A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint


Posted by Pepper on July 11, 2011

I stare at the screen of my cell phone that tells me the call I was on has ended. It takes me a while to disconnect my thoughts and move on with life though. ‘Take care of yourself and I hope to see you soon’. Those are the words my dad repeats at the end of every phone conversation I have with him. I hear the hope in his voice. The hope of seeing me soon. It breaks my heart. I ache for my family. Every single day. And they ache for me. Then what the hell am I doing here, living in another world?

I got married to Mint on one condition – we would not live in the US forever. He always told me I could decide when I wanted to move back to India. I lived here with the conviction that ‘we’d move back someday’. But the idea of ‘someday’ seems to be blurring with each passing day. We’ve built our own world here. At times, I feel like vacating the castles we’ve built, watching them fall apart and just running away to the homeland. But it is hard. Really, really hard.

For one, I no longer feel very patriotic towards India. The Indian mindsets, the sexist and patriarchal society, the deep rooted corruption, the pollution, all of those seem like irreparable issues. I know I sound like a selfish snob, but I am simply being honest about how I feel. The thought of leaving behind this smooth and easy life, clean air and unlimited freedom fills me with hesitation. However, India is my country and there are no two ways about that. That is where I belong. So I might as well accept the nation with all its flaws. What I find hard to tolerate is the Indian work culture. It is exploitative. Most people work late hours, earn a pittance and travel back home exhausted. So many companies even consider Saturdays to be full working days. Where is the time for family? Or to have a life other than work? I really don’t know how happy Mint and I will be in such a setup.

But then I think of my family. And to me, they’re more important than anything else. Talking to them on phone once a day, seeing them once a year just doesn’t cut it for me. And the idea of them growing old without me around fills me with anguish. We’ve spoken about this issue with other people who’ve made the choice of living here all their life. Some of them said that they might consider getting their parents to come here and live with them for about 6 months once they’re too old to live alone, and then go back for 6 months to escape the winter in this country. In my opinion, that is unbelievably selfish. You either let them grow old alone, fend for themselves in their old age, or force them to endure a long, stressful journey just so that they can see you? And then even unsettle them every few months? What are they going to do here for such a long duration anyway? They have their whole life back in India. How can we carelessly toss them back and forth like that? That is something I will never ever subject my parents to. No matter what. And what about the time when we have kids? I know how grandparents dote on their grandchildren. I have sworn to not deprive our parents of such pleasures. And no, skype and phone are never the same. Never.

I think of what ultimately matters to me in life and each time my answer is the same. My people matter the most to me. Spending quality time with them, grabbing precious moments that life offers and living close to my loved ones. I feel this void without them around. I want to be there close to my sister as she goes through her college years, I want to hear every little detail about her day, just like how I used to when we lived together. I want to continue having those masala chai sessions with mama, complete with old melodies playing in the background, the way we used to when she was here. I want to listen to my dad’s pathetic jokes, I want to argue with him and then sulk. I want to see him come up to me, extend a hand and say ‘Friends?’ just like how he used to, after every argument of ours. I want to give him big bear hugs every now and then. And I don’t want to wait an entire year, just to be able to experience it for a few weeks. I want that to be a part of my everyday life.

And then I think, if I know so clearly what I really want, then why am I still here? Why don’t I just leave? For one, Mint is very unlike me in this regard. He is not half as attached to his family as I am. I know he prefers this life to life in India. Fortunately for me, he is willing to give it all up if going back is what makes me happy. But it does leave me feeling guilty. The biggest problem however is that for me, going back to India equals to going back to Mumbai, where my family lives. I really doubt I will experience that sense of fulfillment if I have to live in another city, where I can’t see my family on an everyday basis. So it does leave us in fix. Mint’s family lives in Chennai. It would be unfair to be close to one set of parents and away from the other. So going back to India, does not guarantee going back to Mumbai. It could be anywhere in the country. Yes, it could be Chennai, and that comes with an added loss of freedom. I don’t know how happy I will be there. I know this issue can be resolved if we try and work it out. And we can live in Mumbai..

