Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tête-à-Tête

TÊTE-À-TÊTE
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

“Are you from India…?” the girl asked me.

“Yes…” I said.

“Tourism…?”

“Not really…? I am on a lecture tour – but I am seeing the sights also…”

“Oh – lecture tour – you are a Professor…?”

“Yes. I teach Management…”

“Oh. Management…? I studied Management too…”

“Really…?”

“I did my MBA in India. Then – I did my Masters in Management here in New Zealand…”

“If you were already an MBA – why did you do another Masters Course in Management…?”

“Because I want to settle down here in New Zealand…”

“Oh – so you are using the “student pathway” to citizenship…?”

“Yes. How do you know about the “Student Pathway”…?”

“I met a youngster who is keen on settling down here – like you…”

“Oh. Indian…?”

“Yes. He is my son’s school classmate. Like you – he too came here as a “student”. He told me that no one comes here for “genuine education” – they do these courses over here – because – the “student pathway” is the easiest route to residency and citizenship...”

“That’s true. All of us – we migrate to New Zealand using the “student pathway” – first “student visa” – then “work visa” – then “residency” – and finally – the coveted New Zealand “citizenship”…”

“Have you got citizenship…?”

“No. Not yet. Right now – I am on an “Employer Assisted Work Visa”. Hopefully – I will get my “Skilled Migrant Visa” soon – then – after 2 years I can apply for “Permanent Residency” – and then – after I complete 5 years in New Zealand – I will apply for Citizenship…”

“So – you have got it all planned…”

“Yes – I came here 3 years ago – for over one year during my course I was on a Pathway Student Visa – then – for almost one year I was on Post Study Work Visa – searching for a permanent job – luckily – I got a good job just in time – and since then – I am on an Employer Assisted Work Visa…”

“My son’s friend – he told me that the “work visa” phase is most uncertain – he is all stressed out…”

“Yes. Once you complete your course – first you have to find a job within one year – and then – you have to hold on to the job for 2 years…”

“I told him to return to India – but he is desperate to stay here…”

“Everyone who comes here is desperate to stay here at any cost – that’s why we migrants get exploited…”

“Yes – he told me about it – all sorts of menial and dirty jobs – excessive working hours – underpayment of wages – it’s almost like slavery – and he told me that immigrant students are being exploited by employers in their own ethnic communities – Indian Immigrants are exploited by “Kiwi-Indians” – our own people who have settled down here…”

“It’s true – but then – at the end of it all – you get residency – don’t you…? It’s just a question of braving it out for 2 or 3 years to achieve your ultimate aim…”

“He told me that there was even a “cash-for-job” scam – migrants had to pay money to get a “job letter” which was required for a work visa. Of course – I can’t believe that such things are happening here…”

“Of course it is happening – our people are experts at doing all these dodgy things. I don’t think Pakehas do all these unscrupulous things – but then – they are quite reluctant to hire migrants…”

Pakehas…?”

“New Zealanders of European Ancestry – they are called Pakehas…”

“Oh…”

“For us migrants – it is a Catch-22 situation. “Pakeha New Zealander Kiwis” don’t want us – and “Kiwi-Indians” exploit our vulnerability – because they know that we want to stay on here at any cost – in the hope of getting long term residency…”

“About wanting to stay here “at any cost” – my son’s friend told me a story – of course it is quite preposterous – so I didn’t believe him…”

“What story…?”

“He said that an employer told a migrant girl that she would have to sleep with him if she wanted a “job letter” for a work visa. And – the girl was so desperate – that she agreed – and she slept with him…”

“It’s possible…”

“How can it be possible…?”

“Well – maybe the deadline was approaching – and if she didn’t get a work visa – she would have to go back to India…”

“She should have gone back to India…”

“No one who comes here wants to go back – they are willing to go to any extent to stay on here and have a “better life”…”

“Better Life…?”

“Once you get permanent residency – it is certainly a “better life”…”

“Anyway – I don’t believe that a girl will sleep with someone just to get a work visa…”

“The story is true…”

“How do you know…?”

“I am that girl…” 

VIKRAM KARVE
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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