The Lit Life | Ep. 02

On this episode of The Lit Life I discuss lazy Walmart auntiya, what it means to be called a “sh*tskin,” and what my personal goals for the next little bit are and what I hope yours will be.

Click here to listen: http://youtu.be/KuwG8TjpHYs

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The Lit Life | Ep. 01

In this Episode: Learn about who Amrita Lit is, what the novel Chasing Kismet is all about, and what you’re in store for if you subscribe to this podcast! It’s time to get L I T in a whole different way people…

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The Strength of a Mother

My mother’s always worn a black trench coat
They were a vast contrast to her creamy white skin
Which was a source of both pride and dissapointment
Proud that she looked like one of them, dissappointed that she resembled none of us
But her heart and soul belongs to her own
Replacing aspirations with obligations
To secure a house into a home
Giving each of the pieces of her heart a place to belong
Selfless service seldom met with gratitude
Her teachings pour into every aspect of my attitude
Thank you mother for all you give from within
Because I know there’s scarcely anything left
From which you can pull, when times get hard and your patience wears thin
The eternal and everlasting
Love of a strong poised Indian woman
The shield of her coat
Keeping in the warmth
Closing out the cold
Providing the sanctuary, required even as you yourself grow old

Airline Arrogance – What really went wrong?

This post is in regard to the video circulating around of the man being dragged off the overbooked United Airlines flight – you can bet your ass race played a factor in the manner in which he was removed from the flight.

All too often there’s this assumption that minorities will just submissively accept whatever is expected of them without a challenge. Typically because that’s usually how things go down.

I’m an advocate for people who are dubbed as “dippers” or “freshies” because it is these people who subconsciously think people who are “white” are some how superior and not meant to be challenged.

Think back to times when you were gone somewhere with your parents and they were always afraid to “do the wrong thing” or “disrupt the status quo” that’s because they automatically assumed the RIGHT way of doing things was set by people who belong to the majority.

So many times I see entitled individuals who “speak down to” ethnic minorities. Heck, people within the South Asian community do it too.

Keeping on track with speaking of airlines and improper conduct; I recall flipping my lid at one flight attendant when I overheard her telling a fellow passenger (who was clearly born and raised in India) that the beverage Coca Cola was bad for his kids teeth. Would this flight attendant dare challenge a white passengers request for some Coke to quiet his kid at the butt end of a gruelling 14 hour flight from India to Canada?

Of course not.

But she found herself entitled and exercised her advantage of being a westernized “brown girl” to tell the guy how to parent because he must somehow be in the dark about the unhealthy nature of Coca Cola.

Guess what nitwit air hostess chick – sometimes you just pacify your kids and give them what they want full well knowing it’s not the best thing for them just for a God forsaken moment of peace and quiet.

Feeling entitled and superior to someone because of their ethnicity or appearance is straight up racial profiling.

And just the same way the police statement released by the department to which those officers who dragged that DOCTOR off the plane just had to include the fact he was asian in their “official statement” you can bet their assumption and expectation of him to be submissive and afraid played a role in their violent attack.

Anyway – rant over. Moral of the story, stop judging people by what they look/sound like. Pull your heads out your asses and understand no ones better than anyone else.

For the “dips” — don’t be afraid of people who so excitedly tell you off when you’re in the wrong line up, facing the wrong way, or doing something else “the wrong way” in public.

And for the enablers within their own culture (the ones who feel themselves to be better than their own) stop thinking you’re superior just because your parents came to Canada at a certain time. That very well could be you with the thick accent, screaming kid, and desperate need for Coke or whatever else would placate your kid and get you through a overseas flight with small children.

Just stop judging one another and acting like douches. Okay? Okay! 🙂

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Have a wonderful week everyone!

The Balancing Act

As you all know I recently released my South Asian Fiction Adventure novel titled Chasing Kismet.

Along with many messages of congratulations and praise, also came a few offhand snide remarks along the lines of, “oh WOW I can’t believe this is actually good!” Or “did you seriously write this all yourself?”

