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Old 20th May 2011, 19:35   #16
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Default Re: Returning to India

The very same negatives mentioned on this thread are the reasons why some consider it prudent to get away from this madness. I am not discounting the positives of being in India, but when you reach a stage where you have to fear for your life even for a simple fender-bender, something surely isnt right.
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Old 20th May 2011, 21:19   #17
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Default Re: Returning to India

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
After a few years of working in Europe, I decided to return to India earlier this year. While there was no definitive 'Swades' type moment, the urge to return home only grew stronger due to various reasons over time.

- Rudeness/ boorishness/ arrogance
- Tardiness/ lack of punctuality
- Service/ support issues
- Traffic urgency
Great thread Selfdrive, and trampling along the margin of getting controversial

Now my view is on the assumption that this is not something about how livable is our country comparing to other countries. Some of the points you mentioned are newly developed attitude, whereas some are inherent traits

- Rudeness/ boorishness/ arrogance
I feel this is something which is spreading very rapidly in the past few years. Looking from outside, I personally could feel/sense this change and personally very unhappy about this. No doubt our country is growing in a rapid pace, and we’re becoming a force to reckon, but more and more people have started thinking that being arrogant is a way to show that they have arrived.

- Tardiness/ lack of punctuality
I will not say this is something which has happened in the past few years. In fact this was always there, and I feel now we are actually getting a bit better in this.

- Service/ support issues
- Traffic urgency
These again are quite age old issues, and I don’t see this changing in the near future as well. And I guess this is quite same in other developing nations as well.

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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
How do I adapt to dealing with them? I hope the word 'ignore' is not a part of the response
How do you adapt? Good question. What I will say is don’t unlearn whatever you have learned during your stint outside India. Apply those in your day to day life, and embrace the change. It should work pretty well. For a better perspective on what I am saying, refer this to this: post. Loved it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Is the glass half full or half empty, Self Drive? Every place has its pros & cons. Why not look at the positive side too?

- Cost of living : I can get a quick meal (2 idlis & a coffee) for 25 - 30 rupees in India. Good luck finding a snack for 1/2 a Euro in Europe. I can even eat a full meal for <100 bucks.

- Friends & family : Priceless! Since you are an Indian, I presume most of your family (and close friends) are from India.

- $$$ Opportunities : Career opportunities today, whether for the entrepreneur or the corporate types, are extremely strong...especially if you have a good education.

- You aren't branded an "Alien" (as the USA does all foreigners) and hey, you can vote too!

- Our festivals, history, cultures, religions and more.

- The weather! Give me a hot summer over the unbearable winters any which day (hated the cold of Boston).

- Healthcare is cheaper.

I'm not trying to make this a pro India versus anti India debate. But there are just some things you are going to have to learn to deal with.
Very well listed points. In fact, most of these are our positivesfor ages (except for the cost of living part and $$$ opportunities), and these are something which is so special about our country.

On the cost of living part, I slightly disagree though. In cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, it has been quite constant in the past few years, but in the same period I can say that the cost of living in smaller cities (e.g.; Cochin) has gone by around twice of what it used to be. And unfortunately standard of living remains quite the same.


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Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
The very same negatives mentioned on this thread are the reasons why some consider it prudent to get away from this madness. I am not discounting the positives of being in India, but when you reach a stage where you have to fear for your life even for a simple fender-bender, something surely isnt right.
This is something I can very well connect with!

Last edited by vb-san : 20th May 2011 at 21:20. Reason: formatting
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Old 20th May 2011, 21:59   #18
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Default Re: Returning to India

Noopster

In many ways I could relate to what you are saying.

I returned from the UK last June after a 5 year stint in London.

The most annoying thing for me is people exclaiming 'I was only late by 20 mins, I am almost on time'

In the UK if you make somebody wait for even 2 minutes it is regarded as dis-respect and you are looked down at.

Personally, I have learned a lot from living in the UK and this is definitely a good thing. Going forwards I feel we all need to grow as individuals and influence others by our better practices or ways.

I still follow the best practices I have learned, whether it be good driving or punctuality or service.

As Mahatma Gandhi said 'Be the change you want to see in the world'

This is the way forwards and only then can we all make a better India.
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Old 20th May 2011, 22:04   #19
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Default Re: Returning to India

Well - I have had my fair share of reverse culture shock, and I guess it is bound to happen. The societies are very different.

Arrogance - Indian youth today is a confused lot. I do not blame them as they are caught between cultures. Sadly they have come to equate smartness=arrogance. The problem is that the western culture that gets exported to India excludes the fact of common courtesy and an understanding of American culture. E.g. In my hometown locality, every youth asks me whether every American is morally loose and parties all night - never that how their work culture and respect for others is.

