Self Expression Magazine

What Do I Stand For?

Posted on the 09 September 2013 by Raina

Before I write my next post, I want to clear few things first. I feel like maybe I was not clear enough in my previous post and misled my readers. I take total responsibility if I gave a wrong impression about what I stand for. I love “D” very much but my mom always comes first for me. “D” knows that, and he respects my sentiments. I am a strong believer of “mathru devobhava”- mother is God. My mom sacrificed a lot for me, more than anyone can ever imagine. I am who I am because of her. D loves me because of the person my mom molded me into. I cannot imagine even a single day of my life without my mom and D. I hope my readers understand this.

Yes, we are sad about the move, but we are willingly doing this and not being forced by my family to do it. I am the master of my life, and I am moving on my time not when my parents wanted me too. If my writing somehow implied that I will be happy without my parents, excuse me for my English that is not the case. I will be very unhappy in my life if I lose them for “D” and will never forgive myself for doing that. “D” and I believe that marriage should bring two families together and not two individuals. D’s family has a similar belief on this issue. Maybe that is the reason I even considered a relationship with “D” as his beliefs pretty much line up with mine. I strongly believe in “family comes first” and it is not just about me all the time.

The move is hard. It is a risk, we are willing to take for the principal we believe in. I also think that D, and I have a strong bond that can stand any storm coming our way. In case I am wrong (which I am absolutely sure I am not) then our relationship is not worth keeping. If our relationship cannot withstand this temporary separation how could it stand all other tests that life has in reserve for us. I believe in “lead by example” so, if I give up on my parents, how do I expect my kids to not do the same with me?

Therefore, if anyone wants to post comments attacking my family, I am giving you heads up do not waste your time, whatever you think you are doing is not appreciated here. MY FAMILY, D and D’s family are my life, and an attack against them will not be appreciated.

I do not know if I somehow implied that I love cooking more than being a doctor (surgeon). If that is the case, I apologize for misleading again. Being a doctor is my dream, cooking is my hobby. I love to take care of D because I follow my mom’s example. I will never give up my career goals for anything.

My mother says that I have two personas the one which is extremely career oriented, and the other is very family oriented. A lot of people I met were even surprised to know that I can cook. Sorry, if I confused you too with my dual personality, but I think that every person is multifaceted.

One day few months back I explained to “D,” how being a physician or a surgeon would affect our life. I told him that being a physician will give us a relaxed life but being a surgeon would make it hectic. I was talking about the family and kids in the future. When I asked him what he thinks I should do, he immediately said this, “sacrificing your dream and giving up even before you try for our future kids who we may or may not have is not right. You will always feel like you did not do enough to realize your dreams. Is that the example you want to set for our kids? Do you want our kids to think that their mother gave up because she was not strong? It will make you miserable in long-term, and if you are unhappy, you cannot do a diddly squat for anyone around you. Most importantly, I cannot let you give up on your dream for me or anyone else for that matter.”

I think with that maturity and understanding we can face any storm that comes our way. There might be changes in our relationship dynamics, but we will just do fine. It is hard and risky I will not deny that, but as they say, “victory belongs to the most persevering.” Who did ever succeed in life without a risk?

If any of you are concerned about how poor D is being bullied by this crazy manipulative Indian family. Thank God D does not have that view of my family. I am pleased to tell you my man is strong and mature; he would not have signed up (for a relationship with me) for this if he did not think he was capable enough to handle it. D is happy that my family is so hard on us because it shows they love their daughter and won’t jump at the first chance to get their daughter a green card. I always discuss everything with him before I take any decision, so he is not left out of this decision.

If anyone got a feeling that I have suicidal tendencies/ thoughts do not worry, I am not going to die. I am not foolish. I am living in a foreign country where I am treated as a second-grade citizen at least to get my medical residency. I am home sick and going through the stress of disapproving parents. I am buried in debt that will take years to pay. I might feel low sometimes, but I know I am strong, and I will survive this and a lot more. It is totally fine to feel low because I am a human after all. The only reason I wrote about my vulnerabilities in my last post is because I want to tell my story to people who are in a place like me. I want them to know that they are not alone and we can look past this bad phase.

