India calling-Typical engineering student

India calling-Typical engineering student

The man in focus is from a middle class family in India, and is doing his final year Engineering; and as any other typical engineering student has these two options as in the below IF clause:

IF financial-aid-got during final year BE
MS in US
display “Foreign MS Degree”
ELSE
Join the (campus offered) big software consulting company;
visit all continents much to the concern of those who took the above IF logic
Display “Have made more money than you guys who did MS in US”
END IF

Our man took the ELSE clause and happily went around the globe. Learnt English customs, French cuisine, Swiss niceties, Spanish Reggae and American Dreams.

After three years plus (now a days people start at 6 months itself), decides to leave the big consultancy job and takes on a H1B. He tells all his friends “just 2 or maximum 3 years, make $10K or $20K and then come back and settle back home nicely, Ill come back, I wont be like others who settle there”. He surely believes so when he says this and does not lie…

First 3 months:
Has got his SSN, managed a driving license after quite a bit of difficulty and fear; managed a second hand car; rented a decent apartment; spending about 500 $ on phone bills calling up every friend and relative.

Next 3 months:
Finds to his shock that he has less money in bank than he had during the big consultancy trips (when he knew that he used to get peanuts and hence lived within his means sharing a apartment and a car with 4 people and saved some money really)!! So now he starts making huge cuts in telephone bill (first he starts with his home calls and close friend calls – huge cut) and is happy to see the bill cut down to 250 $.

Next 6 months:
Has some friends by now, makes some trips to Niagara (its a ritual like the Kashi and Rameswaram trip in India), New York city and White House. Experienced a winter and fed-up with his car not starting, decides to buy a new car, feels lonely, thinks of his marriage.

Next 3 months:
Decides to call up his family about searching for a bride. Company asks him about green card, has 2 minds, change jobs for 10 K increase, or stay content with 5K increase given by the present company.

Next 3 months:
He fixes a trip after daily hunting for the cheapest ticket, goes home (India) with quite a few gifts for his family, fixes a girl !!! Comes back to the US in 3 weeks, as he knows he will be going back home after 6 months for marriage (Telugu guys are an exception: visit India for 3 weeks, see 15 girls, negotiate on Rs. 50 Lac (5 million rupees) + 10 acres fertile land + 2 rice mills etc., fix up the best bargain and get married in 2 days and come back; the other Indians are not so rewarded in cash; and they will have to go back 6 months down the line for getting married.)

After 6 months:
Gets married, now he is for sure his dream of coming back in 3 years is becoming pale !!… he has to spend 3000 $ on travel next time to go back home; he has spent a lot in car repayment; 2 Indian trips and in gifts; now he wont go back for 2 years: meanwhile he has to get his green card any way; (so he consoles himself that circumstances forced him to stay rather than blaming his will power).

2 years further:
Makes a trip home, buys more gifts for the wife side relatives than his own brothers and sisters!! Calculates every dollar, but finds out to his surprise that salaries in India have grown greatly, and also the cost of everything, now his savings will buy only 1 flat in south
Madras, not at Mylapore, he wont have any cash if he thinks of settling (in India); decides that he will stay in the US for another 3 years and concentrate more on saving and come back to India for good.

3 years in US:
Has kid (his mother in law came during delivery; he was worried all along that should they fall sick, he will be gone in medical care; he prays to God more than he prayed for his School final marks or JEE/CET seat). He is a family man; thinks that if his 2 year old daughter stays in US – after she is 7-8 years of age, she will have all those bad habits, so makes a plan to go back after 5 years, when his daughter would have seen the Disney Land and nicer things when she is not yet spoilt by the western culture.

4 years:
Makes a trip to India with a 20 % hope of returning to India. His retired father with BP and diabetes and mother with heart problem are in the fore front of his thoughts. But he goes to a few companies, (His ego is a little hurt as he was working as a programmer in US, in spite of having good knowledge and had managed 10 people team in India), he expects to be appointed as a general manager; but doesn’t get one; or even if he gets, compares with 70K $ and finds it peanuts, so he decides to show his parents to a doctor; asks his neighbors to look after them; and gets on a plane to the US;

5 years down the line:
His wife likes the US, and she does not have the problem of the pestering of her mother-in-law. Halts all plans of her husband’s thoughts of returning home. Wife visits India during December season, shows off and then comes back to US (While in India she talks to her relatives about her own car; kids bharatanatyam class in Denver suburbs; her relatives exclaim that they are still so Indian)….

10 years later:
Our man is in his 50’s. He suddenly remembers the Indian culture. Is reminiscing in his dreams of the past about reciting Sahasranama at 6 PM in the Shiva temple, the prasad at the Narayana temple, his jolly stints with his Chetak (name of a scooter/bike in India) and the coffee at the Naesey bar in front of the Consultancy services at Lloyds Road 185 office and Annapoorna at 12 Cath Road office. He wants all of them back . so goes to India (but doesn’t find it and that all are not truly continuing; blames Indians for forgetting culture;) Buys a big flat; and decides to come back in 2 years;

After 2 years;
He goes back to India but not with his family; his children Sweta and son Nikhil (nice fancy names unlike his Ramanaryanan and his friend Sivasubramanian though they were deep rooted tradition of his ancestral names) are going to “SCHOOL” (at Michigan university, not in our terms an university; he calls it school) and are likely to get settled their with Steve and Susan respectively. He does not like it; but cant help it and so accepts it without saying anything; wife accepts it more realistically ; but still blames the circumstances ( had I got $ 70K when I passed out Engineering, would I have come here and spent 30 years here. He does not remember that rest of the Indians earned only 1165 + city allowance + DA relief of 180 rupees fifty paise when he got 3500 in Campus and got 1000 hike every 6 months in his software consultancy company).

Now in his sixties at Adyar; he goes to temple; his neighborhood flats kids are wearing American T-shirts, watching MTV. Our man is feeling bad that they are growing too Western; he passes his last days hoping his son and daughter will join him at death; (doesn’t remember that he sent only get well card and made few telephonic calls using AT&T, MCI cheap rate duration’s than attend to them personally, but still expects his son will come & nurse him) … the good treatment at Malar Hospital has restored his health; now he can walk to the corner shop and negotiate coriander leaves for 50 paise spoiling the poor daily wage earners’ meager earnings )…

And now our man rests in peace at an old age home !!

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