An Immigrant’s Isolation

Who wants to know?
Who wants to know?

People who have not been in an immigrant’s shoes do not understand how difficult isolation can be.

Isolation from his family and friends he left back in his home country. Or, her country. His or her. But because I’m using me as an example of this emotional void, I’ll use “his” in this short outburst.

In fact, isolation — when it hits — becomes so excruciating that you do not want to do anything. You do not want to write. You do not want to talk. You do not want to go out and have some fresh air, which could help make you feel better.

It’s a very deep depression you carry with you throughout the journey as an immigrant. You carry it for the rest of your life in the land that you adopted. You thought your life would be better, and perhaps it has been better for some material purposes: money, education, pleasures of life.

But deep down, you are living an unfathomable void. You feel it more when you are in pain. You even feel it when you are celebrating. Because in both cases, you want to share it with others. But there are no others. It’s a complete void. You are cut off from your own kind of society and civilization.

You are trying your best to be a part of the new civilization. You are trying hard. But you can’t do it.

You just can’t do it.

On various occasions, I compared my immigrant’s isolation with the time when Neil Armstrong was dropped on the moon. The way he saw the vast, huge mass of land — dark, empty, lifeless. He broke down emotionally. He fought insanity, coming back to earth. But in my case, I can’t even go back to my earth. An immigrant is stuck on the moon forever.

And his spaceship dropped him off, and left. His Apollo will not return.

I guess, most people do not understand it. They would not understand it. I guess, and I’ve seen, even many immigrants do not understand it. Or, they are so “practical” that they have decided not to think about it.

“Most people are not poets; only some are” — as said one of our Bengali writers.

Really, you don’t feel it unless you have a sensitive mind. You don’t feel it if you do not long for your kind of people. You do not feel the pain if you do not want to share it with others. You do not feel the joy if you do not feel any need to share it with others who love you and care for you.

I do not feel like writing anymore. I am just happy that today, I was able to write this much.

Otherwise, this huge, empty, lifeless new world would devour me to death, quickly.

I am alive. And I am doing a lot of work. Some people say I am doing a lot of good work.

Maybe, I am.

But…who really understands an immigrant’s isolation?

Isolation of an immigrant who can’t deal with a total lack of society.

It’s no different from Neil Armstrong dropped on the moon.

Okay, that’s enough. Life will go on.

Sincerely,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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2 thoughts on “An Immigrant’s Isolation

  1. Well Partha the emigrant is different from most of his countrymen because he strikes out to a new land, for whatever combination of push-pull reasons he still shows an unusual courage and adventurism, even if driven to do so by despair or other loss of faith in the home country. America has much of its strength of character because it has to a significant degree been made by successive waves of such special people as yourself. I suppose the loneliness you describe is most immediately comforted by finding other ex-patriots in immigrant neighborhoods or other forms of immigrant community. But in the final analysis you will hopefully succeed in “joining the civilization” and feel you are now an American. We are not so homogenous as it might seem at first look, and there is a place here for all kinds of people, already I can see you very much belong here!

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