Why does anyone want to stay abroad If India is another USA ??

Discussion in 'Return to India' started by anika987, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. sdiva20

    sdiva20 Platinum IL'ite

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    When I was 12 or 13, I started wearing sarees with my regular tops. I would hide my mother's sarees in my room, lock myself in and wear it. As soon as I heard my mom calling me, I would take it off and push it under the bed. My mother will find it the next day while cleaning and get exasperated. I got really good wearing sari very young. I could not wait to grow up so I can wear sarees often.


    It is ironic that I hardly get as many opportunities to wear sarees here. My husband loves me in it.

    I am sure you are beautiful :)

     
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  2. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I moved back after a decade of living in the US and was very happy! It is not easy to adapt at all, it took me six months to get re-adjusted to the place I was born and brought up in. Apparently, you need to take a month for every year spent abroad. I miss so many things about living in India. I was really sad when my DH's tenure ended.
    The only reason I'm staying back is for my son. If the acceptance level for differently abled people was more, I would have gone back in a heartbeat! I miss my past life in India so much!!!!!!
    Two sides to every coin. Here is what my personal opinion is.

    Some things it liked -
    I loved the fact that my DD would take the lift and go downstairs and had at least a dozen friends waiting for her to play with. No calling/making play dates, finding classes to keep her occupied. By the time she came upstairs and dropped off her school bag there would be at least two calls on the intercom for her asking her to come down to play!

    I loved the fact that I spent ZERO effort and my DD learned to speak Malayalam more fluently and learned to speak and read/write Kannada and hindi. No classes to drive her to. It just happened. No Kannada = no way to communicate with the Akkas who took care of her while I was at work. No Hindi = No way to watch Chota bheem. Writing happened from school. Oh man, the countless hours I spend here stressing on Malayalam alone and she never gets the fluency. Even though we speak it at home, the touch is just not there. Wonder how she got it in India.

    No driving her to dance/music/soccer/badminton/robotics/painting and a myriad other classes. Every class was available inside the apt. I hate driving to classes these days. Swim team is great but I hate driving her back and forth 5days a week.

    She learned a lot of things I could never teach her here. She became a lot more street smart. She would go down with her bike, buy subzis after selecting the good ones, pay for it and bring the change back. That kind of opportunity, I can't find here unless your kid starts driving themselves.

    Every amenity was inside the community or within walking distance. I didn't have to take the car and go out to buy a pack of salt in the middle of winter bundling up both the kids. All I had to do was call the shop owner, tell him it was urgent and it was at my door step in ten minutes flat. Same with medical store. I could call and get diapers/wipes/formula etc door delivered.

    I could drop in to my neighbor's house just like that and chat. This is one thing I miss the most. Here, some of my neighbors are so nasty. There all the people open the door when you knock. Here I have to call a friend to get them to come help me out if I have any kind of emergency or non emergency. I can't just walk into my neighbors house and ask him to come and fix the gas cylinder for me because I never learned how to do it even after he taught me umpteen times. Once it was at 10:30 PM and he didn't get pissed off with me.

    I went in labor one morning and my mom was at my bed side that evening. She took a train and stood from palakkad to Coimbatore to get to me. Thank God she was around the second time around. In a similar fashion, I went into early labor with my other child in the US. We struggled alone, pre term labor and delivery, unlike a normal delivery is a scary experience. And the first time around, there is no substitute for a Mom's support. I find it hard to forget that first time even years later.

    Things I hated -
    I hated my job. I'm a 9-5 kind of person. I hated having to burn the midnight oil to keep up with my work load.

    I hated the traffic. I took two hours in traffic one day to get to office. That evening I got home and hired a driver. The roads are a mess and there is no getting better. The sad part is, in India, we have so many places to go to and so much to do in terms of socializing and driving was a nightmare. Here, I have some kind of a weekend social life that I have to work hard at maintaining. No driving anywhere unless I'm running an errand or meeting a friend(which is a rarity). No driving for a fun activity unless it's planned and executed with precision. No weddings to attend, no grihapravesham , no engagements, no upanayanams, no aunts/uncles/cousins to visit. Can we please have the roads here in India!

    I hated the fact that I had to dress up even to go down to the bus stop to drop off my DD. No throwing on a pair of shorts and running out the door. Dare I ever wore shorts. The Maami aunties sitting downstairs would gossip endlessly about it. The best part was they never knew I followed Tamil and went on and on about my shorts. Here I can wear what I want and walk out.

    I hated the stupid men who thought women were there for them to leer at. I remember being pregnant and one guy walked up to me and said my underwear was x color. My maternity capris were riding below the maternity panties and he wanted to make it a point I knew. I just hate that. I wish people would mind their own business and not worry about my undies or shorts. I love that about this country, the fact that, even in Florida on July 4th, I could go in a pair do shorts and tank top and no man touched me inappropriately. Try going and praying in Guruvayoor temple and some guy is bound to pinch you in that crowd. It has happened to me twice. I'm tired of making excuses for such behavior. I'm tired of women saying you need to cover up more, dress up in a certain way to avoid being groped(and get groped anyway). I'm super pissed off with women who point fingers at other women instead of teaching their husbands/sons/brothers and other male relatives to keep their hands to themselves. There is no excuse for inappropriate behavior/gestures/language. This problem in India is never going away.
    How did I overcome this? By making sure that I never took public transportation. By making sure that my driver dropped me off at my door step or at the mall. This time around, it was easy because we could afford such a lifestyle. Otherwise, it was a pain.

