Sejal Shah, Ashok Shah, and Shobhana Shah
DescriptionSejal Shah (48) interviews her father, Ashok Shah (82), and mother, Shobhana A. Shah (76), on coming to the United States, the role faith plays in their life, and advice for future generations.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Sejal Shah
- Ashok Shah
- Shobhana Shah
Recording LocationVirtual Recording
StoryCorps uses Google Cloud Speech-to-Text and Natural Language API to provide machine-generated transcripts. Transcripts have not been checked for accuracy and may contain errors. Learn more about our FAQs through our Help Center or do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions.
00:06 I'm sejal Shah. I'm 48. It's Friday, July 30th, 2021, and I'm in Rochester, New York. And I'm speaking with my parents, my father Ashok Shah and my mother showed me.
00:27 I am Ashok Shah.
00:30 I am about 82 years old. Today's date is Friday, July 30th, 2021 sister, New York and
00:45 My my bike is so blessed that she's sitting with me and I'm going to talk to Sage and show my daughter.
01:01 Mom, will you also know?
01:05 My name is Shield Nessa. And today is Friday, July 30th, 2021 and I'm going to missions on answers and Mom. How old are you? Where are you?
01:27 And who are you talking to my daughter?
01:33 And I'm listening to my husband's answers.
01:38 And what is his name?
01:42 Okay. Great. Thanks, Mom.
01:49 Dad, what are your thoughts on your transition in American Society of was there a huge culture shock, when you came? How did you handle day-to-day life? I came in 1967 before I came in. I had my two brothers in San Francisco Bay area. So I went to them and he oriented me.
02:16 To the new culture. So I think I stayed with him for two weeks. How's the life is different here and how you can keep up with it and everything is easy yet. Then you think and he helped me out. Like I had a lot of accent, the grocery ready to start the banking and how to talk with the people and what are they? What kind of food you can eat and what not. That was shown to me by my brother.
03:08 And he bought you a coat, write me a quote pictures because I coming from India in the country and it was cold even in San Francisco.
03:32 Mom, what about, what about you? What was it like when you came?
03:37 I came to New York Mets because my brother was there in New Jersey, but no cerino's. New guy came straight to Philadelphia VA. He was so we came to pick me up and bacon and so, it was very cold and I was waiting, sorry, without any thing. So it was really cold. I can get used to it and then you find a job so that I can support him. He was. Student.
04:22 Ended up by the hardest part. For me was to live my son. He was only seven months old and it was the hardest part.
04:37 How how old was, how old was he when you saw him again?
04:43 He was two and a half years old because of bunch of bunch. She try to find out to get the visa. We found out that once you apply for your visa. She cannot come in. So that's why I took two and a half years to get the visa and then he could come for the same here.
05:10 Dad, how did you come to your face? You're a very religious person when I I mean in our community in Rochester, you're probably, I mean you're one of the most
05:26 I thought from the beginning, my mother instilled, the faith in me, and she herself was a very devout. He's working hard and although she studied only up to about,
05:46 Sixth grade. She read most of our scriptures attended, all the knowledge of the scriptures. I was surprised and she remembers. Many of the devotional songs and she instill the trade-in be lasted and grown my faith in their body.
06:21 Was there a particular set of experiences that made you more religious than your than your peers? Are your friends, every day? I was going to and then there was a little priest who used to teach me about cheetah.
06:41 I didn't understand a word he was talking about, but I heard a devotion iHeart and later on I could.
06:55 Beat happening in my life. So it is all true and it can be experienced and practiced in this life. Thank you.
07:14 Have there been moments that tested your face. What were those challenges and how did it go?
07:23 I, as soon as I entered the medical school.
07:27 I stood first in the class, because I didn't have to learn too much by my memory was very good. And then I found a niche which is medicine and then it was easier for me to study pain medicine and my faith was tested differently.
07:57 In my profession, in my personal life and during interactions with others. And I found out that if you respect and love, all the faith, everything will fall into place.
08:23 Dad, what is one of your favorite memories of me?
08:27 Give my favorite memory of you is then when you took care of dance recital, and I was surprised that you could dance for more than 2 hours at a time. And that was the greatest surprise to me.
08:52 What is one of your favorite memories from when you were my age? When you are in your late forties? I remember your 50th surprise party, but wondering what you were thinking about in your late forties.
09:05 That time I was thinking about that up till now. The Lord has given me what I wanted and that was my old disaster. And I got the profession which I liked and got the job which I like and I got the children whom I don't have to worry about. So I think Lord has blessed me with all the necessary things in the life and he gave me the education and I like my job. So no matter how much hard I work. I will not have any stress.
