Those of you who know me also know I didn't quite make this move by active choice. The DH wanted the experience of living abroad..So when he set about putting a check against his bucketlist I packed my bag and followed. The awesome thing that happened in parallel was that I applied to grad-school - in a single university for a single course that I liked to the extent of thinking it was designed for me - and made it. I guess I'd have ended up going to school if I was here and sufficiently bored anyway. But that wasn't quite in the plan. (The plan, on the contrary, had vague provisions for cribs and prams and such..). Who was it that said life is what happens when you're busy making other plans..
Anyway, here we where..with the mandatory 4 suitcases, a preeti mixie and pressure cooker among other things. I remember thinking as I set foot in the airport and in the initial weeks about how the whole experience would have been so different for the last generation (I mean the 1990s lot here) of immigrants, even for those friends of ours who moved soon after graduation. Things are so different back home now. No, I'm not going to make the outrageous and obviously inflated claim that life in India can match standards of the most developed country in the world. Nossir. What I'm stating however is that for the present generation immigrant the lure of life-abroad can be much lesser than for his elder siblings and seniors..Especially if he's had taste of what it is like to earn and live well in India. Now that the disclaimer's out of the way lemme not skimp on words..The whole consumerist experience..the brands and the fancy but small conveniences and contrivances of modern life..are pretty much all present in India now. Another reason for staying on abroad - among the seniors as I understand - was that the wives didn't want to go back home and live in with the husband's family. There again, I knew few people of our generation who're doing that or having to do that. Maybe it's just me, but my list has more misses than hits..I had financial independence (big one that), a car, a job..the bestest gang of friends..and all this just a night train away from home. (And a few miles away from the DH's place). The lifestyles and shopperstops and UB Cities can between the match pretty much anything you'd want to buy in the US. And those who complain about pubs shutting down at 11 in Blore should know that a lot of cities in the US are dead by 9. Yes, the traffic sucks but I recommend a week in LA to anyone who complains of it. It's not all hunky dory back there and its definitely not all sad here..I know..For me, the one biggie reason (other than the fact that life is where the pathidev is etc..) that stands out is the education (see how I neatly wove that in inspite of dissing everything else. smart.). It would have been impossible for me to get this kind of a degree anywhere else..even the thought of going back to school at this age (I'm only 28 yet..not thaat old..) would be ridiculous in India, not to forget the really limited options even for those who are brave enough to do it. I, on the other hand, have 2 classmates with 5 and a few month old kids..And yes, there is money to be made on the exchange rate, but explain that to someone who's transferring funds in from India to meet school fees..I know I'm sounding extremely cynical now so lemme hasten to assure you that's not quite the case. I (we) like it here. It is indeed a super-comfortable life, and an opportunity to explore this huge and fantastic country, one that we want to make the most of. But and pause_for_effect_here, not one I want for keeps. I say this fully aware of the fact that everyone that ever set foot here came as nostalgic as me - for the 'round' and jose theatre and the island express from blore to tcr. I also know that while the nostalgia lingers on, it is no match for the lure of a certain green thingie (is it green btw? like really green in color?) I know this from the enthusiasm with which the stages of processing are discussed. And no, I don't judge people that. To each his own ofcourse. And I admire those who have the larger worldview to think of the the whole world as their home while I put myself in little boxes of state/country/culture..In fact, I think of myself as a lot more Indian now that I'm here. By how I often stand out rather than merge in...
Anyway, here it is - I've said it out in print. We are indeed going back. Maybe 3 years, maybe 5. Now you all know when to come back and laugh at me if this blog is still alive then. But while I'm here, I'm surely going to live it up the full deal and have a blast. Some worldy details of how we are going about doing that will follow. Meanwhile, lemme just post this.
PS: As always an un-reread and un-edited post. I've learned long back that it's the only way I'll end up writing anything.