Thursday, 22 March 2018

When living in India is a choice!

Here's a quick background. I am an Economist by profession, married and a mother to a toddler. My husband is currently in the U.S. for a project. I am bombarded by questions every now and then as to why "I am not taking advantage of this golden opportunity to settle down in the U.S. for good".

I have studied and worked partly in the U.K. and also accompanied my husband in his previous stints outside India. I am well aware of the many advantages of staying abroad. Nevertheless, we have decided to settle in Mumbai, India.There are many versions and perspectives to look at this. So here's my view:
5 reasons why we chose to stay in India :
  • Financially sound: After working hard for many years both of us now earn decent enough to live a peaceful life in Mumbai. We have bought a house on a huge EMI. We (5 members including my in laws and my baby) absolutely love the house and do not wish to sell it. Settling abroad will mean paying for double establishments; the EMI plus other bills in India and rent plus utility bills abroad. Being new parents we also need to arrange for future education expenses of our child So, financially it is actually not beneficial for us to settle outside India now
  • Rewarding career: In my everyday work, I get to implement the things I have studied. I enjoy my work and look forward to Mondays. Over the years I moved up the ladder in the quality of my work. Of course I have my share of problems with work- life balance, office politics, travel issues, working mother issues etc. But I am constructively working towards finding solutions and improving on areas which are in my control. Sooner or later I will be in a better position than today. Personally, by working as an economist in India, I can see a bright and stable career graph. This graph will see a steep fall on settling abroad.
  • Comfortable and good standard of living:  As mentioned earlier, after years of hard-work, we have earned the comforts of 'roti-kapda-makan'. We also have the luxury of maids, like most Indians do. In spare time we also pursue our hobbies (I have a lot of hobbies and seriously pursue them). To achieve all this in another country is not impossible but will surely take a lot of time, which we don't wish to invest anymore. In addition, increasingly there's a lot of uncertainty in obtaining green card/permanent residency. Finding a new job, a new school, a new house after every few years is not our cup of tea.
  • Family and social life: My husband and I have always liked staying with family and enjoy meeting friends and relatives at frequent intervals. We stay in a joint family. My parents too stay in the same city. Our parents are our biggest support system and a strong positive influence on our baby. As our parents get old, we want to be closer to them. In my case, being the only child I want to be available for my parents always. Staying abroad takes one far away from this point. Many of our friends and relatives who stay abroad often cite these concerns. As we do have a pretty good option of staying close to parents without sacrificing a lot on personal front, we opt to choose that.
  • Indian baby: We would like our baby to grow up among all of us together and take basic education in India. Later, he can take higher degrees in any country of his choice and settle down where ever he wants.
 To sum up, financially,  practically and emotionally we are happy to be in India. There are a lot of problems in a developing India, but even developed countries have their own set of issues. There are pros and cons of staying anywhere in the world. In all these reasons I have always mentioned words like 'our choice', 'our wish' etc reflecting that its purely a personal choice. In my view, settling down in any country is an individual choice. Once we make a decision and accept it, that place becomes home.

P.S.- To my friends and family staying outside India:I love you all and proud of the decision you have taken as it best suits you. I am not against anyone settling down outside India, Views expressed here just portray what best suits to me and my family.

