Wednesday 3 February 2010

Why are you going back?

The immediate comeback question when I inform other desis (and unfortunately, many friends and family living in India) that we are r2i is "Why?". WHY? WHY? This has to be the second most irritating question after "What do you do all day?" (which also I encounter more frequently than I care for).
No, I am not a jingoistic flag-waving type who thinks all Indians should stay in India. In fact, I think that nationalism, and religion are both outdated concepts. (Hmm...I should do a post about this). But it amuses me that when we told people that we are moving to the USA, not one single person asked me "Why?". It's assumed that the westward movement must be for the good, but the eastward movement is somehow more suspect. Why would someone want to come back to the dust and grime and potholes of India, leaving behind the oasis of America, right?
I find we have created a certain amount of dissonance in some Indians who are straddling the fence, emotionally attached to India and longing to go back but not mustering the initiative to take the plunge. In many cases, it's too hard, and justifiably so. As one of our friends put it, he is "terrified of sinking back into a middle-class lifestyle in India". In many cases, one spouse is desperate to move back, but the other isn't -- so of course they never do. I completely get that everyone has their reasons for staying, even if that reason is intertia! But the constant questioning of our decision to go back is not something I enjoy.
So, whether in India or USA, we are resigned to smilingly (not) answer the "Why" question with; "We never intended to stay here long-term"!


  1. Is this question worser than when all sundry people at home in India ask you
    "How is the weather in US?"

    Nationalism is an outdated concept? You have me intrigued. Do a post soon. I'm rolling up my sleeves already :) just kidding, do a post soon.

  2. yeah it is worse! :)
    its of course also bugging when people assume that i know their nephew's wife's second cousin just becos he works in the same company/lives in the next state :)
    yes i will do a post -- no need to roll up the sleeves - i think nationalism is outdated but also accept that its here to stay!

  3. LoL! good one. Actually, I've got that too!
    Actually, the first time I got that, i started laughing much to the elderly man's chagrin.
    To my response that I live in Connecticut (back then) he responds like this
    " Ennoda.. manniyoda peran angathaan irukkan, Buffalo'la " he paused expecting me to say "oh!" and I started laughing instead!
    coz my mind was telling me
    "Dude, i don't even know you that well and you are telling me about some guy in Buffalo. and what am I supposed to do next? Marry him?"
    It was tough wiggling out of that.

    Are you being judged for the r2i? That'd be ridiculous

  4. not bad i say - atleast he remained on the same coast!


I would love to hear your thoughts :)