-__-

Over the last few years I have developed a thicker skin than my insecure young adult self had (dang, when did I leave the YA zone)? And I’ve learned to take the negative with a grain of salt just as I don’t allow the rave reviews and soaring sales get to my head. Because no one falls quicker than a person whose head gets too big to carry, or someone who just can’t phase out the haters.

None of that is what I really want to talk about here, though. What I really want to explain is that there was no magical shortcut way for me to have produced this book and have something to forever be proud of.

Really – what it took was a big ol’ balancing act of keeping all my priorities and responsibilities straight. It wasn’t easy “keeping all my ducks in a row.” And that’s why they weren’t most of the time. Usually, when you take on too much – certain things suffer while other aspects of your life flourish. The secret to keeping it all together is learning what to put on the back burner and when to switch it up before you totally eff up the “lesser of your pressing priorities.”

For me, what I have to balance is my professional obligation to my husband’s family business, my role as a mother, my personal writing goals, and taking care of myself too.

Now I won’t lie – if I’m kicking ass at one or two of the things mentioned above, I’m usually sucking badly at the rest of it (typically my personal health and appearance takes the biggest hit).

But I still consider it a win if my son’s happy and fed, and if I manage to stay on top of my office work on a weekly basis.

But if you step back from this all- and really think about it, it’s quite funny that men never really have to struggle to find a balance between personal and professional aspirations. Usually, they’re one in the same and quite in sync with one another. For some reason only women have to conjure up some serious inner strength and mental stamina to pull off this seemingly impossible balance act called – having a family AND a career.

The ultimate responsibility of child rearing DOES always fall upon a mother, so any hopes, dreams, and aspirations outside of that role, usually fall by the wayside unless you try your ass off to make sh*t happen.

If you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way to make it all work. I knew from a very young age, pretty much at the age of 11, when I read my first real novel “The Underground Railroad to Canada” that I wanted to have my name embossed onto a glossy cover one day too. The immortal lasting effect of literature was something that just mesmerized me. As did my passion for wanting to create social change, or atleast sparking the mind of the individual who would do so.

So there you have it, a dream was born – one to be a real, actual, “big time” author.

Of course it took longer for me than most to publish this book and I have by no means “made it” in the world of literature. Not to
mention that having a child does throw your whole existence for a loop, and of course I faced countless instances of fret and worry about how I would be viewed as a married woman writing fiction about taboo subjects in my culture – but once you release your own demons, there’s nothing holding you back.

All that’s left is to put your pen to the paper, or in my case fingers to the screen, and let your heart bleed out your truest desires until your dreams become reality.

Purchase Chasing Kismet here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1540886131

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The United States of Canada

Could it be possible – that we aren’t quite as safe and removed from the reality of our southern neighbours as we believe?

I don’t know about all of you but I for one seem to find myself thanking my lucky stars that my parents chose to settle in Canada rather than the USA right about now.

Since when did the colour brown become the new target of all those born ignorant and afraid? How in the heck have we stumbled upon a time in which men are being shot in their own driveway because of the colour of their skin?

When you read history books – you feel this knot of disbelief when you learn about all the tyranny the nazis got away with against the Jews. And not just in the full blown years of Nazi rule – but the time leading up to that. What exactly did it take to persuade the masses to behave like mindless sheep following the rule of a dangerous dictator?

History is truly repeating itself. Men in positions of power are utilizing their status to create scapegoats, monger fear, and promote hate.

Simply put we are in the thick of racism being once again openly expressed.

Lives are being lost. But how many of us Canadians are afraid when walking out the door? We live in our nice friendly little multicultural bubble.

Right?
Wrong.

Just as those who voted Trump into office hid their true impression of people of colour so do many Canadians.

And the reality the US is facing today could very well be our tomorrow. All it takes is someone like Kevin O’ Leary being voted in – which chances are could happen since we tend to flip between Liberal and Conservative and suddenly we might find ourselves thinking twice before heading out the door sometime in the near future.

It’s so unfortunate that people who are born and raised in a certain country are being made to feel like outsiders. It’s even more heartbreaking that those who came to the land of the “free” to begin anew are being oppressed and attacked.

