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Gate Keepers (standard:non fiction, 2045 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Nov 14 2010Views/Reads: 1744/948Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
An essay on misguided people trying to implement their own agenda.

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

When I handed over my resume for a vacant position at his department, 
he glanced at my resume quickly and said. “I see you had an impressive 
academic record and lot of work experience, I wish I could help you, 
but the position was only for permanent residents of the United 
States.” He looked genuinely helpless. 

“I am a resident of the United States, sir,” I replied politely. 

“Oh well, this position was partially funded by the federal government,
therefore, only the citizens of the United States were eligible. I am 
afraid; you have to wait till you get your citizenship before you 
qualify for jobs funded by the federal government.” The professor now 
behaved more like an attorney than a true academician. 

“I applied for my citizenship, and have received a notification recently
to take a test for obtaining American citizenship,” I said. I pursued 
this man like a mole, a soil-burrowing animal to get some positive 

“Glad to hear that, please apply for the position when you receive your
citizenship, and certainly I would consider if the position is still 
open, Okay,” he moved on with a twinkle in his eyes, as if he conquered 
me in the verbal battle. 

He was a gatekeeper all right, but I was not sure whom he would like to
keep out. 

I was living in the United States for over eighteen years now, one
downside was, many of my relatives wanted me to help their children 
back home either to get a job here or to get a matrimonial alliance 
with somebody here. 

One of my relative called me from India and requested that I should
contact a prospective bridegroom for his highly educated daughter in 
India, he gave the telephone number of the young man who lived 
somewhere in New York State. After several attempts, somehow I got in 
touch with him on the phone. I introduced myself and explained the 
purpose of my call. 

The young man replied apologetically “ I was sorry for not returning
your calls, I was busy lately.” 

“As you might know my relative in India is interested in you, and he was
hoping you would consider a matrimonial alliance with his daughter,” I 

“Yes, I read the letter he sent to me recently,” said the prospective

“What do you think about it,” I said without sounding pushy. 

“Well, I was educated in the United States and currently I'm in an
advanced research project for a computer technology data firm here.” 

“Very nice, and how long are you in the U.S?” I asked. 

“Well, almost four years.” 

“Very well, it seems you are well established here in the United States,
so what do you think about this alliance?” I repeated. 

The software engineer's voice was soft but firm. “I am not sure how to
put it, but at this time, I am not interested in getting married. ” 

“Any specific reason, since your parents back home were contacting
prospective families to contact you for matrimony?” I was more direct 

“Well, frankly I was looking for somebody born in India and who went to
school in the United States just like me for matrimony.” He was at 
least honest to express his feelings openly now. 

“Thats okay, I would let my friend know about this,” I said, and hung

The young man I spoke with had cultivated the American accent during his
stay, and his degree earned in America became a barrier for him to 
consider matrimony with any woman from India unless she went to college 
in America. This man had a computer chip implanted in his psyche to 
screen the prospective brides to reject any matrimonial alliance from 
India unless the prospective brides were educated in the United States, 
a kind of quality assurance and control (QA/QC) for matrimony. 

My distant cousin Annapurna or Ann for short came to the United States
along with her husband almost 30 years ago. While her husband worked as 
an engineer, she stayed home and took care of her two children, a boy 
and a girl both born in America. Annapurna brought-up her children with 
utmost discipline. At home, they performed Hindu prayer every Saturday, 
an auspicious day for most Hindus. The family attended a local Hindu 
temple on Saturday, or any Hindu festive days to celebrate one of the 
several Hindu gods. Unlike the Hindu temples in India where a temple is 
exclusively dedicated to either one or a few Hindu deities, Hindus 
temples built in the United States generally dedicate to every Hindu 
deity to cater to believers of all Hindu faith. Ann's husband became an 
active member of the local Hindu temple management. Ann's two children, 
the son a bright MBA from Ivy League school, and the daughter graduated 
from Medical School were her prized possessions. At social gatherings 
at the temple, invariably all her chat lead to her children's academic, 
and other achievements in tennis, skiing and yoga. Her daughter was a 
versatile Indian classical dancer. 

While Ann enjoyed her enviable position of living in prosperous America,
she discouraged any of her relatives attempting to come to America from 
her motherland. During her trips to India, if somebody was enthusiastic 
about America or asked questions about opportunities in America, she 
tried to nip at the bud, and would say “Oh no, you don't want to go 
there,” or “It is a terrible place to live,” or “Did you know how long 
we suffered before we settled in” or “My husband with a Ph.D. had to 
work a menial job for several years before he got a decent job”. Ann 
behaved like a gatekeeper, and took upon the duties of an immigration 
officer at U.S. Embassy or at Immigration and Naturalization Service 
(INS). The truthful duo of Chitragupta and Yamadhrma Raja at least made 
decisions based on recorded data, but Ann behaved as if she closed the 
doors after her, and the United Stated was off limits to others. 

Ann encouraged her relatives in America to leave for their motherland,
and glorified the need to do so, despite the fact she was living in 
America for thirty years. She would say “please go back home, why are 
you suffering here,” or “I cannot see you suffer here like this,” 
although her relatives were neither suffering nor complained to her 
about their stay in America. She acquired the nickname “gate keeper” 
among her relatives, and many tried to run away from her at the social 
gatherings to avoid her preaching on going back to motherland, or worse 
to hear about her children's glorified achievements in America. 

During a local TV station interview on Asian Indians, she was asked
about the upbringing of her children. 

“I brought up my children with east-west values,” she said with

“What you meant by east-west values?” inquired the TV anchorwoman. 

“Well, the values of the East and West” Ann had trouble articulating the

“Did you allow your children to date before marriage, and free to marry
whom ever they choose or would you select their spouses?” The 
anchorwoman asked. 

“My both children are highly educated and they would still listen to us
in selecting their spouses, and that's what I call the east-west 
up-bringing,” said Ann with confidence. 

Ann, the gatekeeper insisted her son and daughter marry Indians that
were born, and raised in the United States. She received scores of 
offers of matrimonial alliances for her children from her relatives in 
India. She rejected them all, and insisted that her east- west up 
bringing, and her children's Ivy-League education were too 
sophisticated for Indians from India. While Ann was sifting, screening 
and filtering the matrimonial alliances for her children, her daughter 
was secretly dating a white American whose parents were evangelist 
whereas Ann's son fell in love with a Muslim girl migrated from Bosnia 
in recent years. Both these events devastated Ann so much so, she 
justified her previous stand why she did not want her relatives to come 
to America, and defended her gate keeper policies further in strong 


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