A NRI ( Non Resident Indian) is believed by many Indians to be an ultimate catch, smart, accomplished and intelligent. The Indian mindset is such that people are convinced that the brightest and the smartest men always head towards western countries, where their intellect is appreciated and rewarded. Material comfort, economic security when added to the brand value linked to living overseas, becomes the dream of every parent for his daughter. Working abroad certainly means more money, greater recognition of talent; an excellent work environment along with immense job satisfaction and success. A Dollar, Pound or a Euro salary helps afford good lifestyles. Back in India, NRI’S command a new kind of respect, doors open for them, and heads turn with a look of awe and admiration from all around. There is a fetish for anything foreign! Within the marriage market, these men are highly valued and are a dream come true for many an Indian women. Perhaps for some they also symbolise freedom from patriarchal and the conservative family structures existent in India, and for others economic prosperity not only for themselves but their extended family as well. Many such brides often coming from villages of Punjab, UP , Haryana and Gujarat have little knowledge of the language, culture and traditions of the country they are migrating to. They move from one conservative set up to another, living within the confines of their family, working, bearing children, looking after them till they are able to fend for themselves, fulfilling all their family responsibilities, till they grow old. Old age for many of these older women brings about loneliness. Gender, social, and cultural factors influence the experience of loneliness. Language problem makes it difficult for them to communicate with their neighbours and grand children. There is always the difficulty to find company with whom they can share their feelings or talk due to the lack of trust and insecurity. Their desire for human intimacy and social integration remains unfulfilled. They often find themselves wanting to relocate to India or thinking of the times they had spent there, in their youth, prior to their relocation as brides to the UK. Through this project I would like to address on one the dreams and desires of the Indian Brides and on the other the lonliness they encounter during their oldage.
For this project I would like to make 2 videos, the videos will be projected across one another. One video will consist of dialogues with Indian women about their dreams and desires for going to the west, with images of the Indian country side, wedding preparations etc. Right across will be projected videos about old women talking about their loneliness and their desire to go home. When the dialogues with the older women start, in the opposite screen will be images of Indian villages, fields etc,
I am not sure about the length of the piece. The title of the work will be ‘My Indian Bride’.