I came to the United States in 1962. My father, an army contractor who had worked with the British army in India, told me to go to Oxford or Cambridge, but I decided to come to California. This is because of the speech made by Vice President Richard Nixon in 1957 in Bangalore in south India. During the speech he mentioned that Bangalore reminded him of California. I decided to come to California.
In the last 20 years, I have started celebrating Thanksgiving in a very unique way--an additional way. To give thanks to God, I perform two units of voluntary Islamic prayer, either on Thanksgiving Day or on Friday, in the morning, afternoon or evening. Since this is not a compulsory or mandatory Islamic prayer, I choose the day and the timing. This year, I have decided to perform four units of Thanksgiving prayer, to thank God more for the good life my family is enjoying in these United States. I will pray to God to bless America, humanity and our spaceship, the Earth. May God give us the strength to fight terrorism, intolerance and hate crimes.