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Spice of life | Returning to roots, a true ghar waapsi

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 30-06-2022 Brig Advitya Madan (retd)
After all, why would a couple armed with cushy jobs decide to bid adieu to the US. Recalling my visit to the country last year, I listed out points in favour of the US. It runs the most enviable public services. (Representative Image/HT File) © Provided by Hindustan Times After all, why would a couple armed with cushy jobs decide to bid adieu to the US. Recalling my visit to the country last year, I listed out points in favour of the US. It runs the most enviable public services. (Representative Image/HT File)

Last month, an acquaintance couple who had spent more than a decade in the US happened to visit India urgently. Their mission over the next 10 days was clear. The aim was to reconnaissance and buy a decent flat for themselves before they could bid a la prochaine (see you next time) to America. We were astounded by their volte-face. We invited them over for dinner and the conversation veered towards what intrigued us the most, their impromptu but major decision.

After all, why would a couple armed with cushy jobs decide to bid adieu to the US. Recalling my visit to the country last year, I listed out points in favour of the US. It runs the most enviable public services. One can always count on the police, paramedics and fire services. All their denizens are sticklers of rules while driving with no honking or jumping traffic signals. Infrastructure is far better. Water and electricity supply is assured.

Despite all these clinching arguments, I realised that I had not been able to cut much ice. I fired my last shot. See, your children have become independent at an early age; they know how to cook and drive. The US is far less polluted, everything automated and most importantly, no need to dust, mop or sweep your home daily. You have a clear weekend off with a better work-life balance.

My friend decided to cut me short with an emphatic counter. He said, “What we miss the most is the social bonding in the family.” They also missed the ‘jugaad’ factor in India. Come what may; work will be done. As an example, he referred to the cab driver he had hired a day prior from Delhi airport. Since he had 10 pieces of baggage, he had booked an Innova which for some reason didn’t turn up. However, the cab driver got the carrier fitted atop his small car without batting an eyelid with a smile. My friend said: “In India, kaam ho jayega, no ifs and buts.” His wife interjected and said, “The best domestic helps, including the cook, are always at your beck and call without biting too much into the pocket.”

She also missed the sight of fresh fruits and vegetables at the local sabzi mandi coming straight from the farm. In the US, the veggies travel a long distance from the farms to the dining table. I was enthused by the way my friend winded up his arguments. He said that living in India was like a DVD bin at Walmart. You should know how to get the DVD you are looking for. Sometimes, the DVD might be at the top or at times you have to get clumsy to fetch it from the bottom.

Living in India is like watching a cricket match in a big stadium, an exciting affair. The vibrant and energetic atmosphere created by the crazy crowd feels like a carnival. It has something new to offer each day. Life here always throws up new challenges. I could sense all my arguments had been pulverized. I decided to rest my case.

I was convinced that living in the US looks good from far but is far from good. Living in India looks bad from far but is far from bad. The next day, the couple flew back only to come back to start life afresh in India. A true ghar waapsi, indeed.

advityanidhi14@gmail.com

The writer is a Patiala-based freelance contributor

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