Tuesday, July 12, 2005

50 Today…& Living Abroad

I never thought I’d touch this landmark in my blogging world. I am extremely pleased with myself for being a regular, laziness has often got in my way and I’ve left a lot of things that were 'Well Begun but Half Done'! Not this blog! I intend to continue it cause it is just about opening a new world for me.

What should I post as my 50th post, I gave it a thought and decided to post a small writing of mine. I had given a shot at blogging sometime last year and gave it up! This was a small post of mine that I had written wondering what would it be like if I lived abroad ?

More on it after this post:

I Love My Life Staying Abroad…

Hey I’m just like most of you all today. Ya I’m staying abroad in the US of A, my friends are here too, studying in various fields, some majoring in medicine, some doing a PhD in computer science, some working, some married and settled with their hubbies.

We all know or rather believe that India’s under/post graduation system is not upto world standards. The truth and yes as always, is bitter. So I chose to write my own destiny, not get caught in the dirty bureaucracy surrounding Indian education system, leave my land, family and friends and come here to succeed. To educate myself, and but of course, earn big bucks.

The system is absolutely great here, excellent facilities, huge campuses, excellent profs, everything is wi-fi connected. It’s a world I couldn't have dreamt of in India.

I’m living on my own (freedom from my family, taunting mumma and papa ; and irritating sis/bro); I do my own dishes( how I would crib about it when I was home) and manage to cook( no ways who misses mum’s food). I use canned foods or artificial masalas (I do not miss the taste of my nani’s masala) After all I’m in a modern country living an ultra-modern lifestyle.

On weekends we drive down to other friends’ places and get-together on festive occasions like Diwali, Ganapti. Holi.This will pretty much be my routine for the rest of my life if I plan to spend it here…

My mumma & papa complain they miss me, I do too, but I’m doing it for them only. They won’t shift here, but we will visit each other once a year.

For 21 years I saw them... everyday of my life,
Now for the rest of my life I’ll see them..Once a year

I remember the day we got our SSC results, we girls had a blast, I topped and threw a party. At home, mumma had made cutlets kheema pattice, wafers, and what not. After SSC, Graduation is most important for any student. But when we got our engineering results; none of us were together to celebrate our graduation as we all had started our post-grad courses and obviously we had no time!

My papa-mumma called to congratulate, I could not see their tears of joy or their proud smiles.

I was well-known for my cricket craziness in college, especially since I was the only girl who followed the game so passionately. I never missed a match at Wankhede. It’s been four years since I’ve been to the stadium. I dunno for how long I won’t see one again at the stadium…

Hey, you know what my childhood friend is getting married, I’ve known her for 20 years now but I can’t attend her wedding, well no holiday; just started a course…

My best friend from engineering days is tying the knot, he has been my best friend among guys for years now, and we have had a blast, but I just visited India a year back, and can’t again.
Will miss his wedding too…

It’s my wedding, I’ve dreamt of it for years, but certainly not this way; I will be in India for only 3 weeks and get back here again. I have not done any of my shopping, mum and sis have done everything. Have no clue how Indian weddings happen, the preps and festivities behind it. I’ve had no time to be there that long. My friends can’t make it cause they are all occupied with their jobs and work. It was a hurried wedding, cause we could not delay it further!...

My younger sister is getting engaged, the only one who has been close to me. She and I used to fight like crazy, cannot believe she is getting engaged. I can’t attend it, cause my job does not permit me so many holidays and trips to India. I cried my heart out to nani on the day of her engagement; but what am I cribbing about, my hubby and I chose to live here, did we not?...

It's Diwali, the entire family is having a get-together, my sister was describing the shopping and the gifts everyone has got, I’m missing my brothers, it is Bhaubij, they are missing me too but they all are together and I’m not there...

My school pal needed us girls everywhere, the smallest of shopping, the minutest of things, today she is doing everything by herself, and not once has she complained to few of us here that she will miss us at her wedding and wedding preps. She says she has accepted the fact that we are not there, she knows we miss her and feel terrible about it, but neither can she nor we do anything about it, so no point cribbing, But she keeps sending mails, describing every little stages of her wedding preparations, she sounds so excited. Hey is it that big, I too got married but I never experienced that!

It’s her important day, she wants to enjoy it without such thoughts; we all wish we were there, we can’t be.

Why? Cause we chose not to…

My other sis is in UK, she just had a little baby, her parents could enjoy the joy of their grandchild only for a month and they do not know when they will meet her next, once a year maybe and the little kid will never know what grandparents are like! She won’t even know her mausi; who could not be there for her birth, naming ceremony, her first birthday, I do not know if I will ever attend her b-days or keep merely sending her gifts through the internet and make phone calls.