09:49 What did you want to be when you were growing up? Did you know, always that you wanted to be a doctor visited me. And he says,
10:05 Days. Inn one, good profession in this world. And that is the position. I said, bye because you have a good living and you help other people and the satisfaction with you get by helping others is in the profession. So as soon as he told me that I decided that I want to become a physician.
10:37 And then everything fell into place.
10:44 Did you?
10:46 I think.
10:48 I mean, kitty Kaka your brother wanted to be a physician also, right? But
10:55 Father said, we have one position that you should be something else, right? I did not know I think.
11:09 Do become a physician, it require a lot of money also and a lot of commitment and longer.
11:22 There was a problem, but I got scholarship and he also got car dealership because I went into medicine event in to look at the engineering so that we can have a good house big.
11:39 Play girl in the mirror.
11:48 Yeah, he's he made all these changes to his house to covid the Sierra, but he's just a really amazing person. He the first one to come.
12:01 What is a person to come to the u.s. Right? Dad and San Francisco area for long time?
12:18 Yeah, it we always felt like summer and I always felt like we had a second home. We always felt comfortable going to California because he made us feel at home. There is really nice for us, growing up in this cold City to also be able to go to, California.
12:38 Dad, have you experienced any miracles?
12:42 You know, what did, whatever I wanted. Came to me very easily. You know what? When I was
12:53 I wrote to the Finance Minister of India that I need some money so that I can do by all the medicine and medical journals and books, which I needed to and I was golden Freddy.
13:14 These complaints was.
13:19 You don't investigating who I am, where I'm coming from. What are my qualification? He sent me two thousand rupees, which is like getting $200,000. Now from his own account. That was a miracle, which I saw, and I was surprised all my friends. This is a
13:56 To write to somebody in later and you help comes from. So, that is the miracle to start with. When I try to give him his money back to him. He says, you don't have to give me money back, but you keep on helping other people says I did to you, so I think it's possible. I tried to follow his advice.
14:30 Dad, what are you? What do you think? Is where do you think the places of friendship in your life?
14:38 Tween family and friends. I know you have these friends from childhood. How important do you think friendship is in your life?
14:47 Where should be in anyone's life right now. And they keep on calling me every week to two weeks and they are worried about my health and they raped me and always interested in me and we are very close is amazing and the School, the best school in the Gujarat State and their daughters. Good morality. And, you know, about the literature and enjoy the poetry and religion and how to get along with the people. They taught us so well,
15:47 And it would I go, I could feel comfortable. What is the name? That's cool when we were in Ahmedabad, right? You? And here it is exist, but the cost is very high.
16:19 Daddy, do you remember when Mom was living in my Savannah's house? And you not speaking very sick, language six or seven Young when you were in.
16:48 An Indian Community Theater program every year and then I took apart in dancing that have any members, only.you. Messi dance. You dance like a bad starter in the time to devote that. So then I pushed her. Did you take? And she was really good at 8.
17:24 Mom, I've never heard you. Talk about your friends and staying in touch with them bitching bit. And then till I get to accept, and that's how I just kept relationship with her. So I wish I could get with other people or so and then we could probably find them over. If we do a Google search, we might find some of the music.
18:12 But that the internet makes it easier.
18:19 What was dad? What was the most profound spiritual moment of your life so far? Did your sister and the the American Community to have my spiritual guide moraribapu who is going to be our teachers and crew of our era when he speaks and gives it to 170 countries. Listen to him and about a hundred million people. Follow him very, very carefully or maybe even give her these courses in Rochester, that was for me at this moment of my life.
19:12 Better than one summer and I were born and everything. Okay. Still speaking of that. Do you believe in the afterlife and what do you think it will be like resume that there is afterlife because God warm or one set to be complete. If you are not completing this life and gives you another chance to become complete until you have desires in your life. You will have a rebirth.
19:54 So if the all the desires are fulfilled and you are complete then you don't have anymore but so did Life After Life he's dead for those people who have these ass left. I have luckily for me. I have no desires left after this life, so probably I don't have to take another but
20:22 But don't you want to see your brother and your parents? And I think you have to if you continue to do relationship and expand our relationship. Can you come back again? So I think you should respect them. You should love them. And that's it. And that's the end of it.
20:57 So, where do you think they are? So depending upon their design?
21:07 Until they find a new parents to take a bath.
21:14 If you were to give advice to me or others in our family, what would, what would that advice be too? Maybe to me or to your grandchildren? So I think we have one is a physical personality.
21:32 Emotional personality Hardee's.
