Farewell

With great sorrow and regrets I need to inform you about my certain departure from this country which I called home for last 5 years.

You were the first people I happened to know when I first arrived here and most of you became my good friends right away. You have shown nothing but acceptance and support for all the oddities, weird habits, creepy innuendos or sometime unintended rudeness from my lack of few gentle qualities.

My endeavour to look for a new life in a far away land was doomed from the beginning. As it happened, it came at a great financial cost which followed the cancellation of the promised 2 year Post Study Work Visa by UK government and desperate attempts landed me in the arms of employers where work, life, movements and even choice of my weekend activities seemed to be taken away from me.

Even though there is still sometime left in my visa, the employer has decided to end the sponsorship as the client projects are coming to an end. Effectively pronouncing me an illegal immigrant after 28th of August if I chose to stay without a new sponsor.

There are many contract and permanent jobs available which for which I am not just qualified but even asking for lesser money than advertised. But given the short window of time, I am not sure if it is possible to find a sponsor – and even someone who does not wish to exploit.

You know, people are asking upto 25% of my income for a sponsorship?

Which means if I earn – say £20,000 from a contract each year, I’ll pay £5,000 to the sponsor, £5,000 to HMRC as taxes and keep the rest 50% – HALF of what I am going to earn with all honesty and hard work – for the remaining term of my visa.

Plus I’ll be the one to pay all the visa fee occurred during the process, an introductory fee of about £3,000 AND monthly income tax on an imaginary income till I can find a contract.

It is illegal, referred as body shopping and leaves me at the mercy of sponsors and whim of UKBA.

Am I tempted? Yes. Will I do it? No.

Short term, long term, remote, commute, on-call – for the next 4 years before I can claim for a long term settled visa for myself. It is nothing short of slaving away without a shimmer of hope for a settled family life.

Is there really no place for the so called ‘best and the brightest’ in this country? Is there no place for a well educated, qualified, experienced, hardworking and tax-paying person who does not wish to commit a visa fraud in developed world?

So I am leaving this country to my childhood home which we sold and one mortgaged apartment to fund my studies and a still outstanding education loan to pay back.

I am not going to dilute remarkable journey I was on where I not just made friends like you but made memories, celebrated life and to some extent found myself.

A few basic lessons which I learned from all the people I knew here are empathy, acceptance, courtesy, inclusiveness and respect for individual’s choices.

Not once a person who was not from Indian Subcontinent commented on how fat I was or my greying hair or how old I was to make me feel conscious about my body image.

Just to make things clear, this post is not just complaints against the government of UK, it is just an attempt to express how grateful I am to ever met you guys and how the life sometimes plays tricks on you just by putting you at a certain geographic location at the time of your birth.

The mental trauma is unbearable. The pressure of uncertainty about life in coming weeks, resettling in India after a privileged lifestyle, change which was unforeseen until 30 days ago when I payed a deposit on a new house to rent here in UK. I feel helpless and sad. And there is really nothing I can do about it.

In the words of the famous Doctor David Tennant, “I don’t want to go”.

I wonder what visas all these taxi drivers have?

I’ll be in Bristol for a last hurrah from 1st August till 11th August before boarding my flight to Indore, India from Heathrow on 12th morning.

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Exploring Britain!

Here is a list of all the towns and cities where I have been to in the UK. This is just to keep track and remember those wonderful experiences:

1. Bristol
2. Slough
3. Bath
4. Cheltenham
5. Chippenham
6. Malmesbury

I know, London still does not feature on this list! Because, I have never been there, thats why!

A trip to Sussex is on the cards next week and it reminds me something funny from the past. As kids in small town Sanawad in India, we used to participate in local tennis-ball cricket tournaments with a team from our locality. Priyank, out of no where suggested we should call it Sussex. He had heard this name somewhere in the county cricket news on TV and his argument was, when breaking up this name ‘Sa-Sex’, the ‘Sa’ in Hindi, means with and ‘Sa-Sex’ will become ‘A team with so much sex appeal’.

*face palm*

Teenage Hormones! 😀

Anyways, we never won any tournament or won more than a match. Sussex Cricket Club from Baheti Colony Sanawad remains in memories.

Crisis!

I don’t feel like doing anything. It has been a week since the Uni started and all the assignments results are coming out with positive vibes. But still. Nothing is exciting me enough. Really looking for that kick to get back to track.

Honestly, this is s bit worrying as the dates for the assignments in this term are out and staring hard at me.

It is easy to say nothing is wrong, but there is. Just cannot find the issue OR get that spark to light-up the cold caves of my mind and heart.

I just hope that this passes soon.

The First New Thing of 2011

I was wondering over my new year’s resolution of doing 52 ‘things’ I have never done or experienced before and was planning to do. After much thought and pondering over the idea of ‘new’, I realised that, one can never decide over doing a new thing consciously.
It just happens!

If we look the open outlook at the life’s offerings to us, we can count and receive the ‘new’ thing as a gift or surprise.
Here comes the first thing of the year which was so not regular, it has to be counted as one of new thing!