But each time I think of moving back, some sort of fear holds me back. I go back to saying, ‘someday’ we will move back. A while ago, MM wrote this post, and I agreed with every word she had to say. In my comment on her post, I said it helps to give yourself a deadline if you’re considering moving back. What I didn’t mention was how hard it is to set that deadline for yourself. For today, to put an end to the unrest I feel, I will go back to saying what I always do. Someday we will move back.


53 Responses to “Someday..”

  1. Bikram said

    I know exactly what you say to the last word.
    I came for 2 years and here I am a decade gone.. You are right cant settle back.. Wemt for a few months could not take it came back….
    Family is always first.. I know the pain.. The hurt but one advice I will give you.. I know I am no one and its none of my business but I am older than you I hate to admit 🙂 but once you guys are plus one… They will have a bettwr future here ….

    I know you will say nothing wrong in india but all the grind we went through they will have to go through toooo..

    I am sure your dad knows that all but heart is well what do I say wants it all..
    I dont know what to say… Sorry if I said anything wrong… You read my articles I am so homesick…
    Take care pepper all will work out just right…. Have faith and talk it out the both of you…..

    • Pepper said

      No you didn’t say anything wrong of offensive Bikram. Yes, children might certainly have a better life here, but they’ll grow up without grandparents. And that seems like a very big compromise to me. 😦

      • Bikram said

        No they wont.. If you were settled somewhere far in india … it would take more hours to reach home then from states 🙂 moreover grandparents can always come over to stay with you .. WE assume that they will grow without grandparents but in todays life thats is true in india too.. think about it …

        I am sure you will work it out and end of the day you and mint are the two people who got to decide.. 🙂 what ever you decide ALL the best always

        • Pepper said

          That’s very true. Travelling within India is way too harrowing and it takes forever. All these things only end up confusing me more. So I’ve quit thinking for now. We’ll see how it goes.. Whatever has to happen will happen..
          Thanks 🙂

          • dipali said

            As you yourself say, Que sera sera.
            Live in the present. When the time is right, you may well return to India. Or not.
            Life is uncertain anyway, Pepper. My brother lived abroad for all of his adult life, but since he’d taken voluntary retirement, he was able to come and spend month with our Dad when he was ill, in hospital and while he was convalescing at home. He did this twice that I remember. Although I was in India, I was able to come for a much shorter time.
            Sadly, he passed away four years before our parents did.

            Do what makes you happy when you need to do it. Don’t waste your time worrying about the future. For all we know travel will get even quicker in the coming decade or two, and we might be able to zip around the planet much faster than we do now.

            • Pepper said

              I absolutely love your last line. And you’re so right, we can’t plan and control life the way we want to. So I’ve decided to let go now and enjoy the place I live in.. If I keep thinking, I am never going to b e happy. Thanks so much.. I need reminders like that 🙂

  2. Smitha said

    You know Pepper, we were in a similar situation. I wanted to go back more than husband did – he was the one who was not sure and uncomfortable with the idea. But like Mint – he agreed that we will go back someday. We had the same concerns/worries. I wanted to be close to my family and even if we are not living together or next doors, knowing that I can be with them within hours makes me determined to go back. And yes, setting a deadline is tough – super tough. We managed it – albeit after debating endlessly, wondering if it is indeed the best option. We are returning next July – so that daughter does not find it too tough to get into schools back home. I can just say that it becomes easier once we set the date firm.

    • Pepper said

      Wow.. I am glad you were able to decide Smitha. Being in the same country helps a lot, even if you’re not in the same city. For one, you don’t have time differences or visa hassles to deal with..
      I hope the move goes well for you guys.. And hopefully, we’ll make up our minds soon too…

