Study India Programme (SIP) for NRIs and PIOs

Study India Programme (SIP) for Non-Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin

The Study India Programme (SIP) is sponsored by the Government of India – The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. The program invites the youth of Indian diaspora living abroad. Think of it as a summer school course in an Indian University, a lot different social experience compared to America or Europe.  The foreign citizens of Indian origin in the age-group of 18-26 years can apply and qualify for the short term courses that familiarize them with the Indian art, culture, heritage, history, emerging economy and overall development of India. Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs websites states, “Such short term courses shall aim at providing an opportunity to the overseas Indian youth to better understand and appreciate contemporary India, foster closer ties with the land of their ancestors and enhance their engagement with India.” Continue reading “Study India Programme (SIP) for NRIs and PIOs”

Just a job

“You can easily find an Engineering job in your field in America… no problem for a smart guy like you…”
“There is no shortage of work for Indian Engineers…this is just the fact…”
“You will find something – something good, no problem….”
….. Back home in India, just like any typical Indian family, everybody was full of advice. Everyone had told him that it was very easy to get an engineering job in America.

“You can make lots of money in a few years”, His future father-in-law told him at the time of his engagement 3 years ago. A year after that, he was married to Anu.
He used to be very optimistic about his career in USA, so was the rest of his American family – his in-laws.

He had big dream. After all, nobody dreams small.

Once in US, he was greeted by his wife and her family and they welcome him into their home. His old classmates, now living within driving distance, came to visit him.
He was treated like a guest for many months. However, he soon realized, you cannot be a guest for too long. He had to figure out the next step – the job. With all the expenses and cost of living, he needed a job soon. His parents and siblings back home were already calling to check on him; to see when he might send them some money, like every other NRI does.

After a few months, the tone of the advice changed:
“You just need to try a bit harder, maybe try something in lower pay scale to gain some experience…”
“Find a way to get your foot in the door…”
“My cousin started as a technician; now he is the director of engineering…but they are not hiring…”
“You cannot give up…We never give up…”
“You will find something – may be not that good but something… something good….” Continue reading “Just a job”

Her first job in America

“Are you going to bring the girl with you?” Hira asked right away.
There was a long silence at the other end.
“I was not planning on it.” Rajiv replied.
“Okay” Hira said after a pause.
“I was going to come over by myself this morning….if that’s okay with you.”
“Come on over, we can talk!” Hire said and put down the phone.

Hira Patel got up slowly. Rubbing his eyes, he dragging himself out of the large wooden chair. His dark brown shirt was tucked inside the khaki rumpled pants, over his protruding belly. The receding hairline made him look much older than his age of 45. Warm air from a small electric heater next to the chair made him sleepy; he did not realize he was dozing off.
He looked out of the window into the deserted parking lot. Then, he checked the the coffee pot next to the reception desk and walked back to the chair.

“It is so chilly outside, and it is not even December yet!” Rajiv said as he pushed open the door and walked in.
“Yes, the winter is coming! How are you, Desai Sahib?”
“I am good, not bad. How is the business?” Rajiv walked over, they shook hands.
“Slow, very slow! Nobody is spending like good old days!”
Rajiv looked around.
“Have a seat,” Hira gestured to the empty wooden chair that Rajiv was already walking towards. “Do you want some coffee? It is freshly made.”
“No, no!” Rajiv replied looking at the big coffee pot with white plastic cups and a sugar jar next to it. Continue reading “Her first job in America”

The Tea Time

“Would you like something to drink, sir?” the flight attendant asked with a polite yet firm voice.
“Some tea please,” he replied in a monotone voice.
“Ice tea or hot tea?”
“Oh, I mean hot tea.”
“Do you want anything in it – Milk or sugar?” The attendant inquired again as she poured the tea from a steel jug into a paper cup.
“Both – milk and sugar…”
“Is half-and-half okay?”
“No, I want only a little bit milk in my tea…”
She handed him two tiny cups of creamer, with label- ‘Mini Moo’s, half-&-half’.
“Oh, that’s what you meant by ‘half and half’…!” Before he could finish his sentence, she had already moved on to the next row of passengers.

