Dasvidaniya. Sayo Nara. Selamat Tinggal.Alvida.
Never mind! These words may not carry any meaning to you, my beloved Canada, as is the case of many people who speak in such tongue twisting languages. I better translate.
Good bye Canada!
I know, I know. You are laughing at this now!
Just about a year back I uttered something similar while leaving your shores and promising to escape for good from a country, which even after six years was not ready to accept me professionally. Alas! The bondages of love towards the family left behind were strong and I was emotionally weak and needed my family more than I thought. So I returned a few months later bidding farewell to a promising career again. I was hoping that the warmth of my love would transcend to your cold frosty soul and you too would develop a feel for me!
But I forgot. Our case was different. Here the child adopted the motherland and not really the other way around. I therefore had no reasons to complain if the distances caused due to color, race, cultural and educational background were too wide to be bridged in a life time. Even I did not accept you completely. I realize that it is the second generation which assimilates in letter and spirit and thereby also reaps the fruit of our labor. It’s Ok. I am enlightened now.
So this time when I leave, there are no grievances for lost professional years. No tears to be shed from my side! I realize that professional success is a matter of individual choices and skill sets. Coming from a textile manufacturing background, I should have realized that there were no such opportunities in your shores and should have been ready to accept whatever came my way. If I did not accept positions as loader, store sales person, janitor or security guard and worked my way up, it was my bad and I am Ok. I have realized my mistake and am returning back to lands where I could utilize my skills. Honestly. No hard feelings!
Today instead, I write to thank you for the beautiful time you showed me here and the blessings you have brought to my life! I have genuinely enjoyed my stay here and have become a better person and need to thank you for all that you have done and also share with the world my beautiful memories.
You taught me to treat everyone with respect and humility. People open doors for others, wait for others to pass, do not honk unnecessarily on roads, allow vehicles to go ahead while they wait their turn, keep roads clean, do not litter, bow down and wish unknown strangers on streets, forget their official ranks outside their office and intermingle freely, obey and follow the laws…. I could go on. Civility is a resounding yes in Canadian society.
You made me realize that ups and downs in our lives do not define a person. And one should not patronize people for their success or throw them out of our lives for their failures. You made me stay humble at the time of success and also accept my failures in stride and move on.
You made me see the beauty of life, lose anger and be at peace with myself. Like millions of Canadians who have understood and created a work-life balance, you made me create one and enabled me to enjoy the small joys of life. Spending time with family, talking to the blooming flower waiting to hear my gibberish, cooking Tofu-Chaat , going for small walks on the lakeside.., I finally knew what was meant by living life to the full.
You are well and truly becoming a land of immigrants and the Diaspora I see in a city like Toronto and the colors that it brings to life are seen to be believed. Every man or woman or transgender have equal rights and the ability to express themselves freely. True a mix like this could create turmoil but you are evolving and such transitions takes decades and centuries and every day I see a better you than before.
For small businesses, your systems of starting, running or even closing businesses are simple and easy to follow. Every system is documented and readily available online and your friendly officials provide complete support. The vision is clear to see that more people succeed rather than penalize them for their errors. When I ran businesses for six years here , it was a smooth ride all throughout and enabled me to live a life of dignity and honor without getting harassed for even a single day.
You provide free genuine world class health care to all, clean pollution free environment , all free flowing basic utilities including clean water, heat and electricity, free education for children up to high school and financial support even thereafter, great social support to the poor and to the elderly, a world class infrastructure and a great democratic and law abiding environment. Above all you support Liberal values and have in fact made them a part of our Charter of rights! True you are not perfect but I must add, as close to that in many ways as possible in a real world!
Today while leaving your shores only because I seek greener pastures professionally because of my individual background, I thank you for all that you have done for me and my family and for making me a better human being! I leave my family behind in the heaven of their choice and look forward to my return when I am done with my Karma.
Tse Tse. Terimah Kasih Banyak. Shukriya. Dhanyawad.
Guess what. These words are also as Canadians now as maple leaf.
After all it is 2016!
Posted in Times of India on 28th May 2016. Link below-