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You have been there, done that but now it is time to return home or decide whether you want to return home. It is the time of eternal confusion; dilemma and often the feelings and mood swing wildly from one spectrum to another for many of us. Many of the surgeons who have done their fellowship will find this very familiar and they will know that there is no right and wrong …It is the perception and happiness that counts and happiness as they say is our own creation.

So what is it that draws us abroad and want to stay there forever? Life style for one is surely the number one reason, While in India you work 24 * 7 even most Sundays, struggle to have the basic amenities – 24*7 electricity, uninterrupted clean water, a decent traffic and commute to work and respect of the community not by virtue of being a doctor but a rightful citizen. Most developed countries offer all this and more, which translates into efficient working and more of me and my family time..

Most people also believe that the future for their kids is brighter abroad as they are likely to have access to greater opportunities both in term of studies and also sports.  Another reason that draws them to lure of staying abroad is lack of initial start up opportunities In India. This fear of unknown factor where in they know that once they are back, despite all the qualifications and skill sets, they are probably as good as any fresh pass outs puts many off. And the fact that 50 or odd emails that they have sent to various hospitals across the country reinforces there view point that no one wants talented hardworking people, which in part is true and is also reflected in day to day life. Having lived across the world, one thing that I believe is almost as good and perhaps better than most places in the world is our advertising industry. It is not without reason that we create the best adds, and our advt rate for prime slots are among the highest in world. We Indians tend to be swayed more by marketing and hear say than our own judgment, for us quality  comes a distant second to wow factor which in this case being treated by the most famous doctor in the town.

And finally Money, someone in past had rightly said that they are only two truly international things money and love. And yes money does make world go round. In the initial stage of career, when your contemporaries form the different fields are busy settling down to stable incomes, bigger cars and beautiful house, you are still struggling to make ends meet, live in a room and if married in a one room set in the most obnoxious areas, giving exam’s ( and failing many times). SO when you get a chance to have a decent respectable score or salary, you want to cling on to it and thus it is no wonder that most people start thinking of returning only when they feel they have a reserve that can help them cope up for a year or two back home.

So what is it then that make people think of coming back.. As I said there are only two truly international things money and love.. So yes when you start thinking you can earn more in India and you start yearning for love and feeling that you get more love back home, you think of returning.  Despite the new friends that you have made, new favorite haunts that you have discovered, you still crave for your old friends and family, your mind drifts to places that gave you the kick and solace, you want to be at a place where you could be yourself.

You also realize that professionally although it is not easy to settle in India, yet it is the place that recognizes all your qualifications and gives you a freedom to practice wherever you want and to the full extent that your qualification allows. There is no giving exams, waiting for the results and job interviews, and choosing the areas of shortages.

Also you wonder what will happen when your kids grow up, will they still be attached to you are you will be empty nesters.. grey nomads devoid of the happiness that family and grand children provide ( a very far fetched thought but does cross the minds). You start to question whether bigger houses, big gardens, better cars, newer gadgets translate into more love, more satisfaction, more happiness..

 

And finally there are days you feel that you cannot realize your complete potentials and that you cannot draw complete strength and you tend to settle for the easier and comfortable ways of life by choosing to live abroad.

 

SO while there is no right or wrong, I often remember one of the statements from the novel ”name sake” ( not sure) where in the authors says that every blade of grass draws its strength form where it was originally rooted and if you pluck it up and replant it to another soil, grow it will but not with that strength and will that it once it had.. Metaphorically correct form most of us, who are probably like blades of grass, but equally untrue for some plants  Like Banana tree that must be transplanted for it to grow into tree) and some amongst  us who would flourish only when transplanted in another soil.