Furthermore, if anyone did not realize by now I love India, Indian traditions and culture.Not living in my country does not mean I hate my country or I am forbidden to speak about the living conditions there. I lived 25 years of my life in India and I experienced Indian life first hand. I very well know what it feels to be a daughter in Indian household. It is just funny that some people consider I am some kind of traitor because I left my country. I consider it to be patriotic because I am learning advanced skills to go back and be a part of my country’s growth. I made a sacrifice to leave everything I know behind so I can use my God given skills more efficiently for the betterment of my country. Therefore, I think it is not only my right but also my duty to stand-up for my country. That does not mean I stand up for the evils in India like bribe, caste system, reservations etc.

I am an Indian at heart that is just who I am. I am not going to have a fake persona only because I left India, or I love an American. That in no way means I hate everything that is non-Indian, or I only follow Indian traditions. Our relationship is half and half, and that is what we do with respect to traditions we follow. I love America and respect their culture and traditions as much as I respect Indian traditions. I am as proud of American history as I am of the Indian history. Everyone I met since I came to US showed me unconditional love and for that I am very thankful. I will defend both the countries and hope I would never have to choose sides. At the same time, I know no country is perfect each of them has their flaws, and I acknowledge that. I have no problem taking critique or giving a critique about either country; I only refuse to go on a bashing spree. If you have any doubts on this issue you can read my “athidhi devobhava” post here or my “every coin has a flip side” post here, here and here.

I have a problem with branding myself anything; this is just my personal preference. I am not a Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jew; I love God and believe in His existence. In the same way, I am not a feminist. I am someone who believes that women are as important in this society as men. I think male and female are the two tiers that our whole society is based on. I do not believe in one giving up living so other can get everything they want. It is an equal partnership. I do not think that these beliefs make me anti-women or oblivious to women’s suffering. I stand against anything that I feel is unfair. It does not matter to me if the victim is a man or a woman. I thought I was clear on where I stand on this issue with my Rakhi post (you can read it here and here), but maybe I was not so hopefully this helps clear it up. If you still disagree with my stand that is okay, I respectfully agree to disagree no hurt feelings what so ever.

Lastly, if I read a post somewhere and disagree with what the author has to say, I make a post on my blog talking my mind. (By the way, that is the whole point of me having a blog to say what I think without being offensive.) I do not provide a link to the author’s blog, mention the name of the author or blog name and not even author’s gender (or any indication of the gender). This is because I am not trying to send hate author’s way. I go to the extent of requesting my readers not to reveal the name of the blog/author in their comments. I think this is the most civil way that anyone can express an opposing opinion. I do not believe I have ever attacked anyone and if my words implied otherwise, I am sorry that was not my intention. If I like someone’s opinion or if their post inspires me, I always try to post a link to their page, (with their permission of course,) on my blog. I believe in spreading good messages. My blog is a place for love and good.

I respect the fact that everyone has a right to their opinion, and I ask my readers to respect mine. If you disagree with me that is totally fine and truth be told I expect disagreements, but please I urge you no personal attacks. Do not spew hate on my blog, if you still want to do it your way, I have to do what is in my power with a very heavy heart. I strongly believe that I have a right to defend my country, my culture, my family, myself, my principals and my dreams and there is nothing wrong in doing so. I am a proud 21st century Indian women, and I do not believe in giving up a part of me so, I can have the other. I will fight for what I want until I die. I will try to be very sensitive when I talk about delicate issues, and I urge my readers to be civil when you comment.

I might be a bundle of contradictions but that is who I am, and I am not going to change myself or what I believe in order to suck up to anyone. I am not scared to express myself in my writing. I believe if I pretend to be someone whom I am not my post quality would not be what it should be. I started this blog to talk about what I believe in, and that is just what I am doing. If you do not like my principal or cause it is not a problem, stand up for yours, and I will respect that.

Through this post, I am not trying to be apologetic, rude, aggressive. I am just trying to clear what I stand for in the most respectable manner that I know. Any other intention you read between the lines is at your own risk. That kind of sounds funny, but I think there should be at least one funny line after a serious talk. :) .

Thank you,

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