Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Coming to India - Part I - Reasons for moving

It has been more than 6 months since we relocated to India from the US. Now that we are a bit settled, I thought I'd share some of the experience. There are 3 parts of this mega blog, since it is too long for one post.

Why we chose to move back to India?
There wasn't any compelling reason to rock the boat, though we could attribute the following reasons that influenced our decision to move.

  • Parents/In-laws getting older, with moderate health risk, staying alone etc. They could no longer travel to the US nor permanently settle down in the US due to other obligations. The extended family support exists, but it was not fair to take their time and energy for several years. Senior homes are only now becoming an acceptable norm, and not so yet in our family.
  • Kids were just 5-year old and we felt they can quickly adapt now than later, to learn a new language, culture and bond with the extended family of cousins, uncles/aunts and others.
  • Personally, it was an opportunity for potentially exciting change, possibility to break from mortgage and health insurance that take over our lives in US. After more than 15 years, it was getting monotonous at work, and my wife could use maid help with household chores, stop driving, find baby-sitters among relatives, and we felt a better work-life balance may be possible. As well, there was a feeling of being able to contribute to our country of origin.
Contrary to popular belief or reasons typically given by others who have returned, we did not feel compelled to return to bring up our girl children in the traditional Indian culture, nor felt school education in India is better since it is focused on academics, nor that we did not fit well with the American culture. We think, and many are now realizing, that India is undergoing a cultural transition with the economic growth, and the new found freedom and change is leaving the young and old confused at this stage - part of growing pains. We were happy with the local schools and our kids performance was very fulfilling. We were not very excited to adopt the spoon feeding and book worm academic approach typical in Indian schools, however "international" they project themselves to be. As well, we felt our mindset fit very well with the American culture, and we have had a lot of friends across ethnic groups in our neighborhood and beyond.

I jumped on an opportunity that came by within the company to relocate to New Delhi, India. It would have been ideal if the position was in my hometown Chennai, but Delhi seemed a good compromise being only 3 hours away by air.

Next... Preparing for departure and settling in Delhi.

Coming to India - Part II & part III

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