Posted in Gelf News

I am not an NRI!

I am an Indian. By birth and spirit. For 26 years I’ve been  in India. So when I moved to Dubai, I hated it. I still do. But this post isnt about my tryst with DXB.  Being an NRI for a considerable amount of time, I have been paying attention to the kind of lifestyle’s that most of them lead. I have even been having forced conversations with a few of them just to gather some facts before I roll the dice on this one. So this is not to offend any NRI but I just had to pen this down. ALso, my readers shouldnt think that all my posts from now on would be about m0mmyhood n diaper changing.

To start with, the NRI’s are just a bunch of normal people who live abroad . If you ask me, they can be split broadly into two distinct categories: The No Return to India and The Now Return to India.

The No Return is a unique breed of people. A species! Their uniqueness lies in the fact that they think they are the most fortunate people in this world. For them India is a third world country which is confined to those once-in-a-few-years visits for the sake of completing the formality of seeing their loved ones. Actually they’d rather bring their loved ones over to where they live. For them India is  and will always be a chaotic, unhygienic and polluted place where they can’t live for a second without “Bisleri” and hand sanitizers. These are the same people who help to spread the word that India is still the land of urchins and snake charmers n an unhygenic place to survive. Having said this, they will never take the Indianness out of them because it will make them look out of sync with their identity.Anything to do with Indian “culture” needs to be imbibed. These people will encourage themselves and their offsprings to be more in sync with the country in which they RESIDE. More local friends than Indian friends, speak the local language with the “accent” etc.

The Now Return category constitutes a considerable proportion of people. They are actually in love with their homeland so much that they want to come back as soon as possible (or so they say!!) They enrol their kids in Indian international schools so that they are in line with the Indian schooling system. They make sure that the kids learn Carnatic music, dance, cricket, etc. For this bunch of guys, the Indianness factor imbibed within their families is not a formality but something that they yearn for immensely. They make sure that the children speak more in the native language and have more Indian friends. Stuck in the vicious cycle of money and social pressures, they are not able to break away from the social barriers to return back home. They go home at every bout of nostalgia and make sure to attend all social functions if possible!

So what is the big deal? The big deal is that despite their vast difference in approach to living.

The default thinking in most of the parents’ mindset is that since they have invested immensely in inculcating the “Indianness” in them, the children would in turn be the “goody goody” souls in the decisions they make in their adult life. While it is fair enough to argue that the Indianness inculcated would make the children more in sync with the Indian lifestyle, the fact of the matter is they are growing up in a completely different country. In today’s world, the social thinking of the younger generation is made up by the attitudes of their friends around them and not by the “default” tutorial classes of Indian culture. There is no point in the NRI parent living in a country for 20 years and then expecting the children to grow up the way “they want” and marry the person whom they think is good enough. Expectations such as marital affairs are a crucial part of the illusion that is confronting the NRIs. It is very crucial that they come to terms with the reality and set their priorities straight in life. If they feel their culture and their way of thinking needs to be followed, then they should pack off and head back home. In an era of blossoming growth back home in India, heading back home is an economically practical solution and if one throws away the obsession with the foreign social “status”, I do not see any hindrance in coming back. You cannot expect to have the cake and the cherry, can you? If one is interested in staying abroad, then one should be prepared and be ready for the consequences (irrespective of its merit) with regards to the choice made by their children. While it is a duty for the children to keep the family in confidence on such issues, the reality of life is that a majority of the younger generation rarely looks beyond the self while taking such decisions.

Essentially, the crux of the issue confronting all NRIs is the weight of expectation one thrusts on the younger generation and the illusion with which they subject themselves oblivious of the practical consequences of the choices that they have made in their lives.

Whether one is in the No Return or Now Return category, the NRIs need to confront issues head on rather than live in a illusion of their own!

Like I mentioned at the start, this is merely my view. I dont intend to hurt anybody nor their indianess. This post is an afterward of a conversation I struck with a family member here. So no hard feelings. And no matter how many eons I live abroad, my heart will always be Indian! They day I find out that the nation I live in is sucking out the  INDianness in my child, I will go back to where I belong. My home, My India.

Posted in Gelf News, m@dness

Back Again!

Yeah, I am back here. So? If you are thinking why this time? My answer is, well, this is my space and my will when ever I come, when ever I write. Lol.. With the first line, I guess by now you all must have made out, that mads is back!

There have been things in my life that transformed me into a complete different person. I did sulk and crib. I Might have showed it to some people and might not have to many. And I have moved on. I am looking forward to a new beginning. And this time, I am sure I am not at any cost, going to settle for something sub standard.

