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Title: Oral History Interview with Chandrika Dalal, July 22, 1999. Interview K-0814. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Dalal, Chandrika, interviewee
Interview conducted by Jilani, Andrew
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Kristin Shaffer
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2008
Size of electronic edition: 148 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2008.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2008-00-00, Wanda Gunther and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2008-01-03, Kristin Shaffer finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Chandrika Dalal, July 22, 1999. Interview K-0814. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0814)
Author: Andrew Jilani
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Chandrika Dalal, July 22, 1999. Interview K-0814. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0814)
Author: Chandrika Dalal
Description: 123 Mb
Description: 38 p.
Note: Interview conducted on July 22, 1999, by Andrew Jilani; recorded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series K. Southern Communities, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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An audio file with the interview complements this electronic edition.
The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Chandrika Dalal, July 22, 1999.
Interview K-0814. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Dalal, Chandrika, interviewee


Interview Participants

    CHANDRIKA DALAL, interviewee
    ANDREW JILANI, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ANDREW JILANI:
Ahm… today is Thursday. It's around ten o'clock. I'm sitting in the Hamilton Hall-, ahm…. With Chandrika Dalal, and we are about to begin our interview. And-, today is July twenty second, nineteen ninety nine, and-, ahm… Chandrika is sitting here with me on the fourth floor, and we are about to begin our interview. Good morning, Chandrika.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Good morning.
ANDREW JILANI:
And-, er…. Thank you for giving me your time. I know you are busy with your work, and I really appreciate taking this time in the middle of your work-, and-er…. My first question to you is-, er… when and how did you decide to come to United States?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Hmm….. When I work in the Bardoly.
ANDREW JILANI:
"Bardoly"?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It's a-, Surat District-, and-, I am teacher. But-, I make four hundred and forty rupees-, and I have two daughter. So, my father-in-law have a property, but my father don't have a property. So, my friend-, all Patel friends told me, you have brother in America, you have a chance to go there to make more money-, make better life for my daughter. So-, when my brother visit-, after eight years—he is citizen—he asked me to come here, and-, I want to come. My brother want me—me and my daughter—but not

Page 2
my husband. But-, my father-in-law black-mail me-, (that) if you don't take my son, you can go! So-, I don't have a choice, so-, I bring him here-, with me.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Along with your daughters?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
My one daughter-, two years old, so she come with me, and I left my two- month old daughter with my in-laws. And-, we can't find a job in North Carolina, so we just go-, in-, er….. California, because we have some Patel people we know. I am teacher in [unclear] in Bardoly, so lot of Patel people know me, and respect me as a teacher-, as a person. So—.
ANDREW JILANI:
What did you teach in Bardoly?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Ahm….. Gujrati, Hindi, Social Studies, Science—.
ANDREW JILANI:
So, going back to when you came here, you went to California-, and what did you do?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Oh-, we work as a motel manager, husband and wife. They give free apartment, and-, it is easy-, to save the money, so-, raise daughter. But-, when-, we stay almost two years in California, but then my brother have a business in-, er…. Pittsboro. He put the manager, but manager don't show the business. So, he offer me to take this business on the lease, so we move-, from California to North Carolina, Pittsboro. In nineteen eighty two, February twenty four-, or twenty three. So, I run the business-, we ran the restaurant, and I take care of my two daughters, so my husband have a job outside, so it's easy way, and safe life in North Carolina, than California. So, we move here. After we try for my daughter-, visa, and every time they say, you both don't make enough money to bring another child in this country. So—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Who said that?

Page 3
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
American Consulate.
ANDREW JILANI:
American Consulate, okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Every time they go—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Oh, you were trying—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Bombay-, Bombay Consulate-, every time we tried for her, they say you can't afford another child, because we have a small business, only ten unit we have, and two rooms-, we use it. One as a office, and one-, my daughter stay in that room. So-, I decided to take this job in UNC as a housekeeper, because my husband work here, but-, every time he-, buffer on the floor, he has a back pain. So, three times-, he work here, and then back pain, doctor told so-, sometimes stay home-, come back to work, it is same problem. So, three times he try, and then he quit. After-, he don't work in-, he visit India. So-, I applied for this housekeeper job, and I take it. When I interview, they ask me, your husband quit three times and come back three time, and go back, what about you? I say I have to raise daughter, so-, I keep my job. And-, they hire me, in nineteen eighty-six, July twenty eight.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay. Chandrika, tell me you early memories of United States. When you came here, how did you feel? What did you experience here?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Not good!
ANDREW JILANI:
Tell me about it.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Gradually. You know, they don't like your skin, they don't like your dress. If you speak in your language, they don't like. They make jokes on you.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Who are "they"?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
American people.

Page 4
ANDREW JILANI:
American people.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
If you talk with two Indian people. If they heard, they make jokes and laugh on you. You know, they don't respect-, our culture, or our language-, you know. They say it is a free country, but I don't think-, they treat as a good person to us. Because—. When-, when we move in Pittsboro-, they always-, police follow my husband.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Why?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Because of-, he has a California license plate, and they-, just make-, trouble! Every time he drive, police just come-, go after him, and make him upset and mad. Because, you know, we are out-of-country people and Pittsboro is small town. They don't like outside people. But we come here and we take this business on the lease. So, make him so mad! And-, he don't find out jobs, so we-, we have a one Indian friend. One day my husband go in that-, er…. Motel/Hotel Association meeting, and-, er… one Indian people there— they are from Marora, and they have a business on Hillsboro, Economy Motel—and-, they ask my husband how much he want. He say eight hundred, nine hundred dollar-, I can make in-, that's good for me. So, we take business on the lease.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
But we don't make any contract. We just take on the trust. And—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Verbal? Verbally.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah. Just trust! You know, just like a Indian.
ANDREW JILANI:
Just like in India? Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Without contract, no lawyer, nothing.
ANDREW JILANI:
Word of mouth.