  3. Meenu said

    I can totally relate to this post since we are also in one such phase. Should we move back? If so when ?? these are the questions plaguing us for a long time. I really want to go back and settle down in India, Chennai near my parents. i want my kids to grow up listening stories from their grandparents, playing with their cousins, getting pampered by their aunts and uncles and celebrating festivals together. I so cannot imagine a life here aloof and distant from everyone.
    I am a single child and it makes it all the more painful to see them alone there (although they we do have lots of relatives there). That said, hubby is completely used to this kind of lifestyle and work environment. But then as you said, he is completely open about this topic. He says all he wants is to see me happy and he says we will move back soon if that is the place which will give us happiness. Here, he comes back home by 6p.m with weekends off and so we have ample time to do our stuff together. We check out movies, try different cuisines and generally have fun. I know it is next to impossible to expect such freedom and time in India which makes me really sad and guilty. Hubby’s brother works in an IT company in India and he slaves all day and has absolutely no clue what goes on in his house.
    Anyways we are on the verge of deciding to move back fully considering all the advantages and disadvantages. I do feel in spite of all the difficulties Chennai is the place for us. Initially we might take time adjusting but i am hoping things will settle down eventually and we will have our family to lean back and take strength from.
    I guess this would be the most discussed topics amongst the Indians living in USA :-). There is no right or wrong decision, one has to just listen to what the heart says and move ahead.

    • Pepper said

      Hi Meenu. Life here is certainly easy and smooth. I totally know what you mean when you say you guys have a lot of free time after 6 in the evenings..and have relaxed weekends where you try different cuisines and generally have fun. A lot of this wouldn’t be possible in India. And Indian IT companies are particularly bad. But the flip side of living here is that we end up being too distanced from evrybody back at home. Its a tough choice to make.

      Good luck with the move, in case you decide to go for it. Like you said, there is no right or wrong here. Just what one feels comfortable with.

  4. kinmin said

    I can so understand what you’re saying. Besides being close to my parents, I also want to move back to India for many other reasons (I want to do something for India, etc.). But the thing that scares me the most is that I might lose my independence and freedom once I am there.. I finished my engineering and then came to the US for a PhD, so I have no idea about office and family politics.. Both my sisters are married and warn me against that! 😛 They think I’ll be a fool to leave a comfortable life and return to India. And ironically, one of them is settled in Canada and the other in India. So, I can’t even say that its the ‘grass always looks greener on the other side’ syndrome for them.
    I guess moving back to India is a hard decision, because life there is still not easy.. And in the career path that I’ve chosen, professional satisfaction is also relatively low.. But then, at the end of the day, you have to figure out what’s more important. There are people who decide to move back, and there are people who decide to stay. I think an important thing would be to not think of the other alternative once you decide on something. Because in this case, the ‘what if’ scenarios would only make things worse!

    • Pepper said

      Yes a lot of people I know speak on the same lines and warn us against moving back..Life there is certainly not easy. But ultimately it comes down to choosing what is important to you. The easy life here, or the people there.
      What you said in the end is absolutely true. Once the decision is made, thinking of the other alternative and burdening yourself with the ‘what if’ scenario is pointless and only adds to your misery..

  5. R's Mom said

    Awww! Pepper hugs darling…One thing – Come back to India if you are absolutely sure about it…I live in Mumbai…parent in Goa and In laws in Calcutta so go through the same thought process as yours…in my case as well..RD is not as attached to his family as I am and he is very clear that he will never shift back to Calcutta…and in laws are very clear they will never leave calcutta (dont blame them…Mumbai can be overwhelming to some people and here they have no friends, language problem blah blah blah) so even in India if you are absolutely sure its going to be Mumbai, only then come back 🙂

    Hugs dear and I hope you get to do what is right for you n Mint:)

    • Pepper said

      You’re right R’s Mom. Moving back to India does not solve the problem for me, unless I make sure I move to Mumbai. But that again, is not easy.
      Thanks! Hugs! 🙂

  6. Don’t overthink it, babe. If it is meant to happen, it will. If not, look at the bright side, for all that you are missing in India, you have a choice that many Indians would die for. And why feel selfish for finding your peace? If you don’t feel patriotic, that is great. Personally I feel your loyalty and patriotism should belong to the country that puts bread on your plate.


  7. This looks like my story girl, I feel each sentense you mentioned is true in my case. Replace mumbai with bangalore and Chennai with Hyderabad, rest all are exactly same…I know how tough it is to decide on the when part. Big hugs to you..

