Life Of A Middle Class Indian Migrant Going Abroad

•Highly educated Indian from middle class family.
•Migrates abroad for lack of opportunities locally.
•Gets paid well, but lives in a pigeonhole.
•Gets adapted to cleaner environment, less population and a richer lifestyle there.
•Visits India for a month annually only to find the country a living mess.
•Returns abroad leaving back tonnes of chocolates, dry fruits, sunglasses, mobile phones, perfumes for drooling relatives and neighbours.
•After he leaves, family takes up home renovation, siblings’ wedding plans, donations to village temple etc.
•Guy’s next visit to India. Thinks of himself as a pro now. Visits native place. Buys agricultural land that nobody will till for a century to follow, so that he may build a farmhouse there on retirement. Gets it converted to NA eventually. Keeps paying heavily. Parents unable to find buyers for it.
•Next visit. Buys an apartment. Heavy EMI’s start.
•Guy’s fourth visit. Spends extravagantly on his own wedding to befit his emigrant status. Equally expensive honeymoon. All sourcing from his salary alone.
•Takes wife along. Shifts accommodation from pigeonhole to matchbox. Expenses add up. Three times as before.
•Next visit. Invests in stock market trade. Too smart to trust the portfolio to a professional. Family too naiive to handle it. Money goes for a toss.
•Next year. Has a kid. Education and upbringing expenses add up. In fact, that becomes the sole objective of holding on to his job thereon.
•Lifestyle has got upgraded. Family vacations to different continents are an annual feature. Anything lesser is so Indian.
•Can afford another child. Has another child.
•Children grow up and study in international universities. Settle there itself. Never to return.
•Guy retires and comes back to India.
•Zero pension. Bank balance decreasing by the day. Cannot downgrade lifestyle out of habit AND out of compulsion to maintain a certain ‘foreign return’ social image.
•Dependent on kids to take over from him.
•Finds his neighbours who spent their entire lives in India, as much settled (if not more) and living comfortably off their handsome post-retirement pensions.
•Starts providing professional expertise to Indian business startups to ward off sustenance concerns.
•Wants life to rewind and replay. -Amarpali Bhogle



About Keerthika Singaravel

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