21:36 Intellectual personality, honey. Teas are gross to start with physical is across, and spiritual is the list and the subtlest always rules across. So Physical personalities. The watchword is moderation.
22:07 Most of the personality watch bodies stability in all circumstances in intellectual personality is the best policy. That's the watchword and inspirational personality love everybody and give.
22:27 Pick list from the society and give Market the society, that is a spiritual personality. And in Social personality. You have to interact only in the world. When it is always necessary to help people. Helping people is the most important thing in this world.
22:54 What have you learned from life? But what's the most important? I think that question is too much time in.
23:05 Already goes take this has to be fulfilled and we have so many you going to take this ass that we want to impress other people become famous and what not. We waste a lot of time in doing that. So eventually you have to figure it out. What is this life about and who are you and why you have come here? And what is your relationship with the world and the people of the world? And what is your relationship with the card relationship? You will take birth again and again,
23:53 So, I have to go read out of my relationship with God, and once you figure it out, then you are released from busting death. And then problems associated with a
24:15 You are diagnosed with a kind of illness two years ago. How is that changed? You and what have you?
24:26 I was diagnosis.
24:29 Acute myeloid, leukemia.
24:32 Which is a fatal disease.
24:36 And my oncologist told me that you have 6 months to live. I call my spiritual guide. He says, don't worry about it. I will pray for you as well. And now it is your turn to have since my diagnosis. This disease is very difficult to control or some other drugs are affecting, but I know that I have a very limited time to leave. So I figured it out the teaching of Ramana maharshi, who is the greatest Center. He was born in 1879 and left this world in 19 1950.
25:28 All his life has taught. Only one thing that if you know everything about the guard, if you know everything about the scripture, if you know everything about the world and has came Naman gaming money, but still you will never be happy until you figure it out who you are. And what is your relationship with God? And the people. So I think these who am I is the greatest sex with, you can do to figure it out the intricacies of the life and that nobody has done as well as remember her. She and his most of the following is a symbol. Where is it now. I know you wanted us to go, but I don't, I don't think we did right? Where you walk around.
26:28 Down. Where is near the hill? Call Aruna. Tell him. And he so there was this guy called.
26:45 Arthur Ashe born.
26:47 And he came.
26:49 And he came with 32 questions to ask today.
26:55 In. He said with that the marshes. My mother, she communicated with him in silence and many Communication in silence. After half an hour. He got up. And said I have all my questions answered. So to communicate you don't have to have
27:17 My voice and intelligence to communicate, you can communicate soul to soul and transmit, all the teaching. So this is the way he used to transmit the teaching and more. I think you should know about his, his, his books, at dinner to books. One needs and secondly, subversion and thirties, Nikita. Marco Polo, and pan from Japan and Europe.
27:58 America from all over the world and there are few followers from India Asif because in India, everybody wants their there too much suffering. So, did they want some day today like to be there? But those people were primary needs are satisfied and want to know more about spirituality. Then you have to figure it out who you are and why you are put on this Earth. And that's all she will take you to the market. And then, that is the end of your journey.
28:36 Guess what? You started?
28:42 Dad, how do you want to be remembered?
28:46 I didn't want to remember that. He was a great physician.
28:50 He was devoted to his page patients and he achieved spiritually whatever he wanted to achieve and I think this is my last book.
29:04 What about?
29:08 What about your family dad? My family is?
29:15 Each one has to do their own journey in spirituality. The instruction need gas for because if it did not ask for it, you don't give it instructions. Because if somebody is not
29:37 Suppose somebody is thirsty. Then you give her water. So somebody is not interested in spirituality. You can for spirituality and other people.
29:58 What is what have some of the happiest moments in your life? Then then I
30:13 Understand spiritual laws. And when they are spiritual laws are experienced in my life, then I feel very happy about it.
30:26 And what about any sad moments in your life? Sad moment has been what I wanted.
30:38 Then it becomes very difficult to cope up with my spiritual guide, morari, bapu has taught us how to how to handle a difficult situation in the Life. What were some of those sad moments? If it's okay to ask you what day, what I wanted came to me already provided. This amazing, very difficult with me. I'm a happy person because we have to discipline our children.
31:29 So I'll bring that turns out like to discipline anybody that problem.
31:37 Yes, so what were some of those things that you wanted in your life? If you said you got what you wanted, I learned the money and then I studied whatever I wanted. And then spare time, I do to spirituality and the amount of of books are books and comparative religion, which I have is hardly. Somebody has Library like me.
32:14 Do you know where you want your books to go? And the people who are interested, I have given them the book and the books, some of the books. I'll keep it for you. And and the rest of the books will go to North Carolina in the center, is there because these are rare books?
