Thursday, August 16, 2007

Destination US of A.

You are told that you are going to be transferred to US office and that you will have to start working from there.

You get the usual excitement just like everybody, new place, new people, new culture, (prospectively) better life style, better money (when converted in rupees), you can now afford that apartment that you'd always wanted. You can send a decent bundle of money home every month from now onwards, you can bring your parents and keep them with you for 6 months and show them around etc etc...

On the other hand, you are the only one, to your parents now, your brother's already in the US. Your dad's already had a bypass surgery. You consiously know that old age is creeping in and health is deteriorating. They are slowly becoming immobile, travelling to a relatives wedding in a neighbouring town, or taking an auto to go visit a doctor is a task by itself, @ this age.

However, you sit and talk with mom and dad, they want you to go, take up the opportunity, they don't want to spoil your career and become a burden, also they want to be proud and tell other people that their little one has also made it to the US of A.

You finally make the decision to go, thinking you'll make some money and then get back in a couple of years.

After 6 years...

You are in a good job, own a house, a car, have brought your parents and toured them around.

Your parents are managing back in India, making regular visits to the doctor and back, doting on you wondering when you'll make that vacation plan and be with them for 3 weeks.

Then you get a call from a friend, saying that his dad passed away in a heart attack and that he has to travel back to India immediately. You console him, give him strength and tell him to take care.

Now you sit and think...what if the same thing happens to me?

What if I were in the same position?

Should I not be with my family when they need me?
Should I not be there to take them to the hospital, when they are ill?
Should I not be there to do the chores, pay bills etc...?
Should I not be around with mom and dad, to just spend time with them, laze around on that Saturday morning with mom shouting from the kitchen calling out to me to wake me up ?
Should I not be there to just sit with dad and listen to him talk about the stock market and politics?
Should I not be around to just listen to mom's problems and complaints about dad?
Should I not be there around for mom and dad?

Now you miss all of that and want those days back. You think, ok, whatever time is left, I should be with them at least during these times.

Then you think of your job, how much money you are making, and the EMI's you are paying every month, both back in India and here in the US.

You tell yourself, don’t worry too much, nothing will happen! But you've consciously accepted that someday, you'll get that call...and you'll have to take that flight.

That's life!


  1. this is the story of most of us desis here in teh US.

    everytime, we hear a bad news, our heart skips a beat.

    nice write up.

  2. its not just the US ppl. we non of us want to hear bad news.

  3. Anon,
    Agree and Thanks :)

    True, nobody wants to hear bad news. But, it's all the more difficult for Indian souls abroad (US, UK, Dubai, wherever) , living in constant fear and most times unable to make a decision about going back to India for good !

  4. I am sure most people who read this and who are away from home would say "thats exactly how I feel"

  5. yes thats exactly how I used to feel :) Good one IWOBM :)
    Thankfully I am at a 2 hour flight distance now. Yes was very proud once when I dropped everything booked a flight and landed in the hospital to be besides my father before the dreaded surgery - it was a good thing I am in India I told everybody.

    But I realize I have started taking them for granted. Both of us didnt want to go home this december ... after all, there is no emergency! Then saw "the father of the bride - part II" The starting dialogue "They go away and send us greeting cards, we become one of the relatives who lives far away!!! ..." broke my heart. Now taking a slow train back home ... to be there a week for no specific reason and will be back with pickles and podis! ... :) ...

  6. Madura, sweet of you. I just totally love going home and surprising ma folks, with no specific reason, and bumming around for a good couple of days doing nothing, just lazing around at home.

    Ofcourse, I'll end up spending loads of time with my friends too. But the mom part is the beshhttt :D