Saturday, December 09, 2006

Winter conversations

Emigration has come up repetitively in my conversations recently. Sometimes, depending on age & familiarity, the question is rather direct & at others, it is arrived at slowly. And there are far too many obvious pluses about the USA that I've already experienced during my short stay here, that it really becomes difficult to justify anything thing other than "I'd love to sometime soon" or words to that effect.

What is not often discussed, for it appears that reason & convenience are the only things we live by, is that our lives are perhaps a little more than a sum total of opportunities we may or may not explore. Unfortunately, without sufficient eloquence, this point of view might come across as the USA not being "good enough" by some people. Looking at all the aspects of a problem is not undermining the US or being sentimental about issues, I feel as I write this.

India is an emerging economy plagued as it is by corruption & beaurocracy. Things are vastly improved from what they were 10 years back or even more. The US is an excellent system, the richest country in the world & the like. The pluses & minues discussion is an endless one & I do not intend to go into that. I want to, rather, say how you might decide on this - just my own personal view - & not how you analyze.

In the end, when you weigh it all together you'll have to decide for yourself what is best for you. And you'll also have to decide if what is best for you is indeed the best you could do.



Usha said...

I can completely understand why young people are eager to emigrate if they have an opportunity - day to day life is more organised, your rights and liberties cannot be infringed upon easily or if they are, law can be invoked to see justice is done, you get the worth for what you spend and the opportunities are better.
Is there nothing called a natural habitat for the different races? are roots and culture nothing but artificial creations of the mind?
Can you really feel at "home" anywhere life is comfortable and your intellectual needs are satisfied?
I am always curious about these because personally I find it impossible to stay away from India for extended periods. Perhaps it is just the people I miss. I don't know.

S! said...

That was exactly my point when I said that it appears that reason & opportunity are that we live by.

Further, I think, like a relative of mine said, most people who stay back do not really do so as a concrete, conscious decision. It is just that they do not take the concrete decision to go back, & look to justify this in hindsight.

Particularly for folks belonging to the IT industry, the difference in opportunities & lifestyle in India & in the US, in my view, are not wide enough to merit a decision like this.

I think there is a case for work-content, for we're primarily a service/delivery set up, & you could argue that US offers more consulting type oppportunities. However, this is first not justified by the numbers or most people who are here are not consultants working with the clients but are very much part of the delivery set up & second, I think, that, like you mentioned about people, the best for me is not really the best I could do.