Monday, August 10, 2009

I took the road less traveled by ...


"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference"

- Robert Frost

It was Oct, 2001. That was my first visit to US (& the first visit to any country outside India). US was recovering from the great tragedy of terrorist attacks. I went to US on a business trip and I stayed there for about 6 weeks. At the end of the trip, I told my friends "I don't want to come to US on a long term assignment. I don't think I would do that even in my dreams". Exactly 1 year since my visit to US, I got my H1B visa stamped and I was ready to go to US to work.

It was July, 2002. I decided to quit HCL Technologies because of the lack of proper recognition. My best friend was working in US, for a startup company. He told me that they have an opening in their company. I never dreamt about moving to US. So, I wasn't very excited about the opportunity. I thought about my options, for a while - "There were not many good companies in Chennai. If at all, I have to quit HCL, I have to find a job in Bangalore - which means, I have to stay away from my family. If I have to stay away from my home/family, why shouldn't I move to US?" It took me very less time to make the decision. In the following week, I attended interview over the phone and got selected. I don't think I had any relevant work experience but I showed lots of interest, enthusiasm and willingness to learn. I got an offer in August, 2002. I told my employer (HCL) right away that I'm quitting. I applied for my visa stamping.

2002 was a bad year to move to US. Only a handful of people would've gone to US on a H1B visa. Some of my friends (out of good intentions), told me that I'm making a wrong move. There were signs of war looming between Saddam & US. Economy was going through its worst period. The company that I got an offer from had hardly a few months of runway (Yes. They were about to run out of their funds). My dad was questioning me, "Why should I quit HCL & why should I go to US when I'm getting paid well in HCL". But, I blindly followed my intuitions. My best friend assured me, "Common buddy. We can manage it".

My future was completely dark - it looked as-if my future was covered by thick fog. I know that I was leaving the green pasture to explore the unknown lands. The curiosity got me excited. I know that there was still some 'cheese' left out to eat, in my current place. But, I started my journey to explore and find new 'cheese' mountains.

It is nearly 7 years since I made my decision to move to US. I now have answers to all the questions/unknowns that I had in 2002.

Did I make the right decision?

Yes, I did !

Did I get a better exposure?

Yes, I did !

Did I become a better person?

Yes, I did !

Had I known the answers to all these questions in 2002, the ride wouldn't have been joyful. The ride was joyful because there were unknowns & sudden twists/turns.

Now, I'm back in India cherishing my 7 years of memories/experiences. I've to continue my journey. Looking down, I see green pasture. Looking ahead, I see darkness covered by thick fog. Looking around, I see some lingering 'cheese'. But, I want to explore and find those hiding 'cheese' mountains. Am I making the right decision? Will I get a better exposure? Will I become a better person? Who knows... But, I'm sure the ride is going to be exciting. I'm looking forward to that.

Also read:

Stages of immigrant life in USA
Back from a short business trip to US

2 comments:

  1. I am bookmarking this post and want to visit after 7 yrs time from now and ask your opinion then :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice post Saro. Sometimes we don't realize that there are so many unknowns ahead of us . When we look back , we wonder how we even took these decisions without knowing what lies ahead and thats what makes life exciting :)

    ReplyDelete