32:49 And Nick should go where people will take advantage of.
32:56 Dad, do you have any regrets?
32:59 I have no regrets because I had to board a what I need to achieve in my life, this many years. So I leave everything up to the Lord. What, how much time I have and whatever time I have it, I am going to use it to help other people, figuring it out who they are and how they should proceed in this life.
33:33 Is this was to be our very last conversation? Is there anything you'd want to say to me?
33:38 Only thing is that you have to be happy. We have a
33:44 What I want you to be, there is life is not straightforward as be what?
33:52 Most of her life, depends upon our previous lives because that determines the, what happens to you in this life and you have to learn how to cope up with it and to cope up with it. You have to become spiritual and then continue our spiritual. You cannot cope up with this life because the life is not as easy as you want that. I have many, many problems, which will come with your face, and to face those problems. You unless you are spiritually strong. It will be difficult time, all your life. So, I cope with my problems by being spiritual.
34:41 Dad 11, not criticism, but that, I mean problem I have with Hinduism, is if you're saying everything is coming from your past life, then sometimes I think that's a, that's a way that you can be passive and not take action. I mean, in my understanding of Hinduism also, there's that the right action, you have to take the right action at the right time. So you just say, oh, good things came to me, because I was a good person in my last life, or, you know,
35:12 Or I'm going through a hard time or this person is, is is behaving in a way that is unfair at work or is harassing me. I don't think in my opinion. It doesn't make sense to only say that this is because of the past, like, you still have to figure out how you're going to deal with it. And sometimes you have to fight back. Some of the things that most of the things which are going to happen to you. In this life, is already determined by what you have done in the past light. Let's try very, very good. People will have a hard time also and they don't understand. Why would people have a hard time believing. You can explain it because of your own caramel, come in the way. There are two things. You have a, you have a destiny.
36:05 Which is from the past life and you have a Freedom Debt, unless you have freedom to change that. You can't do anything. You can blame everything on past life. So just feed them to change his freedom, to become them to become spiritual freedom, to know, what you, where you are. And that will determine how you cope with the things. So, you know, my child can get cancer hospital, San Jude hospital and so many children have cancer somewhat damaged due to genetics but that doesn't explain everything. So I think a list that is a past life which we have done the things you cannot write, which comes in the form of
36:58 Research in this life.
37:01 So even though it is, it it gives an explanation doesn't mean that you become passive. You have to still try to overcome all the difficulties and become spiritual print, freedom, and get out of this cycle of birth and death.
37:21 Do we have a few more minutes? I think that's 5.
37:32 No. I mean, I know this is something. I think my in-laws struggle with and you know, to have lost their their son. So they're on their son, so suddenly and
37:49 Yeah, I think they let him this Sunday, Sunday, because I think for this life, what is going to occur to you is cuz almost is this predestined?
38:05 Okay, with a little freedom in your hand to become more spiritual, and don't you think it would have been dating for you. If one of us dies suddenly will kids to be a reason and I live there is a reason then you God is not going to interfere with the things that, you know, you were going to be good to you and then are so many people are still suffering.
38:46 And they're good people.
38:49 On this end of karma with you will take it, you will not understand the intricacies of this life and the future life.
39:02 Let Mom know the same day to get down to the sun only thirty years old and die and then you can be happy that we must have done something. Not right in the past lives. I did about most of it in, in, in sports that well, so I can put my ideas into the book, but somehow I have not given my attention. I, I can speak but that was not as clear as
40:02 I want to and this is comes from a God's gift. If God wants you to give his message, then the speech which comes with it also comes with Clarity and death. Scene is just really hard. It's not, you know, whether it's academic publishing.
40:28 I think it helps if you have a university position, but the amount of time, it takes to write something to get it published. You know, that book took me twenty years and hopefully the next one will come sooner, but I think he's always difficult because
40:51 It's freaking easy because you can speak and not have consequences, but writing has lot of consequences.
41:01 Well, I don't know. You know Dad. I don't know that people read as much as you think that now, you know, younger people are there on Twitter or Facebook? I mean, I think that sitting down and reading a book is not something as many people do as when I was growing up. You know, this DVD is the most important thing in the life is to have good friends who are better than you, you will not grow up. So that is what my mother's teaching was.
41:45 The Company You Keep. But yeah, I think you're right, Dad, if it's people who are in some ways further along than you, it will help you advance to and then you will imbibe good things from them. Yes.
42:03 Thanks, Mom and Dad for. I hope she couldn't. Who am I?
42:19 Don't worry about God. Don't worry about the world, worry about yourself who you are and then clarify your relationship with God and the world.
42:31 Thanks. I love you guys.