Imagining Home


My name is Mukesh and I am from India. My home is in the northern part of India in Haryana, 200 kilometers from [New] Delhi.

My family is still over there and I have a very beautiful wife, which is very good. And I have two kids, a boy six and a half years old and a daughter who will be two on the seventeenth [of this month 6/7/2014].

I have been living here for the last four and a half years. I am studying here to become a pastry chef. Right now I am working in Mount Waverly [Victoria] at a pastry shop. In fact it is a big factory but I work for two and a half days days because of my work limitations, as I do not want to go over more than 20 hours.

After finishing my course, the place I'm working at now as a pastry chef, they will sponsor me and according to immigration rules, if they sponsor me I will get a working visa, and through that working visa I will be eligible to get a permanent visa-residency.

How long does it take? - I'm not sure maybe six months or one year. But after that I will apply for permanent visa.

Initially when I came to Australia I was thinking of [immigrating] to New Zealand as my brother was there. But he had an accident and he died on the spot and later everything was over. But still I [had] my idea to go abroad. But suddenly there was some another circumstance with my sister-in-law who said so many things to me, which I took heartily and I decided to move to Australia to show her I can do something.

This was the main reason. The second reason was to have a good life and earn good money for my family for my kids and myself.

For the first weeks [in Australia] everything was new for me. I didn't know how to go out of the home, how to do shopping, how to take a train or a tram. These were different things for me. So gradually I became to know, but at the same time I felt very homesick.

[At] that time it was very crucial for me as I was missing them [my family] and each and every moment, I felt as if I had taken the wrong decision in my life, and that it was a big mistake to come to Australia.

[Also] at that time there was a financial crisis in Australia and I couldn't get a job. I went to so many places [with] a big bag in my hand. It was like a kind of drama for me as each place I went, I had to tell my qualifications over and over again and ask about work. They [potential employers] all replied that at the moment that they did not have any available work or jobs, but you can leave your resume and we'll see if there is any chance for you and we will contact you. I can't remember but I think I distributed initially over 200 resumes. But I didn't get any callbacks. But suddenly I got a job for five days only. It was a job to work on a farm picking strawberries.

That was a very hard job for me, as I had never worked hard in India. But I soon learnt that without work one could not survive here. You have to work.

So I worked there for 5 days, and after 6 days, they employed another man. I lost the job.

Afterwards I was free, and I didn't get a job for another six months. It wasn't permanent, and it was a cleaning job. They would call me now and then when they needed me. But afterwards I got this job [pastry chef], which is permanent.

I would rather stay here than go back to India. I never liked to stay in India. Life is miserable there and it's a very competitive life and there are not many opportunities. Life is good in Australia.

Home is a big thing for me. Everyone goes out and comes back and whenever they outside they always come back. This is the ultimate thing for everyone. Because the thing that is behind this is your family.

I want to make a good home, a sweet home for my family, but as long as my family is here with me.

Without my family, there is no home here. It is like a hotel for me, just going out for work and study and then back again to sleep, just for myself. Just like a hotel, as all the time I just see these four walls. So for me this is nothing.

If I get my family here and they are living here then this is a big home for me.

[There is] only one [possible] situation where my family can not come to Australia, then I will go back [to India]. Otherwise, I will try my best to bring them over here.

Home...what is home? Home is with the family members...if there are no family members there is no becomes a hotel. Home is a very sweet home if there is family with you. No family no home!

About this Video

Where is ‘home’? What happens to migrants who typically leave so much behind and arrive with so little? Engage with the experiences of Mukash Kalyan, who arrived in Australia in 2008
Length: 6:36