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.

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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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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! 🙂

To read more articles by Amrita Literature please follow: www.facebook.com/AmritaLiterature.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

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.

Snap out of it!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. For once, and yes I can confidently say this has never happened before –I vanished from social media because I just didn’t have a whole lot to say.

It seemed as though things were piling up against me to the point in which I wasn’t able to see the silver lining – and type about it too.

My book plans didn’t exactly pan out as anticipated, motherhood become overwhelmingly challenging when my toddler suddenly became strong enough to overpower me (both mentally and physically), and my relationship was just in a not so great place for a short while.

All in all, life was just kicking my ass – and I had a tough time pulling myself out of the slump I allowed myself to sink into.

Luckily, the on-goings of my life have always been cyclical – and after a low there’s always a high and I felt a great sense of perspective bringing relief after a family vacation in which I had the chance to really bond with my husband, son, and immediate family.

In my entire twenty-eight years of life I had never traveled with my father – so it’s safe to say I was delighted to be able to spend some quality time with my entire family (including my dad) during a short trip to California last week.

Seeing my niece and son rejoice in the simple joys of staring at the many attractions of Disneyland, and watching my mother and father laugh and bask in the sun along the shore of the charming beach we stumbled upon whilst driving home from a family wedding truly helped me remember what life is all about.

Life isn’t about becoming defeated when receiving your first true blow of rejection, or feeling near hopeless whilst engaging in the same ol’ arguments with your spouse – it’s about learning to soak in the moments which follow or are in between the not so great ones. The times which are there to remind you that even though things may not turn out the way you wish them to –there’s always another avenue through which you may find happiness, and it might not be down the path you previously assumed you’d find it.

I still haven’t given up on my goals of 2016, I do very much so intend to publish my fiction novel, clean up the loose ends of my personal life which are a incessant nuisance, and try my very best to give motherhood my all each and every day. But I have also learned that it is not the end of the world if you do not succeed the first, second, or even third time around while trying to accomplish something. I’ve learned to bask in the sun even if it’s only peaking through the clouds in small glimmers.

I hope anyone whose currently in a rut finds a small moment which provides them with some enlightenment and subsequent happiness. Because after all, life’s more about the journey rather than the destination.

Have a wonderful rest of your week everyone and thanks for sticking by while I took a short break from the world of literature!

-Amrita Literature

Backyard Bullies

Oftentimes, it’s easy to think of bullying as being something which originates from an individual much different from the target. Unfortunately so, there is a common phenomenon currently occurring for bullies to be targeting individuals who are “one of their own.”

These instigators may not be aware that they’re demeaning someone who is absolutely no different than themselves, and just how detrimentally damaging their behaviour may be.

Call it a defence mechanism, ignorance, or a result of a poor upbringing. But whatever it is – it’s causing newly immigrated South Asian children to feel ostracized and inferior to their peers.

Time and time again, the concept of those dubbed as “dippers” or “freshies” is always used as a manner to classify the “acceptable Indians” from the ones who are deemed unworthy of inclusion.

To make matters even worse, these taunts and blatant in school emotional antagonism is nearly always instigated by South Asian second generation immigrant children, toward first generation South Asian children.

It’s no surprise that this tendency is all too frequent in our schools, since the mass media portrays all Indians in such a unfavourable manner. The smell of curry and thick accents are synonymous with dark brown skin and hair. This drives western born offspring to become vehemently defensive of their own identities – causing them to wish to differentiate themselves from this portrayal of Indians.

It’s essential for our youth to understand that a kid may dress or speak a little differently from them as a result of the environment they’ve grown up in, or because they truly did just immigrate to Canada from India. It is crucial to engraving the notion that it is never acceptable to make these vulnerable individuals feel inferior simply because of who appear to be.

Certain aspects which are a part newly immigrated or less acculturated children’s lives, and are only a small part of their social self becomes pitted against them. This crumpled the odds of them having a well structured social life. It also sets the tone of their life trajectory.

