My Story’ shares the experiences of an Indian living in Switzerland. Meet Parul Chhaparia who has lived in Switzerland for 2 years.
Q: TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am a freelance journalist based in Zurich. Prior to freelancing, I worked for over eight years as a business journalist for an Indian publication.
Q: WHERE DO YOU LIVE AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE TO SWITZERLAND?
Newly married, much in love and mesmerized by the alpine beauty, I left my career in journalism to move to Zurich over two years back. The reason was one of the custom among the Indian wives here (at least of all the women I know here) — to accompany my better half, to create a “happy home” for ourselves.
Q: WHAT DO YOU DO?
Over the past two years, that’s one question I have been asked umpteen times by my friends, extended family and sometimes even by people who I’ve just recently met! My answer remains: “Um… not much, just little bit of travelling, freelance writing and usual household chores”. The question has become sort of ‘ho-hum’ with a perfectly well-memorized answer. However, it makes me ponder whether or not it is fine to leave a full-fledged job and become a housewife-cum-freelance writer-cum-student.
Q: How has your transition from being a professional career woman into a new life here been?
While the home was set in six months and the alpine charm became less exciting, the ‘unemployed’ status prolonged. The lack of German language is a barrier in finding the suitable job in my field. However, in my case, unemployment has prolonged more because initially, I thought I truly deserved a break from all the journalistic contributions that I had been making in the last few years.
As soon as the honeymoon period was over (literally), boredom started to creep in. I wanted to get back to journalism like never before. However, the reality is not always rosy. I knew even before moving here that it would be difficult to grab a job in the same field in a non-English speaking country. Becoming a freelancer seemed the next best idea… even though most of it remains just as an idea.
Q: DO YOU LIKE IT HERE, WHAT DO YOU LOVE AND WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
The fun is to find the undiscovered. I am back to the college life, something that I had long been planning. I am learning the German (Swiss german to be precise), a new language. Again a plan that had been in the pigeonhole for many years. I do miss financial independence sometimes. But I avoid being feminist about it. Today, even as being back to the student life and restarting my career seem two steps forward and one step back, I certainly hope it is less arduous than the frog who is trying to get out of the water well. The hope is not in the jar yet.
And for all those who want to ask what do I whole day? “I am pursuing new passions.”
Parul Chhaparia is a freelance journalist based in Zurich. Prior to freelancing, she worked for over eight years as a business journalist in many publications in India. Currently, she is back to school and is pursuing her master’s degree course in Switzerland.