Cliff Missionary, one of the renowned schools in Vancouver, Canada was glorifying its successful completion of 25 years.The event was beautified and made noteworthy with the participation of all students in the cultural function, where they were to recite or sing something related to their ‘MOTHERLAND’. Aakash, a third grader was very nervous when his name was being announced.
He stood on the stage and glanced around for a moment. Some students averted their gaze at him and coughed. Aakash stood alert and proceeded to singing The National Anthem of India, “JANA GANA MANA”.
Indians settled abroad carry a strong attachment towards its rich culture and heritage and try hard to instill the same into their kids.
He received a standing ovation for his stellar performance, which was a matter of pride for his parents who hailed from Chennai, India. Aakash’s family shifted to Canada when he was just four years old. He had an elder brother, Aarav, a fifth grader in the same school.
Growing up in an ambiance, immensely different from India, their way of life was more like Canadians. Schools in Canada hold a prestigious position all over the world and so are the students with highly competitive aptitude.
Both the brothers were extraordinarily good at studies and much of their success could be attributed to their Indian Parenting. Beyond the school curriculum, they were actively engrossed in all sorts of extra curricular activities after school. Life seemed like an “unhalted machine” for them except for the two months (May and June) of summer vacation. Every year, they’d spend the vacation in their motherland, India where they exuded all their joy and happiness with the near and dear ones.
“The morning bells of the temple, the aroma of the authentic South Indian dishes, the evening glance of the sunset from the beach, listening to bedtime stories from grandma,” these are the priceless possessions which they miss and yearn for, back in Canada. Aakash has more fascination than Aarav for his Indian origin and culture and sometimes expresses his deep detest of his parents being settled in Canada. His strong affinity always holds him to stay back and he carries away the pleasant memories which he mesmerizes for long.
“Wake up Aakash, its morning and you shouldn’t be late for the most-awaited day of your life.” His sparkling eyes were speculating about the trophy which he was going to receive for his remarkable performance in high school. He received a special value of his excellence by being selected in the most reputed college of Canada, “The Canadian University College.” Though a bit far from home but the words of his parents echoed in his mind, “we must be ready to sacrifice some of the things we like most in order to succeed in life.”
Staying under the shadow of love, care and attention, hostel life seemed a bit monotonous and uneventful but he gradually got adapted to the environment. With increasing accountability and attentiveness as regard to his studies, going for a vacation to India rested in the backdrop.
Suddenly the doorbell rang and Aakash’s mom was amazed to find, “Mom I’ve got scholarship to continue further studies at Oxford University.” Hearing the words, tears of happiness rolled down, but suddenly her thoughts stumbled and she realized that the distance will restrict his frequent visits.
Life at Oxford was cruising well and in the final semester, each student had to select their own choice of country or city for the internship. Abruptly Aakash’s mind took him to Vancouver, Canada but simultaneously a second thought accompanied him. His deep insight emphasized on his second thought which was of going to his motherland. His mind was assailed by doubts thinking about his parents’ reaction. But to his utter dismay they were overjoyed with the decision.
As an intern in a notable MNC in Noida , he was lavishly accommodated in the company’s guest house. His weekends were busy visiting the nearby historical places of Delhi. He experienced a deep sense of love for Indian history especially its glorious past. The more he ventured, the more his hidden sentiments were rejuvenated. He felt strong association with every aspect of the place which was bit unusual for a person who lived most of his life in luxuries. Though blessed with all materialistic comforts, he was least interested in all these.
He was acclaimed as the best intern with a succeeding job offer, which was of no importance as he was going back in the following week.
Listening to the stories of India’s struggle for independence during British rule, he always possessed a strong urge of celebrating Independence Day. His dream had come true and he managed to reach the Red Fort sharp on time. The National Flag was hoisted and witnessed the event with a sense of pride.
“We owe our lives to the great heroes who sacrificed their life for our country’s independence and peace,” he overheard the discussion of some folks. How can one be compelled to accept slavery? When we have our own independent country, why do people hanker after mere material pleasures in other countries?
He was restless that night as he was haunted by the thoughts which he experienced that day, until he reached a poised state of mind. After enough valid reasoning he convinced himself, “this is the place where I was born, where I always wanted to be and I would love to devote myself to this very land.”
“We must listen to our inner-voice and concede to the fact that happiness does not reside in material possessions, but in the fullness of life. Live where your heart belongs.”