He was born Sikh, raised in America. He was used to being teased and insulted for his different appearance and eventually he decided to fit it. He shaved his beard and cut his hair.
Then an event changed his perspective, his grandfather did something that left a mark for the rest of his life. In the hospital his dying grandpa could have lived longer if they cut his beard. He tried to convince this tough old Sikh, “I said, ‘Bhapoo ji, if you don’t shave your beard, you’re gonna die.’ And he sits up a little bit and looks at me and he says, ‘Than let me die grandson.’… I see him embrace his death, willing carry his head in his palms if he has to so that he can die as a Sikh. But not me. I had tried to wash the shades of my skin, the content of my culture and the tone of my tongue just for a few privileges, so that I could fit in, so that I could feel American… even though I don’t think I’ll ever be as tough as my grandfather, I do feel closer to him every day.”