I know this might surprise some of you. But yes, we have moved back to India. We have been here for almost two months now. No surprises, things are going well. Haripriya is doing good too. The day to day living details would require a separate post, will write on that later.
First of all, the obvious question is: Why move back? Especially when Brinda and I had well paying, stable jobs…easy drive/walk from our home. A decent nest in a good neighborhood, supportive friends and a close family circle. Everything was just Perfect, so why spoil the party?
As I mentioned earlier in a separate post, we had planned this move sometime back. But there didn’t seem to be any urgency. The arrival of Haripriya really expedited things. Most of us would find this move not so easy after living in the US for 14 years. But somehow we found a great comfort and confidence in doing so, it seemed a natural progression at this point in our lives.
Following are the key reasons that made us move:
Get out of the rat race: We would have to work for another 10 years if we were to retire early in the US. Lot of things changed for us in last six years. I mean everything like our lifestyle, food habits, purpose of life etc. This was mainly due to “Revolution of the Heart” as author Bill Shore puts it. The corporate world and quest for the material riches or luxuries seemed least important. As we got closer to our financial independence goal, we found the corporate environment more suffocating and lifeless..especially for me. Brinda was in retail, so not too bad for her.
The cubical or cafeteria conversations/rumors about who’s doing what, Republican or Democrats, this team (sporting) or that, what I did over the weekend or New year…just couldn’t take it anymore!!
The idea of freedom, travel, pursuing our hobbies fulltime, immersing ourselves in something meaningful, solidifying our quest for the Truth; all these seemed meaningful and achievable. Wouldn’t it be nice to spend more time with Haripriya? Seeing her grow.
But all this would only be possible if we quit our jobs and got out of the rat race. So what’s the wait? As we say in Hindi: Shubh kaam mein deri kis baat ki?
Parents: I have my older brother and the family living with my parents. Though it helps but it does not relieve me of my responsibility. I also wanted to be around parents in their old age. But I wasn’t sure whether it would happen or not. They prefer living in India as they have spent most of their lives there. India and the US are two different worlds, I didn’t want them to get out of their comfort zone either.
Being in India, it is much easier to visit or be with them. I’m planning to take them to several Holy places (while they’re in good health) during next few years. They drive a great pleasure and comfort when we travel together or even do simple things, like meeting old friends and family.
Upbringing of Haripriya: India has changed a lot over last 20 years but the beauty of India is that some aspects remain unchanged. It is a good thing as well as bad. The Fabric of Life is still the same though it might not seem at surface, in media etc. We would like Haripriya to grow up as we did in a middle class family.
When I left India for Australia, I believed that the foundation years must be spent in India and I still believe the same. It is not so much about the education but about the subtle aspects (which go unnoticed) of growing up in India. We have a rich history and culture. The social structure, family values, bonding etc, all have great influence on young ones.
Also, things are much better now for the middle/upper class compared to what it was when we were young, a lot has changed for the better in India. Of course we have to tough it out in some aspects but I am willing to accept the challenge.
India’s current economic situation: Though it is not the key factor but recent improvement (over the last decade) in India’s economy serves as a great boon for anybody who is planning to move back. India (despite of its fast progress) is still RAW and full of opportunities, which makes it a perfect field for the second innings.
As you can see, we had enough reasons to move back.
We’re currently in Mumbai, will be here till our stuff arrives from the US and then move to Pune. Will keep you posted on the transition.