Posts Tagged ‘online remittance’

Resolving A Situation Abroad

March 31, 2013

As an NRI, there are many unique situations and binds one can find oneself in abroad. I know I have had my fair share of tricky situations I have had to get out of. So for all the millions of NRIs out there, I thought I’d list out some funny, some awkward, and some generally cumbersome situations I got into, and how I got out of them.

Once I was at the JFK catching a flight to Europe and two separate police officials in civilian clothes came and questioned me about various things. I had really long hair and a beard at the time (you get the picture)! Initially I was quite irritated. But then I realized that it was ultimately for my own safety. So how did I get out of that situation? By keeping calm & patient and thinking rationally, not emotionally

Once I had a few of my son’s seven year old friends over for a night stay. My wife, my son, and all his friends got into our bed and fell asleep. The next morning, the friends’ parents were aghast to see this and became rather suspicious about the kind of parenting we were meting out, and what kind of people we were! But when we explained calmly to them that in India, kinds continue sleeping with their parents till much later, they understood. It just needed a little cultural 101.

Once at the office we had a party and one of my bosses ran out of cigarettes. I gave him an extra packet that I had. The following day, I had a letter of thanks and two new packets at my desk from him. I know that may not really qualify as a ‘situation’, but trust me, for most Indians, it would be. We are an innately generous and hospitable people; something Westerners often find hard to digest. Once again, I had to explain to him that it was no big deal, and it certainly did not warrant returning me the packet, with interest!

Living abroad, especially for Indians, can be challenging. But if you can learn to take it with a pinch of salt, it can, as it has been for me, become an extremely rewarding experience.

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Everyday Life As An NRI

March 21, 2013

I have been living and working in the Big Apple, that’s New York city, for the past 15 years. But I must confess, I was a reluctant visitor when I first arrived here in the United States. The job situation in India back then was quite dismal; and having studied at some very sought after places and having worked as hard as I had; it seemed that getting a job at home in India, would just not be rewarding enough for all that I had done. Hence, I landed up in NYC.

So for all those who think NYC is some heaven; well, think again. Yes, it is no doubt one of the world’s greatest cities. And that it has given me a life I could have never dreamed of in India, well, the answer to that would also be a resounding yes. But like everywhere in the world, this seemingly perfect city has its fair share of problems. Its not always hunky dory here. From traffic jams that are the city’s Achilles’s heel to rents that are higher than the tall sky scrapers; its not always easy-breezy like Central Park. Most of us regular humans live way out of downtown Manhattan and tackle long commutes to even longer working days.

I suppose my point is this. Now, having grown older, and hopefully a bit wiser; I have started to view things a bit differently. I long for home, long for the dirty smells of India. To my mind, with the Indian job market having evolved leaps & bounds and with the world’s attention now on India; its a great time to get a great job back home. Then, why not weather some of the problems of our own cities instead of living so many thousands of miles away?

If I can be stuck in traffic in New York, I’d rather be stuck in traffic, in Mumbai! If I’m paying through my nose in NYC to live in Queens, I’d rather pay through my nose and live in Bandra. Again, my simple point, as an NRI, I now crave to return home. To be close to friends and family. To be, in my motherland. But hey, that’s just my personal opinion. Tonnes of my NRI friends aren’t as eager as I am to return, and they are entitled to their opinions. Its a subjective thing. But if I had it my way, I’d rather be home.



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