Page 5
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yes. And-, I run in Pittsboro-, my village motel, and my husband run Economy motel. But-, he-, keep that condition, if you bring your wife, then I give you this business, so three months-, he run-, by himself. And after that, we put manager in Pittsboro motel, and I move with him. And then, I work with him, because-, that business is good-, there, and they have a central air-condition and heater, so in one side they have four rooms and, my husband can't handle phone, rent the room, laundry, cooking-, all this stuff. So, I work with him, I make the bed, and he clean the room, and vacuum-, and I do the laundry and fold up towels and everything, and cook. When he go out, I stay in the office, and run the business, but-, I have a hard time to understand English that time, because this is a different pronounce.
ANDREW JILANI:
Hmmm…. Different pronunciation? Uh-huh. Was this business—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
But mostly—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Was this business successful?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It is-, ahm… same-, motel business.
ANDREW JILANI:
Was it successful?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah. It's a good business.
ANDREW JILANI:
That's a good business.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And-, er… apartment also good-, and area also good.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And people are so friendly in Hillsboro, you know. They don't treat-, okay, you are Indian, or you are-, your skin is different, or something like that.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.

Page 6
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Every time my husband call somebody, they come and help in the maintenance, or any kind of help or advice, or something.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Almost-, we stay there two years.
ANDREW JILANI:
But—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And after-, owner's son-, a student in UNC, but he don't pay attention on studies, so-, they just told us-, (that) we want our business back. So, I moved out-, Pittsboro, and my husband stay there two-three more months.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And-, that's it!
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay. Uh-huh. You told me that when you came, you didn't like-, you felt prejudiced—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
That's it.
ANDREW JILANI:
Prejudism. Yeah. How do you feel now?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It is same.
ANDREW JILANI:
It's same?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It is same.
ANDREW JILANI:
It is same. Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay. People—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I have a-, I have a restaurant—.
ANDREW JILANI:
People-, the Americans still make fun of-, er…. Indian speaking, and—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
That is-, I-, there is—. I'm not speaking.

Page 7
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
They don't talk with me, or speak with me. But-, if you-, if you work somewhere-, some people just don't talk with you, say "hello", or "how are you", or something like that. Or just-, turn the face, you know! I have a neighbor—they are Mexican family—every time I see in the store, or bank, or somewhere, she just don't say "hello" in all these twenty years! You know-, Mexican-, you know. But-, she never talk!
ANDREW JILANI:
She never talks.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
My- my daughter's parents-, or their friend's-, they talk with me, but-, other people don't talk.
ANDREW JILANI:
You mean your daughter's friends' parents-, they talk with you?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah. They talk with me. But-, other people, no! One day I go in the church-, in-, ahm…. Only two people talk with me!
ANDREW JILANI:
Hmm…. Which-, which church was that?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It's in downtown. There is a [unclear] church, so I don't care what church, and whatever. They-, ask me to come in the church to change my religion, and I don't want to change it.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Whatever I believe, it is best for me.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
So, they just try to change me, you know. (That) come in the church, and—. But, I never go in the church in my life, and I am not going. If I don't go-, in Hillsboro-, my Hare-Krishna temple, or Hindu-Bhavan in Raleigh, I stay home and pray myself in

Page 8
my house, but-, I'm not going in church, because I believe my religious (religion) is best, and my culture is best. I don't want to be changed. I am still vegetarian—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And I respect my culture, my tradition(s), whatever I have-, I respect—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah. That's good-, er… good point. Tell me what is best about your culture, about your traditions? Give some examples, and—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Morality—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Morality?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yes. You know? You don't (are not) of people, but-, afraid of God. (That) if you do something wrong, you (are) punish(ed) by God. In Indian philosophy we believe, (that) if you do something wrong, next time you birth (are born)-, you born in this earth-, you have to pay for this. Whatever-, you do something wrong-, hurt somebody-, that born with you, related with you, [unclear] hurt you back. So-, you have to pay.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. This morality is one. What other traditions—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Without-, without marriage-, you know-, you don't have a sex. If you have a child-, need to be father's name. Without marriage, no sex-, and-, after marriage, you have a children, you have to take responsibility as a parent. Not like American(s) (that) oh, just a-, weekend, Christmas card, or birthday card, and-, just in the summer time stay with father or mother, or something like that, and fight for divorce or some-, fight for children-, child custody, or-, all this stuff. And hurts [unclear] feelings. Child is so important. If you give birth (to) your child, you take completely hundred percent responsibility-, as a parent—father and mother. Children need both!
ANDREW JILANI:
Hmmm…. Children need both. That's true.

Page 9
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
You know? And until, parents (are) together-, child have a better life. Children don't run away from house, like here. Children need protection, children need a guidance-, children need a love, children need a trust.
ANDREW JILANI:
So, with these values and with these traditions which you hold very dearly, how did you raise your two daughters?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I try my best, but-, you know. When I learn psychology in India, they say, after generation—your parents or grandparents—is come up from the generation-, you're a family. But sometimes, atmosphere is so strong, it's not (doesn't) work-, like in this country. My both daughter(s)-, my older daughter, here-, when she is (was) two years old-, so this culture, and that American friends-, changed the values. They don't respect Indian culture or Indian values, because they are thinking American way, because they (are) raise(ed) here. They have friend(s) like that, and all friends' parents are divorced and separate(d), that impression on that (their) mind, is different. And changed their thinking. And-, (sigh) until she is with me. She listen(s) about our religious stories. About Rama and Mahabharat, or Geeta, or something.
ANDREW JILANI:
Mahabharat?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah.
ANDREW JILANI:
What is-, what is Mahabharat?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It's a-, it's war between two family(ies), about right and wrong.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And-, always truth is a winner.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And-, that('s) the story.

