Random Indian thoughts – I

I have been away from my home country for around ten years now and I have gone back for visits almost eight times in this period of time. The tickets are expensive – you work hard year round just to make enough money to cover the tickets and other spending during the stay. When you are back to work, you start over from scratch again. But I have not regretted any of the trips we made so far.

When you look at it from a North American perspective, you save all your vacation days and use them for your India trip. Your North American friends are jealous that you get one month of Vacation to the exotic land of India! Many of my Indian friends feel that they are stressed when they are in India and it is not actually a vacation. I do agree to this thought and it is true for most of the times I visited home. When my friends come back from one of these trips they swear that they are not going back for say, another 5 years.

Most of the time, average IT Indian families plan their trips around some event that is happening back home – like brother’s wedding, dad’s Birthday, sister having a baby. On some unlucky situations, they go back home because one of the family members is seriously ill or someone passed away. When you combine these events with visits to relatives houses etc. you do not have much room to build in your own agenda of a trip to your favorite hill resort. How can you consider this a vacation if your agenda is dictated like this?

There is a lot of complaining after coming back – oh, we didnt get to do all the things that we wanted to, it was too hot, the relatives were whiny and bad to me, India has changed so much, it is too crowded, all the shops do not take credit cards…..it goes on. What I have found out in all these years is that, even though you do not get to plan your time off, and there are a million other things that you do not enjoy there, there is an undeniably STRONG relationship between you and your homeland. It just cannot be explained in words. You go back so that you can be YOURSELF.

The feeling of belonging and being ones own self is something we forget very easily and conveniently. The last time I went, I had a very stressful trip owing to the fact that it was my children’s first visit and they got sick way too often. But that does not stop me from thinking about my next trip and I am already looking forward to my next one in August. Again, this time it is my Dad’s 60th birthday event that is dictating the dates and places, but hey, I would still take it.

Do let me know how your visits to your home land are like, when is your next visit and what you are looking forward to do in that trip, your thoughts on  my musings………..

Oh, by the way it is not like I never complained anything about my trips and vacations to India. I did do that when I was younger, naive and did not have the big perspective on life and dwelled on immediate pleasures and rewards of life. I have learnt to think of the big picture of life through my own experiences as well as from others.

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6 Comments

  1. spillay said,

    March 19, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Vani. I’ve tagged you!!

    The details of the tag can be found at http://spillay.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/looking-at-you-and-seeing-myself/

    If you do choose to do it,…… HAVE FUN!!

    Spillay
    http://spillay.wordpress.com

    • Divyaa said,

      January 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm

      While I was reading your Blog I found myself nodding and smiling with every line ..My memories of the past trips to India are not very different then yours. The first trip to India was vacation, chance to meet family and friends..but over the period of time the word vacation changed to trip..You can hardly call dashing from one relatives’ place to another, vacation or trying to juggle all the get-togethers a vacation or spending another month apologizing to frens or relatives whom you couldn’t meet vacation..not to forget all the shopping you try to cram into your already busy schedule but despite everything it always is one of the best part of year..guess that’s the magic of homeland or love of family..perhaps both. But all I know at that time it really doesn’t matter that there are traffic jams on every corner or no electricity, for me its just sheer bliss..whatever be the experience in India I always find myself planning my next trip on the flight back and I know I’ll be forever doing that till I move back for good 🙂

  2. Ani said,

    May 12, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Awesome blog! and I guess I’m reading this at just the right time! (got 2 days left to leave for India) Nothing like a visit back home! And about the crowds and the shops that dont take credit cards, I always wonder why people complain abt it, even after they buy 3 years worth of groceries and clothes from there everytime… Would they rather pay high prices at some hi-tech store that accepts credit cards..? Isnt it the crowds and the lack of technology that keep our prices low? hmmm!!
    Oh yeah, and im lucky to be having no real ‘agenda’ behind my visit this time, though I might be making preparations for my own weding.. LOL Jus kiddin..

    • Jaya said,

      January 6, 2010 at 1:13 am

      Cant agree more

  3. Joanne said,

    February 4, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Hello Vani:
    I am an American who stumbled onto your blog while looking for info on saris. I want you to know that your experiences both good and bad about your visits back to your homeland (Mother India) are not unique to non-Americans. I live only one state (or a day’s drive) away from most of my family in the Midwest. My visits back (home) are much shorter than yours, but I have experienced many of the same anxieties and pressures no matter what the length of my stay is. For example, my husband, daughter and I visited for 4 days last Thanksgiving, that includes traveling days. In that short time I was only able to visit part of my family. I did not have the time to visit my grandchildren even though they were less than 50 miles away. My father is in very poor health and I know it’s more important to be with him than the younger ones, as he will not be around much longer. I would really like to show my husband around the city and area I grew up in, as a tourist would, but like you, time is precious and it’s not always possible. I am planning another short visit this spring, and it’s OK if my time is just spent with my dad. There will always be other visits for “me”. Good travels & Happy Birthday to your father!

  4. harikharan said,

    November 18, 2013 at 7:27 am

    I stumbled upon this accidentally.. There is so much of truth in the text…. I have been out of homeland only recently and had only one trip. Yeah, many planned things didnt happen and many a difficult moments.. But all said and done, going back home is always special despite the shortcomings.


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