U: My name is Usha Thappar. And presently I live in Rugby but I came to Aberdeen first time and I came as a student. That was 1973. And I joined University of Aberdeen. And I came as a…to do some research but the Scottish accent was so different and I was finding it, to be honest, I was finding it hard to understand even the university professors so… I think when I landed, I found it a really interesting place. People were so polite, very mannerful, saying thanks and sorry at every step and I was quite impressed, I think…and different from India. And then I got married after five years of staying in Aberdeen and I came into my in-laws’ house near Rugby. And they all passed away and then we moved to our own house. I have got three children. In short, and…what else.
I: What was the research?
U: Oh, because I did my M.A. in India in Political Science and I came to do some research. But because there were only 3-4 students, that was like an international class. One student was from Scotland, one from England, one from, I think, Egypt. But some of them just couldn’t cope. And I thought I better have some knowledge of English so I joined English for foreign students. This is where I…meanwhile arranged marriage was arranged so that’s it, I gave up, ya.
I: And were you happy to stay and live here?
U: I think yes, on the whole, right from the beginning I am very happy, yes, very happy, different from India …and because more of our relations are here. There’s less in India than here so we are like a nation locked in this nation…and I do visit India as well but it’s more or less this is like a second home to me now. India is first…this is first in fact because we are living here, children are born here, they’re getting married here so India and England I would say are more or less same to me
I: So your family are here?
U: Ya. My family–my brother, sister– they’re all settled here and their children are settled here just like mine so really I am happy here.