“When I was in the air, falling down to the ground at more than a hundred miles per hour – I thought to myself, ‘Gee, this is the end of me.’” Said my cousin Arun dipping the samosa in the imli chutney.
I find NRIs pretentious. Well, there are two types of NRIs. I find one of them pretentious. The other type, I kind of love. The other type is the Amrish Puri in DDLJ. Gaon ki mitti, kuan ka paani etc. If you haven’t lived abroad, you wont understand that these are actual things. The soil in India does smell so sweet. The air too smells of something. There is science behind this and not just emotions. India is a tropical country, there is just more life per cubic meter here. That is how nature planned it.
But I digress. Let me talk about the pretentious type. The one that jumps off cliffs for bungee jumping, but finds the trains in Mumbai too, umm, unsafe! I have never had a need to get the thrill of bungee jumping, I might do it for the novelty, but the thrill of nearing death, well, that we Indians have in plenty – Catching a bus, crossing the road, sitting in the cycle rickshaw. Yes. We don’t need any of your ropes and cliffs to feel that rush.
This type also complains about how expensive everything is in India. Well, the last time you visited was in 1997 and yes, things have become dearer since then in a country that has high inflation. But did you also notice that people earn a lot more now. While your dad used to earn 16,000 back then, that is the salary most car drivers would refuse to work on today! So yes, things are going to sound more expensive, but considering the salary hikes, its not so bad.
|Source: Google Images|
They then complain about roads being pot hole ridden, not having enough space, the size of everything being small (this is typical of US NRIs). I want to tell them that there is a reason. There are more people and less money here. That is how I have a driver for my i10 while your 30 lakh SUV has to be driven by you. I don’t have to clean my dishes, or do my laundry, I have someone to help me out. Note that I said – have and not want. Coz you can do whatever you want in this country. And isn’t that really the point of life?
I feel the NRIs are always trying to justify why they are staying abroad. They want to justify canned fruits and cold cereal breakfast with potholed road. They want to justify having no domestic help with no dust abroad.
I remember something that I read somewhere – You will have many houses, big and small, many job offers, but only one home town and one house that you grew up in.