8 in the evening and I’m sitting with my laptop writing this article.

Who sits at 8 in the evening with a laptop? Well, most folks in this part of the world do.

I’ve seen folks striving hard to settle abroad – US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Switzerland etc etc.

The incentives for doing so are many but what most fail to realize is what they’ll loose in the barter.

Many years ago I used to dream about being abroad and settling down here – just like most ‘successful’ folks I know. Got an opportunity to visit the ‘dream land’ and yes I did enjoy my frequent subsequent trips.

But the happiness quotient has slowly begun fading away.  Crazy some would say – there’s so much to gain they would say – ‘your CV is heavier’, ‘You’ve got good career prospects now , ‘Migrate man migrate’, ‘Get those dollars & pounds’ , ‘the conversion rate makes more bucks than you think’ .. a never ending list.

Is what you get in the process worth more what you leave behind? It’s contemplation honestly. A friend of mine settled in this part of the world for some years now is doing well for himelf, but has no family or friends to be with other than his sister when he goes back home from work.

A friend’s friend who came here with big dreams has seen them see daylight – what’s missing are her people to share her happiness with.

I’ve visited some folks with families here and there’s that little sadness in their eyes.. they’re missing something.. the warmth, the care, the crazy festivals, the maddening crowd, the sense of freedom (yes !!), the bugging neighbours, the irritating relatives, the nosy colleagues.. phew !

All of them have met me with so much warmth that it’s overwhelming. Frankly speaking – it’s their way of feeling back at home.

Guess it’s about being with your folks and people you love and care for. I’m here since 5 days and ‘just’ another 25 or so to go, but am missing so much already.

There are exceptions as well though – a close school friend is here with his family and has been here since his childhood – India is alien to him and that’s good – he does not have that ‘missing home syndrome’. He just vaguely remembers his days in New Delhi as a kid 12 years ago – thank God for him !

I’m having my first cup of pure Indian tea in 5 days today – how I feel is unexplainable.

Imagine the plight of people who miss more than a cup of tea, and for how long.

It’s hard, really hard….

Anupam

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