Thing 1:

Watched two Real D-3D films back-to-back in a cinema namely Tron Legacy and Gulliver’s Travels.Also, add the 3D trailer of third Transformers and there is some evening to marvel about!

I am keeping those glasses for some time  🙂 !

A new day!

So they all jumped in to bid adieu to me for a long journey across the ocean in fall of 2010 and it all started from the last post of last year.

I know there are so many things which are not mentioned in the middle but is it necessary to log about all the pain and struggle we go through in painful d-e-t-a-i-l-s? No one wishes to open a blog and see a cry baby shouting over the world for the pains he has been bestowed upon! And it is no fun in writing either.

There!

In short, it was a good struggle and hard work but I managed to reach Bristol, UK on 23rd September 2010 for what is going to be a new world and a new life.

I love my university, the University of the West of England, the campus is so big, I haven’t managed to see it all till now. The faculty is innovative, teaching methods are better than home, classmates are teenagers who constantly talk about games, new technology or the faculty. A part and parcel of the age.

A fortnight later, Himanshu arrived and proper house was setup to live in the UK. We went for the night outs, experimented with canned vegetables and ready to eat food, tried various phone companies for a better and cheaper plan, browsed through various supermarkets and concluded the best value options from different stores.

By the time Priyanka came to Bristol in November, the winter set foot all over the Europe. It was cold everywhere, colder than what was expected by even the locals in that time of the year. News said it was the coldest winter since last 25 years and some called it winter of a lifetime.

On the last Friday of November when I was in the university lab, it started to snow.

I ran as hard I could to just get out of the building and feel something I never experienced all my life. It was really special. Following weeks were fun and colder.

At university front, all the assignments were submitted by 16th December and Christmas holidays started to last for a month. It was a big bore period as there was practically nothing to do but to sit inside and watch snow outside from the window. The temperature plunged to -7 degrees centigrade, it started to get dark at 4 PM and no sun in sight.

Those were the days when I started with HTML5. Finally after all these years, I booked the domain to myself as http://www.dushyantkanungo.com and developed the site ASAP. Counting it as a birthday present to self, I turned 28 on Christmas eve.

Priyanka gifted me a light jacket and Himanshu got a bottle of bubbly for my birth day. A night before that we had a cake, brownies, crisps (what we call chips in India are called crisps here and chips are French fries or finger chips.) mince pies, and some fun. In the afternoon, we decided to go for a walk on the historical Bristol-Bath railway path.

It is January now. University term starts from next Monday and I cannot wait to get back in the classroom.

I won’t deny it, I am having the time of my life!

Do 52 New Things in 2011!

That is right. You guessed it!

My new year’s resolution is to do 52 new things in 2011.

You are right again! That is one new thing a week.

Finer prints read that the “Thing” doesn’t has to be expensive or free cannot be measured in monetary terms. It has to be something which I have never done or experienced before in my life.

Quite an ask you say?

I know, but hey, this is a new year and I am in a country which I still need to explore!

It is going to be fun! Look, I am already excited!

I am going to blog about each new “Thing” by numbers here to keep track of it all.

Goosebumps!

Testing times

The main purpose of this blog, when started almost 6 years back was to chronical the ups and downs of my life when I just started in the world of software and web designing.

As many of you are aware of the fact that I got an unconditional offer from UWE, Bristol for a Web Design degree, starting September’10, and have resigned from my current job, I am trying to keep myself from blogging about the process in between.

That said, it is not the case of extreme business or lake of thoughts, but the very reason of my ongoing struggle to arrange the funding to show for my visa.

Long spells of depression and sleepless nights are a norm.

I read this morning on the office notice board while I am doing the hand over to the new guy who is going to replace me, ‘If you wish to shine like the sun, you have to first burn like one.’

That said, personally, I am going through hell.

Hope in the end it all will turn around alright.

solutions time!

This time again the age old trick has worked. I heard long time back that if you face a problem of which any solution is not coming in sight, step back and give it some space. There is no point graying hair over something which cannot be solved immediately. Solution will come automatically.

And it came.

A sense of relief now runs along as the pressure for the next step mounts high.

Catch ya later!

Sleepless nights – Money matters!

Wow! I am in the gang of people who actually have sleepless nights worrying over money matters.
And to add to injury, this is happening for the biggest dream of my life.

Good news first, I got an unconditional offer of admission from the University of the West of England to study BSc. (Hons) – Web Design from their Franchy campus at Bristol, starting 13th September this year. This comes with a 3 year student visa and work permit for following couple of years. Also, included in this is work visa for my wife for the entire duration.

Can it get bigger than this?

I think not.

Now the laundry list:

1. Apply for loan
2. Pay the fee
3. Sit for IELTS (for just being on the safer side)
4. Apply for visa
5. Book tickets
6. Fly!

I have resigned from Rishabh yesterday and serving the notice period for the last two months. Now to kick the list above, first thing I need to go with is the loan application and the most important document missing there is the clearance from the bank as need to clear the education loan taken for Priyanka’s MBA.

Aww man!

This is gonna make me lose weight.