Thursday, September 08, 2005

Hmmm... what is it about living abroad. Could I do it? I don't know. Do I want to do it? Probably yes, for a while. Just back and completely disoriented and without wanting to sound like a 'phoren-return' I am silently acknowledging how absolutely dirty, noisy and polluted our city is. How commuting is so tough, how I love this country but it makes me seethe in anger to see how little we show about how much we care. How we don't give a flying eff about our tax money and how we don't demand that it be put to better use. How the Air India terminal is the worst possible entry point into India, with old, discarded trolleys, the ones where the wheels have minds of their own, which even the domestic terminal has discarded, in use. Where any one from an official to a class IV servant who so much as helps you with lifting a bag demands kharcha paani. (If any of you ad guys are reading this, Air India needs a serious face change and an image change. Please pitch for it. The air-hostesses and flight stewards can't even communicate properly, forget how they look, since that I think isn't a fair way to judge. But yes this is a business where image matters). So, yes I do want to live abroad for a stint. For the experience. For the exposure. For the access to other countries that it affords you, and within your salary. Not like India where till now you had to save for months or maybe years for a half-decent trip to a half-decent country. My friend could go to Oslo and back or Amsterdam and back from London and the same money wouldn't even take me to the backwaters of Kerala and back. (That said, I think Indians abroad who've grown up there need to travel to India too. My cousin, who is born and brought up in England and has visted India several times, but met me after a hitaus of a decade, was somewhat disappointed to see that I wasn't either enamoured of the shopping or the country or anything and that I pretty much dressed like her or someone there, had the same taste in movies and music and as much exposure and knowledge of world matters. She said she also has a friend from South Africa who was also pretty much the same. It was a realisation I think that 'abroad' to Indians is no more 'unique' and no more a place where you come to buy stuff you don't get. "So now you get everything everywhere so no one is unique anymore," she lamented. I asked her what was made in England anyway since all tags are either 'Made in India' or Made in China or Cambodia or whatever is the latest flavour of the manufacturing world.
Anyhow, yes I do want to live abroad and the only thing that worries the lazy part of me is the housework. Oh My God. Doing everything yourself right from the hoover to dishes (even with a dishwasher) to groceries to mowing the lawn to kids... yikes. It's such hard work. First at office then at home, then at relationships. It probably takes great grit to live there... I think we're quite spoilt in India with our bais and our cooks and our emotional support structure and of course, the confidence of being in your own country... that must be a lot to give up. Or is it?


Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

"Yikes !"

"Hard work"?

Work?? Depends if your heart's in it, I guess.

As for the here-or-there question of tug-apart loyalties, it's really a matter of a maturity that honours fuzzy continuums between two alternates.

Moreover, the entire globalisation goal (intellectually speaking) has been to turn geography history, a relic of the past that's unworthy of shaping individual destinies and thus mostly irrelevant to the future of the species on the planet (or at least irrelevant, for now, in any hardline sort of way).

Globalisation is not particularisation (eg: Americanisation), by the way, but universalisation based on what could perhaps be acceptable to all.

THAT is indeed hard work. The good news is that the work is underway--and largely by those who're having rather a good time at it !!

09 September, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

Actually, of the four things you put down under a question mark for "a lot to give up", one, I'd reckon, is non-negotiable. The emotional support.

It is important for survival, fit or unfit. It is also something that saddles people with risks, the reason that so many of the fearful seek safety in the conservative comfort of numbers.

Yet, the world's most spunky writers and thought-leaders tend to take enormous risks with it, preferring to keep their minds at the front end (or even ahead) of the evolutionary curve (in the hope of a new consensus in the future). The good news is that such support is also what economists often call "fungible". Lose some, win some... though in a more enlightened world, nobody would force down a binary choice.

10 September, 2005  
Blogger the cowlick said...

lol.. welcome to the other side! Living overseas is more than hard work.. in fact, hard work is the least of the worries.

I think everyone should experience it once.. to appreciate what they've got and to know they've made the right decision, whatever that may be.

12 September, 2005  
Blogger Yours Truly...Conman said...

Come here to Qatar... trust me... there'll be people to do your housework too... you'll make millions and millions...
You'll have the sexiest car in the world... you';ll have open roads to drive on...
you'll have everything...
But one thing... India.
Despite all its flaws, I love it... for its flaws.
If today India were to totally clean up, I'd hate it.
I love India for what it is --- real. It's not dream. It's just amazing reality.
It sucks... life abroad.

12 September, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

endless number of these wonderful finds, what with the Internet being a vast network of constantly evolving ideas and all!

05 November, 2005  

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