There is a general notion of high class Indians (so they call themselves) here that Indians from estates behave ignominiously, thus the brand, "Estate" for those Indians who get derailed from a righteous path, those who go to Tamil schools and those who dress gaudy. These so called high class Indians are quick to point their finger at other Indians who are perhaps less fortunate, off the right track or can't speak much English.

Many of us don't see this branding as offensive, perhaps even oblivious to it. But, this name calling is on par with the slur pariah. To those who like to call not so urban and tendy fellow Indians 'estate', where were you born? New York City? On Fridays, you will still have saambar rice at home but behave like you grew up eating pasta and grilled cheese sandwich.

Going by history, our great-great grandparents worked on crops plantations during colonial times while some were professional teachers and money lenders. That makes the origination of most of us estates. Just because we moved to cities doesn't make us cool or classy. Our heritage and ancestry lie in the estates we forsook for better lives and to keep up with times.

I was born in an estate known as Batu 21 in Teluk Intan and I had the time of my life growing up there and later, Kampung Sungai Timah in Hutan Melintang. I would go fishing, climb trees and just gallivant the estate which nurtured me. Snakes, eagles, river otters and owls were common place and it was completely swell growing up where and the way I did. How many of us have seen a cocoa fruit, de husk a coconut, drink milk straight from a cow's udder and know how to tap rubber trees? I do and I'm proud to say that I am from an estate. Never forget our roots and humble beginnings no matter how high we may climb in our lives.