Tardiness - we will get over this. Need more exposure with western/japanese job ethics and a few wake up calls.

Traffic etc. - Related to overcrowding and lack of resources.

I guess returning NRIs need to take initiatives as:

To introduce the good side of US / Jap / EU culture to India
Break the wrong notion that arrogance=smartness
Not alienating themselves from the locals after they return (I have seen quite a few instances on this)
Lead by example

corrections/ comments appreciated.
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Old 20th May 2011, 22:33   #20
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Default Re: Returning to India

I agree with all your points although you dont have to come from abroad to notice those (I came back after 15 years but was never out of touch with reality here and hence not surprised)

There are some basic things that people dont do. I always find people walking together (or alone) and never ever try to accomodate the person coming from the opposite direction. This is in office aisles, stairs etc. They dont ever care. They stand in the way of others without thinking about others. People adjust with breaking rules but never for a humane thing.

People park their cars wherever they want. Vendors use footpaths for storing their stuff. Most of them will ask you to mind your business if you say something.
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Old 20th May 2011, 22:42   #21
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Default Re: Returning to India

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
- Cost of living : I can get a quick meal (2 idlis & a coffee) for 25 - 30 rupees in India. Good luck finding a snack for 1/2 a Euro in Europe. I can even eat a full meal for <100 bucks.
GTO has already put so well. And Cost of living is a twin edged sword here. As far as you are not sick or your car is not broke (essentially your life is on track) - it is a middle class paradise. But as things start to get wearing off, fixing is extremely costly.
While in India it is other way round.


Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
- Rudeness/ boorishness/ arrogance
Any person on the street has an attitude about him/ her. The smiles seem to have disappeared only to replaced by a permanent frown/ scowl. Is this mroe due to the inflation or the rat race? I have tried smiling and interacting with people but it doesnt seem like it helps. Whatever happened to people interacting with each other? It seems like I will be restricted to talking to people I know. Do strangers not talk these days? Maybe I need a trip on good old Indian rail to verify for myself.
I am not sure what comfort people derive from empty smiles and that are dwindling each day anyways. What's worse is that the arrogance is real and is increasing each day.
What we consider Indian rudeness/boorishness/arrogance is actually nothing IMO. Everyone is just trying to live and move on without caring to care for empty gestures. And having an attitude is not bad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
- Tardiness/ lack of punctuality
I can understand people getting caught in traffic, but of late I am beginning to feel that people dont seem to care any less. Or even if they have any respect for the time/ schedule of the person they are supposed to meet. Has this become an extension of the 'chalta hai' attitude? How can I stop people selling me up the river?
I think this has to do with separating professional - personal life. Most of us live to work and work to live.


Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
- Service/ support issues
Recently I had an issue with my air cooler and the servicing mechanics just refused to come over to repair it depsite numerous appointments/ assurances. For another issue, an electrician grudgingly came over and then promptly overcharged me (though not explicitly mentioning it). Whatever happened to the good old respect for earning through hard work? How can I stop people from overcharging me and do I have to verify with 5 quotes from different people before finalising whom to get work done from?
I remember the last oil change I had on my Buick. The car takes 6 Qts oil. The gentlemen who bought the car from me got a health check done on the car and it came out that there was only 5.5 Qts oil filled. People rip everywhere. They try to sell things you don't want. You have to find a good deal everywhere.

And in India the service/support is based on relationship. I think it always has been that way. You will soon establish them and I think this would become a non issue then. It has it's own advantages (and disadvantages). In US as well I have realized that it works, but it is more prevalent in India.


Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
- Traffic urgency
Everyone seems to be in a rush to get to wherever they are going. If they are so late everyday, it would perhaps be a bit better to leave early. I presume that people are not estimating their commute times in an efficent manner or that they are so impatient that they want to overtake eveyr vehicle they see.
Please take a drive here in Minneapolis


I think you are burning your blood (if at all you are) on trivial things. If I would like to bring anything back - it would the Library system, and the returns policy. The only other thing I like here is Highways and India has already started to see some beautiful roads.
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Old 21st May 2011, 00:13   #22
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Default Re: Returning to India

Ah ~ Relocation one of the toughest things in one's life. Whether it's for a couple of years or for life. But after a while one adjusts to the new place again.

