Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Who can you trust?

One of the oft spoken, and least number of times honest statement is, "Trust me!!" And I am sure there won't be many around who will doubt my assertion, simply because our true life experiences have been too intense in a very opposite way, more number of times than we can count on our 20 fingers (those of feet included).

Anyway, I've been through some situations in life that I often joke: I've seen stuff in life that people read in newspapers and say, "Wow!! Did this really happen?"

"This year has been tough on me," will be the understatement of my entire life. However, I am not the one who sulks in his bedroom and tries to escape the call of conscience.

Anyway, I always believed that I was born to be one of a kind, someone who's gonna set an example for others to follow, but somehow I got comfortable with my life and started to take the time I has at disposal for guranted.

Comes a blow out of the blue, and I am out of my comfort zone, but highly motivated to set the wrongs straight, and above all:


About a month and a half back, I went through the worst pain any honest person can be put through by the very person whom he trusts with his life.

Was I angry with her? Anyone wanna bet? But I'm sure what I've been put through in the last 12 months to be finally capped by a memorable valentine's day gift, not many in the whole world would have survived that far, and I am not sure if anyone would have been able to maintain any sensibility by the end.

So I decided that I am going to show the whole world how much I've loved her and how I've been wronged.

I decided to finally get my dream of being a great singer/musician/songwriter rolling and at the same time get my story out to the world.

I approached a talented and upcoming composer from SA and set the ball in motion. To build a rapport with him, and also to give him an insight into the gravity of the situation I've been through and was still going through, I told him a very brief account of what I suffered and how I want to bring my story to the world.

A few day later, I got a message from my very talented friend that someone from a TV channel has approached him for a project and when she inquired about his current pre-occupation, he gave a brief account of what we were planning. The girl promised to give our work etc. airtime in quite a few countries across the globe and expressed a desire to be kept in the scheme of things.

Now, I was angry with the girl I loved, but I was still very much in love with her. I wanted to somehow get my honour back and also the love of my life, but I wasn't clear as to what to do and how to do it. I politely refused the offer and told my good friend clearly:

"Look, there are already so many problems, so many walls and a great barrier between me and her. I don't wanna do anything that will push her further away from me. I do want to become successful and I will do the right thing when the right time comes. But what use to me are a million bucks and all the fame if she is not the one I am sharing and enjoying 'em with? I am doing all this for her." (Rough quote but very near to what I said. Retaining the same zest, if I may.)

Anyway, he understood, or so I believe, and we moved on to the next part of our negotiations, the contract. We had a few issues over there and we had to finally shelve our plans of working together, and we parted ways amicably.

Honestly though, I thought one of the phrase he was adamant on adding to the contract was intended to tie me up in a way that subsequently I would have been arm twisted into making a deal with the channel he was suggesting.

The stuff I had just been through in my life made it hard for me to trust him and I offered him a contract that gave me my freedom, but the price he asked to sign it was beyond my budget. So, here I am working hard and getting ready to claim my honour and love back through my own hard work and dedication.

Although it's funny that the same channel has offered my love a deal now!!

Smell a rat?

I do, but I don't care anymore, cause I know it's not what she does, or what someone else does, that's gonna make my destiny now. It's what I am gonna do, that's what's gonna make my destiny.

I earlier tried to contact three very talented singers on youtube with an offer to work with me on my album, twins Janice and Sonia, and Bridgette Doran, all amazing girls with gifted voices and perfect for the songs and related videos that I had picked up for them, but I never got a reply from them. And the fact that both the twins, as well as Bridgette were busy with something in Los Angeles, the city where I was sinned against, didn't ring any bells in my ears? You bet.

I firmly believe now that someone in Los Angeles is trying hard to stop me and my love from being together.

Now that leaves one question about me and the girl that I love: "Do I love her?"

YES, I still do!!

I still love her as much as I have ever did, and I am gonna make myself what she would happily love to marry, but the question is, do I trust her? Or maybe perhaps she would rather love to ask, "Can I trust you?'

