Meet Varun and Dr Khushboo Gandhi, a Chandigarh-based couple who is now settled in Toronto, Ontario.
Why and when did you leave Chandigarh?
I left Chandigarh in 2012 and the biggest reason was a push from my parents. They have done every possible thing that they could do to raise me and my sister, and they always envisioned a better life for us. My mom did multiple fellowships abroad and the work culture she observed there was very transparent. Even if you work as a Janitor, people don’t judge you, they respect you as a human but back home, our society judges you at each phase of your life.
During my under-graduation program, I developed a zeal to become an Entrepreneur and whenever I tried to start my venture, there were vultures out there to prey. This really demotivated me, and at the end of the day, I would come home frustrated. So, that’s how I decided to leave Chandigarh in the pursuit of a better lifestyle.
What is the best thing that you like here which is not there in Chandigarh?
You take the city bus, you get a greeting from the driver, you are stuck in the snow, people stop to help you. Chandigarh was great while we were growing up. However, I still remember when I was visiting Chandigarh in 2015 and I had no cellphone with me. I found that there were no STD shops, I asked multiple people in sector 35 market to help me make a call, but no one helped, and I had to drive back home to make a phone call.
Similarly, whenever you meet with an accident in Ontario, emergency services are there in 5 minutes, you are valued as a human, and everything has a defined process here.
What is the one thing that you miss here which was there in Chandigarh and is not here?
Chandigarh had its own aura, its own freedom, and its own beauty. The chit chat with friends, the night drives, and my family are a few reasons why I miss Chandigarh a lot. If you live in Chandigarh even for a short while, it’s hard for you to live anywhere else in the world. You’ll always miss it. Chandigarh is in my heart.