LIFESTYLES: Meet Jay, who dreams of being a big-time gangster

Published: December 6, 2012

Despite the pitfalls, many Lower Mainland teens dream of a gangster lifestyle. Submitted photo


As another reporter grips the mic, announcing the death of yet another young man due to a gun shooting, many South Asian families turn up the volume to hear if they can recognize the name, to see if the suspect is of the same background.

Once the confirmation of their predictions has been heard, they shake their heads, and ask why so many of our South Asian males have fallen into this lifestyle?

Meet Jay (a fictional composite of any number of young men growing up in Metro Vancouver). It’s 7:45 a.m. on a Wednesday in the Dhillon household. Jay could hear his mom yelling at him to get up and come down for breakfast. His head still heavy from a night of drinking, all he wanted to do was go back to sleep.

Once his nose smelt the hot fresh paranthas (Indian bread) being made by his mother, he somehow forced himself to get up, put on his jeans and head down the stairs to devour breakfast.

His dad was already at the breakfast table. With one eyebrow raised he sarcastically asked if Jay had got enough sleep and since he was so lazy, maybe next time he should get breakfast served in bed.

Jay ignored his comment as he always did. He was just not affected by what his dad said to him anymore.

He never quite understood the logic because his father seriously thought he should have everything served on a silver platter himself. His father continued to yell at his mom, demanding that she hurry up with the tea she was preparing as he had to go for his long shift at work.

His mother had also learnt to ignore the tone of his father’s voice because any response from her would only ruffle his ego further. Her job was to make sure the family got a good breakfast and they did. She was a good wife and mother and didn’t fuss over things. She gave the dad his hot cup of tea and insisted that Jay eat more food. She always wanted Jay to grow tall and strong like her brothers.

Jay’s school was only a couple blocks away and he would scroll down his iPod and search through his playlist to look for Tupac’s “Me Against the World”. He could relate to the song as he walked to school with his hoodie covering his headphones.

After two brutal periods of class, it was finally lunch hour when Jay could head out to the smoke pit to meet up with the boys.

They all grouped around with the token white guy to start their rotation. One of the guys started going off on a story of how one of the boys from their school was talking shit at the basketball game last night and after the game he got jumped by their rivals: Tony and his crew.

Jay took two hits and shook his head, Tony was a punk. He always thought he was a big shot driving around in his dad’s Mercedes. Jay knew if Tony messed with him and his bros they would f*** him up.

Lunch was almost over and Jay decided to walk over to the vending machine to get something to munch on. As he got down to grab his chip bag from the machine, he got pulled from the neck of his hoodie and was thrown off guard. He turned around and saw that it was just his girl. She looked mad.

Jay nonchalantly asked her what’s up. She first complained that he reeked of marijuana and then went off on how he didn’t even spend time with her anymore. He calmed her down, and told her that he had a lot on his mind and to wait for his call at night to explain everything. She glared at him and told him that he was lucky to have her and that one day she would leave. Jay shrugged his shoulders and just nodded to this but in his head, it was a big joke. He knew she would never leave. They had been together for over two years and if she tried leaving now, it wouldn’t be good for her.

Jay decided to skip his afternoon class and go over to a friend’s house to smoke another joint, since the lunch rotation was already ruined by the girlfriend’s lecture. He sat on the couch inhaling the smoke and feeling the music. He soon found himself in his world of imagination.

Looking beyond school, he couldn’t wait for his real life to start. He did not want to live the boring bitter life of his parents. He wanted to be driving his own Mercedes with his homeboys, showing Tony and his crew up. He wanted to throw parties with the hottest girls. He wanted to make money and he wanted to make it fast.

That is the lifestyle he wanted.

Raymon Grewal is a student and writes for Vancouver Desi.


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