Maya Malhotra

Born: 27th January 1937

Agra, India

Date of interview: 7th June 2006

Map showing where Maya Malhotra came from

What was it like, what was it like for you arriving in ... in Reading in the winter, in a room, expecting your first child?

Well it was very hard for ... first of all ... any first time mother it is a difficult time. Second thing we have all this worry about, the money problem, then the family tragedy because we both lost our parents, so I was emotionally upset, financially ... burdened, but then only one thing we kept on doing and ... we have to ... we decided we've got to face it together, face it as better as we can because this is, all the time we had said 'No this is not permanent, this is just temporary, phase in our life. We will get through it,' that kept us going.

And soon after the baby is born though we couldn't get a flat, so we, I think I stayed in that one bedroom for three months. Then I find out the place, though it wasn't a flat as such, so I said 'Can I have two rooms on the same floor?' So that landlady allowed me to have two rooms on the same floor so at least we have some privacy with the baby. So we have two rooms and there I stay and I ... could have ... bought a house at that time because by then we had the saving to buy a house and in those days houses were not that expensive. You can buy a house for 800 pound 1,000 pound in Reading. But ... I don't want to do it. I keep telling my husband we want to go home. I don't want to settle here.

And initially he was on a study leave for three years so the second year was passing so I said 'We will finish the third year and then we'll leave home. So I don't want you to buy the house, we will buy a property, we will be stuck here.' And, so this was another reason that kept us going, that I, knowing that I could do it but I still not doing it. After the second year when my daughter was two year old, then I realised it doesn't look like I'm going now. So then we bought our first house. We thought we had to get our house and my husband keep telling. He said 'Nobody here making our life difficult. And we can buy it so why don't we buy it.' Well I never worked when I came and, so he was the only person who is working. And then I said 'All right if you want to.' After ... my daughter was five years old then I started work.