The Last Temptation

Pic: courtesy contentmentyetdespair.blogspot.com

It started innocently enough. I was telling my friend (let’s call him “Joe”) at Company X about my decision to leave Graspr and move to India. Joe immediately asked me if I was interested in exploring Company X. If yes, he was eager to introduce me to a key executive for an exciting role. It was early days of our India decision and I had left the door open for exploring US-based careers too. So I told Joe to wait a few weeks before making the introduction. I fully expected to tell Joe soon that I was in fact serious about our India plans and hence not explore the role at Company X. It didn’t quite work out that way.

Either I had miscommunicated with Joe or he got overzealous. A few weeks after our conversation, I got that introduction email to the Company X executive (let’s call him “Peter”). One thing led to another and a phone conversation was scheduled ¬†between Peter and me. Try and picture this. There I was in the LAX airport, jamming my cell phone against my left ear and attempting to block out the airport sounds with my right hand. Considering this backdrop, we ended up having a pretty good conversation. My intrigue about Company X turned into a genuine interest in the role.

Things moved rather quickly after that. Peter wanted me to come in for a full round of interviews before my trip to India. I had one foot in India already but I had a desire to see where the Company X exploration would lead. Little did I realize that this would become my Last Temptation.¬†I made the overnight trip to Company X just a day before a scheduled family vacation. I thoroughly enjoyed my full day of interviews. My final two meetings were with Peter and his boss. The role was indeed very exciting, it played very well to my strengths and I had the potential to hit the ball out of the park. Apparently the interviews had gone well from Company X’s perspective too. I was about to hop into my cab when Peter caught up with me and made a verbal offer. The HR manager called me on my way to the airport and discussed the offer in detail. A few days later, the offer was formalized and the ball was in my court.

In most respects, this was a great role and a highly attractive offer. Since we had already made the psychological leap to move out of the Bay Area, moving to a different American city was not a show-stopper. The only problem was that the job wasn’t taking me to India… at least not just yet. Company X did have a presence in India and Peter was very supportive of my moving to their India operation in a few years.

I had plenty of time to think about this… sorta. I was getting on a long plane ride to India and was slated to make a decision before the end of my India trip. I thought about The Two Types of Indian Immigrants and asked myself whether I really was an active should-we. The answer was “yes” but I could feel the temptation to postpone our move by a year. The spirit was willing but was the flesh weak?

Something happened in Vijayawada that tipped the scales decisively. Since my whirlwind trip wasn’t touching Vijayawada (my parents live here), my mother had planned a short visit to Bangalore to see me. Just a few days before my Bangalore stint began, my father fell sick. It wasn’t something major but he needed care and attention so my mother cancelled her trip to Bangalore. The timing of this event provided that burst of clarity and I decided… to resist the last temptation.