Imagine waking up in the morning with no worries and with a great big smile. You roll out of your Queen size bed and put on your silk bathrobe. Your newspaper and coffee are nicely place by your bed stand. You walk over to your bathroom where all the latest gadgetry for grooming and perfume wait at your disposal. You step over to the shower and it feels like you are bathing in the rainy season in the Amazon.
After your shower, you “Usher slide” into your walk-in closet and see a nice catalogue of items to wear. You have your watches lined up from Rolex down to your Tissot collection. Your dress shirt is accompanied by an array of ties and shoes. Your unique cell phone has yet to be released to market, and your shades would make even Tom Cruise want to cop your style. As you step outside, you have a very Bond moment as you hop into your Aston Martin and roll off to start a splendid day.
Yes, what a dream indeed – until you hear a wailing scream from your mom to wake up and to take the trash out that you forgot to do last night. Your breakfast is Fruit Loops with soy milk and egg coffee that your mom forces you to drink for the hard work she put into making it. The guilt trip forces you drink it and leave you with the worst bad breath.
You go back to your shared bathroom with your siblings and it takes forever for them to finish because they are too busy talking about how Tiffany was a total BIATCH as they dry their hair with the irritable blow dryer. As you brush your teeth, thoughts start creeping in. “OMG, did I pay my cell phone bill?”, “Was there enough gas pumped so I can go to school?”, “Maya’s birthday party is on Saturday; fudge I’m broke” and the most epic one “I can’t wait until school finishes but I failed this one course and I have to retake it – fudgesicles”.
You walk outside with your Napoleon Dynamite vintage afro to start the car only to realize that it spits out a miserable cough and dies. You realize that the bus is coming within 3 minutes and you run like Usain Bolt as you catch up to the bus. You step inside with a sigh a relief and you realize that your wallet is in your other jeans. You are told to step outside and catch the next one. You are flustered with shame and people are giving you the walk of shame stare. You sit on the side of the sidewalk and contemplate “why ME!?
Typically, this is the infomercial part where I say “there is a revolutionary product that will fix your troubles with no added cost”. But sadly, there is none. I know we have all had those fleeting moments where we just want to be alone on our deserted island, just to be away from all the stress like bills, relationships, school and life itself. But keep in mind that life is ever changing and that this will only be temporary state.
As a young Tamil man, I have been through many experiences and defining moments. One thing I was always sure of is that I can be anything I want to be if I put my mind to it. A social Tamil norm governs us to become a model figure for others to look up to and lead by example. Our customs and traditions make us disciplined with impeccable mannerisms, and teach us to treat people with respect and hospitality. Our parents sacrificed their lives to come to this country and we will forever be indebted to their sacrifice.
This is no reason to become a nerd in the library and go to weekend tutorials to be extra nerd-like. Far from it – we should all enjoy life and do things our parents never had the luxury to do. Travel the world, take another language course, try that sushi restaurant from the corner block, join a club or go hiking with a group of friends.
The first generation wants us to be happy even though sometimes they show it in a funny way. We have all received that age old lecture that to be a doctor is the utmost pride for a family and it is equivalent to being a hero. We can all be heroes for showing people our passion for our interests and by giving the younger generation a light at the other end.
I know deep down you’re thinking this guy really just wants to score points to win the older generation’s approval. I couldn’t care less for what people may think of me, but I know when I see greatness in our people. At the end of the day, a parent will be content if you are happy and that their sacrifice was not in vain.
This generation is the one that will define future Tamil-Canadian generations, and slowly but surely, we are making our presence known across many facets and leaving a mark from our local convenience store to national politics.
The life you desire is based on sacrifice and timing. One should choose a career that makes them wake up in the morning with a smile, even if they don’t have an Aston Martin in their drive way. You may have won the challenge called happiness, and that’s all the wealth that you can ever desire.