Well, all I can say is that when I trusted her, I told her the worst chapter of my life (till that time) that only my family and a few good friends knew, and that too, before she decided as to whether she should say yes to me or not!! I still have that post in my sent items as one of the two items sent on July 7, 2009!! (US/Aus dates!?)

After all this, if she still doesn't trust me then can she expect me to trust her?

Anyway, the fact is that "I still love her."

Trust your love only if you yourself are trustworthy.
Amanpreet Singh Rai

Friday, April 9, 2010

Of an honest ordinary man, buses, girls and relationships!!

What is the one thing even the mightiest, richest and most powerful of all men are scared off?

An ordinary honest man, who may have no power or influence but who, when not on sale, can't be bought by the richest of the rich, who when not ready to bow, can't be subdued by the mightiest of the mighty. No wonder how all the revolutions in the history of mankind have been a result of the ordinary man on street deciding enough is enough and that he's not going to take things lying down anymore, or bear the might of the self-willed ruling class.

However, a revolution is always a result of a combined effort of most ordinary men and women (in case the feminists haven't taken too kindly to my use of the proverbial "man" over here) and is always the outcome of an overflow of common, simmering discontent of public, against a common oppressing force. Whereas in most common daily life situation, ordinary men and women are generally waging their lonely battles of life, and most of them are not honest enough to resist the temptations they encounter to give up their interests for the sake of the interests of those in positions of strength.

However, once in a while an ordinary man that is honest enough, occassionally causes a stir by his adamance to not accepting the dictat of those who like to think of this world as their father's personal property and forget that in nearer or farther future, everybody will have to face THE ONE who actually retains all rights to this abode, as well as the other abode.

Such a man not only gives the high and mighty a feeling of shame at their own inadequacies, morallessness and characterlessness, but also gives them nightmares as to how and what to do so that his resistance can be subdued.

Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for the honest ordinary man, a solution is neither far, nor too tough.

Other ordinary men, who are as weak, as immoral and as dishonest, as the rich and mighty, gladly help them by working together and against the honest, lonely crusader, plotting his downfall, or planning to trap him.

An honest man is easily overcome, not by the power or might of money or force, but his own common, ordinary but dishonest, weak and corrupt brothren.

What if the same ordinary men and women, who let themselves to be used as pet dogs by the rich and mighty for the sake of a few bits and pieces thrown at them, were to stand up to the same shameless modern goons? "This world will be a much better place to live in," will be a grotesque understatement in that case.

"Are you a LION, or a DOG?" everybody gets the same option to pick from, but no one is strong enough to make the tough choice.

I choose to be a LION, what about you?

Anyway, there is a blind girl in some corner of this world, who broke all the boundaries of shame, dignity, morals and nobility, and dared to strip this honest man of his dignity and what for? Just because I loved her more than anything else, and cared to give her all I had, and dared to profess my feelings to her?

She may have as well killed me, if she hadn't it in her to be honest and dignified enough, cause the pain of being humiliated for no fault of yours makes your life much more painful than perhaps a dagger drawn through your heart to finish it all in one single stroke.

However, after all that she's done to me, I still love her and still want her to be the best part of my life, the better half of me.

Now that brings me to the second part of the heading for this post, "buses, girls and relationships."

Right from my later schooling years through to all the years in various colleges, and finally university, I have heard this particular saying, "Never run after a bus, train or a girl. One goes, the other comes!" True it was, and true it is, but there is an ugly side to it.

When you are young, say a teenager, or perhaps early youth, or early twenties, it is a good principle to guide you through the emotional turmoils of good and bad relationships. However, once you inch towards the wrong end of your youth, i.e., end of twenties, and are at the doorsteps of middle years of life, or have started that phase, this philosophy can ruin your entire life.

When you edge towards middle age other things become important for consideration, like planing your personal life, planing your kids, then planing for your kids, etc. And besides, you have to keep in mind how you also don't want to be stuck with arthritis by the time you get your first grandchild.

