Unemployed Woman Forced To Live A Lie

Sukhraj Beasia living a lie for parentsSukhraj Beasla is a successful 30-year-old, recently promoted at LaSalle Bank from trust manager to assistant vice president. At least that's what Beasla's parents' friends think, when her parents brag about their go-getting daughter at dinner or temple. At least that's what they thought until CNN published the truth: Beasia was laid-off in February 2009, and since then has been living close to the poverty line, babysitting, dog walking, tutoring, and selling her belongings on eBay for cash.

At first, Beasla's parents were understanding. But they decided to keep the news under wraps. The Indian community in the Los Angeles area can be very judgmental, says Beasla, when they hear that someone's kid has been laid off.

"They don't understand that you're a victim of the economy," she told AOL Jobs.

After some time, however, Beasla's parents became impatient. When Beasla, newly unemployed, launched her own social media business that struggled to get off the ground, her father had little sympathy. "'God, you're 30 years old and I really expected you to be somewhere right now,'" she remembers him saying.

And her parent's shame is all the more crushing when she has to play the fantasy version of their daughter at social events.

"I have to go there and tell them I was able to get my next promotion and that I'm on track and that there's no way the company would let me go because I'm such a valuable asset and all this bulls***," Beasla told CNN.

Today's massive youth unemployment has opened up some gaping generational rifts. Parents have to deal with kids returning home after college in record numbers, sending them links to job openings, chiding them to perhaps just try a little harder. On the other end, many young people have to stomach what they see as a degrading kind of dependence, having grown up with mighty expectations for their careers, and a robust sense of self-worth.

Life can be discouraging when, like Beasla, you send out 30 to 50 resumes a day with no bites, when Starbucks turns you down for being "overqualified," when you have to persuade your more cash-happy friends to forgo a bar for an evening at Dennys.

But lessons can often be gleaned from lows, and Beasla has found something of a passion in cooking-for-one on a budget. With potatoes, rice, canned soup, spices, a couple cookbooks for inspiration, and a lot of creativity, Beasla has been crafting some innovative meals, and blogging about it.

"I've discovered I have this real passion for food and it was born out of this unemployment phase," she told CNN. "I'm really enjoying talking about food and my journey through food. If I could, I would travel and write about food."

"Only men can go and travel and talk about food," Beasla pointed out. Adam Richman, Andrew Zimmern, Anthony Bourdain. "Why isn't there a woman's perspective?" she asks.

The fact that Beasla's parents were born and raised in India, with Indian values, makes this situation even harder. Traditionally, Indian culture places great value on education and success, and it's part of the standard immigrant story that children go on to do better than their parents.

Beasla isn't getting financial help from mom and dad. Her parents have suggested that she move back home, and she's been tempted in her low moments. But she knows the sacrifice would be too great.

"My parents are just so strict," Beasla says. When she goes out with her two siblings - both in their 20s - after a certain hour she'll get frantic calls. "If we stay out past eight, nine, 10 o'clock, they'll be like 'why aren't you guys home yet?'"

Beasla's brother and sister, one in college and the other a recent graduate, are both living at home. Occasionally they'll tell her how jealous they are of her lifestyle.

"Really?" she responds.

Beasla is scrimping and scrounging on her own, and long ago abandoned any pretentions about what kind of job she deserves. "Nothing is beneath me," she said. "I'm doing what I need to do to survive."

Beasla's perseverance in the face of minimal prospects and parental pressure struck a nerve with the American public. Beasia's inbox swelled up with supportive emails, and a human resource company in California contacted CNN, looking for her resume. The Indian community, on the other hand, hasn't been so positive.

"They're just upset that I was so out there and vocal and talking about them and talking about the fact that Indian people are so full of pride and don't care about their children," Beasla says.

"I never said Indian people didn't care about their children."

There's been no word yet from Beasla's parents. She's hoping they haven't discovered her online confession.

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Amethyst

Tell me about it. Not just Indians, even the Chinese culture in my country is facing the similar problem. If you happen to leave your country and get some bachelor's degree ( despite of what major it is), you are EXPECTED to success, earning a major paycheck and living the dream.

