Posts Tagged ‘home’

Monsoon memoirs!

July 19, 2013

Yes, it’s messy, muddy and often plays spoilsport but there’s another side to the season. A side that we reminisce on; the romance of the rains that brings out the philosopher in each one of us. This evening, as it pours, we will etch you a fantastic tapestry of the Indian monsoon, woven with threads of nostalgia. So you can enjoy the weather and culinary experience it brings to us with the onset of the season, sitting a thousand miles away!

You wake up at 7. Snooze the alarm and fall asleep again. Everything else in the world falls back before your comfort and the love of your comforter. You want to sleep like a baby while the rains sing a lullaby for you. For us, Indians, monsoon means comfort, fun, colors and happiness. Walk out on any typical rainy day and the streets are a riot of colors. Somewhere within, it instills hope. Why else would someone buy an umbrella with the color of a rainbow if not to battle a grey day!

As you walk through the same lane, fulfilling your responsibilities- the usual of an everyday mendicant- you pass through a familiar smell. Smell that spells rain. Fried food from the ubiquitous vendors that seem to pop up in every office lane. Mouthwatering. Ignoring it as you walk pass, in a very old wall maybe, you look carefully and see moss. You awaken the child within and run your hand along for that velvety feel. Smiling in the rains for no reason is absolutely justified.

While at work you keep looking at that big window and feast your eyes on the torrential downpour, a sudden splash drench you as you step out after a busy day. Quite surprisingly it brings a smile across your face. You hail a tuktuk and sit in it refreshed. The driver draws the plastic curtains in order to save you but you push it away instead- loving the feeling of the cool wind full of water droplets. Maybe stop somewhere for a bowl of hot soup!

You reach home and take little pleasures in all the rain related culinary delights, pull a shawl over you and read a book and fall asleep with the heavenly lullaby. Thank God for the rains.

The Pro’s & Cons of living away from my homeland

April 5, 2013

The decision to look out & move abroad was one that was taken in desperation. My husband had lost his job & difficult times caused us to consider options we normally would never have. Our family is one that thrives on the city air. We grew up in ‘gullies’ & played our best childhood games in familiar alleys, stole pieces of mango left to dry in the hot sun by neighbors & looked forward to the post dinner dessert session at the local ice cream shop.
After the initial shock & recovery from the news of the loss we laid straight on the table what our options were. And to be honest what we saw did disappoint us. Almost every Indian survives & lives a regular life with various amenities depending on EMI’s & loans taken for household items & other comforts that help you pay towards them in installments. We were in a similar situation. Due to our credit scene, the employment whatever it would be had to be in par with my partner’s previous work & earnings.

This realization brought us to the hard decision we were about to take, a decision that changed our lives forever. The decision to relocate to another country for better prospects & to save our self from the financial calamity that was approaching us.
Finally having relocated to the United States has an impact that has altered our everyday living. While there are obvious perks like that of a better standard of living, exposure to a global culture & a future that beckons us to strive to excellence. What we leave behind never the less is something so precious it can never be replaced. So in my pondering moments I boiled down a list of the pro’s & cons of living a life outside your homeland.
The cons of the international life:
1) Being away from the family:
A feature very special to Indians is their proximity & tendency to flock with family & people they love. My heart aches every time someone needs us emotionally or physically, be it my in-laws family or my own family, it’s just a feeling of helplessness that overcomes me. I miss those family gatherings both the ones that are planned & those that are unplanned.

2) Miscellaneous Help:
The privileges of having the access to domestic maids who can do the household chores. Sometimes days are so challenging that I’m home after a tired work day & find myself daunted further more with the umpteen number of chores that need to be attended to. Here I am left with no choice hiring a help is too expensive.

3) Food:
When the cravings strike…I just feel like having spicy chat or that coconut burfi from Kanti Sweets . Here we drive all the way to a comparatively more Indian locality or neighborhood and eat something that is not even close to the taste that you are looking for and pay by the bucket!

4) The Festivities:
Most major festivals are celebrated here but, the feeling of the festivities in India is something so unique. It really impresses me to see Ganesha’s , Banana leaves and festive decorations, Firecrackers during Diwali , the Yummy Biryani during Id from our neighbors. My mind swells up with beautiful memories.

The pro’s of living abroad:

1) The Savings:
As the Rupee dips and Dollar value increases the amount of savings you can have in an international location is surely better. Because you are paid in a currency that appreciates well savings especially when investing them back home has a huge impact than what we have managed so far.

2) The Infrastructure :
Compared to what we have back home the roads, the lack of traffic jams, the organized public transport, cleanliness , convenience – It’s simply amazing how it all works.

3) Child Care Facilities:
I wonder if I would have found a child care with the same standards as here back home . The 7.00 am to 7.00 pm timings with a kindergarten combined child care offers me the liberty of convenience to pursue my interests keeping me assured that my child is in caring hands!

4) The Convenience :
An Indian grocery & many other multi specialty stores are just a hop, skip and jump away. This allows me the convenience to get ‘Dosa’ batter at 9.00 PM or a pack of Indian branded ‘Soan Papdi’ when our sweet tooth calls for it.

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