Himanshi Upadhyay, Vancouver BC

COVID Across Canada: Short Takes

November 19, 2020

We Should Be Careful What We Dream


Himanshi Upadhyay


I am living in my living room and watching cartoons for the whole day.  This was my dream when I was eight years old. As my husband took over our bedroom to work from home, and we live in a one-bedroom condo, the only place left for my six-year-old son and me is our living room. Now I know I should always be careful about what I dream!

This COVID-19 scenario has changed everything, including our perspective on life. I remember when I was frustrated, three years back, with all my life problems in India. Life seemed useless, so my husband brought us here one year ago to give me a new happy life. Right now, all I can think about is just staying alive, no matter where. I am thankful to God that he made me frustrated, and we made up our minds to come to Canada because India’s situation is worse.


“Right now, all I can think about is just staying alive, no matter where.”


There, there is no proper medical attention. Hospitals are charging fortunes just for COVID testing and providing beds. There is too much pressure at workplaces in India. To save their jobs, colleagues from my previous places of employment are working more than 15 hours a day because higher-ups are threatening them with bad annual reviews. Indian media is covering only portions of the pandemic. We hear from our relatives and friends in India that their firsthand experience about problems they are facing even just to get tested and how much they were charged. No media is covering that.

My parents are more than 70 years old, and when they need medical attention, there are no paramedics or ambulance. My brother, who lives in a different city, has to drive 200km to reach them. It’s very depressing.

Canada has handled the situation more wisely, especially in BC. One day I had a rash and was coughing. When we called 911, they came in just twenty minutes and checked me. Thankfully it was only some newly developed food allergy. Every part of that medical attention was free. We are worried about our family in India, but one part of me is happy that I am here in Canada.



Himanshi and her son



Himanshi Upadhyay came to Canada from India one year ago with her husband and six-year-old son. She was a banker and, at one point in time, got frustrated by watching her life going nowhere. She decided to start new. Now, Himanshi is a homemaker and makes up for the lost time she couldn’t give to her son. Also, she is working toward her childhood dream of working in a theatre. She is involved with the Sky Theatre group.


Art by Emily Honderich



We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.