If someone still follows the same adage of "buses, trains and girls/guys" there is every chance that they will miss the right person and the right time and end up not only getting late, but also with the wrong person. Suppose you were to end up with a person who also believes in the same adage, where will you be left with?

This philosophy curtails your adjustment skills and hyphenates your ego. You fail to realize the importance of shared responsibilities, accepting shortcomings, setting common goals and making adjustments to your own bad behaviour. Results are destructive.

I know I am a good guy and will make any girl I marry happy, and also, I have a lot of options infront of me for a bright future and can always get a better girl, definitely far more prettier than her, and possibly a million times better person. But, I still love her and don't want to give up on her. You will ask why? Is it that she means so much to me? Or is it just my ego?

Yes, that is how much she means to me, she has always meant to me, and she will always mean to me, in case she returns to me. To give you an example, I know she dreams of making a huge name for herself, with a lot of fame. Even I wanted to have a big name for myself one day and actually I was starting on my plan of action for the same when she happened to me. I gave up my dream because I knew for a balanced and happy family life, both of us can't be running after our individual dreams. One has to make a sacrifice, and I decided that it would be better if I was the one who did it. That is how much she matters to me.

Any chance that it is my ego? No, not at all. Look, I can't be running after girls all my life. She may not be the prettiest, but she is beautiful enough to blind me, and many times more beautiful than most other girls. She may not be a good person at heart, but then who is perfect? Whenever you start a relationship, depending upon how much you value the other half, you always have to make adjustments. If you won't, the relationship won't last. I am ready to make the adjustments needed to carry this relationship cause I know, she is no more worse than any other modern girl that one may come across on the streets. Perhaps, she might be slightly better than most.

Besides she is the right age for me, just like I am for her. The girl should be a few years younger to the guy she marries for two reasons. Firstly, men are often very serious is nature and generally their angle of looking at life and way of dealing with situations makes them that way, tough and unyealding, who don't know how to have fun. A younger wife is the freshness and effervescence one needs in a relationship to keep it fragrant and avoid stagnation, while his seriousness makes sure they both don't loose track of their life and associated plans.

Secondly, even though a younger girl means bubbliness in a relationship, but even so, it is a fact that girls are always maturer than their age. And that is a result of two reasons; genetic, as well as environmental. Girls generally attain puberty 1-2 years ahead of guys making them aware of their sexuality and others aware of it too, a couple of years ahead of the boys. Environmental variables include the girls being object of attention and a subject of lust of other men (and women, for the feminists pleasure) which makes them even more aware of their form, situation and surroundings, making them mature quicker mentally, perhaps adding another 2-3 years to her mental growth.

So, a girl is generally bubblier than a man the same age by natural instincts, but if a man was to marry the girl his own age, he is actually marrying a person who is mentally 4-5 years maturer than him, which definitely makes the relationship more plane and bland on one hand, and a bit im-maturish from the girl's perspective. So effectively, the best age balance between a husband and wife should be 4-5 years difference, which fits me and her.

If one treats relationships like buses and trains, opportunities and warranty cards, that person's life is in serious danger of becoming a bus stop where a lot of people come and go, but no one stays for long, an out-dated product which still has got a warranty but no one wants to buy that product.

At one point or the other in life, one has to stop runing away from relationships and commitments and stick with one person, if one wants to have a happy future.

She is where I stop.

I trust my love,
Amanpreet Singh Rai

Friday, April 2, 2010

Are you ready to face GOD?

The question, "Do you believe in GOD?" is not just a question of one's beliefs, but represents an age old conflict of physical and spiritual realities. There are people who go to crazy lengths to prove their love, affection and devotion to HIS higher self, and then their are sceptics who call themselves atheists and claim a lack of belief in a higher authority which is over and above all exixtence. So if you are wondering what am I trying to state by putting forth this query, the answer is simple.

"I believe in GOD and believe he's watching each and every action of ours, and that, we will be held accountable for all of our deeds when we die."

"When we die?" Doesn't it sound like a long time away right now? Well, I ask you people to ask yourself two questions:

Firstly, what is the exact age when a person dies?

