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Immigrant Stories

Meet the Krishnamurthi Family

Darpan, 22 Sep, 2014
    Jagathguru is a Bridge Engineer working with Parsons Corporation 
     
    Divya is a Business Analyst working with Prizm Media
     
    Getting Here: 
     
    After completing his Masters in Structural Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in South Dakota, USA, Jagathguru Krishnamurthi began working for a heavy civil construction company in Minneapolis.After completing the project in Minneapolis, his company gave him the opportunity to move to Canada to work on the Port Mann Bridge project. “Before moving from the States and till now there is a lot of infrastructure development happening in Canada and it was a good opportunity to build my career where there are interesting jobs. So when my employer gave me the opportunity, I decided to move to Canada,” says Jagathguru, who has now been living in Canada for almost five and a half years.
     
    Nine months after he moved, Jagathguru, who is originally from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, was joined by his wife Divya. 
    Talking about one of the difficulties she initially faced after immigrating, Divya, who is from Mysore, Karnataka, India, says, “Even though I have a MBA and three years work experience in the corporate world in India, finding a job here in Canada was very difficult as they kept asking for Canadian work experience. I am still confused as to how someone can get Canadian work experience without getting a job.”
     
    She adds that one of her first experiences in Canada left her shocked.“Myself and Jagath went to test drive a car and when I was driving we got rear ended. The person who hit us called the cops and I was completely under shock and did not know what to do even after Jagath reassured me that it was not our fault and we should not be worried. After the policeman came, he saw my Indian Driver’s license, said I was able to drive for three months after I landed in Canada. He took statements and said it was the other guys’ fault and left. I was relieved but this was something different from India, wherein if a person hit our car they would just keep going and not stop.” 
     
    On a parting note, when asked what he likes about Canada, Jagath says that he appreciates the multiculturalism and also thinks that it’s easy for people from different countries to adapt to the Canadian lifestyle. Divya adds, “There are things here in Canada that are not the same as in India, but when you’re in Rome be a Roman. So make use of what is here and enjoy the moment with your family and new friends!
     
    Biggest Obstacle: 
     
    Jagath: When I came to Canada I was in a work permit and was not able to get a loan to buy a car. Earlier one had to be a permanent resident or have a permanent residence/citizenship to sign as a guarantor to apply for a loan.
     
    Resolutions: 
     
    Jagath: Spend more time with my wife, family and friends, to make a work life balance and not get too busy with work since we all came from India to avoid the long hours. 
     
    Divya: Almost same as Jagath, spend more time together and work to keep myself occupied which will also be an additional financial support for our family.
     
    Advice to future immigrants: 
     
    Jagath: Don’t set high expectations because if something did not happen the way you wanted, it will be in the back of your mind regretting making the decision to immigrate from your hometown where you left behind your extended family and friends. But coming here, you will have more exposure and will come out of your comfort zone.
     
    Memories of homeland: 
     
    Jagath: Coimbatore is called the Manchester of South India, basically a cotton city and also has a lot educational institutions. We used to have a lot of Inter School Festivals which I remember was fun, visiting all the different institutes, making new friends. Every year my family would go on a road trip to all the temples, which was an exciting journey visiting the places where engineering marvel was made centuries ago. 
     
    Divya: Mysore’s Dasara celebrations are the best, where the entire city is lighted up and the festival goes on for a week, the evening road trips to Chammundi Hills, and I can never forget the Gol Gappas and Chaats at Khao Gali.
     
    PHOTO: DIVYA & JAGATHGURU KRISHNAMURTHI

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