Sunday, May 2, 2010

Going to America

It's been a long time since I moved back from the US. Rarely do I think about my life in the US and I am no longer recognized with the US return tag . I live life as though the 3+ years in US never happened. This is exactly the way I wanted it to be and I am glad for that.

Ever since my return its been a dilemma to advise my friends, who are set to go to US. They are all confident of their impending return back to India- once they make 'enough money'. They assert that those who choose to stay back in the US are hypocrites and they are nothing like that.

I want to tell them that they are wrong. I want to tell that the ones who choose to stay back are there because they cannot come back. Its not really a choice that they made, but its a consequence of a flawed logic . I want to tell these soon to be FOBs that they too are well on course to make the same mistake that the NRIs have made. But, as I tell this they are even more fired up . They will retort that I have questioned their sense of duty towards their motherland and parents. Clearly I cannot take this path.

In my case,instead of proclaiming that I too shall return to india after earning 'enough money' ,I started off by studying the exact reasons as to why people choose to settle there.Information is hard to come by as I cannot ask this question directly to desi citizens of USA. I did find bits and pieces of information in books and talking to people and i patched it up to get some perspective.I also extrapolated the information to predict what hurdles I might face in returning to India. I was able to foresee a rough period of isolation once I return to India. When that moment actually came up , I was depressed, but I was under control for the most part.

These are many such complex ideas which evolved over a period of months centered on this theme. So far no one has asked me how I made it back and how tough was it. Its frustrating. The path I have traveled was lonely and depressing. I have the task of getting across the message to those who are headed on to this journey with no return ticket. All I want to tell is that its not as simple as they think.

Going to US is a big ordeal and the last thing on anyone's mind is coming back. The visa, the travel, setting up a living,student life, research, job, work visa , family will keep one occupied for atleast 3 years.Once employed ,life is so comforting there that the thought of returning dosent occur for next few years. Once married its a different game altogether and things get really complex.

And thus the dilemma continues. On one hand I can tell people what it takes to come back to India, but I cannot do that until people seek my advise. Till then all I can do is to silently watch the parade as a spectator hopeful. You know... Such is life...

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