Skipping all the way to the Food part.
I remember having an unlimited thali in Kerala for only Rs. 17 and it was fabulous.
Today we went out for lunch to a new place and they had a buffet.
Rs. 250/- only
It included
8 Starters ~ 4 Veg 4 Non-Veg
4-5 Veg Main
4-5 Non-Veg Main
3 Deserts.
Cut to the end IT WAS REAL CHEAP!
though the food wasn't too great.
Don't worry you'll get back into the Indian groove in no time
Leave early and Drive Safe!
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Old 22nd May 2011, 22:58   #23
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Default Re: Returning to India

Arre selfdrive, what's this, Monday blues after that long and cold weekend over yonder? Join me for a meet someday man, sure helps the pangs to know new people, don't worry too much about lost decency, many of us still smile at strangers too There are still enough things real here that'll make you think that your stay abroad was a dream in no time. And you're in a city that is still way tolerant, goodness help if you were in Delhi or Mumbai or something. And above all, it's worth it so long as you got people who say 'welcome back' even if you've never seen'em. So welcome back!

Last edited by Eddy : 23rd May 2011 at 00:25. Reason: Mentioning alcohol is against the rules.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 23:39   #24
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Default Re: Returning to India

Friends,

I found out,

Westerners are bigger bigots and conservatives than us, Indians.

I was booed, shooed, called names on streets in US. I was just walking on roads, minding my own business.

People (politely) refused to sit next to me in Greyhound buses.

I didnt want my kid to grow up as ABCDs. I happened to be invited to parties where ABCDs were reluctantly ganged up. The last thing they do is to talk to a Desi. And what do their parent do in these parties, make fun about India. And these are the same people who make a trip to some hinderland every two years when ticket prices are cheap. And keep Edison, NJ or Devon Street, Chicago and every Indian store frozen in 1970s. Quick question, where do you get Campa cola anywhere in the planet?

In every airport in US I was shunted to the orange line. And these are not major airports, small town ones like Manchester NH, Norman OK, medium town ones like Memphis, Pittsburgh, major ones like Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Philly, LA etc etc.

And definitely I didnt want a life where you cant go to some neighborhoods, get terrified about visa status, get foster parents to achieve green card, treat the plumber with more respect than your friends.

I dont blame anyone, I was an alien there, not them.

But hey I learned a lot of things. Learned politeness, driving etiquettes, respect for others, learned to survive in cut throat competition. Enjoy life with limited resources.

I realized that I would perhaps never buy a Harley Davidson. Ever.

Then return.
Ah peace.
So what if there is traffic, pollution, temperature, humidity, filth, insensitivity, corruption, inefficiency.
At least you can live your life in peace in your own country.
All iz well.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 00:14   #25
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Default Re: Returning to India

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Originally Posted by dot View Post
Friends,

I found out
.
.
.
.
All iz well.
Yup - these are some of the bad things about US for sure.

But there are friendly lots too. One of my earlier clients was an ABCD - and he gelled effortlessly with us.
Also - once someone in a pub we frequented picked up a racial fight (mind you we 5-6 were the only non white guys in that pub), and the bouncer threw out that guy on the street.
Again - in another pub - some friends were interrupted for talking in Bengali. I narrated this story to some other American - and they said 'regrettably people tend to forget that their great grandparents were immigrants too, probably talking in polish/german/italian'.


Also - as an immigrant, I feel US is the best place to live than any other country for the ease of it.

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Old 23rd May 2011, 08:07   #26
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Default Re: Returning to India

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But there are friendly lots too.

One of my earlier clients was an ABCD - and he gelled effortlessly with us.

I agree, it is not all that bad. There are good examples too and I have experienced them. However when a issue hits you, you tend to take the a very defensive position.


I used to get bored in US, for whatever reasons. After two weeks, your next door mall or Walmart becomes boring. Leave me blindfolded in any Walmart and I can take you to any aisle you want. Maybe my social life was full of Desis who were out to do only one thing -save $$$.

But hey, what can I do, these were my feelings!!

Leave me at any MG road in any city in India and I wont be bored.

Quote:
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Also - as an immigrant, I feel US is the best place to live than any other country for the ease of it.
Again agreed, compared to Europe, even S'pore, US is far better.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 09:05   #27
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I agree, it is not all that bad
Yup - I generally stay clear of the $$ savers lot. The worst thing you can do in US is not travel around - both near and far. And I have seen people who are in US for over an year and been only 4 places - home, office, walmart, indian store!
Don't really know for what these guys are saving!