    Again, this is just my experience. I didn't have issues with ILs or other family members. I know people who have had hell with PILs after moving back.
     
  3. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    sandhya,
    B'lore is not as cosmopolitan as people like to believe. You need to speak to the domestic help(cooks, drivers, maids) etc in Kannada. That's how my DH learned the language. He now speaks very well. Same with dd. You can find hired help who speak other languages but you don't have too many choices sometime.
    Plus, within the complex everyone spoke English but still the kids somehow picked up other languages. I think hearing multiple languages is what makes the diff. Even here, I speak Malayalam alone at home but dd hears only me. The rest of her world speaks English. There we fight with auto drivers, subzi vendors, shop keepers, talk to cooks etc. Even if the kids don't do the interaction, they hear the language more often. They get I effortlessly. Even if they speak only English, they do know more of their native language and an added language too. I still have no clue how this is so easy in India, but it was.
     
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  4. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi laks,

    Your post is so heartfelt! I can feel the anguish you feel.You wrote from the bottom of your heart and so very genuine.

    It is true even I avoid public transportation.Thank god for blessing us financially well enough to take our private mode of transportation.Many perverts think that women are playtoys and misbehave.I always think "what makes them even do that?I am sure they have women in their household too? Probably their father, friends are not good people who ill-treat the women at their home." It is such a sad state.I do not know when this torture for women will end once for all!!

    Anyways, even those ladies as you said sit and do nothing better than gossip about others.it is just a case of SOUR GRAPES. they cannot do it! so they are annoyed when someone else wears it and is confident about it. Rather than working on their own strengths and feeling good, all those gossiping women try to put down another women to feel good!! gosh!!

    Anyways but as you said the good outwit the bad in India PROVIDED you are financially secure to afford a classier place and a private mode of transport and help around the home.
     
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  5. JustAnotherMom

    JustAnotherMom Platinum IL'ite

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    My ONE and ONLY reason to move back to US. Neither me nor my husband knew how to play dirty politics, back-stab or talk something in front and different on the back. We both are too straight forward to survive in India.
     
  6. JustAnotherMom

    JustAnotherMom Platinum IL'ite

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    Funny you mentioned. Myself and my friend used to pay this " dressup" game with saree. When I was doing my degree, we had the uniform or either plain salwar or plain saree and I opted for Saree all 5 days. Note I was just 17 :). When ever my mom buy a new saree I will be the one who wear that as new to the temple. But most of them were all normal sarees, like garden varerli or some shifon sarees.

    For my wedding my mom bought me around 50 slik sarees and lot of jewellery ( as custom) and 30 th day I came to US leaving almost all in India.

    Even now I'm upset on my mother for not buying me jewellery much before my marriage coz she always said it will become old by the time I get married. Now even after 16 years, all my jewellery is still staying brand new:( in the locker.
     
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  7. JustAnotherMom

    JustAnotherMom Platinum IL'ite

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    Beauty is in the eyes of Beer holder :) mademydaysmiley
     
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  8. poovai

    poovai Platinum IL'ite

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    This was the reason, I am hiding! My DH is good with local - family politics. It will take days to realize, to understand what's going on around me.
     
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  9. Aria

    Aria New IL'ite

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    Most endearing and groundling response I've read on reasons for residing abroad.

    Apart from immunity to mosquito rashes, advanced pedestrian road-crossing skills, ability to survive in competitive environment in an ingenious manner is forsaken.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
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  10. Aria

    Aria New IL'ite

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    Anika and Kalpana's threads echo the same sentiments and apprehensions, as this thread has gathered less moss posting it here.


    I'm unsettled by an aspect of parenting where family (children US passports) want to return to India to inject Indian culture and in few years chute them abroad (higher education)/work facilitating hassle-less immigration . How does that even work? Takes good year to assimilate in non-native culture. Would the kid ever resent his parents for retracting on schooling in the same country, assimilation during formative years, but now persevering to be accepted into conceded society from which his parents forswore?


    Not having the opportunity, alright! Robbing early opportunity would the kid truly appreciate this gesture if the sole purpose is sojourn in India to learn ethnic heritage and mores, subsequently , atleast in urban communities to freight return as academic pride son/daughter doing masters in Berkeley in few years? Thinking aloud from that confused youngster's point of view, what?! I was happy with Roadies, who are these Ant and Dec.


    Will the kids whose parents have returned to India to teach Indian-ness empathise with their predicament or begrudge the children whose parents stayed back?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
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