After deboarding the plane, the passengers collected their luggage and lined up in the ‘Immigration and Customs’ section. Upon his turn, an immigration officer asked him all kinds of questions.
“When were you married?”
“Two years ago.”
“How long did your spouse stay with you in India?” His eyes glued to the computer screen as he continued the inquiry.
“Two week.”
“Is she the one sponsoring you?”
“Yes…sir”
“When was the last time she visited you?”
“Last year”…..
Finally, after a few more questions, he got ushered to a small cubicle where a white female officer with short red hair greeted him
“Welcome to Canada!” She said with a smile, shaking his hand and offering him a seat.
She told him about different facilities available for the new immigrants; she explained the job search options and how to apply for Social Insurance Number, and so on…
Finally he was guided to gather his luggage and follow the ‘Exit’ signs. Continue reading “The Tea Time”

An interview with Anna Hazare

An Exclusive interview of ANNAJI – ‘Father of the Modern India’

This post is a guest contribution from Shweta Nagpurkar Saxena, based on her recent interview with Anna Hazare.

The video is an excellent glimpse into the mind of Anna Hazare. This is an unbiased interview with no strings; straight forward questions with straight forward answers including a vital message for every Indian – home or abroad. As always, Annaji’s message carry a sincere appeal for everybody – to love and support your Motherland no matter where you live.

Here is the Youtube link to Shweta’s interview with Anna Hazare! Continue reading “An interview with Anna Hazare”

Indian diaspora info – all you need to know!

Sometimes, the answer is right under your nose. Most of the times, it is better to eliminate the middleman and go straight to source. This post is intended to lead the horse to the water; drink or not, is up to the horse!

Non Resident Indians, the NRIs – home or abroad – always have so many questions about the rules and regulations that apply to them. Quite often, they start by calling some lawyers – the lawyers that are always bombarding the NRIs with their monotone commercial during Indian TV shows – the middlemen!!

If you visit the National Portal of India website and go to the Indian Diaspora section, you can most likely find the answer to most of your questions – right there, under your nose!

The questions like:

# Can NRIs and PIOs open an account with Indian banks?
# Is registration of NRI marriages compulsory in India?
# What is the fee for applying for PIO card and OCI card?
# Is there a limit to the number of investments for acquiring commercial properties in India?
# How can an NRI or PIO adopt a child in India?
# What is meant by OCB?
# What are the investment options for NRIs in India?

This article introduces you to the website directly – you know, horse and water – rather than cutting and pasting the answers here, use the direct links below for accessing the related info! Pick your own dish – all you can eat, for free!! Continue reading “Indian diaspora info – all you need to know!”

Hinglish – Indian English idioms and phrases – II

As mentioned in many previous posts, spoken English in India is very different as compared to the same language overseas. The Indian English – combined with heavy influence of Hindi and other local languages – is also called Hinglish. There are many related posts on this web-site on Hinglish usage and Hinglish words, and here is another one.

Quite a few commonly used Hinglish words and phrases are listed in the article:Hinglish of India – Indian idioms and phrases. This is the follow-up, part II.

Adding to the previous list, here are some commonly used Hinglish words and phrases:

Equation has changed :- Relationship has changed, e.g. “My equation with my brother has changed.”
Road-side Romeo – Refer to a boys/man waiting near the street entrances to colleges and universities, or to those cruising the city streets in search of women to impress
Rubber :- Pencil eraser
Cent per cent :- 100 per cent
Where do you put up? :- Where are you currently staying?.
Wheatish (complexion) :- Light, creamy brown, or having a light brown complexion.
Flat :- Apartment
Shirt-pant or pant-shirt :- Shirt and Trousers
Tight slap :- Hard slap Continue reading “Hinglish – Indian English idioms and phrases – II”

Double Standard

She had big dreams, her ideology was based on truth, honesty and kindness. But that was a long time ago, that was when she was seventeen. She thought she was special; she was born to do great things; she was born to make a difference. But then again, that was was when she was in high school. She barely new the world out there. She never knew that the rules of kindness, love and truth apply differently beyond the walls of her house.

