Saturday, April 26, 2008
Spot the NRI
The new India has brought many Indians living abroad for years back to their homeland. Most of them have returned here for improved and enhanced career prospects while reconnecting with the country of their birth. Other reasons abound such as being closer to immediate family, strong social networks, giving children born outside India a unique perspective on the country, participate in and contribute to the growth etc.
Bangalore continues to be the magnet that attracts Indians from all around the world. I see it as the NRI (non-resident Indian) capital of India. Interestingly, these are all folks who were born in India and completed their education here before leaving the country for improved and enhanced career prospects elsewhere.
The experience outside of India has changed many of these folks (including ourselves). Mona and I frequently play the game of "Spot the NRI" in a crowd! NRI men are usually clean shaven, speak in measured tones and are frequently seen in an informal setting wearing a clean t-shirt and long shorts. You can also spot them taking walks with their children or pushing the kids stroller or carrying a mountain of shopping/grocery bags and walking behind their wives! Many of these folks are caught in two worlds. They miss the order, cleanliness, structure, discipline and work ethic of their adopted country while enjoying the social connections, great food, hospitality and warmth of their home country.
Interesting "dual-identity" dilemma for these folks!