Page 10
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
So, every time—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Do you want to tell the Story? Can you tell the story?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Ahm….. it is so big (a) story.
ANDREW JILANI:
It's a big—. [Laughter] Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
But it is big-, fight-, war between truth-, and wrong.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay. Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
One people believe in the truth, and honesty-, and noble, and everything. Other peoples (are) liar(s), and cheater(s), just want to take somebody's-, property, and somebody's-, you know—. It is not belongs to you, but you just want to just take it!
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It is between two families. But there is a-, values-, in the end of this-, war. Truth is (the) winner.
ANDREW JILANI:
Truth is winner. Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
So—. They keep (lead) you to believe, (that) lie is not always (a) winner. Truth is a winner. And if you-, keep faith in the god, God help(s) you. That is the reason. In Ramayan, ideal king, an ideal husband, ideal father.
ANDREW JILANI:
That's the-, the philosophy for this teaching?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Morality.
ANDREW JILANI:
Morality.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
You are king, you still respect your religious, your society rules, and your family's rules, and everything. You just don't say (that) it is not your business. If you stay in the family, you have a family rules, if you stay in a country, you have a country

Page 11
rules. If you go in religious, they have some rules for you, and you have to follow that rules. Because that is the life. You are (a) human being. You have a sense to understand right and wrong. So when you listen (to) your religious stories, the stories teach you, what is right and what is wrong. So—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Okay. Ahm…. You mentioned earlier that you go to Bhavan in Raleigh—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Hindu Bhavan.
ANDREW JILANI:
Hindu Bhavan, and the Hare Krishna temple in Hillsboro-, ahm…. Do you regularly attend those—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No. When I'm in Hillsboro, I go in Hare Krishna. My husband take(s) me there, and then somebody-, Indian people-, bring me back, and drop (me to my) house. Because we-, he is a manager, he can't stay there two hours.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
But, I just go by myself. When I go in Hindu Bhavan, there is a one American friends, they believe in our religious (religion). And-, there is a-, in India, they have a-, we have a "Ganeshpuri". That name is Ganeshpuri in India, but here, they say "Sidha Meditation Center"—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Sidha Meditation Center. Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Main center (is) in New York.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And-, they have an Ashram-, in Fallsburg. It is a hundred and fifty miles from New York. You can go in the bus, you can go in the taxi, you can go in a rented care, or your car.

Page 12
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
They have an Ashram there, every summer time, Guru Mai-, is a priest leader-, she come(s) here—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Guru Mai?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And stay four months, so they have a totally five hundred and fifty center(s) in USA. Until I go-, last time I heard number. I don't know how much more.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. You—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
But five hundred and fifty I heard-, center(s)-, and every Sunday, they have a meditation, and chanting. They have a video. That video-, Guru Mai visit(s) everywhere and give the lecture about any thing. About "bhagti", or about truth, or honesty, or anything. It is on the video. And every Sunday, the center put (play) that video, and (conduct) meditation and chanting. And that—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Have you attended-, er…. Her meetings?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I-, (in) Chapel Hill, they have a center-, (if) somebody give(s) me (a) ride, and I watch-, sometimes, that video. I (have) never (did) see (it) in India, but I see here.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Few videos. And I'm so impressed with that-, er… video-, because that-, that-, language is so easy to understand, and-, change(s) your mind about religion, (that) you are so lucky to listen (to) this video.
ANDREW JILANI:
And the video is in English?

Page 13
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah. And they have stories, so in the story, they have a message. So, it is easy to understand-, which story-, just like here in cartoon. The cartoon-, they make it-, but there is an end-, they always say truth is good-, best. Truth is the best!
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Bad people just lose, and good people just win. That is in-, cartoon. It is-, same things come in our religious stories. So—.
ANDREW JILANI:
That's good. Do you meditate?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I don't sit in one place, but when I have a time, I speak my God's name in my mouth, all the time.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay. How do you—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
If I don't talk—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Can you give me an example? What do you say?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
"Shri Krishna sarna mumma". That is our-, mantra.
ANDREW JILANI:
It's a mantra. Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah. When I am five years old—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Can you—, can you repeat the whole mantra-, or is this—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah. That's a-, only one thing—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
When-, in my family-, generation to generation, we have a priest. His name is Rajratna Lal. He is a priest.
ANDREW JILANI:
Say-, say that again.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Rajratna
ANDREW JILANI:
Rajratna. Rajratna.

Page 14
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
He is my spiritual father. He give me this mantra: "Shri Krishna sarna mumma".
ANDREW JILANI:
Shri Krisna—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Sarna mumma.
ANDREW JILANI:
Sarna mumma.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
(It) Means, you belong to God.
ANDREW JILANI:
You belong to God. Meaning, I belong to God.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah. So, if you completely devote your(self to) Krishna, then Krishna help(s) you out. That is the meaning of this mantra.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay. Ahm. Chandrika, I wanted to ask you now about-, you live in Pittsboro, and-, how do you-, how do you relate to the community there? Your neighbors, or—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Not too much.
ANDREW JILANI:
School communities, or—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No. I work here as a housekeeper. When I go home, I'm too tired. And to cook for myself, I have a small business. If I have a customer, I have to clean room, and (do) laundry, or all the stuff.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And I watch TV, because when I come here, my English is (was) not good. People don't understand me, I don't understand them. So, I watch the CBS-, Daytime Show-, and I learn English from this TV show.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Is it-, is it a TV-, lesson on the TV.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No. It's a story. It's a movie, it's a daytime show. Soap opera!
ANDREW JILANI:
It's a soap opera? Aaah….

