Put up by a young man who went from Hoshiarpur to the United States of America, a Facebook video going viral online has yet again underlined the dark side of emigration from Punjab to the West. He identifies himself as Amarjit Singh (Amar Minhas on FB) and goes on to talk about how he reached the US via the legal/illegal route. “Caught a flight from Delhi, landed in Ecuador,” he starts, and then talks of taking the “donkey” route — slang for illegal migration — to Colombia. From there he went to Mexico, he says, and then “scaled the wall to America”. “It’s been two months,” he says in the video that was put up on May 29 at 2:54am (IST), from Midland, Washington state, according the FB details. It had got 1.6 lakh views by 10.30pm on May 31.
Then he details his life in Punjab where he “woke up at 2 in the afternoon, but no one said anything”. Amarjit also talks of how it was an ambition to go “bahar” (abroad), and how his two elder brothers were already in the US. Appearing in a T-shirt with the logo ‘ExtraMile’, he seems to have recorded the video in a grocery store or supermarket. He fondly recalls how his father, mother and brothers gave him a comfortable life back home: “I ate in bed, did not even pick up the utensils... had a great time in college... parents pampered me since they thought I’d have to work eventually anyway abroad”.
He then breaks down and talks of his life of a 12-hour work shift and utter lack of friends in the US: “No one has time here, even to talk.” He concludes with the irony of how his parents must be getting compliments from people about their all three sons being settled abroad. “Only he who suffers knows what it’s like,” he says, concluding with: “It’s not easy to leave home.”
The video is also on YouTube, though it has not got many views on that platform.