 All this while, when I was not me, I’ve discovered some aspects of myself I’ve never known before. The vulnerable me. The strength I thought I possessed was put to an endless test, and it helped me to move. As they say, life is all about moving on. After this phase, I am not just a new me, but someone totally different. And its nicer to grow up.
 
So I’ll let you off with a few things…and then get back to regular blogging 🙂
…I have a job now. And I am actually happy about it. I thought HR was my thing but I realised, I liked it only because it was the easy way out. So here I am, doing marketing! These few months taught me that the easy way just doesnt pay off like the hard ones do.Till last year, I have been taking the easy way out always and so this new me is going to take the road that has the bumps and turns 🙂 Life has to be exciting, right!?
… I miss Cochin every single day.
…Joeey, Div, Deeps, Naani, Su, Chech, I love you guys a zillion times.
Div gave birth  to Faith!
…I learnt that money is important too 🙂
…” If you do, I do, If you dont then I wont” Should this be the attitude towards people we care for?Should tit for tat be the policy? Or should our love and care be unconditional always despite the indifferent attitude of the other person? If they value what we feel for them why dont they show it? Not related to my life at present. This was for somebody I used to know! And also please dont think this post is about you! It is abt no body in particular. This is something I’ve always wanted to be clear about in my head. I am sure everyone faces this dilemma every time the people they care about turn cold towards them (reasons may vary- mood swings, new friends etc) My policy by far has been I always tend to be very patient with the person till he/she cools down. I give them the right and liberty to vent out their frustration at me because if friends wont listen and understand who else will? Most of the times I take the shit. I hardly react.Now I will. You hurt me, I will hurt you!
…Ro, I am falling prey..to your mesmerizing ways:)
…Keep your ego aside in relationships. Talk it out! It works all the time.
…Save money. Really. I used to sulk and hate Das for taking  a chunk of my salary and putting it into a savings account. Left with no job and a financial crunch that I didnt ever dream of, that savings really helped! Trust me ladies, you dont want to walk with your head bent, around a huge mall with “75% SALE” written all over the place and shed a tear because you cant even afford a cheap sandal! And guys, you dont want your wives to go through that right?!
…The only people you need in your lives are the ones who have proven that they need you in theirs!
…I love blogging at work!
…Its Thursday and its weekend!!!
…Dubai is not the Capital of the Emirates! Its Abu Dhabi!
…Being careful is a good thing. Dont let it lead you to PARANOIA!
Thats it! Bye for now!!! I will be back soon 🙂 I promise!
Posted in Gelf News

Old Girl in a New City

I have never felt old when I ran around for hours with my niece n nephew. Not when I climbed and trekked and ran. Not even when people started calling me old. Not even my hair started greying! I always thought you could learn/unlearn things if you were young! I have moved cities before, started living from scratch, made new friends and discovered places and cities and loved every bit of it. Dubai, a land that I thought would be the most easiest to mix into seems to make me feel old in just a few days!

Here’s the bad part:

…Vehicles and roads and all that follow Right hand drive and for 26 years I have been used to left hand drive. No, not that I drive. But even walking and crossing and all that is a pain.

…I was an expert in crossing roads. Now, I have to look ten times to the left and right and just when I am about to cross, there is a car speeding my way at 140kmph. Repeat!

…I thought this was supposed to be a neat place! My ass! Cochin with all the mosquitoes is sooooo much better. There is garbage everywhere. Not to mention the flies and cockroaches all over my home :(. Trust me, I have never been more neater in my life!

…Its hot. They say its waaay better now. But its like make me want to strip kind of hot.

… You need curtains on all the time. Dont be surprised if you dont have curtains aand you find that for some strange reason, people in the next building are smiling at you!

…Everything is a process here. A system.And everything takes time.(hehe everything except my visa ofcourse). The gas, the internet, the plumber, servicing, everything.

…People(except next building strange looking men) do not smile! No good morning, no greeting. They sulk all the time. And me, I still smile at everybody. However, i am losing the ability, slowly.

…My hair is falling!  A never before problem has now started! Thanks to the water, I think!

…Last, do not keep Lulu and Al  something and all as landmarks. If you do, you will, like me, go around in circles and get lost eventually. And dont trust mallus here. They’ll screw you big time! Oh and carry a pepper spray.

Now you know why I told you I was getting old.

And now the good part:

… You get everything here. I mean, you dont miss home for the things you get there. You name it, they have it.

…Food quality is super awesome. Hygenic and yummy.

…I seem to be actually losing some kilos. Thanks to walking being a way of life. Because, taxis are expensive.

…I talk much less these days. Sometimes I wonder how I can be so silent. Thats good no?

…I have started saving and controlling expenses and all that. Talk about being responsible!

…I am realising the value of friends. Old and new.

I am guessing thats it. Ill keep you posted about the old girl in the new city! Till then, smile more 🙂