Secondly, how many things do we do in our day to day lives which can result in an accident that can actually cause our untimely demise? Just think of all the things you do, starting from the time you spend in your bathroom, to the time you work in kitchen and other places in home where you come in contact with electrical appliances, the time you spend travelling, and the place you work, the kind of work that is involved, leading up to the time you actually get back home and finally retire for the day.

Now add to all these things the activities that are out of your control, say for example accidents that may be caused by someone else's mistake, acts of terrorism, and above all, nature's final verdicts, like earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, etc.

I am sure by now you all will have a long list of things to be scared of. Now add to it the uncertainity associated with all these causes. We may actually never get a chance to even repent or seek forgiveness for our deeds from GOD before we actually find ourselves standing infront of HIM.

But my purpose over here is not to make anyone paranoid, or a recluse, or even a hermit. I rather want to awaken the conscience of everyone or anyone who reads this piece.

Now that we all have a list of things that can potentially kill us anyday of our lives, lets us ask ourselves only one question, "What if I was to die and realize that there is indeed a GOD, what will I say to HIM if HE asks me why I did what I did?"

We all do things that we in our heart of hearts know, were wrong and/or hurtful. Now imagine GOD asking you the question why you did those things and why you shouldn't be punished for them?

So what can we do the least to avoid such a scenario?


Everytime you are about to do something which is going to have a direct impact on someone else's life, think carefully, "What if this happens to be the last thing I do in this life? Can I be forgiven for my actions? Will I forgive someone who does the same thing to me, or would I like that someone to be forgiven?"

As long as you are honest with yourself (which I don't think should be hard thing 'cause if you are not honest with yourself, who will you be honest with and what sort of a person are you anyway?) I don't think any one of you will go wrong, or more aptly, do wrong. Otherwise, everyone's time will come, sooner or later.

And lastly for those who don't believe in GOD, I dare them to do one thing:

Say to yourselves only once, "There is no GOD. No one can hurt me. I will never suffer for any of my actions." Say it to yourself in your head and belive it. Once you have done that, never ever ask for forgiveness for it.

As far as I am concerned, I believe in GOD and I believe my every action as a human being is accountable and I will get punsihed for anything wrong that I may do. So I don't do anything wrong, atleast not knowingly. And for all the things that I have done wrong in the past, I have already suffered my share of punishment for them, and they were really harsh.

So, believe in GOD and have faith in love.
Amanpreet Singh Rai

Why punish Jesus for our sins?

Somehow I got a feeling, perhaps with all the media circus the "Particle Accelerator Experiment" of CERN has generated, many people would have been forced to wonder if there is a GOD as we all humans have known for so long in our lives? What about our, yours truly included (and quiet well so), belief in THE ONE who has created it all? After only 20 centuries since JESUS died for us all, have we come to a point where we are powerful enough to question the very existence of the one we've always considered not only to be the most powerful, but also the only source of all power?

I know I am asking a question that is truly and vastly beyond my powers of intellect, spiritual enlightenment, and also my religious origins. But before anyone makes any assessments, let me assure you that coming from a devout sikh family, we've always believed in Christ and the path he's shown the humanity, an alternate route to being one with THE ONE. We refer to him as "Esah Masih" which means "Jesus, the Mesiah".

Anyway, before I get to what I think I know about Jesus' way let me first settle any queries that challenge the very existence of my beloved GOD, just because of a funky experiment we humans have the audacity to waste billions of tax payers money on, when no one working on it can guarantee in written if the whole thing won't suck-up the entire globe into one of the miniscule blackholes generated during the wasteful monstrocity.

Say everything goes fine with the experiment, and by the end of the decade we know the entire story about our universe, right from it's nappy days, to it's current hippie tone, so what?

We may get to know how the universe was created, but how does that answer, why the universe was created? Where the universe was created? Who created the universe? If the universe had to be created, what was the need for the non-living matter to combine into to parasitic non-living forms that only know how to consume, waste and destroy, rather than adding anything constructive to the cause of the universe?

