journey. 00:00:00.116 --> 01:15:24.116 [EM]: When you first came, you obviously didn't expect to even be part of a big business or anything, what was your, did you have an occupation? 00:00:00.117 --> 01:15:24.117 [RG]: I did not, ‘cause my father then also believe that if women works, it’s because the men cannot make the ends meet. So he says, Why do you want to work? What's wrong with our life? Why should you work? So, he did not believe and of course, I was a first-born, Okay, father says he knows the best. So, why. But then, when I came here, I think I started working when my son turned 3 years old. I raised them up to that stage and then I started working. And because I had a technical science degree, I found job right away. And then, my journey began. 00:00:00.118 --> 01:15:24.118 So, this happened, I started working in ’76. So, I got married in ’69, came here in ’70, had my daughter in ’71, my son ’73, and I started working in ’76. And then, he started his business in ’83, so at that point, I started working in the company in ’92. Until then, there were four partners and all the stuff. Then, my husband finally bought out each partner. And when he was a single-owner, that's when I started coming to help him. So, I said, You have 100% responsibility, even if I can do 2%, that’s 2% less for you. So then we became, and then my kids were in college at that time. So, I started like a family business. And then when my children graduated from college, they worked outside one year, and they also joined the business. So we are a true American story of immigrant and moving through life and had our own family business. 00:00:00.119 --> 01:15:24.119 [EM]: Sounds like the whole family. 00:00:00.120 --> 01:15:24.120 [RG]: Yes. 00:00:00.121 --> 01:15:24.121 [EM]: What was your biggest shock, culture shock, when you came to America? 00:00:00.122 --> 01:15:24.122 [RG]: Biggest culture shock was the language barrier. I knew the entire language. I could read and write, but I could not communicate because Indian pronunciations more are of British pronunciation. And here, it was completely different. So, although you know the language itself, but understanding and communicating, it took a long while, long while it seemed then. But then, slowly as you get accustomed to it, so I think, I would say language barrier was the biggest shock I had to absorb. 00:00:00.123 --> 01:15:24.123 [EM]: And you’re so interested and so comfortable with language, it seems, ‘cause you know so many. It’s very interesting that you still were uncomfortable. 00:00:00.124 --> 01:15:24.124 [RG]: Because I studied in Gujarati medium, my high school through. College, professor lectures you, and you're supposed to answer in English on paper, which I did beautifully, I had no problem with that. But if you say, Hi, I would not, my mouth would not say, Hello. Because even in college, although it was English medium college, and there were all ethnicity then of Indian, but we could either speak Hindi or Gujarati, and we could slide by. There was no need to speak English. And that was, to me, was the biggest shock that I felt. And took a while. 00:00:00.125 --> 01:15:24.125 [EM]: Where did you immigrate to? Chicago? 00:00:00.126 --> 01:15:24.126 [RG]: I, yes, first only three months I personally came to Cleveland after marriage. But then, he got transferred, my husband got transferred to a suburb of Chicago. ‘Cause that was their headquarters, and that's what brought us here. And that's about maybe 30 miles north from here. And in 30 miles I made this journey of being in a small apartment to this John Hancock building. 00:00:00.127 --> 01:15:24.127 [EM]: So, did you find that Chicago was welcoming? Did you find that Chicago was a good place for an immigrant to be? 00:00:00.128 --> 01:15:24.128 [RG]: Yes, I didn't think then of anything, but whatever my job, my family, my friends, I felt no other discrimination or good or bad place. People were nice to me, people were respectful, people were very friendly and helpful. So, I have all the positive memory of it where I did not feel that anything was not positive. 00:00:00.129 --> 01:15:24.129 [EM]: Did you still stay connected to India? How do you stay connected to India now? 00:00:00.130 --> 01:15:24.130 [RG]: I visit there every, it averages out every two years, because my mother is there. When I came, my father, my two brothers, their families, all is there. And in fact, I’m due to go in this January again. My mother, she just turned 86, yes, so I'm due. And definitely my sister and I go together. She lives in Connecticut, but we manage to all go at the same time, so my mom and my family feels we are all together again. Even though for short period, by couple of weeks, but we forget, like we are living afar. We become like the unit we used to be. 00:00:00.131 --> 01:15:24.131 [EM]: Your sister lives in Connecticut, did she immigrate after you, or— 00:00:00.132 --> 01:15:24.132 [RG]: After me. 00:00:00.133 --> 01:15:24.133 [EM]: Was it per your recommendation? 