Stories Lived

Immigration from India to the US: A Long Journey Home

In A Long Journey Home, Filmmaker Adam Wadhwani chronicles the story of his family’s immigration from India to the United States.  Kishin and Kate Wadhwani grew up in India in the 1930s and 1940s. Married in the 1960s they lived in relative affluence with their two young boys in Mumbai until a strict new regulatory regime imposed restrictions on credit that bankrupted their family business. After several months, Kishin and Kate decided to try to move to the United States to start a new life. With no family in America, nor any money for food and shelter, they knew it would be a difficult transition. So instead of the entire family going, Kishin left to create a foundation for the family in America while the rest of the family stayed in India. When he got there Kishin stayed in a friend’s attic and sold shirts for a living. Kishin did this for about two years, slowly saving a little bit of the money he made each day. After a year of living in India, Kate, who was originally from a Jewish settlement in Mumbai, decided to take the boys to Israel where she had some family and government support. Back in America, one of Kishin’s friends suggested that he apply for positions as a doctor since he had finished medical school in India before running the tile factory. Even though Kishin didn’t have an American medical license, he was able to practice temporarily because he had finished a pediatric residency in the US as a young man. He finally received a license two and a half years after he had moved to the US, and settled into a hospital position in upstate New York. Now, with a steady income, Kishin was able to bring his family to America, for an emotional reunion. Today, Kishin and Kate are still happily married and living in Sacramento California. Their children, as well as nephews and nieces, have families of their own, surrounding Kate and Kishin with joy.

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About the Filmmaker
Submitted by Adam Wadhwani

Adam began producing film when he was ten. Inspired by a class project, he started by making videos to highlight and promote his cooking. When Adam was 12, he competed as a top 4 contestant on the television show MasterChef Junior, which further exposed to the filmmaking process. After the show wrapped, he joined his middle school’s media production class, where he gained experience with both the technical and artistic aspects of video production. Along with his film partner Andrew Morrissy, Adam’s work won several regional prizes at the annual Sacramento SEVAs (Student Educational Video Awards) in the category of creative expression and has posted several videos that have gotten tens of thousands of views. Together Adam and Andrew plan to enter several more contests in the coming year.

6 comments

  1. This story really inspired me because coming from an immigrant family myself, it inspired me to keep pushing forward and its showed me I’m not alone. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful video to the Internet! 😄

  2. This story is amazing! It inspires and reminds to the future generations that you must work hard in order to become a successful person, and you should prioritize your family. Also, this story made us realize that we can bounce back even though there are many problems we faced in life. Thank you Adam! Good luck on your journey!

  3. My great grandparents went through the exact same issue except it was located in Italy. They were shipped to Ellis Island, but soon migrated across the border to Montreal. They unfourtanatley not so lucky with the family aspect; my great grandfather lost his wife and twin boys at sea whilst being shipped o New York.

  4. This story is very inspiring! This teaches us that no matter how hard life is, we just gotta move forward! Cliche this may sound but yeah, never give up!

  5. “Immigrants, they get the job done.” Well done Adam for capturing the emotional and pragmatic journey of our immigrant family. Their story inspires us everyday to work hard, enjoy our blessings and support each other as we move through this complex and sometimes unforgiving world. Good luck with the filmmaking!

  6. Wow Adam. That was great. Immigrants from all over the world work so hard to improve their lives. Nothing is ever taken for granted. You have managed to get THIS point across very well. You should be proud of this piece of work.

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