Some time back, an acquaintance visited a house in Newcastle to check and repair some wiring which had short-circuited and had blown the fuse. The house was occupied by an Indian family, mother and father, and three kids. All three children spoke perfect English, as they had all been educated in England; incidentally two were aiming at University, and the third was setting himself up as a small businessman, even though he was only seventeen. A typical, thrusting, busy family, and unfortunately typical in yet another way as well; neither mother nor father spoke any English at all! The two adults had established themselves in England over thirteen years ago, and had owned a corner shop until they retired and sold it. Three close relatives had been on hand to serve any customer who did not speak their own language Hindi, and this option had continued until they sold their shop. Many of our immigrant families keep to this tradition, in that they resolutely turn their backs upon the indigenous language of the country which has been so generous of its hospitality.
So is it any wonder that Mrs. Chapti, who doesn’t seem to speak any English, but who has lived here on and off for six years, wishes to bring her husband, who not only doesn’t speak any English either, and by all accounts doesn’t want to learn either; over to England to spend his years with his ‘wife’. This ‘bringing together’ is, according to Mrs. Chapti, and her solicitor of course, in perfect alignment with her ‘Human Rights’, especially those of ‘family’ etc.
So what are the odds of the Chaptis getting together in happy Bangalore (West), otherwise known as Leicester? Pretty good, I reckon. After all, he won’t take up much room when he dies, as he can now choose his own open-air pyre, so why not where he lives before that?