Returning to India - A woman's perspective (Priya)


I am writing to offer a few comments on the article written in Feb, 1998 on returning to India from the USA. As a second generation NRI (my parents were born in India and came to Singapore in the late 1950's/early 60's), it was heartening to read a refreshing point of view on living in India, and very close to my own heart. I have lived all over the world-mainly the West and Singapore-from childhood to adulthood, and can fully identify with the stages of emotion/states of mind the author went through about living in India before and after the move. Though I am not in a situation of living in India permanently, In the last four years, I have spent long periods there continuously ranging from 6 months to one year.

While I love India for many reasons-the spiritual awareness / opportunity for growth, the novelty of being an Indian among Indians, al the cons of living in India became painfully aware over time --- very painfully in my case, as a single female with a child (husband working overseas). As a woman, the situation is even worse. A woman has no status if a man- her man-is not in sight. Yes, it is impossible to function without a network of relatives even for the simplest of things. And if these relatives decide to use your "plight" to bully you, woe betide you. Goods are expensive, and schools --- the bribes for the "good" ones are exorbitant, and then of course, here too , they want to see a man-father/grandfather etc.

In a land that claims to revere women, and in many family settings, does, it treates it women dismally and accords them a very poor or non-existent status publicity. I too had thought of leaving my child with his grandparents to go to school there --- learn Indian cultural values and all that, but now I am not so sure.

I have a suggestion for the author. If he hasn't already moved back, and wants to be out of, but close to India, he could consider Singapore. Of course, there are drawbacks here too-small place, very stressful academically even for small kids, but materially everything that is available in the US is here too-albeit, a little more expensive. Also safe, crime free. Would like to know if author finally moved back to US or stayed in INDIA?

The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.


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