Shannon Ridge Court

Waiting outside the lines

Life can only be understood looking backward. It must be lived forward. At my age (22), my father worked in Calcutta’s markets, selling unbranded t-shirts to locals on the streets to earn a living for his family. My grandfather looked like Marlon Brando, and much like Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” he was a brute, a drunk and a womanizer.

My father’s mother was uneducated and pregnant with her sixth child when he failed high school for the second time. He grew up in poverty and his only way out was his skill with the football. He couldn’t pursue it not only because his parents didn’t have the money, but there was no future for football in India at the time. He often told me that he would study in the bathroom while his father brought the house down.

I feel very humbled at the lifestyle I lead today. I am completing my masters! I’ve already gone farther than anybody else in my family. I honestly feel that without the determination of our parents and the generation before us, I wouldn’t know which page to turn to. We have access to a bounty of opportunities these days and I’m sure we will have plenty more in the future. We can further our education, explore career options. We have moved on and with rapid pace. Earlier we lived on farms and in cities and now we live on the Internet! I don’t know the future, but the way we are evolving, I may be on Mars 50 years from now.

Our environment and lives have become more receptive. Barriers and stereotypes shall soon become transparent. Sherwin, my brother is a homosexual who is treasured at home. My youngest brother Stuart is encouraged to study abroad. My parents know that it is better that I play a doctor on stage rather than force me to be one in real life and put people’s lives in danger.

I can be comfortable bringing a girlfriend home.

Times will change and we must have courage to adapt. It is like linking dots, when we see how far we have come by looking at our past. I feel determined to do better by connecting the dots of the future.