Life of an Expat’s wife in India
Anna is an accountant in Barclay’s Bank in London. Her husband Fredrick is the Personal Relation Officer in a well-known international firm. It is Anna’s dream that her husband gets a transfer into India and she gets relief. She was tired of working for so many years. Retirement is still far away.
She wished to stay as a mem in India with a full furnished bungalow with a beautiful garden and a number of house servants. She was fond of Indian dishes so she would employ an Indian cook who would prepare various types of delicious dishes and would employ a gardener to look after her lovely garden. She would also employ a house-maid to look after her house. Servants in India were very cheap and if paid nicely they would work without any complain.
Anna has worked as an accountant for a long time, ever since she was single. She was nearing 50 and there were still few years to go until she reached retirement. And those few years she wished to spend in India where she would lead a happy life with Fredrick.
And fortunately Anna’s husband Fredrick got transfer to the company’s Branch in India as a Branch Manager- a promotion with a good salary. He would be given a furnished house and a car.
Anna was on the top of the world as her dream of staying in India was being fulfilled. Moreover her husband was promoted with extra income and facilities. So she will have no restriction in expenses.
They reached India and settled in Calcutta where they were given a furnished huge bungalow in a porch area and a new Ambassador car by the company.
Anna enjoyed going around the city with Fredrick for few days but as soon as Fredrick started his work, she felt alone at home and she had nothing to do as most of the work was carried out by the servants. She could not move alone outside as she was a foreigner and a stranger.
All the shopping was done on weekends with Fredrick. There was a Church near by but not much time was passed there as there were hardly any people during the day time except on Sundays.
She tried to read Indian English Magazines especially for women. She also joined a nearby gym where there were few expat members like her. Time passed and the childless Anna felt lonely during day time. She thought of joining the firm of her husband as an accountant but she realized that only her husband had a work permit. She had a Visa but to work in India she needed a work permit.
She wanted to relax and stay as Mem Sahib in India. But she soon came to realize that it was not easy for a stranger foreigner house wife to pass time during day time in the strange place with strange people and very many of them not knowing English or German. She was lucky to have a house-maid and the cook who knew a bit of English.
She was happy with the variety of Indian dishes. She was delighted to see some typical Indian rural programs in T.V. But that did not keep her busy for long. She thought of going out with her house-maid with a hired taxi but she did not like the idea.
When her husband had initially asked her to have a work permit, she denied flatly as she did not want to work in India. Her main aim at that time was to relax and enjoy the Indian atmosphere to her best.
But she could very well join the missionary work to help less fortunate people of the Nation. Serving needy people was in fact God’s work and it was very fit for her in this strange but well developed Nation. She did not require any work permit for that.
And she joined the Church as a volunteer to serve the less fortunate people of God. She was happy doing it. The Church vehicle took her around the various centers where she was supposed to monitor the activities and advise accordingly. She also recorded the deficits in the centers and accordingly reported to the Church.
Anna came in contact with several different types of people and she enjoyed meeting them. She was happy doing charity work that was not possible for her in her country.