Being a new immigrant feels like a fish being compelled to ride a bicycle, in other words, you have to completely discard your identity and assume a new one and that is something which feels grotesque and unnatural, much like what the illustration portrays. My friends will vouch that throughout my entire stay in Canada the expression on my face was exactly like that of the fish on the bicycle.
No country can give you everything that you want. If in one country you finally had the hard won life you created for yourself, centered on what you value most, another country might have eventually given me the quiet and dignity that I desired. However in my case, it seemed to be at the expense of all that I had striven for till now. ‘What do I value more?’ was the question that I asked myself frequently in the midst of my immigrant dilemma. The longer I stayed on searching for something which I began to suspect did not exist, the further away I kept moving from the path that led to all that I held close to my heart. The consequence was great unhappiness and an acute loss of confidence. Whichever part of the world you live in, the truth is what an illustrator who has also been through it all once told me – “The only happy place is inside our heads, when we are drawing and being kind...”