No regrets! My teachers told me that I should aspire after the position of a much sought-after software engineer in America. I did it! Then why do I find the shadow of loneliness pursuing me? My parents have visited me once in the last five years and I speak to them regularly. So what is it that I lack? When I was in India they told me to look for greener pastures and so here I am in the greenest pasture possible despite the economic slowdown.
The problem is that the grass merely seems greener. I do not complain of America as a land of opportunities! The social security, welfare schemes and the overall quality of life here can hardly be imagined in India in the next fifty years if the great Indian circus of democracy is allowed to continue the way it is doing now. But at the cost of sounding romantic, I miss the fragrance of the Indian soil. I miss my people, my friends, family, the lanes where I grew up playing with my friends, the bells in the temples early in the morning…. I miss conversing in Hindi and Bhojpuri. I miss the fragrance of the Indian bazaars where you get a feel of the real ‘Bharat’, thriving and pulsating with life. The cowdung smoke of the evenings was as close to me as the pebbles thrown on the large lake. In India, not just in my hometown of Bihar, I was never lonely. I could speak to anybody. In spite of New York City teeming with millions of people, I am always an alien here. An ‘Indian’ to the more generous souls and a ‘Paki’ or a ‘Brownie’ to the others.
I have made enough hay in these green pastures. I want to go back to a different kind of greenness with all its poverty and difficulties. The puris and jalebis in the company of parents and friends are far superior to the promotion I get due to some performance here. I have had enough of earning money. I better get back to earning my life back. The grass, from this perspective, is greener back in India.