Rupee Falling, India Shining – A Love Story

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Chatty Divas is a blog on Lassi with Lavina by two chatty friends on life, India and America

Chatty Divas on Life, India & America

The Reality of India Illustration by Dipanjan Bose

The Reality of India     (Illustration by Dipanjan Bose)

 Illustrations by Dipanjan Bose

Tales of a Returned Indian

When we had moved to the US from India in 2004 we had decided on a stint of 3 years in a foreign country and no more. After all,  our motherland would be waiting for our return with bated breath, how would the country even function without us…

Once in the US, much like in most Jhumpa Lahiri stories, my husband plunged into his work leaving me to figure out the foreign land and how much we would like each other. Well,  we had our tussles but America finally gave in and I made a place there. All this took a little more than a year. I finally found a job and discovered a life I could actually fall in love with. However, I remember us being really stubborn about our resolve of returning to our country ‘no matter what’. Most of our fellow Indian Americans could just not understand our reasoning then, but we knew  – and life moved on.

When in 2008 we still could not find a way to move back to India we felt somewhat trapped in something borrowed that we had begun to love. We wanted out but my husband’s job kept him there longer. It’s a long story how this went on till 2011 but he eventually had to put up quite a struggle to come back. Looking back now – I can’t help feeling a little pang right now but don’t want to admit it just as yet.

Returned Indian - illustration by Dipanjan Bose

The enigma of the Returned Indian – ( illustration by Dipanjan Bose)

 

Stocking Up On Onions, with Love from USA

Without saying it outright, could I just pen down a few things that would have changed in my life if I were still living in the US now?

First of all, my annual trips to India would have definitely become bi-annual. When in India, I would have made it a habit to buy an extra piece of luggage just to carry back my shopping – clothes and shoes mostly. But also this would mean that all my friends in the US would have benefited by my generosity in choosing their gifts.

I would have sent enough money to my family to stock up on all the onions they want, I would have at least tried to save a relative from filing bankruptcy, I would have sponsored a few chemo sessions for my dearest friend who was just diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, I would have invested in another property (I am told that the Indian real estate sector is seeing quite the upward graph lately) and finally I would have just been able to feel the satisfaction I am craving to feel all my life.  My newly minted enterprise Social Potpourri,  of course,  would have been on the lips of everyone who wanted to look cool as I have learned that to make money one has to already have hoards of it.

Phew! But I am in India. I don’t know if all the above would have turned out exactly the way I have written it out but one cannot help but wonder if life would have been different like that.

 

The NRI - illustration by Dipanjan Bose

The NRI – (illustration by Dipanjan Bose)

India – America: Which is the Foreign Land?

All I do know is that I would like to at least visit the US again. If not for anything else than to show my daughter where we lived, where she was born, her playground and all things that I thought were etched in my memory, now slowly fading. There may not be anyone left in those streets who know me but I still want to keep that door open, just in case. Just like before I don’t want to mark an area there to call mine  – but I don’t like the idea of a gate chained to keep us out.

Each day of my life in India has enough depth to drown half of Connecticut in it. The complexities here almost chisel one to become a deeper, if not a much wiser person. The term “life’s lessons” almost has an ethereal ring to it. The gravity of existence here is real and much beyond just a job and evening drinks together. (Although those are huge factors of life too.)

It gives me the feeling of being ancient, of knowing, of enriching my life with as much laughter as tears, of looking forward while witnessing the end of the world, of melody and shrieks all put together in a day. Yes, the “Rupee Falling” rings loud against a slogan of yesteryears – “India Shining”. I wonder, is it possible that both are happening simultaneously? I don’t know but I am here to find out  why we took our decisions when we did. If there is a reason for everything,  I am counting on the real solid ones to keep me going.

Kriti is one of the Chatty Divas on Lassi with Lavina, and blogs about love and lie

Kriti Mukherjee

Check out Kriti’s site!

www.socialpotpourri.com

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About Author

is a marketing consultant by profession. She says, "I like to think I am a happy person who can make a difference in people's lives. Absolutely love to travel and am nuts about my family. I write to hear my thoughts and to see what people have to say about them." She blogs at http://kriti-howaboutthis.blogspot.com/

10 Comments

  1. A poetically telling piece, neither harping on ambivalence nor regret, but a spirit to take it on, come what may. Enjoyed this one thoroughly. God Bless, Kriti.

  2. Swati Bhattacharya on

    Everything does happen for a reason! Hang in there, you’ll find out why soon enough. But thank God we had you for this time!

  3. I totally,totally empathize with you there! As a fellow returner(?) who likes to reminisce and think of the coulda-shoula-woulda, onions and property and ‘hordes of money’ are usually salient on my mind too!
    We really should meet up and exchange notes on life there and what it has been since we moved back. I was there from 2000 to 2010…most of the time in the Big Apple. My sister was in Norwalk in CT for many years. She moved back six months ahead of me.

    Loved reading this!

  4. Brilliantly put, Kriti. There must be many people nodding their heads in agreement, while reading your straight from the heart post.Places we leave behind always stay with us and keep reminding us of days gone by.

  5. Kriti, I really enjoyed this piece because so many of us living abroad are really living in two places at the same time, always missing the one we aren’t in! In the end we have to prioritize and follow our heart.

  6. @Tapas, yes that’s the way I want to keep it till the time I actually have solid ground for either : ). Thanks for your comment and blessings!

  7. @Rickie, my fellow returner : ), (love that!) yes we must must meet… Not only are you a fellow returner but a fellow Gurgaon-er if I may. I spent most of my time shuttling between The Big Apple and Danbury, Connecticut. Work and Home respectively! Would love to hear your thoughts about the state of affairs now. Thank you so much for coming by.

  8. @Sulekha thank you for your comment! Yes places have a way of carving a space in your soul for the rest of your life! I really miss America while I enjoy India!

  9. Lavina, thanks for your comment! Sometimes, though, I don’t know what my heart wants (or wants more for that matter). You are so right about living in two places. I did that for a very long time!