I really don’t think we’re as far removed from their type of hate culture as we think. It’s in the offhand comments, it’s in the stereotypical statements, it’s definitely floating around the backdrop of many ethnic majority members minds – all it takes is one bold leader to make those closet racists feel confident enough to step into the light – and boom you’re standing in your driveway with a gun pointed in your face.

The masses are swayed so very easily. The marginalized become pushed to the outskirts and branded as the culprits of all that is evil – and those in advantageous positions have the power to behave any which way they please.

So trust me – even though we’re tucked away in our snowy abyss far from the venomous actions being committed in the US – this already is OUR problem. Whether we feel protected by our Canadian identity or not. Because let’s face it – when it comes to choosing who the true badge of being a Canadian belongs to – you can bet your last dollar it won’t be allotted to those wrapped in a turban, burka, or duputta.

It’s all in your head!

Perception is everything.

What’s that tired, over used cliche mean? It means that whatever lense you look through – will determine your fate.

If you think it’s lame to partake in social clubs and philanthropic activities – that’s what will become your ultimate limitation.

If you think studying and getting good grades will somehow demean your character – that’s what will set your life trajectory.

Your perception can be the thing that takes you to bigger, better, brighter places than you ever could’ve dreamed of, or it can be what holds you back, allowing you to only excel as far as you feel comfortable.

Comfort zones and fear of deviating from the norm can be what define your perception.

You might be so wrapped up in desperately wishing not to appear like a “loser” or failure – that you don’t even bother trying.

You don’t go for that job interview, you don’t attend that meet and greet, or even ask that girl out — because you can’t handle rejection or that which makes you uncomfortable.

It is your perception – that hearing the word NO is the end all and be all of your being.

Individual occurrences do not define you, hang ups and bang ups DO NOT define you, it’s what you make of them.

It’s how confident you are to see yourself and the world in a manner that allows you to grow and exceed to your full potential.

Not too long ago I passed up not one, but two entry level scholarships to SFU and UBC simply from the anxiety it brought me to think about joining such large, prestigious institutions.

I had the perception I was not worthy of attending such establishments. I couldn’t fathom the thought of sitting in a 200+ capacity lecture hall, with the potential of being called on. That very scenario kept me up at night the summer I graduated from Highschool.

Now just look how strong my negative mindset was – that it held me back from so many future doors and opportunities which may have been awaiting me. Instead I chose the safe route, the more well known route – a local college.

I write this blog not to reminisce and feel the sting of these poor decisions of yesteryear once again, but to enourage you all to have a positive perception of the unknown.

Allow yourself to be succeptible to failure. Allow yourself to try new things or maybe see old things in a new light.

Because you never know if something you might be dismissing as too grand, or too daunting, or even falsely classifying as being beneath you – might just be your ticket to having it all.

 

The Black & White Truth About Drugs

The other day I was driving somewhere and saw a church sign which read, “Help fight fentanyl.”

It struck me as odd. I wondered why they would make such a statement. It’s not like fentanyl is some big scary monster standing on hind legs chasing people around whilst forcing itself upon them.

Taking drugs is a conscious decision. Sure a lot of the lives being lost lately due to drug use are teen lives – to that at least I can say these teens don’t have the proper decision making skills as their pre-frontal cortex hasn’t fully developed yet. Which is the area of the brain in charge of controlling your likelihood to behave impulsively.

So they have an actual physiological excuse for such moronic behaviour.

But to everyone whose a grown ass adult abusing your body by taking drugs – I do not feel in the least bit sorry for you.

Hundreds of thousands of people would kill to have a fully functional healthy body to be able to live out their lives in. Like those suffering from terminal illness or other disease. And yet you so carelessly pump your bodies full of garbage and then you feel you’ve been done some sort of injustice when there’s a lethal substance traced through those harmful chemically created substances.

It’s absolute bullshit.

The media needs to stop portraying people dying from the overflow of fentanyl in the streets as some sort of victims.

You reap what you sow. You want to take drugs, deal with the possibility that snort, pill, or shot – might be the last high or breath you ever have.

