Posts Tagged ‘Remit’

Indian Summers

March 20, 2012

Last year I made a trip back to my home town in Jaipur, Rajasthan. I am not sure what came over me that I decided to go in the peak of summer, when I could have easily remained in cool England and gone when it was winter time in India. But I missed home so much, I threw all caution to the wind, and took leave from my bank in Birmingham, and reached Jaipur.

The strong hot wind current of the ‘loo’ that blows in Rajasthan hit me like a stark reminder of the Indian Summer the moment I got off the plane in Jaipur. My younger brother and his wife were at the airport to pick me up. They loaded my luggage at the back of our jeep and we got in and started to drive home. The air conditioner came on in the car, and additionally, Rekha, my brother’s wife, was splashing water on the canvas top of the jeep. Another reminder of how we would stay cool in the summer as kids.

That week at home in Jaipur, sure it was boiling hot, and not the most comfortable time to be there, especially not being accustomed to the harsh summer any longer. But, it was also the best week home since I’ve been abroad. I did all my favorite things, especially summer related. We swam in the club, broke and ate ‘amblis’ off the trees, hosed ourselves down with water from the garden pipes. It was too much fun. For that week, I became from a fourth five year old, into a child at home. Running wild and having the time of my life.

I have decided now, to do it each and every year!

The Plight Of Women In NRI Marriages

October 13, 2011

My sister got married last year. As a protective younger brother, I was concerned about her post-wedding well-being, particularly for two reasons. First, her’s was an arranged marriage, which meant that she did not know Arjun Jijaji the way one would intimately know a partner in a love marriage. And second, they were to live in Europe.

Having never lived abroad earlier, I knew that my sister would find it hard to adjust to her new life. As if adjusting with a new person and a new way of life would not be challenging enough, there was an entirely new culture she would have to adapt to, which made not just me but everyone in the family worry about her.

So when she returned home during her first visit after marriage, we were naturally concerned and curious about how her life was shaping up. She was bombarded with a battery of questions. The answers were not surprising, as they confirmed not just her own, but the larger plight of women in NRI marriages. Having said that, it was not all bleak. Beyond the many adjustments that she had had to make, there was a silver lining of a happy and content existence.

But what were the kind of adaptations that were needed? For one, staying abroad meant that she had to do all the housework and chores herself, which was a far cry from the pampered existence in India, where domestic assistance is always available. Second, she had to get used to a completely different kind of cuisine. Third, she had to make a huge effort to build a social life, not an easy task since most women abroad work full time. And of course, there was the new man in her life, with whom she was living and trying to really understand. And these she said, are the facets that are common to nearly all NRI wives.

But because her new life also presented her with a devoted husband, the prospect of exploring a foreign land and travel, the promise of a well-planned life with quality amenities and infrastructure, the effort was well worth it. And that made it all alright for her, as it did for many other NRI wives.

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