Monday, 8 December 2014

The marriage mania

Few years back we would know that the wedding season has started when lots of wedding invitations would pour in our houses. Now-a-days we just have to open Facebook. FB walls are flooded with personalised wedding invites, pre-wedding photo shoots and wedding pictures first from friends and relatives of people getting married and then the professional ones from the married ones.
My outlooks towards these things have changed over couple of years. First I was in the batch of peeps who would say, “Oh my god, why is everyone on earth getting married!!!” and sentences similar to this. Now, that am in the other batch of married peeps, I say “Okay those are lovely pictures!!” or sometimes reluctantly realize “Ohh even my wedding pictures would be on walls on my friends last year…was it a pleasing sight for everyone!!” (I have personally put limited number of pictures!!). However, giving this a deeper thought I have arrived at some firm point of views.
Likes and comments can’t quantify appreciation
Marriage is of course not just about the number of likes and comments on your FB wall. Getting married is still the same old feeling as it was when all of us were not all the tech savvy. It’s just that now there is a so-called measure to appreciation i.e. no. of like or comments. In my opinion, this is not a pre-requisite to feel good or admired. My grandmother’s appreciation saying “ Kiti goad distiye majhi naath, drushta kadha hichi” (she is looking so pretty, may god protect her from all evils) means a lot more to me. Yes, of course the FB comments and likes makes me feel special and loved, but the main point is, one has to realise that it’s not a pre-requisite or the only thing. (B.t.w. –Let the likes and comments on my posts continue!!).
Fewer the merrier
So we all love to see marriage invites and snaps of our friends and relatives. Sometimes, we recollect being a part of the celebrations else are pleasantly surprised to see an unexpected friend getting married. But one should not overdo it. We are definitely not interested in seeing each and every ritual, all the awkward poses the photographer asks to get, on our FB walls. So one should ideally give it a little thought and time before loading all the pictures in the memory card. On the other side, friends should also realise to appreciate what’s good and ignore the rest of it. Nothing else can be done anyway.
Don’t judge a book by its cover
What many silently or at times even in groups engage is passing their own judgement on these pictures. “Ohh the girl is very pretty but the guy is just strictly ok” or “My god, the guy is so tall compared to her” or worse “Ohh what did this girl see in this guy???” sentences like this don’t go public on these forums but are often discussed off the record. It doesn’t stop there; people go further and judge their entire life only guessing things from some pictures posted on FB. That’s definitely not a healthy thing to do; neither was FB or any other social networking sites started for this purpose. I believe we should refrain from passing any judgemental comments about anyone’s personal life and discourage others from doing so. What a person really feels at that time, or what all efforts he/she has put in to live that moment are no where captured in the picture.
It is a life event after all
As we all know, it is stated as a life event, which carries an underlying meaning, ‘this is very important to me’. While we get overwhelmed by the number of wedding pictures and notifications, we shouldn’t forget that it was an important day for each and every one of them.  They want to share this happiness with the whole world (i.e. the FB world) which is not something to be irritated with. We must feel happy for them, as they are our friends (at least on FB). If it bothers you, irritates you, remove them from your list. Now that I am married (i.e. passed this phase of updating a life event), I understand what excitement and happiness goes behind uploading these pictures. The motive is to share these moments of happiness with family and friends in different corners of the world. No one intends to cause any discomfort anyone.
Ignorance continues to be bliss
The phrase –‘Ignorance is bliss’ means not knowing something makes you happier. I guess this was meant for the world without so many means of communication. Now-a-days, the social networking platforms are well established and have become a part of our lives. We get to know anything and everything about anyone, even if we don’t wish to know any of it. Hence we have to stretch a bit further and train ourselves to ignore the inputs we don’t need in our brains. Same applies to this whole marriage mania both online and offline. We can’t stop people from getting married or announcing it on a grand scale on these networking sites. If we don’t want to take notice of this, maybe we should just ignore by scrolling it up.
P.S.: Hopefully you guys haven’t scrolled up this whole note and read at least some parts of it!!!

- Dipti Abhyankar

Monday, 30 December 2013

...its all about love!

While a lot has been written spoken sung about this,
I thought whatever happens, I’ll surely give this a miss!

How much ever I neglected, the feeling had to strike,
and hence I start writing about it, Oh so much unlike!

With love there’s nothing true or fake or no losses and gains,
Love is the one which clicks, eventually matures and then remains.

At times it clicks together for both, they are the lucky ones,
for the one sided ones it’s though, where in the hard way one learns.

You can’t force anyone to love you, you can’t ask them to stay,
this will just make you look weak and will also push them away.

Love is the one which gives you strength, encourages you to scale high,
It’s when you glow from within, no alcohol can give you that high!

As love matures you either get bored of being together else hate each other,
Then you either ask for space else decide never to meet going further.

If the distance drifts you apart then be happy because it wasn't love after all,
it was just your habit and convenience where you failed to take a cautious call.

If the distance brings you closer and you understand each other’s worth,
then you realize that wherever you are together that’s the best place on earth.

To be in love is magical, one just needs to love unconditionally,
however angry you may get; you will forgive the person eventually.