Somewhere along the way, somewhere in the process of growing up, she left her house to encounter the real world. She was no longer shielded by her family and her loved ones. It was part of her society, it was part of the traditions to move out. She got married; her family tied her knot to an educated man from Canada. Not because they knew him, or she loved him; they married her in the hope that life would be better in Canada. That is what everyone thought, and that is what they believed – she will be better off in Canada, far better off.

But then again, people are not what they appear to be. In the real world abroad, things are very different. The real world is far different than the one based on dreams; the real world where ideology is often talked about but seldom practiced. Most of the people talk big but do little, she soon learned.

In no time, she was exposed to the double standards as she left her father’s house. She saw hypocrisy first hand – day in and day out. The lies, the deceptions, the compromises – everything was at play on her new stage of life. Continue reading “Double Standard”

Plight of a woman in the NRI Marriages

“Indian men are the most ugly men on this planet. Their hearts so ugly that u can not even imagine. I am Indian married to an Indian, the pain and the suffering he has given me and continues to give me, is crazy. Why?……. Indian men in India may be good, Indian men who come to the west are ugly ugly men…may god give me courage to remove this painful lump( my husband) out out of my life forever.. ” Says Katiyani while commenting on this article.

Many parents in India prefer to marry their beloved son or daughter to NRIs.  Their main hopes and wishes for their kids are to see them will settle abroad and prosper. A common man still looks up to the other countries as the ultimate salvation for their offspring.

Yes, arranged marriage is still the most common way to matrimony in India, especially when it comes to marrying abroad. With very little knowledge about a ‘funny dressed’ visitor from the west, people are willing to wed their son or daughter overnight. They don’t want someone else to steal their opportunity – the opportunity of a golden ticket to go abroad.

Marriage is supposed to be a sacred bond, based on mutual love and respect. However, NRI marriages are fundamentally based on greed. It is the greed that results into lifelong headaches for many couples, and heartaches along with it. Continue reading “Plight of a woman in the NRI Marriages”

From desi Hinglish to fluent English

Those of us born and raised in India speak a very different English than the one spoken in Europe or North America or Australia..a plain fact.If you don’t believe, record yourself and listen!Try it!!

And it is natural, we are molded and shaped by our surroundings; we are always influenced by our mother tongue. As a result, the influence of our first language – often Hindi, is naturally present in our English speech, hence the term Hinglish.

On this site – The Indians Abroad, there are quite a few articles that address the usage of Hinglish and how to minimize it. Speaking Hinglish is not a mistake or something to be overly concerned about, it is just a habit – the way we speak in our own neighborhood. Think about it, even Australian spoken English is far different than the American English. The local factors and the local slangs are bound to influence the way we speak.

Hinglish usage is quite common in India, it is natural. No one cares, and no one should, as long as two parties can understand each-other. However, when we speak the same Hinglish abroad, not everybody is able to understand or comprehend the complete meaning, especially for those who are not familiar with desi terms and desi idioms. Continue reading “From desi Hinglish to fluent English”

Useful links and helpful sites for NRIs and overseas living

Useful Websites for NRIs and Indians Living Abroad

This is a summary of online information and useful sites related to NRIs and overseas living. Some of this is general information sites that are useful for Indians living abroad.

Most the sites mentioned are government sponsored or official links in USA, Canada and India; similar information can be easily searched for other countries.

Here is a compilation of all the related online links:

Indian Diaspora and NRIs – General info:

NRIs Investments in India and NRI Banking in India: Continue reading “Useful links and helpful sites for NRIs and overseas living”

Pardesi songs! Best Bollywood songs for the NRIs and Indians abroad!

The best pardesi songs – Best Bollywood songs with NRIs and ‘Indians abroad’ theme!

Pardesi is someone living away form their mother land, living away from home in another country, a foreigner. This article is dedicated to all those pardesi souls and NRIs around the world.

The ‘pardesi songs’ often carry the theme and the emotions of Indians living abroad. Being away from their birth-place, being separated from their loved ones left behind, starting a new life in a new country… and the distance itself – a mixture of emotions come into the picture. There are lots of patriotic songs and good ones too. However, the ones included here are more related to the unique situations of living overseas, rather than regular patriotic songs. Here are some of the best Bollywood songs that many NRIs and Indians living abroad can relate to:

1. Chithi Aayee hai (Movie: Naam): One of the best songs that directly connects to all the feelings of Indians who have migrated from India, but still miss their motherland. Beautiful lyrics tell a touching story of an average immigrant.
Tune paisa bahut kamaya
Es paise ne des chhudaya….