  8. Difficult choices, difficult decision. I always say nothing is planned as of now. Because quite simply, it is not.

    • Pepper said

      I suppose living with nothing planned is what makes me all the more jittery :(..Setting a deadline and knowing i’ll move back by then is more peaceful for me..

  9. Sig said

    It’s hard isn’t it…weighing up the options – heart says one thing and head the other. I always find a simple pros/cons list helps me see it clearly – perhaps that might help as well??

    • Pepper said

      We’ve made many lists.. even taken it to excel spreadsheets to analyse it properly .. 😀 But in the end, I need to do what our heart says ..

  10. It’s a tough choice and don’t you feel guilty about weighing pros and cons.

    The issue is complex enough without bringing patriotism into it. I’ve always found the you’re-more-loyal-if-you-are-here argument amusing. I mean, if I chose to stay back, it’s for personal reasons! and again, if I want to move elsewhere, the reasons are personal. I’d really like to know just how many of us think I’m-patriotic-so-im-here when we have to make a decision. Sometimes, it’s for the partner that we make a move, sometimes for better opportunities, sometimes for family that we stay back. Where does the Indian flag come into all this? I like it here, the work that I want to do is here and I’m here. That doesn’t give me the right to pretend I’m more of a citizen because I live here.

    • Pepper said

      Actually, I don’t know how much I will agree with that Yes, most people are in India for personal reasons. But a lot of them are there because of lack of choice, and some because they truly feel patriotic. I don’t know.. when I was growing up, I was quite passionate about our country and disliked those who left the nation and moved to greener pastures. Because I think, each person contributes to the system and makes a difference. So if you really care about the motherland, you will want to work there, let your intellectual abilities be a resource to your own nation, you will pay taxes to your own nation, you will vote in your own nation, you will do your bit and strive for improvement in every way possible. And the Indian flag comes in the midst of all these aspects. And people who do all this and serve India are more of a citizen than I am, I think. Just my thoughts..

      But like I said, somewhere along the line, I lost that passion I had for India. So I just mentioned that in passing, that what once used to be a motivating factor for me, no longer is. Of course we wouldn’t base any decisions on that.. 🙂

      • I don’t think we disagree here. My point was on pseudo-patriotism, the ones that choose to stay back for their *own* reasons and then throw the I’m-patriotic card to others who leave. I live here, because I want to. And if I tell you that I’m somehow more patriotic for it, it’s a lie. Where does devotion to my country figure in this personal choice I made? I was merely saying that when staying and leaving are done for purely personal reasons, it would be better to leave that P word alone.

        My point was not at all about people who consciously have it as a priority to stay and give back to their own nation.

  11. RR said

    Hi Pepper,

    I have been following your blog for a few months now. I find it almost strange how similar our lives are. I too am incredibly close to my family. As long as I was with them we did almost everything together.. I would actually have to turn down friends when they asked me out to movies because my crazy movie buff family had already seen it together. A few years ago I fell in love with a guy in the US and moved here… on the condition that ‘we move back someday’.

    I can say that the past 3 years have been quite hard on me emotionally. The 1st year i spent missing him because he was here and i was there. the next 2 years have been spent missing my parents and my brother every single day. I actually talk to my mom twice a day, every day. I havent seen them since last July and I choke up every time i think about that. I wont be able to visit India right now because of some stamping issues. My parents might come over in Aug for a month and I am delighted to see them and sad at the same time because my little brother wont come along…

    Now for the past few months we have been genuinely trying to move back. It looks like things might actually work out and we might move back at the end of the year. Yesterday i was plagued by all the concerns you mentioned in your post and when I read your post this morning I realised that i just had to post a comment. My husband has lived in this country for about 8 years and I am the primary reason we are considering a move back. He isnt as close to his family as I am to mine. So yes, I worry that this move might not be easy for him. The long work hours, the traffic, the pollution – I hate that he will have to go through all of that. It will be easier on me because I was in India till just 2 years ago.

    But I cant imagine a lifetime of seeing my parents once every year. I CANNOT pine for an entire year just to see them for a few weeks. We might not go back to same city they are in, but knowing they are a 2 hr flight away is also more than enough for me right now. I want my mom to be able to visit me whenever she wants! She shouldnt have to travel 30 hours to do that.