Page 15
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Some people watch ABC, but I like CBS because I like—.
ANDREW JILANI:
What's-, er… what is you favorite soap opera?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Oh. It's-, er… Young and the Restless.
ANDREW JILANI:
Young and the Restless—. Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
As the World Turns, Guiding Light.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
They're so—. You learn about this culture, this society, what they believe, what they (are) doing. And everything—.
ANDREW JILANI:
What was the-, what were the other ones after the Young and the Restless? You mentioned two—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
As the World Turns.
ANDREW JILANI:
As the World turns….
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And-, Guiding Light.
ANDREW JILANI:
Guiding Light? Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
That-, in that soap-, soap opera, teach(es) you about this culture, this country. How people-, er…. Use people, cheat, and lie-, and there is no morality.
ANDREW JILANI:
You think the-, the life, the stories which are on soap opera, they connect with the real life?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I think so. Because, I read in the talk show—. I watch that-, Hard Copy, Inside Edison, America's Most Wanted-, and that-, [pause] Extra!
ANDREW JILANI:
Extra?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
The talk show-, come on the CBS-, on CBS seven o'clock-. That-, er… Inside Edison comes seven to seven-thirty, and seven-thirty to eight-, Extra.

Page 16
ANDREW JILANI:
Extra?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah. And NBC-, they have a show, (called) Hard Copy. In Hard Copy, they bring some true stories—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
True murder cases, or criminals, or all kind of things-, they bring it-, and then, you think (that) whatever happen(s) in the soap opera-, all these shows-, it's a real life of America. Because I heard in the news-, I heard in the movies-, sometimes they bring on the TV true stories. And I (am) always interested when they say that movie (is) based on a true story. I just watch this movie, and just realize there is a-, you see this culture-, so understanding-, you know? Because you can't go and talk with people and find out like this. So, you just watch this-, er… TV—.
ANDREW JILANI:
TV—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Or the true story movie(s), then you know this culture is different than our culture.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
But then you learn about this culture, too.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. But you-, you don't think that these stories on the soap operas are made up?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No. They bring some real stories!
ANDREW JILANI:
You think they're real stories?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I think so. They make that stories-, but some reflection-, they put the light on this-, in this-, society, and this American culture. I think it's real. It's not-, all-, all-, all is not-, wrong.

Page 17
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Something is truth in these stories, and it's happened in real life. It's come on that-, er… talk shows, and it's come on the news, or America's wanted. Where they bring that stories (from)? You know?
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. So in-, in your work, and in your business, do you face, or have you faced any people, or any-, any situation in which there was a story very similar to the one on the soap opera you watched?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No. But-, when my husband (was) here with me-, when I-, we start this business-, some people-, scared us on the phone.
ANDREW JILANI:
They scared you—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
To kill you—.
ANDREW JILANI:
What would they say?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
We (will) kill you! That's it. Same words! They say—. Keep calling you, keep calling you! If you pick up the phone, and sometimes hung up, and sometimes they say "we kill you".
ANDREW JILANI:
Hmm?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
So-, that's why I think-, it's prejudice. We don't do anybody-, anything wrong. We just come here, take business, make money, to make our daughter better life. We don't do anything-, wrong.
ANDREW JILANI:
That—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
This is a free country. You come here, you make money, you work hard, you work two job(s), or whatever you do, you just make your money. It is a free country-, all over the world people hear. They are jealous about you, (that) they are working (at)

Page 18
minimum wage, and you have a property. You have a small business, and then you are-, happy.
ANDREW JILANI:
Does this still happen? Do people—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It still happen(s)!. I have a restaurant. I give (it to) the Chinese people. They take (it) for one year. After he run business and (was) travelling, so he leave his wife here, and that she can handle the business. She gets ‘C’ grade, still town let them to run the business-, then, her husband find out another [unclear] help for his wife—. (sigh) And-, after one year, lease is over. He begging me to take this business one more year. After I give the lease and-, after one month he come and he-, say(s) he's not interested in this business, and I say, you forced me to take this business, so you have to keep (for) one year, or you have to have to find out somebody. And then, he keep this business-, he's travelling and his wife (is) running this business with-, help-, another employee. Then he's-, er… forcing me-, to give me five years lease, so his employee-, get(s) the liquor license. And I don't trust him, because he's drinking.
ANDREW JILANI:
He's drinking?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And that time, my daughter is working in that restaurant as a waitress. So, I know-, so-, he's begging me, and I say "no". because my lawyer say(s) (that) if you give the lease, then you have to (be) stuck with him (for) five years. And I don't want to take that chance, because my daughter (is) working there, (and) she's scared.
ANDREW JILANI:
That he's an alcoholic?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Because he's drinking-, and it's not good for (a) teenager—.
ANDREW JILANI:
To be around alcoholic people. That's right. Ahm… Chandrika, do you like Pittsboro enough, that you can consider hat your home now?

Page 19
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No! Because that-, health department people, marshal people—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Who are—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Local people, my neighbor-, they all give me so hard time, and it's a (bad) effect on my health. So—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Who are-, who are marshal people? Who are marshal people?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It's [unclear] —.
ANDREW JILANI:
law enforcement?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Government people.
ANDREW JILANI:
Government people. Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Town of Pittsboro.
ANDREW JILANI:
Town of Pittsboro?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yes. Marshal people means-, they-, connected with health people. So, they just-, give me hard time, because I don't know the American law. I'm an Indian woman, I'm scared-, you know?
ANDREW JILANI:
They give you a hard time? Yeah.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
So-, (they) give me (a) hard time-, for any reason.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah. Where-, where would you-, where would you consider your home to be? In your heart, where do you think your home is?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
My home is still India.
ANDREW JILANI:
Still in India?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah. How much dollar(s) I make-, it still-, I think I belong in India.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah?