Guess I went a bit

But any day - I would take Kolkata over any city - the only saving grace is US IMO are the ease of going around in weekend trips!
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Old 23rd May 2011, 10:41   #28
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@Selfdrive: That's why they said "In Rome do as Romans do". No, I am not saying that now you're in India so you should start getting late for office, involve in a road rage everytime you're behind the wheel, or bear a square face when you're out and about. Its just the Indian culture. There are so many things that you'll experience ONLY in India and nowhere else on this planet. Here issomething from my experience:

1.I know people in more developed countries smile at you if you just happen to look at each other unintentionally (while passing by each other while jogging/walking in a park) but you'll get a middle finger if you just look at someone driving a nice car (or just any other car that takes your fancy) and driver see you looking at him/her. In India its exactly opposite. People may find you a weirdo when you smile at them for no reason but won't mind you peeking at them on their car/bike (they'ed rather be happy).

2. People may hold the door for you when you follow someone through the door in your office or at any public place or would recognise your presence whilst in a queue or even better they'll respect your personal space but how many times have people welcomed you if you turned up at their door and you don't really know them. For example, you want to purchase a used vehicle/gadget from someone and visit their house to finalise the deal.The whole transaction will be done and dusted outside their home without even keeping your comfort in mind.But imagine same in India. You'll be welcomed inside the house and will be offered a coke/soda/water/chai/coffee if not served.

3. In western countries if someone (grown up and earning) lives at their parent's property and parents have that couple of rooms vacant in their house. They pay rent to their parents. If a western oriented father wants to sell a house and his western oriented son is out in market too to buy a property. Chances are son will purchase that property from his father and would really appreciate his father for not earning a high profit from that transaction. How many times have you ever heard/seen such a deal in an Indian family or have seen family members paying rent??

4. From a trades person's point of view, in developed countries when an electrician\a carpenter\a plumber (even though they're honest and punctual) carried out his/her work at someone's property how many times have you experience them being asked (no, not by you) out for any refreshment (chai/pani). In India its rather a culture to be courteous toward those tradies. (no, I am not a trady. Just my observations)

5. From my personal experience, I lived at my previous house (in Australia) for four years and knew no-body in the whole street except my next door (right side) neighbour who was an Indian too.Didn't know who lives in the property to my left ot right infront. In india we virtually know the whole street.


No, I am not advocating that India is the best (though it is the best for me). Every country has its pros and cons. You know what I have been living outside of India (UK and Australia) for past 8 years now. And all those things that bother you gets me on my nerves too. but I have found a solution. I have installed an imaginary switch (yeah just like light switch,On/Off) in me. When I am in India I switch myself into Indian mode. i.e. don't expect people to rockup on time, don't expect too many thanks and sorrys, don't expect too much when it comes to customer service or service etc and the list goes on.....
Its easy to change yourself (read adapt) than to expect more than 1 billion people to change overnight.

Key to happiness is when in India, be Indian All the best

Last edited by Punzabi : 23rd May 2011 at 10:51.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 11:48   #29
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Default Re: Returning to India

Guys, I think we are going off track here. I am not concerned with any comparison of India with US/ Europe/ ___ (fill in any other country in the blank!)
My grouse remains that we Indians have changed for the worse in the last few years.
I appreciate all your points about India and the other countries (both negative and positive). I have already weighed all the pros and cons and decided that India is the only place to live. So no questions about that; just trying to discuss how we can be better at being ourselves than being a cheap imitation of how we think people live/ behave in other countries.
Perhaps the mistake is mine; the title is a bit confusing!
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Old 23rd May 2011, 12:25   #30
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Default Re: Returning to India

Looks like this is going in the lines of India is good / West is bad debate.
When I read the opening post, what I gathered was “what has changed in the past few years”, and not about how good/bad is our behavior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
I was booed, shooed, called names on streets in US. I was just walking on roads, minding my own business.
People (politely) refused to sit next to me in Greyhound buses.

In every airport in US I was shunted to the orange line...

And definitely I didnt want a life where you can’t go to some neighborhoods, get terrified about visa status, get foster parents to achieve green card, treat the plumber with more respect than your friends.
Quote:
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Again agreed, compared to Europe, even S'pore, US is far better.
Sorry to disagree Dot, I feel the above two sets are quite contradicting. You have all those bad experiences mentioned in the first set, and then you mentioned ‘US is far better than Europe, Singapore etc.’ Now I don’t have any experience of living in Europe. But have been to the US and also have been living in Singapore for the past many years. Here in Singapore, I never had any such bad experiences here, and have been living quite well merged with the society. And I have not seen a street or locality here where I should avoid going, because I am a foreigner. And I feel this is one of the most expatriate friendly countries in the world. And never felt like an alien while being with my friends and colleagues. Multi-cultural society and racial harmony is the key here. Yes, the rules are strict, and being a small place, it is well manageable.
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