00:00:00.134 --> 01:15:24.134 [RG]: I had invited her when she was single that, Come and live with us and just experience. And yes, she lives, she stayed for five months just to experience what family, cause by then, I had two children, I was working a home. I said, Look, it's not the all luxurious life, but it’s a middle-class American life, so the standard of middle class is higher. You know, you have your car and you have your single-family home, and you work, and life is good. So, apparently she must have liked it. And she found someone, who also had the similar story, come from here, get married, come back, so, life is good. 00:00:00.135 --> 01:15:24.135 [EM]: So, could you describe, ‘cause you just described the middle class, the differences between the middle class, could you maybe go a little bit more into that? The differences between the middle class here and the middle class in India. 00:00:00.136 --> 01:15:24.136 [RG]: Yes, middle class in India probably would not imagine then to have all the luxury, what we call luxury here, is a refrigerator, gas stove, car, etcetera. But here, in middle class America, those are all common factors. And that is the difference. 00:00:00.137 --> 01:15:24.137 [EM]: What about finding friends when you first came to the United States? ‘Cause your husband was already here, and he already had friends. But what about you finding friends in your abrupt move? 00:00:00.138 --> 01:15:24.138 [RG]: What happened is that when my husband was, the company wanted to transfer into headquarters, that was his first concern. He says, I'm fine, but my wife she must have our community people around, because otherwise she would be very socially isolated and alone. And so, Abbott Laboratories then, in Waukegan, had a good Indian crowd, lot of Indian employees and their families in the same town. So, we had maybe 40, 50 families that we associated with each other. 00:00:00.139 --> 01:15:24.139 So, Monday through Friday, everyone works, come Saturday, Sunday we do everything together. You eat, you party, you do stuff and you laugh and sing the same song, and eat the same food. So, those were the become friends, but then otherwise, I mean people I work with, I'm friendly. But they were not friends on like you out to dinner together kind of friendship, so it's you are friends at work, and then this is my home. So it was two separate things, and that's how that fanned out, and I was pretty okay with that. 00:00:00.140 --> 01:15:24.140 [EM]: Made you more comfortable with being in such a new place. 00:00:00.141 --> 01:15:24.141 [RG]: Yes. I felt like life is good, because I could converse my language and be part of it every weekend. So it didn’t feel bad, and we in fact became each other's extended family, where we would rely on each other on our celebration and our heartbreaks. And it's amazing now, it's a third generation friends. So, we were friends, then our children celebrated birthdays and engagement and marriages. Now, the grandchildren. So, those friends have kept the friendship. And they come visit and sleepovers at each other's house, so now the third generation friendship also has occurred. 00:00:00.142 --> 01:15:24.142 So, it was unplanned benefit. It's just like how you have your family generations, we have these friend generations, but this was our extended family that we relied upon. Because I would go to India and my husband would have a job, he would stay here, and kids would have school, so they have to stay here. But I could count that my family, my friends, who is my extended family, would take care of everything. And I don't have to worry. And if someone would say, I will keep your child, or I'll cook this dinner and you come here, so that's how we became a close-knit, like a social group community on our own. But, we all were bonded with this immigration. 