    Anyway, if I actually move back this year, I will let you know how it goes 🙂


    • Pepper said

      Hi RR, I totally get all that you’re saying. Missing him when he was in the US, missing family when you move to the US with him, the visa stamping issues, the concerns about moving back to India, and all of it. Living here or not is a hard choice, but I am glad you’ve made a decision. Please do let me know how the move goes. Your perspective would help me a great deal 🙂

  12. scorpria said

    From the past three year’s experience let me say: if you’re coming to India, please do live in the state you belong to (which again in your case, is tough).

    Being a Keralite in Karntaka has given us such awful “racist” experiences if I may call it. Being a second citizen in your own country is appalling! I wonder why people complain of racism when they move out of India.

    And I personally think it’s totally OK to take them to the US if they’re willing — but NOT the 6 month shuttle.

    Just bringing my parents from kerala to karnataka was a big deal — they weren’t sure they’d fit in, they’d miss their relatives and friends, et al. but ultimately for them too, being with their children, suraj included, was more important. They dont miss trivandrum/relatives/friends anymore. And like Mint, Suraj’s more attached to my parents than his own — and is not even half as close with his as i’m with mine.

    Why don’t you discuss this with your parents? 🙂 Your ‘someday’ may get closer 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Being in the same state is ideal of course..but I don’t know how much it will work .. And I have discussed this with my parents a a lot times, I only end up confusing them when I present so many points of view. When I think of what they truly want though, I know they’ll be really happy if I move back 🙂

  13. Preethi said

    Same situation here Pepper. Now that we have a kid, I feel that we should go back to India and stay closer to my parents. Inspite of the same hectic/bad work culture in Singapore, husband still doesnt want to move back. Some of my friends who moved back to India advise me to stay here only…so I am very confused about this. As you said…I keep thinking that someday we will move back.

  14. I can relate to this post, though I haven’t been in exactly the same situation as yours…I stay with OH at Bangalore, while my parents stay at A’bad. It sometimes freaks me out to be leading a life without my family, but they always have the option of moving in with us. The OH is also ready to shift to either A’bad or Mumbai provided he gets a good job offer. As of now, we don’t know where we will be tomorrow. But I am overall happy with my life in Bangalore, I feel life sans parents has taught me a lot. I used to lead a kinda protected, irresponsible life back home and I value what this experience of living in a new city has taught me. I don’t want to sound selfish – I would love to live with my parents in the same city – but this has helped me grow as a person and I treasure that.

    I am a single child, so it makes it all the more tough to see my parents facing their problems alone at A’bad. Also, it is incredibly tough managing a work-life balance alone here (we stay away from in-laws), but we are managing somehow. I know it will have to change once we decide to have kids.

    I agree with what Bikram has to say. I don’t have any rights to comment on your decisions, but I feel your kids will defly have a better future there.

    • Pepper said

      Life sans parents does teach you a lot. Totally agree with you there. We learn to step out of the safe cocoon built around us..
      I do know our kids will have a better life here.. which is what makes the decision so hard.. But I know ultimately, I will want to move back.. sooner or later.

  15. soulmate said

    Though I have never stayed outside India for a long time, but I am sure a lot of Indians who are currently living abroad, feel the same. They want to move back ‘someday’, yet undecided. Lot of pros and cons are involved in it. But as they say, take life as it comes.. Dont be too stressed out because of this. There are a lot of good things that life has to offer while you are in US.. so look at it from a positive point of view.. Take care.. 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Thanks Soulmate. I really need to learn to let go of the stress, and for that I have to stop thinking. Taking each day at a time is the key. I hope I learn. 🙂

  16. i think fixing a timeline is difficult..life has a way of planning things out!!!