Page 20
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Because until my both daughter(s) graduate, get married-, then my responsibility is over. And my health give(s) me (a) hard time. I have high blood pressure. I have a back pain, I have a chest pain. I have [unclear] on my-, left leg.
ANDREW JILANI:
Arthritis? Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And-, that all lost-, how much they say, free speech-, and-, America is a free country. But I don't think it is free. They give-, you are foreign people. Everywhere you go, they treat you bad. In my working place, my team leader, my supervisor, treat me different than black people, because I'm not black. I'm good in my work-, I (have) work(ed) here for thirteen years. (The) department people don't have any complaint, but-, still-, they treat good-, black people-, than any other people, Mexican or white or Indian. It's still there. There's a lot of discrimination-, race and nation, or anything, or color-, or something-, but still it's there. Because my daughter have a same problem, in [unclear] . Her supervisor treat(s) her bad. Sometimes she come(s) and cries, she hate(s) this job. She work(s) for money, but still-, their treatment different than other employee(s) because she is not black or white-, she is Indian.
ANDREW JILANI:
And her supervisor was—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
White!
ANDREW JILANI:
He was white, okay.
So, you feel that, at work, you're also discriminated—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
That's right.
ANDREW JILANI:
And it—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
In the town they do it.
ANDREW JILANI:
And in—.

Page 21
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
In (the) working place, government job, they do it to you. One supervisor go(es) and another come(s), they have a same impression, they treat you same way, again and again and again. So it's not change(ed). How much you (are), how much you (are) smart, still it's (the) same.
ANDREW JILANI:
So, what do you think-, er…. Now you have been here, in this country, for how many years?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Twenty years.
ANDREW JILANI:
Twenty years. So, I have also been in this country for that long now, for about eighteen, nineteen years. So what do you think—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
When I am in California two years-, I don't have a bad experience about-, any custom, or any American people. Because we are motel managers, so we don't have a contact with-, personal contact with nobody. Only Indian people, but not American people-, any contact. So we are happy there, because we have American friends, we call, they call, they come, and we see (them), and all this stuff. But when we move in Pittsboro-, (it's) just like a prison. People don't talk with you. People turn the face (away) with you. And then-, law give you (a) hard time-, town of Pittsboro. Police give(s) my husband (a) hard time. One time he drink, and they catch him, so they (are) just watching him all the time, until he is here. I have a customer, they come-, nuclear power-, they are working with the nuclear power-, and they come-, which beer? They drink, drive, and go and drink beer again and again. They never catch, because they don't have a record in Pittsboro. But my husband-, one time they catch him, so all the time-, they catch my husband. Follow my husband. If anywhere he go(es), he's so mad when he's driving and goes away, because police just follow.

Page 22
ANDREW JILANI:
Chasing him.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Because he has a record. But other customer(s), they are drink(ing) and drive(ing). How is the law? You know? You never stop anybody and just check if these people (are) drunk or not. They drink and drive, drink and drive. Where is the law?
ANDREW JILANI:
Police doesn't stop them?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No! Because they don't have a record in Pittsboro. And they don't care, because they are black or white, they are American(s). That's prejudice.
ANDREW JILANI:
That's prejudice, yeah. So, Chandrika, I-, I want to go back to my question. I was-, er… thinking that how, as Asian-, as South-Asians, we can work to finish this discrimination?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I don't think so. How much you try, you are still foreign people.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It's no change. Just like, one day-, I watch(ed) in the Sixty Minutes-, untouchable-, Miss "Achhoot".
ANDREW JILANI:
Achhoot?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Achhoot. Yes. In India—. And I have a friend-, Barbara Prior-, she's American. And she watched that show and she's asking me, (that) how can people treat somebody like that-, untouchable. I say I don't make the rules, society make(s) that rules, and I can't change the society. Okay? One person make the change, but not all the time. It's-, happened for years, and years, and years. My father is really just person. He don't allow that untouchable people-, they clean our toilet. They pick up our trash from the street. But still, it's there. They wear clean dresses, clean clothes. They are clean, but still, in my town in Surat they have a separate area for the. They can't stay next to us.

Page 23
So-, and I can't change it. It is not only mine. It is my family, what they believe. My parents, my grandparents, you know. All my brothers, sister-in-law, they are religious people, they don't believe. I have—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Your-, your father was a-, was priest, in a temple?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No. Religious.
ANDREW JILANI:
Religious. What does that mean?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Religious means believe in God.
ANDREW JILANI:
Believe in God.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
So-, whatever rules they have-, they just obey.
ANDREW JILANI:
He obeys. Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Untouchable people-, they do dirty things, and they are always [unknown] by society. I can't change it. Nobody can change it. Some things are always there. Law can't help them. Law(s) change—. They now-, now they have a free education, they have a-, some percentage job- opportunity, too. But still, society don't accept them. You know?
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Yeah. The untouchables.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
So-, you can't change the world. It's so hard to change. Somebody-, I heard all the time in this country. I don't like him, I don't like her. All the time I heard it, and I don't understand what is this meaning? We all are human being(s), if you don't like somebody, just stay away. Don't talk. But don't say openly, I don't like him, or I don't like her. What is this? That is a wrong speech, you know. You are human being, why you don't like somebody-, somebody you like too much, and somebody you don't like, and hurt-, bad way. That's not right. Human being have to be like each other. If you

Page 24
don't like, just stay away, don't talk, don't keep any friendship, or relation, or something. But don't hurt people. That's so bad.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
You love pets-, dog, cat, whatever you keep. But you don't like human being? You say you don't like him, and you don't like her, what is this?
ANDREW JILANI:
Is that a—. You are referring to this country?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah.
ANDREW JILANI:
That people like pets, and—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I heard all the time. My daughter, or some people, in working place, or in the town, some people say I don't like her, I don't like him-, what is this? I don't understand this mentality, you know.
ANDREW JILANI:
Chandrika, I have a question, do you-, do you have hope, in United States, in Pittsboro, for you and for your daughters?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I don't think. My both daughter(s) want to get out. My one daughter go in college for three years, she's so happy in Raleigh. Because in Raleigh, you know, she has all American friends, Indian friends, she is so happy there. She's not happy in Pittsboro. Some people like you, some people don't like you, you know.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah. How about for yourself? You think you will keep—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I can't go away, I have a business. I have a property. I put eighty five thousand dollar(s), for this property. Almost-, eighty thousand I spent in this property. Still I have a hard time with people. I have to rent my place, and every time people come for rent, and they just want to buy it, because they know, (that) (when) bypass open(s), the property value (will) go up. And the town of Pittsboro don't give me the permit for