00:00:00.143 --> 01:15:24.143 [EM]: Did you find that a lot of the suburbs have an Indian community, or? 00:00:00.144 --> 01:15:24.144 [RG]: There are lot more now and then, there could be not of the same ethnicity. But then you learn, because in India, each ethnicity is also known as diverse, language, and food and all their traditions. But then, you learn from each other. So now, I have friends from different ethnicity as well, and I'm quite happy because now in downtown, it's different. It's not like what it was then. But I have retained those friendships, as well as I have developed a newer friendship here in downtown, with different ethnicity. And we just become instantly bonded, because we have a common factor, we eat not the same food, but similar genre of food. And we still can talk about way back when, and how the traditions were, and things like. 00:00:00.145 --> 01:15:24.145 [EM]: It sounds very similar to where you grew up in Mumbai. 00:00:00.146 --> 01:15:24.146 [RG]: Yes, yes. 00:00:00.147 --> 01:15:24.147 [EM]: That type of feel of all the people mixed together— 00:00:00.148 --> 01:15:24.148 [RG]: But there was—I just had a chance now after I came here, is to realize, to go back to Mumbai. But, where I went to school and lived, that was all Gujarati community. So, I never have a one other—Jainism I call is close to, which is the similar, but there won't be any like Islam, Islamic community, we had a large, but that had a separate part that they stayed in that part. And no one mandated that, but that's how people just made their enclaves, in the group of the similarity. So then, I didn't realize it, but now I realize it, that, Oh my god, that the schools and the communities all were differently structured, like a satellites within the city. So, I had no close contact, otherwise, of any kind. 00:00:00.149 --> 01:15:24.149 [EM]: But then when you came to America 00:00:00.150 --> 01:15:24.150 [RG]: Then you says, Oh my god, they have a synagogue. Oh my god, they have a mosque. And then through your children, child eyes you did not put that together. You says, There is a mosque, but I never had any Islamic friends, Muslim friends, or in school or anywhere else. So, it's like how did that happen? And then, you start, Oh if you go over there, that's where they all are, so. Was a new awakening in that sense. 00:00:00.151 --> 01:15:24.151 [EM]: So, how did you spend your leisure time when you came to America? How did you spend, what did you do for fun? 00:00:00.152 --> 01:15:24.152 [RG]: Again, answer is the same. Is 8 to 5, you work, then you cook and clean and raise children, do the homework, go to bed. Come Friday, Friday evening, then it's the social club we have. So, we are going to get together at someone's house, and you’re supposed to cook some dish and take it, and they need this, and you need this, and they need ice, and you just do together. And Saturday evenings, it would start like at 6:30 and it will go on ‘til 2 in the morning. And then again, so Sunday, I start getting ready for my week. So, Sunday, I mean Saturday morning, Saturday was my one off day where I would wake up late, and then we might go for movies or a drive and eat pizza, and something, and then in the evening, this social. So, Saturday was a true free day. 00:00:00.153 --> 01:15:24.153 [EM]: So, you were talking about your friend group, and I was just wondering if you guys did any community service, or did you guys make actual groups, or find other groups that were more established? Like the Indo-American Heritage Museum, or the, you know. 00:00:00.154 --> 01:15:24.154 [RG]: That time era, we were just in the thick of life where we were raising family. Everyone had to make their careers. So then, there was not a whole lot of time left. But as we progressed in life, then everyone does other community work and etcetera. 00:00:00.155 --> 01:15:24.155 [EM]: Are you very--do you participate in the community a lot? Do you do a lot of community— 00:00:00.156 --> 01:15:24.156 [RG]: I did the best thing to me that suited who I was, was to participate in English as a Second Language, they call ESL. I taught ESL for nine years in different parts. I also worked in downtown in, they call Cara, I was there, a mock interviewer. So those are my things as a volunteerism, what community, you call community work, but those are the things I did. 00:00:00.157 --> 01:15:24.157 [EM]: Can you describe the ESL, teaching ESL? 00:00:00.158 --> 01:15:24.158 [RG]: Yes, ESL teaching was, you teach English to immigrants. And I went through the experience, so I understand their place right now, the journey that they are passing through, how difficult it is, and what you feel, and how you need. So, English teaching them just became a tool. But more I was doing was mentoring, showing them American way of life. And we participated in each other's culture. So, my group of six people, could be Japanese, Korean, or it could be Spanish. So, what we would do is through our semester, we, each one would take one culture, and that person would lead, and we would experience their culture. And we exchanged in that manner. And I used many different resources or tools for mentoring, where they learn English, as well as, they might have difficulty in school with their children, or disciplining, or some other problem their face, paying electric bill, whatever. 