It’s time to stop this phenomenon and educate your children about how excruciatingly hurtful such things can be for someone who may already be well aware of the subtle differences in their persona. Perhaps your child isn’t the instigator – but it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure kindness is at the forefront of their offsprings behaviour each and every day in and out of a school setting –regardless of if they think they’re “too good” to be classified with the kids who are actually in fact just like them.

Believe it or not, when you dig beneath the surface, typically we all wish for the same things in life (more or less). Less assimilated individuals are just children (and maybe even some grown-ups) who want the same thing the “more westernized” groups of society desire – acceptance.

Remind your children (and yourselves) that there’s no need to shift the spotlight onto an easier target in order to protect ones own self from being attacked. Rather, enlighten them on the importance of challenging commonly accepted stereotypes and demeaning portrayal of East Indians rather than support them by partaking in the quest to alienate those who don’t fit in with “the majority.”

Being a minority doesn’t have to mean to be on constant guard, it just means we have to be one step ahead the masses and not allow anyone bash those whom we share our roots with.

The Underground World of the Lower Mainland 

 If you’ve lived in the lower mainland long enough, then you might be able to recall the days of being able to drive through any old residential street without being forced into a game of “chicken” with oncoming traffic. Two-way streets were actually in fact two-way streets, which allowed the flow of traffic to conveniently move in both directions. The roads were wide open, a safe place for your children to play, and most single family homes were just that – a place where typically 2-5 individuals lived happily (for the most part) under one roof. 

 

Then, being the business saavy individuals most Indian folk are, came the introduction of renting a portion of your home out to people looking for a place to live within a reasonable budget. 

 

This trend spread like rapid fire, and soon all those big wide-open streets became filled with tenant vehicles, parked up on the side of the road next to their respective mini-homes within a home.

 

As with any manner of generating revenue, municipal laws and regulations had to be created in order to attempt to control this widely spread new income booster. Because just like with anything else, when something becomes too common or widely popular, issues usually begin to arise. Problems like renters not paying up on time, destroying property, being disruptive, or simply being downright lousy people to share your home with, became increasingly prevalent. 

 

Therefore, it became necessary to register your basement suites within your municipality. Unfortunately, the individuals who actually followed through on this requirement fell few and far between in our cramped up sub-urban neighbourhoods. 

 

Yet at the very same time, everyone who chooses to invite absolute strangers into their homes, without conducting background or credit checks, or securing a deposit of some sort – expect the authorities to bail them out (so to speak) when relations with their tenants go awry. 

 

People are so eager to bring in an extra grand or so a month, that they forget they might just have someone shooting up some lethally hard drugs just on the other side of the wall where their precious children sleep.

 

Now I’m not saying everyone who lives in a basement suite is a drug addict or near homelessness, what I’m saying is complete your due diligence as a landlord. If you’re going to build your home already knowing you will be renting a portion of it out, then register your basement suites, have allotted parking space on your property for your tenants, and abide by the municipal laws (which are there for your own protection) in order to avoid having to turn to the cops for help when disputes occur. 

 

In other words: as a builder, or home renovator – do your homework before granting someone accessibility to your beloved homes. 

 

Become informed – be aware that by not following the rules, you’ve forfeit your right to evict your tenants. Most specifically, if you haven’t followed the proper protocol beforehand of drawing up a contract and having them sign it – troublesome tenants can earn “squatters rights” and before you know it you’re “battling for your own turf” with someone all too aware of this flaw in the system. 

 

Laws are typically made for a reason, for the public’s own safety. So do everyone a favour and follow the correct protocol when it comes to becoming a landlord – and know who and what you’ll be inviting into your homes and neighbourhoods along with that monthly cheque you so eagerly hope to receive! 

Unwanted Treasures

They sigh with dissapointment
At the news of her birth
As soon as the cord is cut
She learns her worth
The truth of what her future holds
Is a pre-determined mould
A life of subordinance
An open space of contempt
People push her down
Tell her it’s rude to stare
When her brothers on the floor ranting without a care
She’s forced to be prim and she’s learned to do it proper
But what they just don’t know
Is at the end of the day,
It’s from her that Life will continue to grow