Page 25
rent my place. So I lose the money-, I have a property, but I don't make money, because that prejudice (is) still there. When I have a Chinese restaurant, they have a ‘C’ grade-, okay? But they still run that business because town of Pittsboro need(s) a Chinese food (restaurant). Pittsboro don't have a good any restaurant. Hardy is not good for all people, so—.
ANDREW JILANI:
A ‘C’ is a good grade, or a bad grade?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
‘C’ is a bad grade, but they still need a Chinese food, so they let them to run that business. That's a prejudice, and now I have to rent (to) somebody else, they make the damage. They don't give me the permit. They just told me-, big list-, to spend four thousand, five thousand dollar(s), then you—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Will get a permit.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Get the permit, and rent the place, and I don't have (a) housekeeper. Single mother for ten year(s). I have two teenager daughter(s). I don't-, I put four thousand dollar(s), still I need a four, five thousand dollar(s). So, people just don't want to spend the money. They say, we don't want rent, you just sell it, and we own the property then we put the money. So I am-, in the middle. I have property, but I don't make money, because town don't give me the permit. Without permit, I can't put the rent sign. So, it is a closed sign. People don't know this place (is) for rent. People-, come here-, for rent, and ask for sell. So-, for last three years, I lose money.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yes.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
My daughter have to for scholarship, or for loan, for education. You know? How can you say this country is free. They don't let you to make money.

Page 26
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah. That's right. Ahm.. You momentarily-, moments before you mentioned that you raised-, er…. Your two daughters as a single parent-, as a single mother. How was that-, experience?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
(It) is hard. India is not hard, because you have a social life, religious life, you have friends, neighbors-, and helping you. But here-, it's not easy, because they-, wash your children's mind(s)-, wash-, brainwash-, like that. You don't have to listen (to) your mother, you don't have to tell you [unclear] -, mother where you (are) going, where you (are) coming (from), you are sixteen years old. You are-, (on your) own. How can they-, (be on) their own? They come for one dollar and two dollar. They come for my signature as a parent's, and they don't have to respect my rules. What is that? That American people wash your children's mind. Change them. You know? That's why, (no matter) how much you try, you can't keep your culture, or tradition, because they change. You know, in India when you get married, you need a parents' blessing, parents' permission, because life is not easy. When you have a problem— if you don't take parents' permission—then parents are not responsible for helping you.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Then you are on your own!
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And American people, they [unclear] go. They are sixteen years—.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
You are sixteen years old, or eighteen years old, but you still need a parent's guidance, you still need a parent's respect, and you still need a parent's permission. Where you go-, parents have some rules, just like country and state have some rules. It is for everybody's good reason. Like you (are) driving, there is a driving speed. It is good for everybody, to protect everyone. Rules is good for good reason.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
And that's why you have to follow your-, your parents' rules—. Our private life is our business. It's not a government business, until you hurt your children-, then government has to interfere in your personal life. But until then, it is parents' business, with that children. Family business is a private business, it's not a government business. It's not a legal business, until you hurt your children. You slap, or you throw out, or you hurt physically or emotionally-, but-, until-, how can family, you know, handle that own problem? I don't that (that) legally government have to interfere in personal life, you know.
ANDREW JILANI:
And you mean, US government, yeah? Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yes. And I don't like-, (that) you just, you know-, you just-, er… motherhood-, sixteen and thirteen and fourteen-, there is a lot of birth control-, things here. You just don't sleep and get pregnant, and just-, have a child, and give for abortion-, er…. go for abortion, and-, [unclear] your child. That's not good for morality, or for religion. It is not in the bible to-, to kill their child. It is a seed-, you know? That's not good. If you can't afford-, to raise your children, why you give the birth? You don't have to keep nine month(s), and just throw your children for ten thousand or

Page 28
twenty thousand dollar(s), and give your own child-, somebody—. How can you live with your life, or with you soul? And after ten, fifteen years, oh-, you change your mind, and looking for your child. Oh, my God! I'm thirteen years old, I make mistake, and I give you—. What's about children's rights. You can't make decision(s) for your children. It is children's right. If you give birth, take responsibility. Or if you don't have a time for that, don't give birth (to a) child, and put child's life in danger.
ANDREW JILANI:
That's right.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Adoption children-, sometimes they are worst. I-, I see on the TV all the time. That child-, is-, mother give [unclear] that child is so violent, so violent, you know? Because that adopted parents don't treat him good, and he blames (the) mother. Why you give me birth, why you don't have abortion. So-, if you don't have-, you just—. Sometimes they bring in the story-, (that) husband and wife decided to (have a) child, and then-, take a-, ten thousand dollar(s), or medicine and hospital expense and give (to) somebody. Just like a selling thing. You sell your own children. What is wrong with these people?
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah. Chandrik—? Chandrika, do you miss India?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I miss my country.
ANDREW JILANI:
You miss your country? What do you miss?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Everything. My friends, my relatives. [pause] Everything.
ANDREW JILANI:
What do you do, when you miss-, miss them?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Nothing.
ANDREW JILANI:
Do you write? Call?