00:00:00.159 --> 01:15:24.159 And I would try to help them out in any which way I could, and show them the way. It was fulfilling where they truly trusted me because I described their feelings for them in words. And they would be flabbergasted, like, How do you know? And I used to get beautiful cards, and they say, You are my angel in my dark days. And because I would listen, I would let them shed tears, because it's all part of the process. And I went through it so nothing jarred or shocked me. But, there was complete acceptance, and empathy, and sympathy all. And they could use far more than learning any other English, or anything. ‘Cause if you don't fulfill their fundamental need, person cannot progress further. Because you are consumed by what you are going through. So, at that point, I would put English secondary, and take care of that issue. 00:00:00.160 --> 01:15:24.160 Someone might have a severe migraine headache, and they don't know what to do, and how to go about it. And I would do research and find what helps them, and what vitamins or minerals, or anything. And then they feel better, now they are whole where they are more susceptible to learning. Because now they are at rest. So, ESL was far more involved in that sense. Whatever their problem was, I made that my problem and tried to solve it. 00:00:00.161 --> 01:15:24.161 [EM]: Did you find that you had a mentor like that when you first immigrated? Or were you on your own? 00:00:00.162 --> 01:15:24.162 [RG]: I did not have a mentor, but I had a very good friend, and when I met her, she was 83 years old. And we became best of friends because we were living next door to each other in apartment building. And she was single lady, career-minded, and she never had children of her own, but I just had, my baby was three months old and my daughter was then 15 months, no I would take it back, she would be 27 months at that time. And she sort of, the baby became her baby. And I was happy someone else loves my child just as I do, and if someone loved my child, I loved that person for loving us and my child in that manner. So, we were completely different people in all aspect, and yet we became best of friends. 00:00:00.163 --> 01:15:24.163 [EM]: Do you remember her name? 00:00:00.164 --> 01:15:24.164 [RG]: Catherine Conroy. I would not forget it, forget about remembering. 00:00:00.165 --> 01:15:24.165 [EM]: Can you describe her a little bit? 00:00:00.166 --> 01:15:24.166 [RG]: She was beautiful all-American, very feisty person. Very alive, loving, caring, and she was very open-minded to anyone to be with me, and my ethnicity, in my--she taught my son her religion and my children taught them the Gujarati words that they were speaking at home. So, it's a mixed language, and she would come and ask me, your son was talking about this, what is he saying? So then, we translate, and then she would start using that word with him. And then she says, Your son was asking about god and I don't know anything about your god. So, I told him about my God. She says, I hope it's okay with you. 00:00:00.167 --> 01:15:24.167 I'm like, Sweetheart, teach him anything. Let him grow up with your faith belief, my faith belief, let him become adult, he’ll choose his own. And I'm completely fine with that. So, your prior question about how I raised them, the arranged marriage, but this was my philosophy. Is let him become whole as who he is, where he is. Let him choose, give him all tools and opportunities. And that's what we both did and loved the baby, I stayed there in that apartment for three years. So, I was not even working, and she wasn't working ‘cause she was retired. So, our doors were meeting at 90 degree angle. So you walk, you just walked that 90 degrees, and you are in each other's apartment. And it was open door. She will keep the door open, my baby will crawl right into her apartment. **laughs** And she will bring back, Okay, he fell asleep here. **laughs** So, we had a best of times. 00:00:00.168 --> 01:15:24.168 [EM]: You found yourself your own— 00:00:00.169 --> 01:15:24.169 [RG]: Yes, and we stayed in touch ‘til she died, she died when she was 99. My both the children have their memory, I have lot of memorabilia that she, when she moved to nursing home, she says, Renu, take anything that's useful to you or I'm going to give everything away. So, I chose what would be useful, I still today I have that stuff. And whatever my son was playing when he was baby, her more expensive and really one-of-a-kind thing, he still has it. ‘Til today. And his son is playing with it. So, that's how deep and far it goes. 00:00:00.170 --> 01:15:24.170 [EM]: Do you think she was a big reason why you were so comfortable in the United States? 