To fall in love and understand it, is something one shouldn't ignore, 
as the pain in love is temporary while the happiness galore.

Friday, 6 May 2011


When you are very frustrated, with everything around
 And recognize you aren’t hitting the target but moving round and round
Yet you still keep moving ahead, without complaining
Be happy with yourself; your level of patience is rising.

When you can’t see things moving at snail’s pace
When you manage to be good to everyone on their face
When you react in a sophisticated manner; the event being however surprising
Be happy with yourself; your level of patience is rising.

When you know something is wrong but you are not the person to make it right
You just report it to concerned authorities and do not yourself set out to fight
Everything takes time; immediate changes aren’t possible, once you start realizing
Be happy with yourself; your level of patience is rising.

When you just laugh off at things which bothered you a lot in the past
When you are fine being in the common, between the first and the last
When you stop keeping things to your heart and start forgiving
Be happy with yourself; your level of patience is rising.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The old shades

Its 2010; the new age,
where we write on MS word and not on a page.
But still a love letter means a lot more than a text of ‘love you’
Though that’s a fact its followers are very few.

Agreed that there is no time to even have dinner with whole family,
As people have no time to smile they just send a smiley.
But are stomachs are full only when, with the whole family we dine;
A simple smile, even at a stranger can make his dull day shine.

Now there is enough money to buy food outside or get it made by a cook
But sometimes all you need is food made by your mom, not bothering about its taste or look.
Given a million songs releasing every year, I doubt if anybody lends an ear to the same
But everyone has a collection of old songs as they are still melodious and retain their fame.

Given so much freedom for everything there’s still a small liking for few obligations,
Many still believe in being morally right, ethically correct and in having certain limitations.
With the sign, codes, chat, sms languages around; we have a lot of option
Yet age old proverbs are still on tip of our tongues; nothing can replace their position.

The advancements in medicine are appreciated and have cured even impossible diseases
But still the grandma’s advice works wonders by which the origin of many diseases ceases.
People take rigorous workout and gym sessions strictly to maintain their fitness
The morning walks, exercises and yoga do the same at a lesser cost, to which I am a witness.

In short though the new shades of colours of technology and globalisation have made us more efficient
We cannot neglect the fact that the old shades are the basic colours which make their existence prominent.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The perfect planning syndrome.

I suffer (better to put it as, I live) with this syndrome. Planning my days, weeks, months, years almost the whole life is something I enjoy doing. It is my favourite daydreaming activity. I also believe that there are people like me, even if they are not, I still believe, ha ha.

It is really helpful during trips. If you have a planner with you, he will make sure that the trip is planned with back ups. Where to go, which places are best to see, what you should take along with you, what time you should leave (he is so planned that he tells everybody an hour before the actual leaving time, so that everybody turns up on time).All this planning comes near perfection by the grace of everything available online these days.The scariest thing is shopping. When we go for trips I have observed people shopping like crazy, they shop as if they will not get those things where they live or this is their last and final time of shopping in the whole life. A sincere confession though, I don’t like planned shopping because whenever I plan and step out, I don’t find those things I want and when I don’t plan and don’t carry enough money, I see those things all around.

This syndrome is also great for parties and get-togethers also surprise birthday parties (but it’s sad when it’s the planner’s birthday, he can’t expect the same). I think if a party is perfectly planned no one will get bored. A party should be packed with games, fun, lot of interactions followed with food and drinks, I love planning all such stuff also.
Giving surprises on birthdays has been my (and few other friend’s) favourite hobby since our college days. This is the one I like the best. Because it is great to see that one smile on your friends face when they get something as a surprise. We have done crazy things to see those smiles. But the only thing that irritates is asking others to be a part of it and shell out money, some times people just get too annoying. A good planner should make sure that he gets money from everyone much before the party otherwise he will have to run behind his own friends to get it back. Money management is actually a separate independent branch of perfect planning.

There is also something called family planning, but let’s not discuss it here. People good at other planning should be obviously good at this, but unfortunately statistics say that many great planners have terribly failed in this case.

