The Past and Its Results: Our Present

I started reading the autobiography that my grandfather has written about his life. I’ve barely gotten to the part where he is in medical school so I definitely have a lot more left to go considering that he is 92 years old. 

I’m so amazed at what his life so far has been like. To live through all sorts of history that I’ve only heard about. And even so, growing up here in America, not really heard about as well. He survived a bombing in Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar) during World War II when the Japanese invaded and had to go back to India even though he had spent a lot of his childhood in Rangoon. His father actually had to walk back to India because there was no other modes of transportation that were working due to the air raids by Japan. 

I haven’t even gotten to the part where India becomes an independent country yet. I’m curious because I do know my grandparents did meet Mahatma Gandhi so I really wonder what their story is. I don’t know if they will be far-removed from everything or if they were right in the middle of what was going on. 

Last week, I wrote a post about how many parents left the country they grew up in and found themselves in a new country only for the opportunities available to them at the time. Today, I’m reading about this history that my grandfather has gone through. I’m now waiting to hopefully read about the history that my father-in-law has lived through being a member of the Indian army. 

This is what our ancestors have gone through to get to where we are today. Our problems don’t really seem as complex or terrifying as what our families have been through in the past. In fact, on the other hand, it seems like they have gone through their struggles without complaining or feeling sorry for themselves. 

It definitely puts into perspective what we go through on a daily basis. Most of us are extremely lucky wherever we are because we don’t have this struggle of survival. We have the right and the opportunity to choose what we want out of life. I’ve been reading a lot of history in general lately and it seems as though this right to make our own choices has been something most cultures have struggled with for centuries before it was given. I think some cultures are still going through this struggle now. 

Time changes things. It has happened before and it will continue to happen. Eventually, we will all have our effect on the world somehow. I think our generation will change the world in terms of social consciousness, communication, and technology. It will be a different type of change.

I look forward to contributing to it. 

Inspiration

Has anyone else ever wondered why there aren’t more people representing India in the Olympics? India has over a billion people and another who knows how many around the world. How do we end up going to the Olympics with maybe 30 representatives?

We watched an Indian movie this past weekend called “Bhaag Milka Bhaag”, literally meaning “Run, Milkha, Run”. It was about Milkha Singh who participated in the Olympics in the late 50s, early 60s. It was such an inspiring movie about a man who found a way to make something of himself even though he had lost a lot when the partition happened in India in 1947.

I really hope this movie inspires others at it has inspired me. I hope that the kids growing up in India realize that they do have the opportunity to really do something great in this world if they just put their efforts into it. I don’t want to assume anything, considering I don’t live there and don’t know if part of the reason that Indians don’t have a great presence in the Olympics is due to politics or money or some other reason unknown to me.

I have two little cousins who are maybe about 10 years old that have been born and raised in India. Both of them are fantastic swimmers and have been winning competitions as long as they have been swimming. I know at least one of them has her heart set on participating in the Olympics one day. I can only hope that this dream does come true and we get to cheer her on in a few years.

So why doesn’t India have a more dominating presence in these international games? I know they do in some sports (I’d like to say namely cricket) but what about everything else? We can’t possibly have no one who can compete in swimming, track, gymnastics. Are people in India so caught up in becoming actors or models that sports just isn’t as important?

I look forward to the day where the country of my heritage can be competitive in these international forums.