Kuti got married last month. So I went to India to be present as the brother and to help organize the last minute stuff. The wedding itself went very well with a few WTF instances. The couple is very happy. And that is all really counts.
I am going to write a multi-part account of my 3.5 week long trip. That is the number of things that I’d like archived for the rest of my life. But this post is about the most important realization that dawned on me – I might not be ready to go back to India in the near term.
The least of the reasons is the money. I don’t think its pollution or cleanliness either. And because I am a Chennaiite, I don’t think it is physical security. And I don’t have kids yet – so it’s not that. But two days after we landed, we both knew we cannot move back in our current state of minds.
I love Chennai. I like Singapore. But the last 1.5 years of Singapore really changed my expectations of my society. When what I miss about Chennai outweighs what I like about Singapore, I ll be able to get back to Chennai! Singapore inspires me. Chennai didn’t, this time around.
I’ll try to explain things a bit.
I found the traffic situation very sad. To think I used to drive like that makes me wonder how much of an irritation I should have been to fellow drivers! I used to drive across the city every day in Chennai and feel quite good about it. This time, with the very same car, driving wasn’t the same. I didn’t enjoy it at all.
The compromises made in every day life is somewhat undesirable. I know. I studied and grew up 30 long years in exactly those or worser conditions. Suddenly, the thought that they are bad because nobody cares is too hard to accept. The rest of the world is changing because of its people! I have hopes for the new government there. Maybe this will get addressed soon.
We can argue about family values and culture and taking care of parents and what not! But I honestly don’t believe any of that is reason enough to live in a country. Every society has its culture and its values. They need not be Indian. Every kid cares for his parents, all over the world. Maybe they don’t need to stick to them to do that. You should live in a society that motivates you, that challenges you and that which inspires you – either to reach better heights or be a better person. That society need not be in your own country. Find yours and move on. Until such a time when you clearly know that nowhere else is really home.
If you want to fly, you really need to stop worrying about the ground below. Isn’t it?