If you happen to be the disappointment, you will face constant judgement from all angles of people, even those who are strangers in the streets will say, "Oh, why don't you just work and earn a living there?And marry a white person? "
As if that could put me back on being employed.
Not everyone could get all the conditions from parents and community's wishes to come true right after graduation, what matter's is the individual's perception of status of employment and overcoming the hardship to gain personal success.

October 01 2011 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Purrpussful

I've long known that Indians are a weird bunch, by American standards, but this young woman's parents take the cake! SHAME ON THEM for not being proud of their amazingly resilient daughter!!

September 29 2011 at 11:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
xmulkie7

This is why the economic chaos is so sinister. Many will agree that one of the main causes of our financial chaos was caused by unregulated banking derivatives and mortgage industries. This is part of the aftermath of not only unemployment but crime of people having to rob, etc to maintain their lives. Many will not see a direct causal connection but it is there. Some have support systems but many do not. Yet who really at the top of these two industries has had to pay for their criminal involvement? None! We let these financial criminals go and others at the bottom have had to pay. Some democracy.

September 29 2011 at 10:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sam

showing us that people are basicly the same no matter the culture they want a good way to make a living .

September 29 2011 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
smokesingnal27

This woman is of Indian culture. In her culture she needs to have a sucessful job to find a successful husband. Thats their culture. think of it as hollywood couples. No movie star will date or marry a waitress they will only go out with the same ranking of movie star. Or in other words think of her as the struggling actress trying to make it big and don't have a job but have to lie to perants hey I am doing fine, but realy not. Living on dreams and spaggettie ooos. All the jobs are in forigen countries now. Ask your self what is made in the USA now. Lets say that you had a farm and u planted nothing in that farm, and u bought everthing that u used from another farm. The other farm is getting your money and your money is going down and your farm is not being used. And thats why we have no Jobs. USA needs to put a high tax on forigen goods.

September 29 2011 at 8:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cfiannotti

What evil part of me, was wondering if her job had been outsourced to India?

September 29 2011 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeffrey

What a success story. I see it for what it is. This is a full on success story in the "middle". That means before we hear the "end". And where, in fact, is the end? When they are shoveling dirt in our faces. How many millionaire went broke on their way to the top? If we are to determine that the difference between a success and a failure is when they die--dying at the top or bottom of the economic ladder. A "success" is how we live our life. She's gutsy, willing to do whatever it takes and still show honor to her parents. Great woman.

September 29 2011 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ANDRE THOMAS

I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT I DON'T RESPECT THAT PART OF INDIAN CULTURE. I HATE IT WITH A PASSION. I'M A 40 YEAR OLD BLACK MALE -- SINGLE. I LOVE INDIAN WOMEN AND INDIANS IN GENERAL. I REALLY HATE A CERTIAN ASPECTS OF INDIAN CULTURE THAT VALUES SUCCESS AND CLASS AND EDUCATION AND TITLES, BUT NO LOVE FOR THEIR CHILDREN OR HUMAN BEINGS. THAT'S SICK !!!! WAY TOO MUCH PRIDE IN INDIAN CULTURE. BEASLA, I WISH I HAD A WOMAN LIKE YOU. I PLAN TO MARRY AN INDIAN WOMAN OR SRI LANKAN WOMAN OR BANGELDESHIAN WOMAN. MY KIDS WILL BE RAISED TO BE MENTALLY FREE AND FREE TO BE WHAT EVER THEY WANT.

September 29 2011 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TAMPAJOHN

Sometimes you have to downsize your search criteria. My son-in-law was "let go" after 12 years and was getting nowhere with his glowing resume and work ethic to the max. He enrolled in a reputable CDL Class A Training Institute and after 5 weeks and search assistance from the Institute became employed driving a tractor trailer making route milk deliveries to stores at night. 11 pm to 11 am. His days are open for networking but after 1 year he has saved up some money and has realized there is a difference between being practical in these trying times and living in a dream world. Baby Boom truck drivers are retiting with increasing numbers every month. Go where the jobs are - Transportation.

September 29 2011 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pkprincesspastry

I Respect this woman for her honesty and courage to come forward and speak the truth. Why should she ficitious occupational stories to comfort her family no way.

September 29 2011 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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