Why does a mass of cells start to live a life as an individual, and when the same individual dies, the same mass of cells stops functioning?

Well, I don't know what answer could possibly be for all these questions, but I do believe that there is definitely someone who is more powerful than all of us and that is THE ONE we refer to as GOD.

Jesus, did a favour to the whole of humanity and showed us all a way of how to get in touch with HIM after we die, by getting rid of the sins we commit during our lives as humans on this globe. He sacrificed himself to show us all the meaning of love, truth and honesty. And if that was not enough, he gave us the biggest gift that only the son of GOD could have given us. He offered to suffer for our sins in place of us, so that we may enjoy the comforts of heaven in the presence of GOD, after we all die.

Jesus suffers the punishment for the sins of anyone who believes in him, goes to him and seeks pardon for his mistakes and misdeeds. Jesus takes all his sins on himself so that the punishment of GOD could be administered and justice be provided to the one who suffered.

Jesus is the purest of all and yet he's suffering punishment after punishment, not in heaven, but the dreaded place we all sinful mortals don't want to go. Jesus can't be with his father, our GOD, because of our sins, and his promise to get us rid of all of 'em.

So everytime you do something that you know is sinful, hurtful, or bad, remember one thing if you believe in Jesus, "The moment you will accept your mistakes and seek forgiveness from him, all your sins will be transfered on to Jesus, who will then suffer for your sins, so that you can be rid of 'em."

Don't make Jesus suffer for your wrong doings. He's already suffered a lot for us. Please, stop sining!!

Believe in GOD and trust your love, like I do.
Amanpreet Singh Rai

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Story Of A Ring!!

Ever since I saw "The Lord Of The Rings" triology, I've somehow found it difficult not to associate even the mere thought of a ring from the power it be to the wearer. I'm not sure if you people also feel the same or is it just me who has got all the liberties in the world to be weird.
Anyhow, I am sure you people don't want to read another piece about the Tolkien masterpiece and trust me, this ain't about any of it. This one is the story of a ring which is still waiting for the touch of the soft white finger of a fairy that it was bought for, even though there are walls higher than the Mount Everest, forests denser than the Amazons, deserts hotter than the Sahara's and colder than Siberia, that lay in the way.
I can't help but remember how one early morning, Kevin Jonas flew to New Jersey and surprised the love of his life, Daniella, by showing at her doorstep on his knees with a ring in his hand, love in his heart, and hope in his eyes. True to her love, she didn't dissappoint him.
With no offence to the Jonas brothers who, I know now, are immensely talented and popular, but before that day I didn't even knew about. And if it wasn't for Kevin's similarity to the younger years of the father of the girl I loved, she wouldn't have mentioned about him in his tweets, and I wouldn't have known about him, or anyone else.
Coming from India, the only way I had known to propose a girl was to stop her on the side of a road, or perhaps at a bus stop, and profess your feelings with a rose or a choclate in hand. If the girl said yes then take up the issue with the parents, and if they agreed, an engagement where rings are exchanged, followed by a wedding.
But I wasn't in love with an Indian girl. I was in love with an American beauty. A beauty that my eyes can't find a parallel off to this day. They say love is blind, but mine came with dumb as a spare. I thought that maybe I need to ask her the way Kevin Jonas did and I bought a ring that I thought was worthy of even entertaining a thought of touching her soft, pious skin.
So what's so special about that ring, you will ask?
Well, the ring is not special for the stones that it carries, or for the hole it may have burnt in my bank account, but for the feelings that were associated with it, and my love which the mute stones can't speak about.
Everyman who dares to love a girl often associates a value with her, knowingly or unknowingly offcourse. That value can be judged only from as to what extent is he ready to open his purse strings, which basically would mean, how much of what he's got, is he ready to spend on her?
I valued her at priceless and opened the sluez gates of my bank account. Ruins was what I was ready to accept and anything short appeared inappropriate.
But why do I point to the ruins if I love her so much? Am I so cheap as to make a statement of what my love cost me?
No my dear friends, that is not the case. Rather I am mentioning about it to show you how much she meant to me, cause somehow the only way in this modern world to show the depth of your love is to show what worth was the money that was spent on a girl, with a smile.
Now friends, I would leave it upto you people to decide what value I attach to her, but here's a story of my every single penny that I had, and that I spent to buy something I thought was worthy enough to speak the language of my love to the only thing good I saw in my life.
The money that I used to buy the ring had a bit of that 1 dollar that was all that I was left with in my account, three months after migrating, when I had no work, had eaten only one meal a day for three days, with the meal consisting of a few slices of bread with a hint of jam that I was running out off, with a glass of tea.
The money that I paid for the ring included the money that was never paid when this University Gold Medallist went to wash a butcher shop with his hands and a rag, and when he went to clean the carpets and toilets in a factory, simply because you don't get paid for working two days as that constitutes trial period which is free service. And friends, after having spent 20 years of my life getting education in schools, colleges and a university, and another 5 years imparting educatins to high school kids, I couldn't see myself doing that work. The time was desperate but the man was proud of his heritage. Perhaps a bit too proud, but that would be a subjective judgement.
The money I used to buy the ring contained the missing money that the two guys ran away without paying me after using my cab after assaulting me. The money contained a missing part of the $825 that I paid as ambulance expenses as I was taken to Lyell McEwin Hospital, unconscious on the night of 18th June, 2008.
The money I spent had a part of the money that the Centrelink refused to pay me when I had nothing to buy food as I had no job, just because I hadn't been here for long enough.
The money belonged to a person who knew he was all on his own in this cruel world that won't even feed him, leave alone give him shelter, were he to loose his job for any reason. And that money was all this man had.
Now what do you think would have been her worth to me if I went to ruins for her with a smile?
Trust Your Love!! But don't blame me for it!!
Amanpreet Singh Rai

