The British Library

Lareb’s Story

My parents migrated to the U.K. in 1995. My father originally planned to come alone so he could provide/ earn for the family but my mother knew if he did he wouldn’t come back anytime soon. At the time she had already given birth to two kids and pregnant with me at the time. She made a conscious decision to leave all that she knew back home in Karachi, not just for her kids but her husband too who wanted to provide a better life for us all. Education and work wise.

It’s a sacrifice that I don’t know if I would ever be able to make, my mother married when she was 19 and to make a decision like that in her early twenties is insane to me. I still struggle with deciciding to take the tube in to London or the train.

For them both I can’t imagine it being easy. Especially considering that as soon as they arrived here their degrees meant nothing. Back home in Pakistan they’re both graduated and degree holders in homeopathy. Even if till this day they say to take paracetamol for whatever pain, they’re not wrong.

Everyday is a reminder of their migration, every WhatsApp call back home is a reminder of them leaving all that they knew. And I don’t know- no actually I do know that there is nothing in this world I can do for them that will ever thank them enough for the choice that they made.

Sometimes I do wonder what life would be like if they never migrated, it surely would mean we’d never have a quiet house that’s for sure.

Thank you Ammi.
Thank you Abu.

-Lareb, Croydon, London

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