Page 29
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I (used to) write before, but not any more. Because I am too tired with my job, and too tired with my teenager daughter(s).
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah? So they keep you—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I have enough things to worry about.
ANDREW JILANI:
They keep you busy. Okay.
If-, if a friend of yours, or a relative of yours in India asked your advice, asking you, Chandrika, I want to come to India (US) with my family or alone, what kind of advice would you give them?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
If you come in this country, you have to make sure (that) you don't lost (lose) your culture, your-, your children in this country. In this American culture, because this culture-, is-, is a-, make your children-, you know, out of control. They try-, without marriage sex, girlfriend, boyfriend, all this stuff. I don't like it. You know, you have to make some moral things, and morality is a worst-, best thing-, in India. Without marriage you don't have a sex, you [unclear] with your family, with your children. Keep you keep your family bonds so strong, nobody can broke (break).
ANDREW JILANI:
But—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Here, it's broke (broken) all the time. And it's-, make(s)-, parents-, children's lives so miserable—. Children are so miserable here! Stepfather, and stepmother, and that-, abused by stepfather, father, or-, that hurt-, [unclear] . So young-, that children-, you know-, sexually-, hurt children. This is a worst thing. How can you think-, with your own daughter-, sex! That's-, I don't understand. You daughter! Your own blood! How can you think-, about sex with her? And then you say "sorry". Sorry is not enough! You are human being, you have a mind, you can think what is right, what is wrong. You

Page 30
are older than your children, how can you hurt your own children. You know, that is a worst thing.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
As a father-, father, or stepfather, still you need a-, you have that position. And mother is so blind. And she can't see what happened to their children, and if she find(s) out, she just avoid(s) that things. How can (you) live your life, live your soul?
ANDREW JILANI:
Like that—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It's so bad. And-, daughter say, you don't believe your daughter or son. Your father doing this, or say father doing-, avoid, and just going. To keep your children with babysitter and just go out and party, and all this [unclear] . Oh, special time for both of us. What about children? Children-, you have main responsibility. Sex is necessary, but it is not everything.
ANDREW JILANI:
It's not every thing.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Your children is important. Raise your children, you completely trust-, and love, and protection. Sometime, check your own husband if you don't trust. Make sure your children (are) safe in your own house. If there is no safe(ty) in your own house, how can they (be) safe in the street.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Yeah, that's a very important concern. Ahm…. In Pittsboro, do-, has an American family ever invited you?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
What?
ANDREW JILANI:
Has an American family, or families, ever invited you for some celebrations, like—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No.

Page 31
ANDREW JILANI:
Thanksgiving, Christmas?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No. They invite my both daughters.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
They-, if they go somewhere, they take my daughter(s), because they know I am not driving, and I let them go, because after my job I am tired, I am not driving, I don't go anywhere. But if-, they take-, somebody take my daughter, I let them go-, to enjoy.
ANDREW JILANI:
But you get invitations, though? From American families?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No.
ANDREW JILANI:
No?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Because I am not close with anybody. Just-, if I see somebody or somebody call for my daughter, I talk on the phone, but that means they don't invited me. They invited my daughters, not me.
ANDREW JILANI:
So, are your closest friends from the Indian community.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No. Pittsboro-, there is no Indian people.
ANDREW JILANI:
There are no Indian people there.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
If I go in Raleigh, I see somebody, but that's not a friendship. Just seeing the place and say hello, how are you, that's it. But not-, not any friendship.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Because this life is so different here. People stay far away, and you know, people are so busy in their job or business, and children-, there is no extra time like India, (that) after dinner you sit outside and talk with (family) members, you know. After fourteen years when I visit(ed) India, I sit outside, and sit with my neighbors, and talk a

Page 32
fourteen years talk-, [Laughter] what happened in the street, what happened in this all neighbors' family(ies), bad things, good things, every thing.
ANDREW JILANI:
That was your first time you went back, after fourteen-?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
After fourteen years, I go first time, because I can't afford to go, till my husband (was) here (for) ten years. He has (had) a drinking problem, so—. He go three time(s), but I don't (didn't) go. I (was) stuck with that business, and my daughter(s). That's my responsibility.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I can't run away from that, and at least, I need two thousand dollar(s). I can't afford that.
ANDREW JILANI:
Exactly. Have you—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
It is later, I save(d) that money-, [unclear] daughter—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah. Have you-, have you gone back, after that-, visited—?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
No. After five or six years, I don't go back, because now I have teenager daughter(s) in the house, I have a business, my [unknown] on clothes. If I go somewhere, I have a bad neighbor. They always damage my property. I can't go anywhere.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I have a backside laundry room window-, glass. Three times they (have) broken my window glass. But I don't have a proof, and they are so young, I don't want to put them in lot (of) trouble. If I put (them in) trouble, they make (trouble) again and again. I can't watch my backside laundry room, when I work (till) three o'clock in the morning. Until one o'clock I am not home. They damage the property, so just don't fight. Because, in here, the people easily sue you. Because-, they make the damage, I

Page 33
know-, only neighbor-, is there. My [unclear] , my laundry room—. Nobody else come(s) and damage the property-, from outside people. But you still need a proof, and I don't have that proof.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yes.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
But only-, that children playing backside (with) the ball-, basket ball, baseball, all-, everything they play backside.
ANDREW JILANI:
Yeah. Ahm… let me ask you, if you were to make this decision again-, of coming to United States, would you do this again?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
What I do—. I-, my nephew come here. He work(ed) in the Baroda-, one company, and that company bring him here. When I (was in) Virginia, (to) visit my nephew's wife-, and my-, I talk with my nephew two, three time(s) on the phone, and he told me, (that) we have a one circle-, one group, and that group('s) name is Swadiyai people—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Swadiyai?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Swadiyai! Means, study yourself. That is a religious group. So, you go in that group, and you study our culture and our religious (religion), then your children don't change in this culture, but I'm staying in Pittsboro, (a) small town. All American(s), black and white and Mexican people-, there is no Indian group here. My daughter—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Are you the only Indian family here?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yeah. And-, I have a job and business, and my health is bad, I can't go all the time and (make) contact with my friends in Raleigh. You know, they celebrate all festivals-, Indian festivals-, but I can't go all the time, because my daughter is not