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What is Trauma?

As laymen, we often describe trauma as a state of mind of a person, resulting as a direct consequence of some events or situation that put the person in question, under immense emotional duress, resulting in establishment of a fear in his heart. A fear of something unknown and of un-explicable nature and definitely something bad.

Now we may have know someone from our close, or perhaps not so close circle, who's been through a tough situation and has been stated to be traumatised by that experience. But, do we ever imagine ourselves in such a situation, and how it would affect us? Atleast I never imagined myself to experience trauma in my life, especially since I consider myself fairly strong mentally, and I am not too bad physically as well. But then, fate and mind, neither of them is under direct control of most of us, or are they? The following experience is the exact representation of what I personally went through on the intervening night of 15-16 February, 2010, and a few subsequent nights, and am still going through it.

On 15th February, 2010 I went to the house of the girl I loved and her mother, and supposedly younger sister, refused to let me see her, or talk to her and threatened to call the cops on me.

Now I am an Indian guy while that girl is of mixed western and asian origins, and my mother is not too happy with my liking for this girl, primarily because of the religious and cultural differences, and secondarily because of the caste differences. I am a Sikh by religion and Jat by caste, the highest in our religion, and my mother is concerned like most Indian parents, what will friends and relatives say because the girl is from another caste, which in this case we don't even know.

So expectedly I thought that perhaps this girls parents don't like the prospect of her marrying an Indian guy from a different religion and hence are not allowing me to see her. So with these thoughts and a feeling of insult by the harsh behaviour of the two who opened the gate, I kindly requested them to call the cops while I waited outside the house. I pulled out a piece of paper from my own pocket, as they had refused to even give me a piece of paper to write to her, and wrote my deep anguish to her. I was hoping that when the cops will arrive, they may perhaps help me see the girl, or atleast hand my letter to her.

The first cop arrived, refused my request of either an audience with the girl, or to hand my letter to her. I was about to leave when another cop car arrived, and without any questions asked, I was handcuffed, searched for any weapons, and put inside a car. After that there was a mele of cops and specialised divisions like Victim Support, Psychiatric Division etc.

No one cared for what I had to say, but everyone took turns to go inside the house and talk to people inside, and soon enough it was decided that I be taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation. The reason given was that they want to be sure that I won't hurt myself after being rejected by the girl. I asked for an attorney but I was refused one.

