Thank You, Dad
A very happy Father’s Day to the biggest support system and inspiration in my life.
My dad came to this country with pennies in his pockets and no one to call a friend to escape deep poverty and unemployment that plagued his life in India. He worked day and night as a waiter and a gas station clerk for many years until he saved up enough money to bring me, my mom and my siblings here. It was tough growing up without him. I looked forward to the few minutes I got to speak with him on the phone every other day. I also had to mature faster than kids my age in order to help my mom take care of my toddler siblings. But we understood and waited for the day we would see him again.
We did not have much when we finally came here. We lived in a small one-bedroom, pest-infested apartment in an immigrant heavy, low-income neighborhood in Queens, NY. We attended public schools and often found ourselves waiting in line at food pantries. But despite our hardships, we all happily shared that one bedroom, ate dinner on the floor, loved, laughed and cried with each other, and grew up learning the value of having nothing and earning everything. He taught me that.
Today he is a successful small business owner, my sister is studying to become a dentist, and I am on my path to becoming the first doctor in my entire family. So thank you dad for teaching me that hard work, persistence, and having faith can transform lives for generations to come. Thank you for having the courage to leave life as you knew it at 40-something years old and starting over in hopes of a better life for you and your children in a brand-new country. I hope I can be half as brave as you one day and I look up to you everyday.