00:00:00.171 --> 01:15:24.171 [RG]: Again, it was not one factor, it's all of the above. It made my life fuller and richer. But again, when you see Namesake, you only, I came to this continent because I trusted one person, my husband. So, everything, my fulcrum or my epicenter is my husband. And then all this makes my galaxy more full and rich. But, it’s that one person that, my weight bearing pillar. 00:00:00.172 --> 01:15:24.172 [EM]: How have you found time to have, as a married, you obviously do a lot with your husband, how have you found, have you found ways to do your own thing, to be independent? Was that different in India than it is here? 00:00:00.173 --> 01:15:24.173 [RG]: I don't believe so, and I think it's more individual, who you are. And I did find who I was through the living, what I like, and how I can incorporate what I like within my life and my life responsibilities. So, absolutely, yes. 00:00:00.174 --> 01:15:24.174 [EM]: Do you find now that you are still learning things about America? Are you still learning new things, or do you feel completely at ease? 00:00:00.175 --> 01:15:24.175 [RG]: I am learning as we grow, because time changes. And with time, now I have more time to participate and learn. American election comes, and some new movement starts, and you start learning. So, as time passes, nothing stands standstill. And in that aspect, yes, I am growing and learning with time. 00:00:00.176 --> 01:15:24.176 [EM]: Did you eventually get your citizenship? 00:00:00.177 --> 01:15:24.177 [RG]: Oh, I did it way before, when I came in the first decade, I had my citizenship. 00:00:00.178 --> 01:15:24.178 [EM]: And how was that experience? 00:00:00.179 --> 01:15:24.179 [RG]: That was fine, it just like, okay now I have American passport, but to become, say, American, it's a whole different story. This is legally, you say you are a citizen. But when do you start feeling you are a citizen, it’s a whole different process. 00:00:00.180 --> 01:15:24.180 [EM]: When did you, so what year did you become an actual, legal citizen? 00:00:00.181 --> 01:15:24.181 [RG]: First decade, so let's say before a 1980. 00:00:00.182 --> 01:15:24.182 [EM]: At that time, did you feel culturally like you were an American already? Or did it take a little while longer? 00:00:00.183 --> 01:15:24.183 [RG]: Little bit longer, for sure. 00:00:00.184 --> 01:15:24.184 [EM]: When was your-- 00:00:00.185 --> 01:15:24.185 [RG]: I would say about 15 years after I came here, that's when I truly say, like, I stopped counting. This is home. Before you count, Oh, I’ll go back, I this, that. And you says, You know what, it’s nice to go and visit, but now this is home. 00:00:00.186 --> 01:15:24.186 [EM]: Was there like a moment where you realized? 00:00:00.187 --> 01:15:24.187 [RG]: No, it was not a moment, is just something happens and someone say something , and then it makes you think, Wait I am home. This is my home. 00:00:00.188 --> 01:15:24.188 [EM]: Can you describe the differences between your feelings of just where you were, just your feelings, of every day before you became American culturally? Then after. Like when you left your house, did you feel no different? 00:00:00.189 --> 01:15:24.189 [RG]: No, different in a sense, all I knew was what I was grown up with. Which was my life. Slowly as I came in different culture, and more it happened when I started working. I never worked before, but so, my contact with American society did not happen until that time. I lived from one wall of my father's home to my husband's home. I cooked, I cleaned, I shopped, I was happy, we did things together. I was in America, but there is that cell wall around you, that you are not integrated in American ways. But even when I had children, younger one, they're still stay home, they still watch American TV and all that stuff, so my true interaction started occurring when I started working. 