[Editor’s Note: The 2nd post in the R2IProfiles category comes from my blogger friend and fellow Bangalore denizen “Divs”. She blogs with gusto at Baby Love…and looottts of it]
I went to the US in Dec.1999 and celebrated the millennium New Year ’s Eve with my cousin sis and her family whom I had not met in atleast 10 years. She was the only “family” I knew in the US when I decided to go there for further studies. That was in Charlotte, NC and since then, life brought me to live in other parts of the country such as Detroit, MI and then the Bay Area, CA. So overall, I had spent close to 9 years in the US – first as a student, then as a full time employee along with being a student, then as a full time employee, then as my hubby’s girlfriend, fiancé and wife, then as a mother to my daughter – before moving back to India in Sept. 2008. So my brother kind of jokes that I went there alone and came back with 2 more additions to my family 🙂
That’s how I perceive US as – not a place where I went to earn a degree or some money. But a place where I grew roots and developed a family and an extended family of my own. When you are so far away from immediate family, all your near and dear ones become your extended family. It is a wonderful way to live, learn and grow. In any case, I digress. So back to the objective of R2I and our story…
We moved back to India for many reasons although one of the most important ones would be to come back and live closer to our families. Living in the same city was not as important in our minds but being in the same country was the key. So city was a choice we had to make based primarily on the job factor as well as lifestyle, climate, etc. Our ideal choice was Pune since that would keep us close to both sets of families and the climate would not be that bad either. But the truth was that if we both wanted decent careers, Pune did not have much to offer. So our next choices were Delhi (Gurgaon) or Bangalore. Delhi had the extreme climate issues on its side whereas Bangalore was completely new to both of us. We went with Bangalore in the end since it promised a career not just for my hubby but for me as well and also that hubby did have one uncle who could be our initial family support in the city if needed. I did have an uncle and some other cousins living in Delhi as well but we weren’t too sure of the career aspects in that city then and were not too fond of extreme climate in general. So figured we’d give Bangalore a shot first and see how we like it. And I am so glad we made the decision the way we did since so far, we have not been disappointed (knock on wood)! The lovely weather in this city came as an additional bonus. Like Vishy has already mentioned in one of his posts, people from the Bay Area would love the weather in Bangalore since it is sooo much similar. One thing that could really be improved here is the roads and traffic management though!
One tip I would give to folks considering the move – do not move into independent single family homes as your first place of residence after coming here. We opted to live in an apartment complex especially since it has a lot of amenities to offer for the kids – things that we are used to in the US such as swimming pool, club house, gym, tennis court, play area, etc. Along with that you get the gated security aspect as well as the community as a way to build your social network. In a single family home, you will not have any of the above and feel rather lonely especially if you do not know anyone else in the city. Hence we decided to move into an apartment complex and I tell you – the entire move seemed to be a cakewalk just because of us moving into this complex. Over the last 2 years, we have been able to build a good social network with likeminded families and have made close friends that are almost like family – kinda like the same process we went through while settling in the US. I can guarantee that if we had moved to a single family home like I had wanted to earlier, I would not have been so much at peace with the entire R2I process itself.
Going back to Vishy’s list of questions he asked me (I feel like a celebrity giving an interview now btw ;)). He asked about schooling and where our kid is studying at present. Please feel free to read through my posts on daycares/pre-schools and schools here:
Schools in and around Koramangala, Bangalore
The 3 things I love about being in India:
- Being closer to family (knowing that it is a matter of hours to reach them now – not days)
- The social life for us and our little one (it is really only limited to weekends in the US)
- The support structure that can be built here not just with hired help but with neighbors, friends, etc. (can be done in the US as well but lifestyle there is much different…things need to be planned much in advance. Last minute babysitting etc. is not easy unless you have family)
The 3 things I hate about being in India:
- No accountability or respect for time in most people
- People keeping their homes clean but littering their surroundings (roads…parks…everywhere!)
- “Thoda adjust kar lo” and “Chalta hai” attitude
And once in a while, I also dislike non-stop noise (I mean I’d really like some silence once in a while)
The 3 things I miss about living in the US:
- Food (I love international cuisines which are not easy to find here)
- Being closer to nature (simple things like having huge clean parks near your home for taking long walks are a rarity in India)
- Peaceful driving (rather than stressful driving here)
If you’d like to read more about why and how we made the move back to India, please feel free to visit my blog at http://indianinfant.blogspot.com/ and click on the label “R2I” on the right. You’ll see related posts such as these and a lot more:
Returned to India
R2I Plan – Crazy Busy!!!
Motherhood opens your eyes to so much more