  17. neha said

    Could totally relate to the post! When I came to the US for studying, I always knew I wanted to settle here..but after staying here for a few years, I kind of knew I wanted to go back to India. The saddest part of staying here is meeting parents once a year. This arrangement just does not click in my head. Life in India is tough, definitely, but I always think of it as.. I grew up in India, stayed there for 22 years and I never remember being unhappy staying in India because of the tough life. Then, I came here and realised that life is far too easy..easier than what I would like to be. There is too much of indulgence in almost everything here…and for some reason that bothers me. My decision to move back got strengthened when I met S (the husband). He vehemently wants to go back. And even if We dont get to stay in the same state as our parents back in India, meeting them would just be a matter of couple of hours travel as against almost 24 hours, coupled with visa stuff, vacations and humongous airfare as of now.
    So yes, “someday” in my case is 1.5 years (at the max 2 years) 🙂
    I hope you solve your confusion as well 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Okay, so I know what you’re saying and I am glad you understand how sucky the ‘once a year’ arrangement is..And that is precisely my point.. we’ve grown up in India.. and before we experienced this life, we were happy in India. Happiness after all, is not a place, it is a state of mind..
      So good to know your someday is definite. 🙂

  18. Scribby said

    surely a tough call peppy when both sides you have lots of positives 😦 but I think you said it yourself…at the end of it what matters most to you is your people…I think that could be the first step to start planning things out,yeah? HUGS babes..hope you sort it out pretty soon to come out of that restlessness !

  19. Pixie said

    it’s the same here, K likes it here and he isn’t close to his family at all and I am close to mine… the only small consolation is that my sister is also here in US…
    But, I came here with a short term plan – hence on dependent visa.. because I want to go back to Bangalore… I miss home, I miss my city…
    I will be close enough to my folks then as usual (both sets of parents live in mysore, so that’s easier for K)

    • Pepper said

      You seem to be quite sorted already. And from what I know, you haven’t lived in the US for too long. Its easier to make decisions at this stage. The longer you stay, the harder it gets to leave. Hugs back!

  20. The Bride said

    Arrgh V and I have been having the same conversation. I am the one who doesn’t want to move back, he is the one who wants to move back. My reasons for not moving are the same as the ones you stated in the third paragraph. I have made my peace with living here, especially after having a kid. The reason being in addition to a very non-stressful work life and safe city, I have a great domestic helper here. I could never get that kind of help in India, nor would I get a job that pays me this much to do this little work, nor would I ever have this sense of safety and security. My child would see his grandparents amd I would see my parents (though my parents and I have made our peace with the distance and frankly HK is only a five hour flight away and in two years I can get my parents permnanet residency here so visa wouldn’t be an issue). But what is the point of that, if we, the couple, are stressed out in our day-to-day lives? What is the point when my kid gets molested in the street as is an everyday reality in India? The crime rate is so high in India, any little thing erupts into a violent fight, the police cannot be relied on. I know I sound like a firang here, but only when you get out of India you realise that life doesn’t have to be like that, constantly on edge. If I move back and something happens to my kid, I will never forgive myself because I had an option, knew better and still went back.

    It doesn’t help that if I move back I will move to Bangalore, not Bombay where I grew up and where my parents are. So the difference is a 2-hour flight, versus a 5-hour flight, though of course cheaper to fly within India. I do not personally see it as a big advantage.

    The main reason I would move back is that I know that when my parents are unable to take care of themselves I would have to. I will not move them here – although if they are permanent residents here healthcare is free – because they would not be happy here. And because I have a child, I cannot uproot my child mid-education. Therefore I have to either move now when my child is small or after 20 years when he finishes his education. I don’t know if my parents will stay healthy for the next 20 years so I’m thinking I would have to move now. Looking after my parents in their old age – that is the ONLY reason I would move.

    • Pepper said

      Whoa.. The Bride is here! Hi! I’ve lurked around your place for a while now 🙂 ..
      And your comment.. what do I say? I only hope Mint does not read it. If he does, he’ll tell me ‘See, I told you..’ He tells me exactly all this whenever I talk about moving back.. and unfortunately, I have no answers to give him. None at all. Just an irrational desire to be close to my family.. thats all…

  21. kr said

    After livinghere for 30yrs, we are moving back. It’s bittersweet to leave kid’s and go but that was the plan, to retire in India. Parents are old and now require our services. The distance for one never bothered me, yearly trips to india satisfied me. Both of us were close ot our parents and we didn’t really think we could move to any 1 city , and staying in a 3rd city didn’t make sense , so we choose to stay in the US , it is after all 24 hrs away , thats all !!!.

