By Jagan N. Gosain
Wheaton, IL: I agree with the sentiments and practical advice of Fakirchand J. Dalal in his opinion — NRI retirees must learn to organize themselves and enjoy life — published in India Tribune dated January 14, in response to my opinion — Parents deserve better treatment; help them physically and financially — published in India Tribune on November 27, 2010. He states, “that those of us, who worked and retired in the USA are financially self-sufficient with social security and pension, along with personal savings.
The older generations of Indians are mostly professionals, engineers and doctors. Due to the frugal lifestyle most of them lead, they have enough financial resources. Indians in general are a very successful minority group in the United States. They are approximately 1 percent of the US population, yet one is hard pressed to find a hospital in this country without Indian doctors. There is hardly any large consulting engineering outfit in the United States without Indian engineers. It might be very difficult to find an engineering department in any of the US university without Indian professors. I could go on and on, but I am sure most of you can see the point. No wonder they are financially well off and do not need any outside help.
However, a person does not live by bread alone. What they really need is the emotional support from their children and grandchildren. Some members of the second generation seems to have forgotten their roots and some of them are down right ashamed of their ancestry. This is not very healthy, and maybe injurious for their mental health later in life. Maybe that is the reason some people have called them “American born confused desi (ABCD) generation, and some have called them coconut generation “brown on the outside, white on the inside.”
It is difficult to straddle the two civilizations. Personality is formed by genes and ones experiences in life. The second generation got the smart genes and the habits of hard work from the previous generation. Through their education and hard work, the first generation has inspired most of the younger generation to be successful in their endeavors. This world is full of spoiled geniuses; however name of the game is hard work. If one wants to succeed in any field, one has to work hard. Most of the second generation has very skillfully used this opportunity through their hard work as is evident by looking at the Silicon Valley, politics, financial circles and most other fields. However, it hurts to see some members of the younger generation trying to emulate gangsters and drug dealers.
Be proud of what you are, you have nothing to be ashamed of. However, in the rat-race of life, do not forget the older generation, who are partially responsible for your success, help them emotionally and make them proud, and be proud of your ancestry.