Being An NRI
Well, the grass always looks greener on the other side. So, those sitting in the familiar environs of their own country, look at their NRI brethren with envy, imagining them in beautiful surroundings with no pollution or rubbish dumps or pot-holed roads or endless traffic jams or being embroiled in religious and political fanaticism or having to stand in ‘not moving’ lines behind counters.
But in the end, the familiarity of your country, the culture and traditions, the warmth and love of the family and relatives, the well-known terrain, the freedom that one has, the food of our choice, the everyday language; all these and more, outweigh all comforts of the other country.
Most NRI’s miss out on the following things, (other than the family of course); things that have been taken for granted by their brethren in India:
The crowd, the sounds, the home-made food, the street food - The crowd, that seems such a ban in India, is missed so much when abroad. The streets and the malls there are mostly empty and vehicles zoom past you on the roads. The thought of going out for an after-dinner walk there is ridiculous.
The sound of vegetable vendors back home, the loud neighbour, the temple bells, the omnipresent loudspeaker blaring Bollywood numbers because of someone’s family function or invariably some election manifesto being announced; is much missed when abroad.
The home-made food, is something that even the die-hard NRI’s miss. Even after one finally gets used to the quiet there, it’s the food that they miss the most.
The thought of just walking through a jostling crowd and eating the local, traditional delicacy from make-shift kitchens on carts, becomes a distant dream.
The easy help - One of the most important people the NRI’s miss, other than family of course, are the various domestic helps easily available in India, who make life so comfortable for us. So, while these NRI’s themselves clean and wash and clear the mess created, they would give anything for the presence of the domestic help from back home.
They miss not only these wonderful people but also the various relatives and friends, who in India would rally around, when trouble tip-toes into one’s life. And so when the NRI’s stand alone in hospitals in alien lands, it’s the relatives and friends they miss most.
The local transport - The fun and ease of clambering onto easily available transports such as, autos and cycle rickshaws for commuting short distances, is sadly missed by NRI’s. If you don't know how to drive there, you become dependent on public transports or on others to drive you.
The happy-go-lucky attitude - While we are not advocating breaking laws, it is easier to handle small offences which get committed by mistake, like entering unknowingly in a one-way street, in your own country. When you are in another country, you are always at tenterhooks about going against the law, for however a trivial matter it may be.
The wise family pandit - The ‘missing home’ factor comes most into play when you want to consult the ubiquitous ‘pandit ji’ on any matter. However advanced we may have become and how much ever we may have imbibed the Western culture, but we need the guidance of an astrologer for any important event - be it for finding auspicious time or date or how to go about a ceremony. Since temples are not common in other countries, the availability of ‘pandit ji’s’ become difficult.
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