Let us come to studies now. A big pause here for a hearty laugh (as these are antonyms – studies x planning). But I do make an honest attempt to plan my studies from a weekly test, submissions to the main exams. But if and when this planning fails, one has to face the consequences and I mean serious ones at times. All the goof ups in between are to be adjusted on the night before the exam. But any kind of student magically manages that. Great isn’t it! But on a serious note, it is really helpful to at least have a rough plan of how we are going to study and by what deadline do we ‘intend’ to finish and start revision ( if revision really exists). So this syndrome has positive effects here. I think same goes in case of work. If you plan your targets and work accordingly, success is almost sure. But I don’t have enough experience in this as I don’t have a job, I am still in the struggling unemployed league. (somebody please give me a job).

Another important thing where planning helps is at multitasking. This has also been my hobby since school days. It sometimes becomes a habit; I find it difficult to concentrate if I just have one thing at hand. The best example here is of the working women. They are great at multitasking – job, husband, children, in-laws, relatives from both sides and obviously being the home minister. Hats off to them. But just imagine what level of planning it all takes! So a woman who is good at planning will find it easier but gradually all women learn. Also comes here is time management .Like money management, time management is also a branch of this syndrome.

However excessive of this syndrome is dangerous. I have seen people obsessed with planning. They plan each and everything and make their life boring and dull. We should allow something’s to be done all of a sudden without much of thinking going behind it. What if planning fails? Can all of us take that? I have struggled with it as well. When something I plan does not work out, I am disturbed for a day or two and then I make a new plan, accepting my ( or sometimes others) mistake. So I have learnt that one should be a little flexible with this perfect planning syndrome. Also one should learn to accept times when planning fails.

All said and done, perfect planning syndrome works most of the times but only in moderation and certain things in life go better un-planned.
Finally as practice makes man perfect, planning definitely brings him closer to it.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Some times you have to let things go!!

It’s really strange that there are times when we die to get some things, struggle to solve a problem, are desperate to clear some misunderstandings but however hard we try it fails to work out every time.

While studying psychology, I remember being taught that there are 3 ways of solving problems: 1. Attack, 2.
Compromise 3. Escape. All three are self explanatory so I need not elaborate. I always thought that my way of solving problem is the first one ‘attack’; I will face the problem boldly and clear it, come what may. Yes, that was my way and continues to be, but from that 12th std psychology lecture till today life has changed a lot!

Many experiences taught me that attack doesn’t always work and you actually escape! Back in that class while learning this philosophy, I used to think that all those who take this step are cowards, they escape from problems because they cannot face it or they are afraid to accept their mistakes etc etc…..but that’s not the case always…some times we try hard to fix an issue but still if nothing happens all we can do is, wait for it to happen on its own. If we keep waiting, we keep thinking about the issue and this does not allow us to concentrate in are daily chores, in such cases we should just stop thinking about it! Even that’s hard to do.At such times I envy people who can escape things and welcome changes acting as if nothing happened before, this attack way of solving problem some times lands you in huge problems, problems of your own conscience, of your own principles who do not allow you to let things go.

On a positive note we can have another facet to this escape strategy namely ‘let time play its role’ or the ‘wait and watch’ approach. With this comes the term impatience commonly known as ‘b’ in Economics, b is the rate of impatience and it determines many actions and has huge impacts right from rate of interests to economic policies. I mean some issues can really be solved by just being patient and believing in yourself and your deeds. But this slow movement towards success has many uncertainties in it. However despite the uncertainties and risks, evidence show that patience always pays off well. ‘Time’ in continuous has great strengths in it. Not only does it cure physical ailments but also emotional grudges. So make sure your ‘b’ (rate of impatience) is low enough to get high gains.

With time comes silence, and I am realising that sometimes silence can create wonders, silence works better than words. If you are right, if you are true to yourself, you need not always prove it; time will prove and will solve the problems for you. We have also studied history where time and again it was demonstrated that how various historic figures in their own styles allowed time to play its role, kept faith and finally won! Oh from faith I remember a very striking definition for the term, it says: ‘Faith is a conscious belief in an unconscious experience’.

Hence, from now onwards let there be 4 ways to solve problems, last one being: 4.To let things go! Nevertheless, attack strategy continues to rule although this 4th option is worth to be contemplated.