In 1910, my grandmother, Elizabeth, and her family left everything behind in rural South Kanara to arrive in the city by coastal steamers. My grandfather, John, worked as a weaver at Khatau Mills. Their migration happened through networks of caste, kinship, and village associations and was largely enforced due to poverty and rural distress.
While living in Bombay, my wife and I felt that our job prospects were limited and the idea of moving to Canada with its relatively stable social and political conditions was alluring. Our migration happened through the permanent residency program, a process in which our educational and job experiences were measured as points in a system.