The Great Indian Debate

Late yesterday evening we had a pleasant surprise. A good friend who had relocated to India was back in the area and stopped by for a couple of hours of chit chat and dinner. As we covered local gossip and work related news we took our plates and sat down for a home cooked meal of roti dal and chawal. The question simmering in my mind all evening sneaked out. “Do you miss anything ever about life in the U.S. after having moved back?” I queried.

There are a significant pause before he answered. I could see the faraway look in his eyes. I could hear his mental wheels whirring. He smiled as he said this. “Well! there are things we miss. But I look at the children happy and secure in the love of their grandparents and cousins and I know the decision was right.” These are not his exact words but the gist of what he said as I remember it.

I loved the way he smiled talking about it and how much at peace he was with his decision and life now. As we covered his professional life and how he transitioned from a tech guy to being a manager we heard about long hours and the chaotic traffic. We also heard about the happiness that comes from handling responsibility in a growing and thriving niche company, the kind of happiness that comes from having family close by and the peace of mind that comes from parents knowing their children are close at hand should they need them.

As we waved bye and went back to our chores my mind was still stuck with the one question that refused to go away. What would it take for me/us to make that decision? What held me here? What pulled me there? Would it be ever possible for me to be at peace with whatever decision I/We  choose to take? No matter how much we beat this topic to death at home I guess I will know only when I cross that invisible line and get on the plane to go back home. So long as I refer to India as back home the questions will remain.

9 comments

  1. Well, I was actually thrust back here. If you asked me what I missed about my life back in the US…my friends there. There were a few I met on a regular basis, a few who I spoke to almost everyday…I still am in touch with them through mails and chat though. Some of my friends who have made the move on their own volition say that life is definitely more peaceful here. These days you supposedly do get the money and spend as much too 😉 But the world is definitely getting flatter and home is where you find it 🙂

  2. I would ofcourse say come back. Take the plunge. I wrote a post on this some time back, and later in the comments I added a link about a real life example of an Indian family who had re-located. This is the link. (PDF file)
    It’s part of a research at some American Univ, probably you have read it. If you haven’t it will answer your questions.
    In fact tomorrow I will be writing a post on why foreigners (non indian origin) want to come to India.

  3. Hi Laksh. What a coincidence. I wrote on my blog yesterday on the topic of migration too. Although reading it at a high level, it appears to be about food and diet,.. the underlying message/question (if you read between the lines) was to be about the decisions we make when taking such a plunge….

    My view : Migrating or relocating back, isn’t just 1 question. It is made up of many, many questions – all differing from one person to the next. And as to whether the decision you make is right or wrong – depends on how you live your life once you’ve made the move….

    Spillay
    http://spillay.wordpress.com

  4. It’s also an endless debate. My husband and I talk about this all the time. Or rather I grumble that I want to go back to India and he shrugs and tells that he cannot accustom to the Indian work atmosphere after working here for the past 9 years. I’m having a good marriage, blessed with a wonderful kid and no financial constraint, yet I’m not at peace with myself. My heart is always longing to get back to India. Maybe I have to live with it.

  5. oh, laksh this is a very dear topic for me too….. and when I took the decision I felt powered and big…dont know why and though there are certain hunchbacks professionally here(comparativlely,I had a great job abroad)..I love being home…being in my motherland…with family and friends

  6. @Aparna: Very well put. Home is indeed where you find it.
    @Nita: Thanks for the link. I have read Shoba’s article before. Much of what she says relates to us. Interesting. definitely food for thought.
    @Spillay: I did read your post before I wrote mine and it did strike me as coincidental. I am thinking of writing another on a related note.
    @Madhuram: I get what you say but I could debate with your husband on what he says about work atmos in India. Things have changed a lot in the past 9-10 years. That would be the least of my worries 🙂
    @Rupa: We definitely need to talk about your thought processes as you relocated. Can I email you? and a huge Thanks!! I stopped by your blog today morn.

  7. my two cents – home is where the heart is. my heart is with people i love, relationships i have made over the years and the cultures i have learnt and accepted as my own – moving around so much i have left a little of myself along the way in many places, each one i would like to revisit and re-experience. i am not sure if i could ever settle down in one place forever and call it my home. i am too restless for that…yet another trigger from you..find the rest at my place, you know where.

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