Mother India is blessed with a whooping 1.2 billion children. She is a super fertile one! In her shoulders lie the responsibility and happiness of all them; she provides, she shelters, she protects, and she bears the brunt of stupid quarrels. She is a powerhouse and a busy mom! In such a demanding environment and crowded scenario, does India remember rest of her kin, the 30 million individuals who live elsewhere?
Are we missed back home? Does India like us, as much as we like her?
The plight of an NRI, only another NRI knows because the state of being sandwiched between two very different worlds is so uneasy, perplexing and petrifying. It is certainly an uncomfortable position to be in. Of course, the tag is prestigious and striking but there is a lot of hard work behind procuring that tag and what many don’t know is, the road only starts getting steeper thereafter! For the raw recruits, an NRI status is intimidating. It is similar to being a new bride and starting a life in an environment of the unknown and unfamiliar. Or, for some, the feeling is very much like going back to school, back to learning things. In this process, they undergo a tremendous degree of metamorphosis – unlearn certain things to learn again, question your sensibilities, discover a new you in you, and sometimes condemn everything you know. It is not easy. Being an NRI isn’t easy. Yet for India, NRIs are just about money, status, brains and power. Wish it was just about this.
Mother India has many pre-conceived notions about us. No wonder we keep getting complains every now and then. One of them is, we hardly come home. Sigh! She doesn’t have a clue that visiting India once a year or whenever possible is the most exciting event for us! Yes, we do try our best. Another grumble is that we have turned into immature whiners! Err…have we? We are proclaimed individuals who are fussy and annoying if we, out of the blue, happen to utter ‘oh, it’s hot today’ (when it is actually hot in the months of May and June) or ‘the water doesn’t taste that good’ (when the filter at home is old)! For her, we are delicate creatures if we happen to fall sick (in an environment where every third person has the flu!). India points fingers at us for not being patriotic anymore. Damn! She must know that, ‘I am an Indian’ is a tag that we so proudly flaunt abroad and is the only identity that we have! Yes. Probably,the biggest grumble is definitely about the fact that we abandoned the country in pursuit of wealth. We did. But she just doesn’t know that coming back to India forever is something every NRI talks about, wishes for and tries for!
India, have you really started viewing us differently?
Home is far, very far. The long hours in the flight, the enormous money, the VISA hassle and not to mention the trouble in getting a long leave for India trip is cumbersome and maddening. Yet this, going home once a year – the when and how-to, is a subject enough to make us smile, a topic that fills our void and keeps us busy for the rest of the year! Whether we are loved and missed, is something we really don’t know. But what we know is, no matter what, for us, for an NRI, India is home and this adopted country is house! That’s something we chose, something we are proud of and like to keep it for the rest of our lives.
Brilliant article! I totally agree with you. I miss India too, though we try to go every year but sometimes I feel that is not enough. Wish we could get an extra month of paid leave…how often you visit your homeland?
Ivy – Thanks for your appreciation. Oh yes, I miss India too, though it’s been only year and a half, nothing compared to some who’s here for 5-6 years or even a decade. We go to India once a year, whenever possible. We usually avoid Summers.
Very much, why not ?
Anita – Thanks for missing us! 🙂 We miss you too.