I moved to the US when I was just 4 years old from Singapore, where I was born. This happened when I was very young, so I was not sad about moving and didn’t really know what was happening. We moved to a small city in the U.S. Immediately after landing at the airport, we moved in to an apartment.

This apartment was only used by us for a month, but I still remember it. My brother was only a year or so old, so I couldn’t really play outside with him. We used to go for a lot of walks during this time to explore the new environment. This was a very peaceful time as there was no school to worry about.

After living there for a month, we moved to another apartment, where I have many more memories. This is when I was old enough to start making friends in the neighborhood and started to go to school. This apartment was pretty close to our old one, so we were used to the area. When I started school, I was nervous, but since I knew English it was fine. There was no racism since all the kids were innocent kindergarteners.

School was fun and I had many friends. I loved our apartment and played a lot there with my toddler brother and friends. My grandparents also visited us from India, and we visited them there as well. After some time, we needed a house instead of an apartment. So in around 2012, we moved to a townhouse in the same area. Now this is when me and my brother used to play outside for hours with friends.

We lived here for a long time, so I have a lot of memories and experiences here. My mom stayed home with my brother, and they picked me up since my school was a 5 minute walk from our house. Our house had a very good location, as later my brothers pre-school would also only be a 5 minute walk away.

All my teachers were all nice to me, so it was easy for me to learn. I was also proud that I was in AIG and had good grades. This is also the time when I stared playing a lot of soccer and was in a team. I also started learning guitar during this time. After me and my brother started to grow though, we needed a bigger house, especially one with a basement, so In 2017, we once again moved to a much bigger house. We had also moved a solid 15 minutes from the area we used to live in. This is where we currently live.

We easily made very good friends that I would play with all the time. We had sleepovers and went places together. We also got a basketball hoop here, so I started balling. I enjoy playing basketball here, and spend an hour or so on the hoop with my brother. We also played a lot of sports with friends like basketball, football, and soccer. I was always first pick since I was the best at all of these. These were times I enjoyed.

But, now we have a virus. So we have started biking more with friends to keep social distance. The virus is obviously a bad thing, but it has given me time to learn a lot of new things. For example I have been cooking and baking much more than I used too. I also have been playing a lot of table tennis and basketball. During this time I have a goal to dunk on a 9ft rim, and hopefully will do it by the time this quarantine ends.

My 8th grade ended with online schooling, so it was pretty weird, and surprisingly easy to finish work. I don’t know when high school will start, but I am kind of excited to enter a new phase of life. So far my life here has been great, and I have not witnessed any racism personally and cannot really relate to the experiences of others. But this does not mean racism does not exist here. I understand why people complain and why all the protests are happening. And why it is important to speak up against injustice.

Also, I am a Kashmiri and I have heard from my mom about how she had to leave home when she was almost my age because of terrorism. I wish people had spoken up against that too!

Anyway, thanks for reading my first post. Jai Shri Ram

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