Dilemma

It’s been nearly three weeks that I have been here, away from home, again.
The other day, as me and my room-mate were talking, she mentioned, how good it was, that during work opportunities such as these, one gets so much more time to oneself. When one is back home, leading a regular routine life, there are so many more things that one is occupied with, that one rarely manages to find time for self.
It’s not as if she doesn’t want to get back home, nothing would make her as happy, if she’s told to go back tomorrow. You see, she has a 5-yr old daughter eagerly awaiting her return at home 🙂 She just mentioned this matter-of-factly.

It is true I suppose, one does find more time; mainly due to the difference in lifestyle and a lot of other factors – like the absence of the need to surrender to social obligations could be one. But is it worth the sacrifice one has to make? – I voiced my thoughts. Leaving behind one’s family, friends and loved ones, does one really enjoy one’s time and space for self? A short period – may be yes; but I’d say no, when it’s for a longer duration.

So what’s the next best thing to do? – get your loved one/ family along and get away from the conundrum of daily routine life, as so many are increasingly doing these days. Opt for long term onsite assignments from work, shift with bag, baggage and self to a foreign land, with the family in tow.
Here’s where my thoughts begin to get all muddled up.

How happy can one be, staying away from one’s land and one’s people, even if it is a matter of few years?
I see hundreds of folks like that – known, unknown… they’re all here as immigrants, albeit for a short while. They’re quick to assert that they will be returning in another 2-5 years. But how satisfied can one be with this arrangement? I wonder.
It’s nice while it’s novel, if it’s for a short while; but once you start changing your habits – which is essential for the different kind of lifestyle you’d have to lead, won’t it become that much harder to adapt to your own old way of life, once you’re back?

No matter how difficult our society is and the increased pressure we’re subjected to, how content can one be, living amongst a small set of similar people, amidst a population who do not identify with one’s culture, ideas and values?
Taking a simple instance, isn’t one subjected to that feeling of growing distance and a lack of inclusion when one hears of the celebrations back home when there’s a new-born in the family or the wave of nation-wide euphoria when your country wins a cricket match? Is it compensated by the celebration one has out here with a bunch of similar cricket crazy friends at an evening beer party or a cocktail dinner at home?

I could just go on with instances… but my questions would remain unanswered.
I guess, it’s not always out of choice people take the plunge– it could be for various reasons – the most obvious being the increased opportunities available for self/ career development, in academics and education and obviously for money, which would probably take years to be earned if one is back in one’s own country etc.
But it is when I compare these pros with the cons that my thoughts encounter, that I am as confused as ever.

Any answers, anyone?

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7 thoughts on “Dilemma

  1. Hmm..tough one.. but I guess, its like u have to prioritize and decide which one of it u would mind missing more.As they say, U cant have a cake and eat it too:)..

  2. Its 2 years in USA and will be in India on a vacation in March. The initial few months were definitely tough without the family and a new culture.. but have got used to it now.I have almost lost touch with the Indian culture and somehow many of the acts seem strange to me now. Not an exaggeration..but something like bending down and taking the wishes of elders etc.. are seeming strange to me..
    Fingers crossed to see the surprises when I am there 🙂

    Disclaimer : My parents have made it clear that they will not come to US.:D

  3. [smitha] – hmmm…
    [sharada] – it’s only been a few months, let’s see what you say when it’s been a year or two 🙂
    may be u too will sing a tune like Darshan…
    [Darshan] – you’re saying this?? it’s quite incredible… I’m sure there’ll be more than a few surprises when u’re here for vacation! 🙂

  4. I came here through dewdrops blog, going through your archives, hope you don’t mind. I’m in US since 6 years, initially home sickness was there but eventually I got adjusted. Last year I was in India for 5 weeks at the end I was looking forward to come back, I’ve got used to this life so much I can’t take so much expexctations when it comes to socializing and I’m saying all this is in modesty. So I think eventually you find happiness wherever you live.

    • Hi PH and welcome to this space! Of course, I don’t mind a bit 🙂
      Yes, I can understand when you talk about the socializing – having stayed here all my life, I still get overwhelmed with the expectations sometimes. Everything is made into an obligation. But then I suppose that is the price one has to pay for the proximity one enjoys with loved ones and all the other advantages of being in one’s home country. Yes, eventually I guess one learns to find happiness wherever one lives 🙂

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