The doctor at the hospital said that I will give you some tablets that you can take, but as I was alright I objected and asked for an attorney, a request refused again. All this was happening in Los Angeles County Hospital, Psychiatric ward. I was instead told that I am being admitted for 72 hour observation, and that my consulate, Australian Consulate General, has been informed of my situation and they will come and pick me up to take me back home in a couple of days.

Now I was scared. I hadn't done any crime, I was in a foreign country with no friends or family, no one knew where I was and what was happening with me, have been refused legal help, and was literally told that I am going to be flown back, or deported in other words.

The staff nurse kept on repeating one line, "We don't play in America!" And she told me that a lot of paper work needs to be filled, so it will take atleast 2 days before the embassy people will take me home.

Now I had a return flight pre-booked for the next day, 16th of Feb, and I was supposed to reach Australia on 18th and start work on 19th. What I was being told meant I would have been in trouble with my job.

The only reason I went to see the girl was that I trusted her, much more than I love her, and there I was, in an alien land, with no one known familiar of my circumstances, and some deep mess staring at my face.

I had no way of contacting my friends in Australia, or family in India, as my mobile was in the custody of hospital staff, and I didn't remember anyone in Australia's number.

There was a payphone hanging from the wall with services provided by AT&T but that was not help. The only number I remembered was my parents number in India, and when I tried to call them trough the operator, using my credit card number that I remember by heart, thanks to online shopping and billing, the operator told me he cannot connect me to India.

So there I was, with my predicament writ large on my face. In a psychiatric hospital, between mentally sick patients, or criminals who have physically harmed someone. My job as well as future travel to the states on line, and no family or friends aware of my situation that could have helped me get legal help.

Then there were nurses and ward boys who kept on putting more pressure on me by telling me that I may be kept for 72 hours, but the doctor may extend my stay for upto 30 days.

I was given a bed in a corner which was a bit darker than the rest of the room.

I only had a cup of coffee and a bottle of water before I left for the girl's house because she was more important than feeding myself, but ever since I got to her place and that mess, I wasn't even offered water by the cops as they didn't want to be in a situation where I would have asked for a urinary break.

In the hospital, this hard-core vegitarian was offered beef. I had to do with two apples and two 100 or 125 ml juice bottles.

Hungry, wronged, in a dark corner of the room, there I was lying on a hospital bed, surrounded by criminals and mental patients. No way of letting anyone from my family or friend circle know of my situation, with no legal help available, and my job on line.

I couldn't sleep the whole night. I was anxious, scared and helpless. If I tried to go to sleep, there was always a commotion that would wake me up. The ward boys and nurses used to start chatting loud, as if on purpose to wake me up.

During the whole night, no doctor visited me to see if I was alright, no medication was given to me. If I got up from the bed I was asked to go back to it straight away. I was once told that if I won't I will be restrained.

A lady with some problems, who must have been in the hospital for very long, started shouting twice during the night, "Please let me go! Please let me go! I am alright! I just want to go to Church!" and stuff. She was first restrained, and the second time sedated.

I was lying there, anxious and afraid. My whole life flashing infront of my eyes, all that was at stake, and what for? Just because I loved a girl and asked her, "Will you marry me?" and instead of answering me like an honourable girl of noble upbringing, there I was, put in a psychiatric ward with a vield threat of being declared insane?

When I couldn't take it anymore, I asked the nurse on duty to give me a sleeping aid, but she refused saying it was 5 in the morning, so too late for it.

I couldn't do anything except agonisingly wait for each minute to pass by.

Finally at around 8 am a young lady doctor came to have a word with me. A few questions and she said, "I think you are alright! I'll talk to the doctor to release you!"

And I waited another agonising hour before the senior doctor came to see me. He asked me a few questions that I answered to his satisfaction. To give you a sample of what I answered:

Doctor: What do you do?
Me: I am a registered school teacher as well as a bus driver.