00:00:00.190 --> 01:15:24.190 And when children started going to school, and they brought friends. And now, I'm into more mainstream America, dealing with people at work, with my boss, with my friends, with their friends, school teacher, all that started coming into life. And that's where my growth occur. Everything started making me think. So, lot of things were dormant within me, but it came to the consciousness of religion. Someone asked, like, Okay, what’s Hinduism? I had a hard time saying, although I knew all--but I could not verbalize, ‘cause my thoughts were not formed. And then, I had to say okay what is Hinduism? What does it, what the philosophies? What Christian philosophy? And then I compare, okay this is good, this is I believe, this is I don't believe, type of thing. And that all was growth in that sense, so me feeling one day Indian, and me feeling American citizen. 00:00:00.191 --> 01:15:24.191 And I still feel, I am Indian living in America. My son is American with Indian heritage, that's the difference. I'm still Indian, living in America. 00:00:00.192 --> 01:15:24.192 [EM]: You’ll never not feel that way. 00:00:00.193 --> 01:15:24.193 [RG]: But, he is American with Indian heritage, so that's the difference. 00:00:00.194 --> 01:15:24.194 [EM]: What exactly was your job? 00:00:00.195 --> 01:15:24.195 [RG]: I did varied type of, initially I did R&D engineering firm, it was a manufacturing plant. And I was their R&D engineering technician liaison with manufacturing. So, I worked there for five years. And then, I tried couple years doing real estate agent, buying, selling real estate. So, I did the real estate licensing and all that stuff. And then, I studied for CPA, I wanted to sit for CPA exam, so I started working in accounting firms for four, five years and learned. I needed 30 credits, so I started going to community college and did over the three years and sat for CPA exam. And after that, I went in my husband's company, and I was office manager. 00:00:00.196 --> 01:15:24.196 [EM]: All those jobs have a lot of interaction with people, I feel like that would help you learn more English and learn more-- 00:00:00.197 --> 01:15:24.197 [RG]: Oh, completely, completely. And as I grew, my aspirations also grew, because as the responsibility when the children grow up, you are not so much daily in time that consumed before when they were growing, versus now, is lessened. And that, when they move to college, according to this society, all of a sudden, I had a lot of time, even though I worked. I still had time afterwards. And that's where I focused on me, which I never did before. And that's where I felt like, I knew four languages, but I don't know any of them at literary level. So, I spent about three years learning my vocabulary, so it would become to the United States graduate-level, on my own. And then, I started reading a lot of literature, which I have a complete love for reading. So, I read lot of American literature. And everything makes you grow and change. 00:00:00.198 --> 01:15:24.198 [EM]: What's your favorite book? 00:00:00.199 --> 01:15:24.199 [RG]: Every time I see is Uncle Tom's Cabin and Jungle. Those were the eye opener books of the history of USA, and I thoroughly enjoyed, and it made a huge impact on me. 00:00:00.200 --> 01:15:24.200 [EM]: Did you know anything about the history? How much of U. S. History did you know? 00:00:00.201 --> 01:15:24.201 [RG]: Zero. Practically until whatever the school teaches you, in succinct. But, no, this is my own learning. And more you learn, more you feel you don't know. Or more, how much you don't know. So, you go deeper. 00:00:00.202 --> 01:15:24.202 [EM]: Did you need to know some history for the citizenship exam? What was the procedure of getting your citizenship— 00:00:00.203 --> 01:15:24.203 [RG]: You just get a book, and you understand and remember, and when they ask, answer appropriately. And that's the--it's a very, very superficial, extremely superficial. And it has no bearing how much language you know. In essence, you need more that on a daily basis than who is--because you, at that point, don't have a voting rights. You are an immigrant, you are not a citizen. What do you need is to interact with people, do the job, you need English more. But there is no emphasis on that, in getting citizenship. 00:00:00.204 --> 01:15:24.204 [EM]: The emphasis was on knowing the laws-- 00:00:00.205 --> 01:15:24.205 [RG]: Knowing the little bit of current politics, little bit of maybe history, and that. But what immigrants need is more language. I wish they would have more on that mandate, you must be at this level in English, but. 00:00:00.206 --> 01:15:24.206 [EM]: Was an interesting to you watching your children grow up in the American school system? 00:00:00.207 --> 01:15:24.207 [RG]: Yes. 00:00:00.208 --> 01:15:24.208 [EM]: Did they go to private or public school? 00:00:00.209 --> 01:15:24.209 [RG]: Public school. 