Misplaced Nostalgia

With big dreams, with full imagination, and with an empty pocket, he left India.

“Success”, he told himself when he landed in USA; he was twenty-six.

Since he was a little kid, just like every other kid in his town, his ambition was to go overseas. That is how he was raised.

The culture, the people, the society, and the way everybody was …… everything was different, very different. The life in California was not what he had imagined.

But, he adapted.

It was a big adjustment over the years, many compromises at every turn. In spite of all that, he did not complain much; after all this was his own decision – going abroad.

All those days, all those years  in America, he felt homesick. He missed the life he had left behind. The childhood memories, the old friends, the open fields – he often day-dreamed the life that used to be.  At times, he felt empty inside. He wished he could go back; go back to his real home, his real life.

He worked hard. He made lots of money; a lot of money if you think in Indian Rupees.

The recession came; he lost his job – the high paying engineering job he took for granted. He looked for another job, half-heartedly. No luck. Perhaps he was secretly wishing not to work in US anymore.

“May be this is a sign from the God! My be I belong back home – in India,” he thought, he rationalized.
“My own people, my own culture, my own skin tone, my own mother tongue – that is my place; that is where I should be!” The recession made it easier for him to decide – it was time for him to go back. It was time to cure his nostalgia permanently.

Eight years older, moustache missing and 25 pounds heavier, he arrived in his home town. The town, however, was not the same as he had left behind. The side-streets where he wandered aimlessly, the school where he learned to day-dream, the grocery store around the corner, the peepul tree next to the pond, the pond itself…. were all gone. He could hardly recognize any of it. Everything had changed. The friends, the neighbors, the neighbors’ houses, the relatives, the relatives’ affection – nothing was the same anymore.

Everybody had moved on with their own lives. The time moves on; it never waist for anyone.

He was stranger in his own town. The traces of his old life – everything he was nostalgic about, were long gone.

Now, he was an outsider. The life and the town he had left behind had moved on. He lived in the ‘new’ town missing the ‘old’ place – the place of his youth, the place of his childhood. It felt like a different place altogether.

He came back from America for something that he had missed so dearly all those years, but it was not there anymore. It was not anywhere other than in the figments of his own memories.

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One Reply to “Misplaced Nostalgia”

  1. #Why many brilliant brains of India are being migrated to foreign contries every year?
    #What is wrong with India and what is good with countries like USA and all?
    #Does india lacks a good education system? If it is, can’t we change the system?
    #Why cant we create employment oppurtunities here in india?
    #Aren’t we having good resorces to make our country self-sufficient?
    #Are there no possibilities of establishing industries in India?
    #Are we not responsible for our political system on which we always blame on for leaving India?
    Many questions…

    *We have all the answers, but most of us are not willing to take the test. We grow up and acquire our knowledge here. Then we go to foreign countries to serve them, we make them rich, richer and richest. We feel like we are getting rich by earning dollars, but the fact is we are making a huge loss to our nation. ASSOCHAM estimated that the hundreds of thousands of Indian students now studying abroad cost India as much as US $17 billion a year in lost revenue. According to an estimation, India loses $2 billion a year because of emigration of computer experts to USA. Developed countries attracting the citizens of developing countries by high salaries and using their skills for themselves. The USA remains the most popular destination for Indian students and is still perceived to provide the most prestigious and valuable credentials of all study abroad destinations. The US still attracts more than half of all Indian students going abroad to study. Most of them rely on scholarships or other financial assistance to fund their education, but the study notes that many Indian students pursuing degrees abroad are taking on heavy financial burdens and debt to do so. Not just USA, our indians go to serve many other countries like Saudi, London, Dubai, Canada, Australlia, Germany and many other.

    *Though there is corruption in India, leaving the country for selfish benefits will not make the condition better. If we have the right to complain, then it is we who must do to rectify the problems. If our own home is dirty, we don’t go and live in other people’s houses. Do we? Instead, we try to make our own home clean. Staying in this country and utilising the skills that we’ve obtained from this country is the only way one can achieve satisfaction and also contribute to our country’s growth. If the value of rupee is fast falling, then it is we who must work so that it reaches at level with dollar. Becoming rich by converting dollars to rupees shows selfish motives. If we are born Indian, then we ought to serve India. We owe each and every molecule of ourselves to this country. When we’ve come of age to serve this country, we try to run away. Why? Hasn’t this country done enough for us? Now, we must do something for it.

    *Indians must utilize their knowledge and skills for India to make our India as developed country. India has the 2nd largest pool of doctors, engineers and scientists but unfortunately they work for other countries! Half of the electronic & software industry and more than 30% of the medical field of USA is dependent on Indian born engineers and doctors. India is more talented than any other countries and you will get proof about it if you have a good knowledge about Indian history. If all Indians utilize their skills for India, India will be the top most developed country in the total world. Because India has much skilled manpower. We are born in INDIA, our nation made us. I wish every one to to show gratitude towards our nation. I’m not pitting against achieving higher education in abroad, but after completing education one must return back to India. But most of the emigrant intellectuals refuse to return. If we do not change this trend now, the rich nations will always be rich and India will be poor like always.

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