Pankaj Udhas’s melodious voice adds to the appeal of this evergreen and super-hit song.

2. Bharat ka rehne walaa hoon (Movie: Purab Aur Pachhim): ‘Hai Preet Jahan Ki Reet Sada / Jab Zero Diya Mere Bharat Ne’ is one of the most memorable song that highlights the virtues of India and the Indian culture, especially for those who live overseas. This number has ideal settings – featured in England with crowd including Indians, hippies and English audience. Mahendra Kapoor’s voice and Manoj Kumar’ acting is a winning combination. Continue reading “Pardesi songs! Best Bollywood songs for the NRIs and Indians abroad!”

Moving Overseas! Is Your Family Ready?

The world has become a very mobile now-a-days. Nobody spends the whole life at one place, or even in one country. Traveling has become a necessary part of everyday living. Going abroad, trying new places, visiting new countries, exploring new cultures…all this has become a common undertaking.

When you move to a new country for a long studies or for a job, you have to leave behind so much. The family, the friends, the home, your own country…this all becomes a part of the nostalgic memories of living in India. Those childhood days, college fun, home food, Indian culture and traditions …. all this can never be replaced or forgotten.

Moving overseas brings its own excitement. You are eager to see new places, make new friends and explore your things. However, it is a fact that you cannot ignore your loved ones far-away who are going to miss you and feel your absence day and night. Just like you, your family and friend are left behind with your memories alone to remember you by.

Every family is different and so are the reactions to the departure of a family member. Nobody is ever ready to separate from their loved ones. However, there are a few simple things that you can do to help your family accept the fact that your overseas move is not so bad after all. These commonsense and easy-to-follow tips can make this separation more tolerable, for you and for your family: Continue reading “Moving Overseas! Is Your Family Ready?”

Citizenship and Immigration Canada – CIC Website

CIC – Canadian Government Source of Citizenship and Immigration

Have a question about immigration to Canada? Interested in Canadian Citizenship? Any question on moving to Canada? Almost all the time, you can get your answer from the official website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Commonly know as CIC, the site is maintained by the department of Canadian Government that deals with Immigration and Citizenship. It also links immigration services with citizenship registration.

The site is the true Bible for any information on Canadian Citizenship as well as immigration to Canada.  It offers a variety of resources on the related topics including general information, commonsense tips, guidance for potential immigrants, latest news on the subject, the new laws affecting the immigrants and so on. There are different sections addressing different aspects of immigration and citizenship. Continue reading “Citizenship and Immigration Canada – CIC Website”

India through the eyes of my American Classmates

“So how do you like it here, in US?” This is a common icebreaker with new classmates from other countries.
“I love it; it’s fun!” is my general response. After all, I don’t need to complain about my homesickness to everybody.
“I would love to go to India, but am little bit worried about the safety and stuff over there; ….”  Some hesitation about a country far away is quite normal among Americans.
“Stuff like what?” I like to explore what they think about India.
“Well, it is a new place; plus I don’t speak Indian.” Some say this as a joke, while other are clueless to the Indian languages.
And sometimes, the things get slippery after such small talk! That is where the snakes, the elephants and other wild animals jump into the picture. Some questions, asked even with the utmost seriousness, beg for a chuckle, if not a full blown laugh!

I like my American classmates and friends just as much as my desi colleagues, well almost. At least, that’s what I would like to believe and that’s what I try anyways. Many of these firangs are my close friends. We eat together, we study together and we goof-off together. It’s a fun bunch of people I am surrounded by.

I am one of the five Indians in our class. There are students from everywhere – Canada, European countries, Australia, Kenya, Mexico and Korea…to name a few. They all come from a very diverse background, not to forget in all colors – white, brown, black, yellow, pink, dark pink…well, sometimes it is hard to tell the real color with all the makeup on. 🙂 Continue reading “India through the eyes of my American Classmates”