00:00:00.210 --> 01:15:24.210 [EM]: And how was that? 00:00:00.211 --> 01:15:24.211 [RG]: I didn't know any better, because that's the American education system. And I accepted it, and I was hands on mother with them, whatever they brought from school, and regardless of what their argument was for not getting good grades, it's like, wait, I don't want to hear it. I'm here to teach you. Let's put aside who did what and why you are not there where I want you to be. So, I’m educated mother, and I will make sure because it's only my problem that you learn or not learn. Rest of the world will keep going about their ways, including your teacher and principal, but it's my child. And so, I was a very hands-on mother in making sure that they did their best. And I did my best. 00:00:00.212 --> 01:15:24.212 [EM]: Did you find that the public school system was on par with your private school system in India? 00:00:00.213 --> 01:15:24.213 [RG]: Yes and no. The philosophy is different, and I believe in Indian public schools, more is where you learn the material, and you give the exam. But, independent thinking, or a true deep understanding, that I believe was emphasis was not that there. In American, although it's a public system, they were more focused on, what do you think? Do you know the subject matter? And the standard of subject-matter knowing is higher as a passing grade. That's what I felt. 00:00:00.214 --> 01:15:24.214 [EM]: So, we are at an hour and two minutes, so I’m going to start the concluding questions. Are there any other memories or experiences specifically that you would like to make sure future generations know about? Because it seems like future generations to you, you're living in them, ‘cause you're three generations strong of friends. But are there any other specific memories or experiences that you would like to share with any future generations of immigrants? 00:00:00.215 --> 01:15:24.215 [RG]: There is nothing specific, but my son is already is thinking about it, and what my friend also has done is video record our experience in our own voice and language, in our mannerism. And he has given me questions. And I'm like, Yeah it sounds like a good project, you know. We will make a go of it and do the best we can. And if you want to show generation, it's fine, they're living it, but they are living it right now through a child’s eye. Versus when they come back sometimes when they are history major, or they want to do immigration or immigrant, any type of project, they can fall back on this live recording. That is the purpose. 00:00:00.216 --> 01:15:24.216 [EM]: That’s a really good idea. 00:00:00.217 --> 01:15:24.217 [RG]: And purposes, why did we come here, and what is our aspiration in going through that process, that I want my future generation to know. And that is the goal. 00:00:00.218 --> 01:15:24.218 [EM]: Do you have any ideas of what you think you would— 00:00:00.219 --> 01:15:24.219 [RG]: Absolutely. My idea is that I left one place, just like any other immigrant, to look for a better life in America. And we did that. In the process, what I say is, my one hand is still holding on to my values that I was taught. But with other hand, it's open in grasping newer things. And that's what I want my future generations, where they, how you can achieve your full potential, become best of your potential, and for humanity, and contribute towards the betterment of the world. 00:00:00.220 --> 01:15:24.220 And any individual coming from this family, regardless of anything, I want that value system, that this Gandhi corporation, family corporation, each family member has the same fundamental values and goals in life. Goal is not to, how much money or materialism, but goal is, who are you? Have you accomplished who you are, what you want, to your full potential? And be happy and healthy in life. And a contributing member of society, doesn't matter where you are. But that is the message. And we tried to do that in our life as best with resources we have. And I want that a continuation of that similar journey for them. 00:00:00.221 --> 01:15:24.221 [EM]: Is there anything else, any other things that you would like to add that we haven't asked questions about? 00:00:00.222 --> 01:15:24.222 [RG]: All I want is, I want my future generations to know the struggle of immigrant generation, and have appreciation, and not a sense of entitlement of their life. Is do not forget where we came from and why we are here and what is the purpose of it all, is what I would want my generations to know. 00:00:00.223 --> 01:15:24.223 [EM]: I think that perfectly sums it up. Thank-you for such a great interview. 00:00:00.224 --> 01:15:24.224 [RG]: Thank-you for being here and doing this project. And I'm looking forward to finish it and see in the museum.