Alok Agarwal: Too Often
Alok Agarwal first left Delhi for the United States in
1997, his wife, Shafali, and his son, Ankush, cried
because he was leaving. "Why are you leaving us?" his
wife recalled thinking. "We want to come with you."
Within a few months, Mrs. Agarwal joined her husband,
who was a computer technician, in New Jersey, but their
son, who suffers from a chronic fever and cough, stayed
behind with relatives. "He is very sick," Mrs. Agarwal
Three and a half weeks before the attack on the World
Trade Center, the Agarwals spent a lazy day together,
hanging around their Jersey City apartment, going to a
But Mr. Agarwal, 37, was unhappy about something. His
wife was leaving for her annual trip back home to Delhi.
"This is your last time going to India," he told her.
"When you go back home, I feel lonely in the house."
It was important for Mrs. Agarwal to return to India,
to care for Ankush, 8. It was equally important for Mr.
Agarwal to stay. He was the only one allowed to work in
this country, and he was a computer technician for Cantor
Fitzgerald. On an August day, Mr. Agarwal saw his wife
off at the airport. He was supposed to see her in Delhi