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.

How to face the fears you never even knew you had!

When I was younger my sister had this amazingly intriguing video board game called “Nightmare.” Every now and then I had the honour of being allowed to sit in on one of the game sessions between my siblings and older cousins.

It was a great deal of fun. They’d turn down the lights. Play the tape with this dark and dreary undertaker character leading the game on our fuzzy TV screen, and try spooking one another into thinking he was just about to pop out the screen and into the room.

Typically, I’d get too scared about half way through and run off crying but they usually allowed me to partake in the very first step of the game. Everyone had to write their worst fear on a card and place it in the middle of the board. My teenage siblings would almost always pick from the generic list of feared objects and jot down things like “spider,” “heights,” or maybe throw in a funny one like “your face.” And that would be the end of that.

But I recall this one time I was spectating, and one of my eldest cousins wrote down his fear and quietly put it down. Being the cheeky seven year old I was I pounced to sound out the words and my brother peaked over my shoulder and read it aloud to everyone. It read, “to never lose my way.”

For some reason that statement, my cousins deepest darkest fear, stuck with me into the years of my life in which I could actually fathom what those long difficult to sound out words meant.

At the time, he had recently faced some hardships in his life. I suppose he felt he had “found himself” after overcoming them, but still had the fear of “losing himself” again dangerously looming.

I only recently stumbled upon this dust collecting game in the corner of my parents office closet, opened the box, and low and behold that same scribbled statement was still jotted down on one of the players cards.

I began to wonder about my own fears. Was I afraid of being lost? Or maybe I already was and I just didn’t know it. I have come to realize that you don’t typically notice you’ve veered off your expected life trajectory until it’s much too late. But I think it’s safe to say that’s not the case for me. Sure there’s been some unpleasant bumps, and unexpected turns in the road — but all in all my journey is proving to be rather extraordinary.

I encourage you all to think about your own fears, think about whether you’re where you want to be in life. Because sometimes all it takes is some re-positioning to get to where you wanted to be when you were a young kid with all those tomorrow’s stretched out in front of you.

Yes, I know – I’m a old nostalgic soul who always speaks in an utterly dramatic way that has a way of rudely reminding you of your fragile mortality. But I just have this insatiable quest to help others seize whatever moments they may have and feel the utmost happiness in each and every day before it’s too late.

It’s okay to have fears, it’s okay to reflect, what matters is that you’re not too afraid to admit when you’re lost, and care to re-assess the direction you’re headed.

Thanks for bearing with me during my ups and downs of emotional enlightenment. At times, I feel as though I write out my own woes in the hopes of helping at least one individual sort through their own.

Hope you had a spectacular weekend and as always thanks for stopping by!

– Amrita Literature

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! 

Happily Never After – The Truth About Indian Relationships

I’ve been in a relationship ever since chingy was the number one artist in the world of Hip Hop and R&B. My singificant other and I skipped school together, grew our own identities yet managed to remain close, and formed a rollarcoaster of a life including a hoot of a three year marriage and a rambunctious little one year old.

Every now and then I come across someone who tells me how so very LUCKY I am to have a husband. As if it’s a rare jackpot of a scenario to find and marry someone you can actually stand (for the most part). When I ask these subtly glum individuals if they’re seeing anyone or getting married soon – since they’re typically my peers or slightly younger – they simply respond that “there’s no good (guys or girls) left out there.”

I usually can’t comprehend exactly what this means. “Good” meaning they do their own dishes and mind their p’s and q’s? Or good as in meet their checklist of standards for their dream significant other? Then I’m usually forced to listen to their horror stories of past relationship failures and cringeworthy stories of the dating world (aka club scene) in Vancouver.

I just can’t help but wonder, where have all the good girls and guys gone to hideaway?

If there’s a seemingly equal amount of guys and girls on the prowl, who are all looking to settle down with smart, attractive, and successful individuals, then why can’t they seem to simply make their way to one another?

Here’s my theory..(and you all knew there had to be one). The reason people are getting married later and later and more and more engagements/relationships are being called off is because people have built up an unrealistic ideal of what it means to be in a relationship. We grow up watching television programs and movies which depict relationships amongst people of a complete different background and upbringing.

Not to mention the fact that in current day, social media makes it appear like those of us married with kids or simply in a relationship are just picture perfectly happy on and off the screen. Here’s the cold hard truth though, ain’t nobody pulling out chairs for us and showering us with bouquets unexpected flowers. Just sit there and smile as you sip your Mc Donald’s coke with Crown mixed into it on “date night.” That’s about as much wining and dining you’re going to get honey.

Our men (the Indo-Canadian ones) simply haven’t been raised in the manner to be these respectful chivalrous gentlemen which we have so pine-fully dreamt of our entire adolescent years. This ideal image we have created of what our perfect mate should be like is much too unattainable for the simple fact that – they don’t exist.

Now I like to keep things fairly unbiased and impartial so I don’t want to seem like I’m bashing all apnay (Indian) men here. I’ve heard plenty of guys complain about the fact there aren’t any “good” girls out there either. Well to you all I’ve got to say – where are ya’ll lookin? ‘Coz if it’s in the lineup to caprice (is that still a club?) then you best get your butt enrolled in a post-secondary institute of some sort and begin your hunt for a good wife there.

Book smarts tend to equal a well rounded individual – for the most part. So shape up your expectations and start looking in the right places. What you surround yourself with, and how you behave, is what you will attract.

Be the man you’d want your sister to be with, and be the woman you’d expect your daughter to be – and maybe, just maybe, you’ll come across that special someone, get married, and then bitch about the fact they’re nothing, nothing at all like Ryan Gosling or even Prince Adam from the little mermaid for that matter.

What does everyone think about this? Am I being overly pessimistic? Is it right to hold out for “the one?” Or is it time to accept that there’s only one way to get married – by lowering your standards and expectations and just settling for a secure and comfortable life.

Please do let me know in the comment section below or on my Facebook like page!