Aspiring Butterflies in New World

This incident happened in Chennai,India when I went to appear for my US Business VISA interview. I was in a queue waiting for my turn and suddenly a lady with a cute kid wearing pink colored butterfly printed frock were allowed to stand in front of me. I think they have some kind of norm to give priority to aged people and parents with small kids.

As the queue cleared the Lady with Butterfly (I rather call her butterfly as she was really cute) went and stood infront of the bulletproof glass behind which the person from embassy started analyzing her papers. Since I was standing right behind the duo, the conversation between them was fairly audible.

The VISA application was for the butterfly who I assume would be around 5 years old wherein her own Mother wanted the kid to go to US and stay with her brother in-law. When she was interrogated on why they want to send the kid at this tender age to foreign country, her answer was that she will do her pre-school studies in US and will gain RESPECT(while she picked the kid in her arms). The guy at the other end of the window said that I understand if this was for some University however the value of Pre-School and Secondary School education in US is just same as India and that his own kids are studying in Chennai. For this the lady was still adamant on getting ahead with that.

The man excused himself and went to discuss this matter with his colleagues and came back asking more information about the brother in-law with whom she may stay. The Lady replied that he is a Surgeon. The man specified that since your daughter is not a US citizen which means she wont get into the govt schools in US and that she will have to join Private schools for which the fees are around 30,000 USD annually. The Lady again emphasized that his brother in-law being a Surgeon can take care of that.

The man again excused himself and went for second round of discussion with his colleagues on this matter and came back not convinced. The man interrogated asking what her husband did for living and she explained that they have a Travel Business. Then he asked her about what she did and the lady said she was a TEACHER in a school. The man suddenly stopped making notes in his computer and looked in her eyes and said, So being a Teacher yourself you want your kid at this tender age go to US and stay away from parents with your brother in-law for pre-school and that she will earn RESPECT.

The lady had genuinely no answer to this question but for counter answering replied that butterfly will come back in vacation time twice a year to stay with her Mom and Dad and that my brother in-laws are incapable of having a baby so she will give them company.

The man was aghast and asked the lady to take a seat in the waiting area as this issue required more time to discuss further and the 45 minutes which they spent discussing was not enough. (usually VISA interviews don’t last more than 5 minutes)

This incident left me in a dilemma that what do we want our kids to aspire for. Every parent feels his son/daughter should always receive best things in life but shouldn’t we also let them live the harsh reality which makes them even stronger in odd conditions of their entire life. The human brain will only work in odd way when we push it do so. If all the conditions and environment is made favorable then how will these small creatures realize their potential.


– Rax

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