I remember my b-day when the whole house was filled with my family, my mama-mamis, chacha-chahis, mausi, sis-bros, friends; now it’s always me and my roomies, or maybe a few batchmates, colleagues at work…

Mumma-papa-sis-bro all call. It’s great hearing their voices. I dunno when I will see them, work is getting hectic, trips getting postponed…

My mum recalls all the events in her life with so much glitter in her eyes, her life today is complete, the memories will stay with her forever, she can recall each event as if it was happening in front of her right now.

I have only voices to recall, cause I’ve not met my closest ones in years...

I’ve missed all the important events in their life; and will keep doing so...

I know they understand...


Ya I chose it, the great education and money abroad...

What am I complaining about?


Now for some reality check, I’m very much in India and never went abroad. I was feeling awfully bad that few of my closest family members and friends had missed my engagement and some of them would be missing my marriage too.

I wrote that piece placing myself in their shoes and thinking about life there. The writing flowed in cause as much I felt bad and missed them at such an important day in my life I knew they’d be feeling worse than me.

However, at the end of the day all I could tell myself was, Minal, Such is Life!

13 comments:

Anshul said...

Ouch!! Thats kinda harsh. You make going abroad sound like a crime :-D. Either that or I misunderstood something. I'm sure your relatives and friends (including me) who missed your wedding are going to feel real good after reading this one. Hehe!! Wow are u pissed or what :-D.

Minal said...

No that's surely not what I intended. I could never hurt you folks.

As I said, it flowed cause I missed you guys n'gals bad at an important event in my life.

Not pissed at all.

Cause probably if some of thm get married there(which u will!;-))I'll be feeling terrible about not being there...

After all life is nothing but the choices we make..not everything is perfect...:-)

Minal said...

And it's all about what we feel is important in life to us. Not everyone might agree to this...
As I said I would feel it, if I were abroad.

Agreed life is great there but would it not be more wonderful if you had your loved ones around too, and you are few of those to be that lucky:-))

Sandeep said...

Hehe... I just LOVE stories with a twist. Well done!

Minal said...

Thanks;-)

Minal said...

Thanks;-)

Anshul said...

Ah ok. Now that u put it that way I feel better :-D. Yeah sure I miss people back in India. Luckily I have my folks here in the US whom I see twice a year since even though we are on the same continent it takes 6 hours one way. The travel is relatively cheap but with the PhD stipend and the amount of work at hand, twice a year is the best I can do. But still its much better than having them back in India. I feel like they are right here. Hopefully soon travel gets faster and easier and then we all will feel closer.

Sublime Thoughts said...

Fantastic Minal...I completely echo your views..seriously at the end of the day its the choice that we make..hmm...

Minal said...

Thanks Mr. Sublime Thoughts for your thoughts:-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that IS harsh! Found your post via desipundit. I'm an American living in the UK because there are experiences and work here that I simply can't get at home. Why should I spend the rest of my life in the stifling midwestern town where I happened to be born, or even anywhere within 500 miles of that horrible bible belt, simply because my family is there? My high school and college friends now live in every corner of the U.S., no more than two in any given city. I know you miss your loved ones, and so do I, but are you saying you'd prefer everyone to never move too far from their birthplace? To never dream of better jobs, higher-quality living, funky friends and fab experiences elsewhere? It seems you're painting those people as unforgivably selfish for wanting something different than what they were born to.

Minal said...

First of all if you leave comments on someone's blog, be brave enough to leave your name, identity.
Secondly it's one facet of living abroad and third it's my blog ,these are my views, I don't post so that everyone agrees to mine.

@mit said...

Minal - first of all - great Post... just for the flow of thoughts than anything else --- it sounded more like the "mind" which can go frm one thought to another in less than a blink. THAT makes your post wonderful to read. Good Job.

I am one of the "desi in vides" guy for the past 5 years - not studued here but work here anyways -- originally from Pune, but now "un"settled in Minneapolis, USA. I can relate to most of the rantings of yours. While we were in college we had performed in a drama for "purushottam karandak" in Pune which touched the theme of NRIs. How the "guy" always wants to go abraod....goes there starts feeling homesick.... parents miss him.... to bring him back they marry him off to a "homely" girl from India who loves her country.... she tells him on the first night that they will move back to India ASAP.... he promises ... they sepnd a year in the US and the tables turn.... he wants to go back and she does not.... WHAT DO YOU SAY?

Minal said...

Hi Amit,

Thanks for the comments. It's nice to hear from someone from Pune, my favourite city after Mumbai.

I've heard about the "Purshottam Karandak" from my friends in Pune, some even participated in it. I think it's one hell of a competition. I've liked the stories people have explored through the plays staged. Very interesting and is so in sync with Pune's theatre and Marathi culture.

Interesting thoughts u put fwd. Let me think, she was never exposed to that kind of freedom and independance and the love for it exceeded the one for loved ones. After all life is about the choices we make, our thoughts change and so did hers?