Page 34
driving. (The) other daughter is driving, but she's so busy in her school, and her study, and job-, so we can't go there. So, I completely lost that connection with (the) Indian culture.
ANDREW JILANI:
Hmmmm…..
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
That is the reason-, then one reason my husband is alcoholic, so I don't have enough time. When he is here, I don't have enough time to look after my daughter(s), because I'm busy with my job, and busy with my husband's cooking, and job-, and business-, to helping him. Because every time he say(s) they are your daughters-, means my daughters. So he don't want to take responsibilities, so I have to work with him for daughter(s), and then-, I lost my daughter because I don't have enough time for both. I have time-, little, but not enough time-, in business and job.
ANDREW JILANI:
What do you mean you lost your daughter?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Means-, I don't have-, er… too much time for both.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
To spend with them. You know? To sit with them, or talk with them, ask about school, what about your friends, or what about this and this? Because I am too busy. When I go home, I have to cook for my husband. All food. Rice and curry, and vegetable, and chapati, then I don't have time. When my Daughter-, both daughter(s) come from business-, school, then my husband is busy with business. So, I have to do laundry, I have to make—he can't make the beds, I have to make the bed(s), I have to out the laundry, he can't cook, I have to cook for him. Two, three time(s) make tea for him, so I am so busy, to service him, and I have don't have time for my daughter(s). My both daughter(s) 9are) so upset, and angry, but I can't help it, because he come in this country,

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but he don't want to change. He (is) just like an Indian husband-, every thing wife has to do. He don't share anything. He just take the money, and I have to work with him. That's it. Use me to work, and make money, so he can drink, he can spend. Every time he go(es) in the store, he like(s) something, just buy it. He don't care (that) I need (it) or not, I can afford or not—I have two daughter(s), I have a wife, I have a business, he don't care. Just go there, spend the money! Go in the store, drink the beer. Is enough—, finished—, bring it—.
ANDREW JILANI:
Bring more. That's it.
Where is he now?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I kick him out. Before-, ten years, in-, er…. nineteen ninety, June-, January eleven. Because he is scared-, beating my two daughter(s) to kill-, and I can't take that risk.
ANDREW JILANI:
He threatened-, he threatened you? [pause] Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
he threatened to kill me, my two daughter(s), my brother and sister-in-law in California, (and) all my family in India, too. I can't take that risk. I don't need a husband to kill my family or my daughter(s). I can't take that—. I don't care (if) he kill me, but I don't—. I don't take risk for my two daughter(s), or my brother and sister-in-law, or my family in India. Because he has a violent nature.
ANDREW JILANI:
[unclear] about your husband—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Violent nature. He is drinking. Every time—.
ANDREW JILANI:
So you kicked him-, you kicked him out?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yes.
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay.

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CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Because three time(s) he lose license-, in DWI.
ANDREW JILANI:
DWI?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
He don't drive, so he call taxi driver-, private taxi driver, give ten dollar(s) every day come in Franklin Street, sit there and drink. And come night time, one o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock. So, after (my) job, when I go home, I have to help my two daughter(s) for homework, I have to cook, I have to run business, make money for him, and when he come, he ask how many customer come, and how much money we get. That he asks! Okay.
ANDREW JILANI:
Hmmm…. Nothing else? And-, is he now in India?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
He died-, before-, two years.
ANDREW JILANI:
He died—.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I'm glad!
ANDREW JILANI:
You're glad?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yes, because he is trouble for (the) whole family. And scared me from India to kill me. Until he is alive, I'm scared for myself, and for my daughter(s). It's not safe.
ANDREW JILANI:
And how do your daughters feel?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
they don't respect. They don't remember daddy, they just remember mummy. Because as a daddy, he don't take any responsibility. Not love, not respect, not trust, not make any time-, you know. He has a time for drink(ing). If my daughter say, daddy don't drink, and play with us, talk with us, [unknown], Oh, my God! He don't have the time. He just want my daughter(s) (to) get out.
ANDREW JILANI:
He will get angry.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Yes.

Page 37
ANDREW JILANI:
So-, last question-, going back to my question I earlier asked, you know-, if you had to make this decision-, again, coming to United states, would you do it again?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
What I've—. I give that advice (to) people. If you come in this country, and if you feel (that) you lost your children in this culture, go back (to) India.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Don't stay in this country, if you want to lost your children in this culture—. I don't care how much money you-, dollar(s) makes, or facility and luxury in this country, but lose your culture, your religious, your traditions, go back in your country, and keep it.
ANDREW JILANI:
Do you think you will go back to India?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I can't go. My both daughter(s) stay here. I have to stay with them. Because now, they can't go and get education in India, because one daughter finished three years, (in) one and a half years she graduates here. She can't change the education now. The other one going in India, she don't admission in college there, because she don't know Gujrati, Hindi, Sanskrit, anything. It is hard for them to go.
ANDREW JILANI:
To India and study there.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I want to send them, but my brother say(s) it is so hard for them to adjust with culture, with food, for weather, for education too, because they don't know any language. Not Gujrati, not Hindi, not Sanskrit. If you go in college, you have to-, just one paper-, exam-, you have to give for Hindi or Gujrati, or Gujratu or Marathi, or Hindi and Marathi, or something. And they can't learn that
ANDREW JILANI:
They can't learn that. That's true. Yeah. Okay, in the end, I want to thank you, Chandrika, for your time-, and-, do you want to recite a mantra, for the last time-, for the-, to end the interview?

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CHANDRIKA DALAL:
"Shri Krishna Sarnam Mumma". I belongs to Shri Krishna. So, I pray (to) my God, I belong to you—. [begins to weep]
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay. Thank you. Thank you very much, Chandrika.
END OF INTERVIEW