Life in Rugby, and Similarities With Jalandhar in India

The Crossing Borders group tried several art techniques to explore ideas about identity and memories including making prints from old clothes. The imprint created from the creases and folds of the fabric is a memory of the person who wore them.
Image courtesy of Heritage & Culture Warwickshire and Matthew Cox
Oral history of Sudesh, for Crossing Borders project


S: My name is Sudesh Joshi.

I: And where have you come from?

S: I came from India. The state is Punjab, and the town is Jalandhar so I came from city, Jalandhar city.

I: And when did you come here?

S: I came in 73.

I: And why did you decide to come here?

S: Because I got married. After marriage you have to stay with your husband so I had to come with him so as I married to him so we moved here.

I: And what did you think of it?

S: I think it’s alright because we’re used to this sort of atmosphere. It is the city atmosphere. I been in university, everything, it is not new anything for me. The clothing is same because I wear trousers, shirts though everything [over in India too] so it’s not a great deal so only a little bit language but we…I used to speaking our folk language which is Punjabi or Hindi and English. English I understand fully but not speak so as you come so we speaking no problem. No problem to understand. My neighbours quite good. One is Scottish, the other [Polish], I think Polish. They’re so co-operative, so like mum to my husband, so they’re very co-operative.

I: And why did you come to Rugby?

S: Rugby because my husband got a job here and he got a house here before marriage so have to come here but I can’t say [laughs] I don’t want to go Rugby, I want to go other so as we said he got a job later and I got a baby straight away so then after that [Mummy] said we settled here more or less so then I got a job here so never think to move because we got a house and everything. Then I settled here.

I: So you feel well and truly settled now, do you?

S: Ya, ya.

I: Do you ever go back? To India?

S: I go back quite a few times.

I: And do you see the differences then?

S: Not really. No, no. In cities, it’s no different. They’re more advanced than here even, you know, if you go there the clubbing and everything, the children’s clothes, the same sort of things. I more or less go more often to Canada because my parents in Canada, my brother, my family live more or less there so I been there… so sometimes I’ll go. My in-laws there. I got [to see them].

I: Is there anything else you want to add?

S: Ya, as you said I am saying no difference because my husband’s grandfather, he is barrister in Scotland, so they’re settled before we came so there’s nothing new for us.

I: So you’ve got lots of family connections over here?

S: Ya, my elder brother’s here so his family’s here. My few aunties are here.

I: Thank you very much.

S: Thank you.

Crossing Borders was an arts project made possible by funding from the West Midlands Museum Development Small Grant Scheme 2017.  Find out more about the project here.

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