    Been back for 3 months in india nad realized we hated it there, didn’t get to see parents as often as we wanted and travel is real real realy a hassle there since both sets of parents live in remote ( kind of ) places a plane/train + bus/car ride away. They hate it in the cities and travel there takes a day and half.
    So int he end the grass always looks greener in the other side. I long for my home in the US , however we will make a go of it in india 🙂 or atleast try 🙂

    As for granparents and kids.. even in india when growing up we saw our GP’s once a yr fo rsummer… so no big deal there, my kids saw their grandparents every summer and believe me that’s much better than daily 🙂

    my grand kid will visit us in india every summer…which will belovely but i also enjoy the free time the restof the months…

    • Pepper said

      I can imagine the bittersweet feeling. 30 years is a very long time..
      Yes, being in India for family’s sake doesn’t make sense if you are not in the same city. In my case, I really want it to be the same city.. I don’t want my kids to see their grandparents just once a year. It doesnt seem good enough for me. Maybe cos I lived in the same house as my paternal granndmom and a stones throw away from my maternal grandmom. I know what a difference that has made to my life. .. 🙂

      I hope you settle in India with ease… 🙂

      • kr said

        I hope you get want you want and your kids get the same happiness you get with granparents. you can make anything happen if you try hard enough 🙂

        What i want ideally is for my aged parents and in-laws to live together with us , if our move back is to be worthwile .. I know it will happen only in my dreams ,but WTH i can dream right. failing that i really don’t feel like negotiating india at this age 🙂 no offense but we plan to settle in pune and boy do they spit there… ugggh there is absolutely no sense of cleanliness…there is not 1 sq ft of street where there is no spit ( no exaggeration) and however clean i keep my house and rule that street footwear doesn’t cross the threshold, the thought of slipping my feet into those chappals grosses me out , i live on tennis shoes outside andlook like a fool wearing it with salwars 🙂
        for some reasonthis is my pet peeve and the one reason i want to move back !!!!! ok i’ll go i now sound like a weird old lady .. oh that and the fact i miss my lovely backyard garden and a set of plants onthe balcony is no replacement

        • Pepper said

          Having parents and in laws live together is really the ideal situation, but it rarely works. So we got to work around that. Of course you can dream. I do too. 🙂 I can imagine the reverse culture shock happening to you, what with all the spitting and the filth, the lack of space, lack of greenery. But unfortunately that is how it is. With time, you might learn to live with those aspects and they might not bother you as much. I am not sure if that kind of apathy or tolerance is good, but that is what allows you to live in that environment. I truly, truly hope India starts picking itself up and changing for the better. While you are there, maybe you can do your bit, in some way or the other..

          You will adjust with time, hopefully. Meanwhile, please don’t hesitate to come back here each time you want to rant 🙂

  22. Deboshree said

    I can understand how it feels Pepper. It always get muddling when you have some many POVs to consider, so many apprehensions, so many what ifs and what nots. Arriving at a conclusion can then get hard. In your position, I would have felt much the same. I have never been too inclined to make such a radical – over the seven seas – shift and being an only child, don’t want to live so far from my parents after marriage. Now that you have been living out for so many years, you have naturally got used to the life there. Getting back for you is alluring for emotional reasons, at the very least. But then getting back would have no proximity to your hometown anyhow – in the long run, there isn’t much difference between staying away in US and staying away in India.
    I like the deadline though. I hope it, or some of it, comes true some day. 😀

    • Pepper said

      Everything does seem so muddling because of the numerous POVs we’ve had to consider. But I haven’t been living outside India for too long, which is why I want to move back at this stage, because the transition might not be too hard. If I think of moving back after another 10 yrs, that might just add more complications..
      I hope we set the deadline soon now ..

  23. […] I miss the home we had, I miss the people there, but I am happy here. More than happy. I remember writing this post one night after dinner, after I had just finished talking to my parents. I remember looking at our home in the Bay Area […]

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