“I moved to Dundee around 50 years ago. I did not know how to speak English when I first came here. I only understood little bits here and there but not enough to understand a whole sentence. Now, although I can’t speak a lot of English I can understand and get by a lot more easily. I married my husband when I was 25. When we were in India he worked on the railways. This often involved him moving to different stations wherever the work was and I moved with him. We lived in many different places. I remember even staying in the jungle for a while and taking my bedspread and sleeping by the railways whenever he had night duty. The conditions were not the best sometimes but that was our life back then.
In my time in Dundee I have seen it change dramatically. It’s amazing to see the transformation of the city. In 1966 I remember the Queen Mother visited Dundee to open the new Road Bridge. Also, at that time Ninewells hospital was just being built and now the hospital looks very modern and different. There was a time where shillings were used instead of the pounds and pence’s we have today. I remember when I migrated there was a corner shop near our house. My husband had told them that I did not understand how the British currency works and so I just handed the shopkeeper the money and he would give me the change.
My husband passed away 25 years ago. He was still quite young. He was a very kind and handsome man. Since he was the same height as me I remember him saying: “If you wear heels, you’ll be taller than me!” My children were still studying at that time and my eldest was a year away from graduating from his degree in medicine. My daughter had started working so she helped support the family.
My children have their lives here, we are well settled. I have 3 kids; 2 boys and a girl. My eldest son is a GP in Birmingham and has two daughters. My youngest son has a boy and a girl and I love them very much too. My husband did not have any siblings so we spent most of our time in India living by ourselves. Though I still go every year to visit my own brothers and sisters, my heart is here with my children.
I have been coming to the Bazorg class at DIWC for a couple of years. When I first started I didn’t know any of the ladies here but now they are my friends. The Bazorg group gives me the opportunity to socialise and gives a little change to my week. I enjoy chatting with the ladies and doing the different activities they have here. Coming here makes me feel good.”
Aunty Krishna Bazorg Group member. Translated from Punjabi.#WomenOfDundee