Return to India – Initial Thoughts
Last week your favorite blogger moved back to India after spending some many happy years in the United States, adding another dreamy returnee to the reverse brain drain statistic, assuming my brain hasnt evaporated already in the superheated Delhi.
You may ask – why? What the falooda is wrong with me?
I’d say I was missing the safeda mango too much. In the few days I have been in town, I have used up half the city’s supply of Mango. There have been days when I had Mango for breakfast. Only Mango.
Mango Mango king of fruits
How I have missed you.
You are awesome
You are juicy
Without you I was so messed up
I was turning all goofy
As for the US, it is an amazing country. The people are warm and friendly, and happily accept so many immigrants in their midst, in spite of all the cultural and social differences. I wonder if India could ever be so welcoming to outsiders, despite the oft touted atithi devo bhava.
Right now the US may be going into a protectionist mode with all the measures being taken to protect local jobs, but then that’s a different story.
Anyway, protectionism wasn’t the reason I came back. I have happy memories of my time in the country, and am forever grateful for all that I gained in these past years. All, except for the pounds that seem to keep piling up.
Coming back had always been my intention. The plan was to get my education, get some experience, and head back while avoiding getting sucked up into the n+1 syndrome where people keep pushing their return by a year to achieve yet another milestone, and soon their is no turning back.
India may be hot, India may be poor, but it is where I belong. I can go anywhere and do anything without the nagging concerns that come with being an alien in an increasingly paranoid America. I don’t have to worry about visa issues anymore. I don’t have to wonder if i will be able to reenter the US if i go on a cruise to the Bahamas. I don’t have a work permit to restrict me anymore. I can do whatever the hell i want to do with my life.
Professionally India seems very appealing with similar work and salary levels that have risen dramatically since a few years ago. My new employer made a generous offer which helped push me towards the final decision.
Besides, I have had these images of a progressive India that actually cares. Whether this was a mirage or for real, I am in the process of finding out.
Here’s an incredulous observation from week 1. Very likely the first of many more to come.
When I moved to the US, I used to calculate prices in rupees to get some sense of what is costly and what is not. Nowadays everything is so expensive in India, I find myself converting local prices to dollars, and am mostly horrified that in dollar terms, stuff here is priced comparable to US prices.
If you start going by the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), India sometimes seems more expensive than America!
That, and the fact that the Yamuna is no more. Not in Delhi at least.