Rant over.

Choose life. Choose using your damn brain.

Glass Ceilings

Work will work when nothing else works.

Think about this saying anytime you find yourself in the predicament of feeling like nothing you do amounts to anything. Because I kid you not, I have found myself looking up at my own personal glass ceilings more times than I’d like to admit this past year.

Over the course of 2016 I have enrolled and backed out of two different post-baccalaureate programs (Masters of Speech Therapy and Masters of Counselling Psychology), nearly locked myself into a ten year lease for a coffee shop business, considered opening various online business such as a artificial jewelry store, a social media marketing expert, and even dappled in the possibility of becoming a pre-school teacher.

Now I won’t call all of these start-up ventures failures. Because I only half way dipped my toes into each of these ideas –only to be pulled back by the nagging feeling that I was abandoning my one year old to put my own goals ahead of his well-being. Instead, what I’d like to summarize this year as is a year of learning exactly what feeling “lost” can do to you. I was so desperately searching for a way to create my own autonomous identity that I didn’t realize I already have one.

Taking for granted what is right in front of you is something I am all too good at. In between chasing my kid around trying to get him to put some clothes on or finish his last spoon of oatmeal – I also help assist run my husband’s family business. Correction — my family business.

It took me a long time to reach this mentality (that what’s mine is his and what’s his is mine) but I think I am just about there. And it’s become very clear to me (all of the sudden) that just because I haven’t had to start at the bottom and claw my way up, I should appreciate the fact that I am being handed a ready-made occupation with all the fixings to boot.

Despite the fancy office, managerial duties, and mega flexible workhours –I still can’t kick that incessant longing from deep within (perhaps planted by parental expectations) that I need something to call my own.

That my friends, is where my literature comes into play. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again –it is so very important to find something that is just yours and only yours, which helps define who you are as a person. For me, my strength is being able to effortlessly express myself through articles, blogposts, and even a fiction novel which will be launched in Spring 2017 (stay posted for details on that).

But if you find yourself constantly going down various pathways in life only to change your mind half way there, that’s completely OKAY. As long as you keep trying to find that niche which is right for you while gaining a fresh new perspective along the way.

The only thing holding you back in life are your own glass ceilings. Don’t let your fear of failure keep you from shattering them.

As always thanks for stopping by and please do take a moment to follow my social media pages to stay updated with details about my book launch!

-Amrita Literature

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Just Remember One Thing: Never Forget Your Roots!

My husband has this silly saying he occasionally repsonds with during conversation.

At first I dismissed it as just another try hard Tupac line I really had no interest in being enlightened by. But then he would somehow make it applicable to just about any scenario in which we were discussing someone with a out of this world ego, selfish persona, a individual who seems to have just “changed,” or anybody who thinks their too good for the colour of their own skin or where they come from.

That’s when I realized the value of ones roots — and how detrimentally devastating it can be to those around you (and even yourself) if you do in fact; forget your roots.

What it means to have roots and be proud of them is to know who you are and what makes you that way. It’s to take pride of the circumstances which have contributed the building of your character, values, and attributes.

Be those traits good or bad – you must pay homage to the foundation from which you have risen no matter where you end up in life.

This means you don’t simply allow people who were once your closest friends fall by the wayside and become mere acquaintances, you don’t forget to appreciate all that your parents and closest loved ones poured into you in order for you to be YOU. It means that no matter how wide your wings spread, or how far you may go in life – you always remember to appreciate your roots. The bits of you which still exist deep within your soul but you may not have the conscience morale to face and allow to still be visible to world.

It’s not about being bigger, better, and growing out of your past. It’s about learning to bring those parts of you into your present, and never allowing anything or anyone tear them away from you.

Integrity is seldom to come by these days. And I am so very proud to have a husband firmly grounded in his roots, so very so that they stretch into the ones being formed while we raise our son – creating a indestructible base for him to grow from.

So as you read this – I must ask you… When’s the last time you thought about who, what, and where you come from, and what’s holding you back from appreciating all of that?

One cannot excel to everything the world has to offer without flourishing from the inside out first.