Some excerpts from the book I've been working on (on and off) for the past few years:
Raw Book Excerpt (December 4, 2015): My grandmothers had a huge influence on my life. This is something I didn’t realize until they were on their deathbed or already gone. My grandfathers were gone long ago so I don’t know much about them All I know is through stories. They were gentle, kind, and passive men overtaken by the powerful women in their lives. They died, not naturally, but one from a stroke and the other from a heart attack.
My mother was close with her father just as I am with mine. At the time of his death, she was new to the United States and living in Chicago. She had her first born and was unable to visit him or go to his funeral. This is what I can’t imagine. The sacrifices our parents made for us as immigrants. The lives they constructed to ensure their future generations never suffered. We have and always will, I’ve realized, remain at the epicenter of their dreams. We remain at the center of theirs so they can remain on the outskirts of ours.
Book Launch (September 8, 2015): I have not told many people of my plans to write a book about my parents’ lives, being a first generation Indian-American, and how all of this ties together to the rise of a new generation. Right now, I believe we are in an incredible period where two cultures, well two worlds are merging into one incredibly complicated, but enriching period. Many immigrants, similar to my parents immigrated in the 1980s, struggled to set a stable foundation for their future children, and are now at period where they are watching their children grow older. Their children are making their own decisions to carry this other world their parents have come from into the world that has grown to be their own ‘home’. This is the story I would like to tell plus more about how this old world has brought many positive social and economic changes to this “new” world (the rise of Silicon Valley, tech, start-ups, social impact, etc.).
Since there are many facets of this story such as my family history in India, my parents’ journey to the United States, other immigrant stories, stories of being a first-generation, and more, I’ve struggled to map out how to best tell this story. However, over the past 5 years, I’ve believed that there’s an incredible story here, especially of my parent’s lives, and it needs to be told. I know it’s a story, although in various narratives, that has been told and probably will be told over again over the next few generations.
I’ve learned through mistakes and lessons that it’s good to start small, so when I started gathering snippets of interviews with my parents, with villagers from my parents childhoods, and my own personal experiences and thoughts as a first-generation Indian- American, I was hopeful that it would grow to be something substantial enough to put into one piece.
Now these stories, interviews, and snippets are slowly coming together (although they are still very raw). I’ve refused to let anyone read them until now, and now you guys will have the opportunity to read little excerpts that I hope will one day become one book. By no means do I have chapters and chapters written. I am still gathering the content I will need to make this into the story I want to tell. I still have a long time to go and as it has over the past few years, life will get in the way and progress might be a little slow.
Now that I’m entering a new chapter of my life and learning more about how these stories have shaped the person I’m becoming, I feel as though I owe the world this. This is my contribution to the world- to tell the stories of people that the world has never and may never get the opportunity to experience and understand.
Finally, I’m open to any suggestions/recommendations you might have. This is a story that will be told through numerous lenses, so your perspective will bring more color to me as I continue to write this book.
Special thank you to my amazing and close friend Jennifer Everett (Follow her amazing life as an entrepreneur and traveler here: http://jenniferleverett.com/) who has given me so much helpful advice, including this one to formally announce my book launch.