Friday, August 21, 2009

10 reasons to return back to India



Once upon a time, you had a strong desire to return back to India. You told your friends "I will definitely return back to India after earning some money". You cruised through the years, at 200mph. Today, you are asking yourself - "Why should I return back to India?".

It is about 7 months since my family landed in India. I thought of sharing the wonderful things that we enjoy here in India. Hopefully, you'll like some of these.

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1) You get lots of good help. We have good support system. There is abundant manpower. You can hire someone to do your household work at a reasonable price. I haven't done any grocery shopping since I landed in India. Vegetables/Groceries are sold/delivered at your door steps. My wife has got 2 helpers - one to keep the house clean & the other to help with the kitchen work.

2) There is elders to take care of the kids. I live with my parents. My daughter is enjoying their company (& vice versa). We don't have to look for a baby sitter when my wife & I go out. Moreover, we always get the feeling that the kids are in safe hands. My daughter is talking very maturedly, these days. She is picking up lots of good values from my parents. I'm glad that she is being mentored by folks who have got ~60 years of world experience.

3) The pay in India is really good. Of course, the pay scale cannot match what you can earn in US. However, it is more than enough to lead a luxurious life in India. (Also read: 10 Tips for Return to India (R2I) Salary Negotiation)

4) There is a REAL social life. Life is not very mechanical here. You get to meet friends/relatives quite often in weddings, engagements or other parties. Some one or the other visits you almost every day. It is indeed a stress reliever.

5) Things are VERY affordable. It would be hard to lead a 'luxurious' life in US. However, if you earn sufficient money in US, you can definitely lead a 'luxurious' life in India. The cost of living has definitely gone up. But, you'll feel the benefit of 1 USD = INR 45. 7 years back, I used to carry just Rs. 50 in my pocket. That seemed a lot to me. Today, I carry at least a few Rs. 500s with me. It seems very less ;-)

6) India has a very good public transport system. Man, I love it. Yes, the buses and trains are crowded. But, if you have to go somewhere they're AVAILABLE for you. There are lots of options including trains, buses, cabs, autos, & (my favorite) share autos. You can access them at your street corner. In fact, the auto owners/cab owners have become high tech. They all own a mobile phone. You can just give them a call and they'll be at your door in a few minutes.

7) There are lots of good RESTAURANTS. There is a wide range of dining options - starting from the road side trucks to revolving restaurants. Having been in US for quite sometime, it feels so good to taste authentic Indian food. In the last few months, my tummy has bulged like a balloon.

8) Education system is good & it is affordable. There are lots of good schools and colleges. The key differentiator is, they are very affordable. Also, the system is highly competitive, which I feel is good.

9) Quality of life has improved in India. I see lots of Honda Civics, Camrys & Accords on the road. I see 'hep' shopping malls & multi-plexes. I see more Chevvys on the Indian roads than what I saw in US. Many services are available online - Banking, Bus/Train/Flight tickets booking, Bill payments etc., There are  more number of public parks that are maintained well. Of course, you cannot compare with what you can get in US. At the same time, you are not settling for less in India.

10) Last, but not the least - There is a feeling of 'giving back' (You can call this as an "Emotional" reason). Be it for the society or for your parents.

My (& my wife's) parents are very happy that we are back. They feel more confident these days & I could see happiness on their face. They worked very hard & spent years in making our life successful. We can never pay them back in entirety. But, being with them during their old age is a small contribution that we can make. Let me share with you an incident. After my return, I had once visited the parents of my friend (My friend is in US). I could literally see tear on their eyes, when they said "I'm not sure if my son/daughter (masking the gender, intentionally) would return back. The more years pass by, it is getting more uncertain. But, you made a very good decision to return back! I'm happy for you and your parents". I couldn't control my tears as well. I didn't know how to console them.

Also, our government/society played a significant role in shaping us & our life. We are what we are because of our society and the contribution of our schools, colleges, teachers, and friends. Isn't it time for us to return that favor back? We are so lucky to have got the opportunity to travel across borders... to explore the unknowns and earn a lot of wealth/fame. Shouldn't we provide the same opportunity to others also? Shouldn't we train the folks in India to be competent? We have complained about the infrastructure, people and policies in India for several years. What are we doing to fix those issues? We are the 'cream' of India. Shouldn't we put your competency to best use in India?

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When I thought of writing this blog, I came up with a very long list - as long as the roller coaster in New York-New York Casino. I've to literally force my fingers to stop typing after 10 points. My intention is not to force you to 'Return back to India'. I'm just providing you enough ammunition if you are contemplating whether to return back to India or not.

Related posts:

Returning to India
Returning back to India - 25 things to do