Doctor: What do you do now?
Me: I am driving buses at the moment.

Doctor: So you are a bus driver!.. Now that you have seen this girl's house, do you think they are rich?
Me: I guess so!

Doctor: Why don't you go to India and marry a girl of your parents choice?
Me: Doctor, I will do exactly that.

Doctor: What about the relationship with this girl?
Me: Doctor, she doesn't like me!

Doctor: Good! I think you are alright! I'll let you go!

Now I want to tell this doctor if he reads this post, that the guy you were questioning and trying to show his place is a University Gold Medallist in Masters of Forensic Science, with 5 years of teaching experience in a Government School in India, and if it wasn't for his addamance to prove himself to the world that he is something special, he wouldn't even have bothered to leave India.

And yes I am poor. I am poor because no one will give me a good job over here in Australia. They don't even call me for an interview if I apply for a good job. Yes, I am poor, but my parents are not. I come from a good upper middle class family, with values, honour and honesty. We are not cheapstakes.

But anyway, I couldn't have said all this to him or I would have been in a lot more trouble. So I waited for another couple of agonising hours before I was finally allowed to leave the hospital, a free man.

I took a bus to Los Angeles city west, then to Santa Monica, and then Marina Del Rey. Reached my hotel, got refreshed, took a shower, and got ready to leave for the airport. I got downstairs and requested the reception to book a cab. The cab arrived, but also arrived two cop cars.

Once again my ordeal started. Two cops stopped me from leaving, took me back inside the hotel lobby, frisked me infront of all the hotel guests present around the area, and made me wait for nearly 40 minutes before another couple of cops arrived to hand me restraining orders. I was made to feel like a terrorist infront of all other hotel guests who were looking at me with disdain. I felt humiliated, but I couldn't do anything.

I finally requested for another cab. When the cab arrived, the cab driver saw the police, looked at me and asked, "I'll have the fair in advance if you don't mind."

"That's fine! How much will it be?" I asked. He said $20 and I gave him $25 which was ultimately more than enough. Although a cop car did follow me to make sure that I went to the airport.

The threats were vield, but loud and clear. Love this girl or we'll either declare you insane, or a terrorist. I couldn't sleep in the whole 12 hour flight but I was happy to get back home.

Now you all must be wondering where's the trauma that I was talking about? Well friends, here's where my trauma starts.

I got home around early evening, refreshed, took a shower and went to a friends house to tell them my story, and also had my dinner over there. I returned home when the night had just started to fall. I could barely keep my eyes open by that time. I hadn't slept for two nights and was so tired that I could have fallen asleep in standing position itself. All I needed to do was, close my eyes.

So I went to my bedroom and turned off the light.

As soon as I turned of the light, for the first time in my life, I got scared like a mouse caught in dark. I could hardly breathe. It felt like someone was gagging me, suffocating me. I was gasping for breath and the darkness gave me a feeling like someone has imprisoned me in my own house permanently. I immediately switched the lights on but the feeling persisted. I felt suffocated inside my own house even after I had switched on all the lights, including the one in my brother's room and our common toiled-cum-bathroom. I felt scared.

Now I was too tired to stay awake but I had no other option. I picked up my car keys and went for a drive. I could barely drive a few kilometers as I was finding it hard to stay awake, but I didn't want to sleep either.

I got myself together, returned home, strenghthened myself, and turned off every light and went to bed.

Friends, that was my first experience of trauma.

For the next few days, this fear lingered on.

I was alright at work, but when I was at home, even if I pulled the shades on my windows down to reduce the amount of sunlight entering the house, the resulting darkness used to scare me, make me uncomfortable, and my breathing would become laborious for a few seconds. That was the trauma that I fought off and got myself up and going again.

Even after three weeks, my sleep is still not proper. It's hard to get to sleep in the first place, and then when I wake up in the middle of it, it's hard to get back to it again. But I am improving.

But my question is, "What was my fault? Just that I loved her and dared to ask her if she would like to marry me?"

Trust Your Love!! Will you?
Amanpreet Singh Rai