What is one truth about an Indian living abroad ?


The heart of an Indian living abroad is never far from his homeland !

I witnessed it first hand last weekend when I was visiting a mandir. We met up with a couple who have been living in US since 1976, for nearly 31 years. It was very interesting to hear his experiences. The first thing he mentioned was- If you want better standard of living and comforts in life, there is no better place than America. I don’t think many people will defer with that opinion. However, he mentioned in same breath that he still misses India the way he did 31 years back.

So, what was the reason ?

He narrated his experience of 2004 visit to Mumbai (he had lived in Mumbai in early part of his life), where he bought chanas from gaadiwalla or Thela and walked endlessly for hours on Mumbai roads. He used to do that 30 years back and he did it during his recent visit, the only difference, earlier chanaas cost him couple of anas and now it cost hime 10 rupees :). He said- that walk was priceless for him because all his earlier memories came back flooding to him- his university days, his chai wala Irani hotel….

At the end of our conversation he mentioned that he could not go back to India and live there but he has put a clause in his will that his ashes should go back to India !

So even though large Indian Diaspora may be spread across the globe, their heart is never really far from the roots. Most of them have a consitent feeling to go back – but very few succeed in returning !

Actually I started writing this post to share with my readers the statistics of NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) across the globe, but it seems post has taken a different direction. I will write another post giving details of statistics, but here are some of the Interesting facts about Indian diaspora that you should know.

1) Except US, more than 80% of Indian people staying abroad are on temporary work visa.

2) In US, 50% or more Indians have green cards/ citizenship. 26% are on H1B work visas and remaining are in US on other visas like dependent, student visa etc.

3) Souther Indian community dominates the NRI world. More than 54% NRIs are from South Indian origin, 23% from North, 19% from West followed by 5% from the East.

I will be writing a post in couple of days sharing some other interesting statistics. Stay tuned !

Update: One of the commentators for this post Shubham suggested and excellent tag line, which really sums up this whole post .

“You can take a man out of India but you cannot take India out of a man!”

  1. Vijay says

    Interesting post. By the way, was it a Raymond’s ad or Siyaram’s ad?

  2. Dharmesh Desai says

    he is a chut!

  3. suraj says

    its very true irespective of how many years we spend away from our country we will always be attached to our roots in india…and i m really proud of that fact..
    No doubt we have seen such a good life in US..but still its a foreign land and cold strange people but we are here for the best well i have also written for indian life in USA in http://thekapils.com/2012/03/12/life-of-software-engineers-in-usa/

  4. Amit Faujdar says

    interesting post…. thanks

  5. Madhav Shivpuri says

    Interesting stuff.
    I am from Bangalore but have lived in Tokyo, Japan for the last 10 years (a third of my life). From the time I land in Bangalore till the time I depart from the airport, I live and enjoy every moment of it. But when I come and experience the infrastructure in Bangalore, I can’t wait to get back to Tokyo. Landing in the Narita feels like ‘home’, for reasons including cleaniness, transportation, electricity/water – 24 hrs etc.

    For my children, where we live in Tokyo is their home and going to Bangalore is vacation. So, probably their childhood and memories will be shaped based on their experiences here.

    I think in summary, I would like to say that our hearts belong to the places where we grow up and have a good time. It is probably where we had our best friends, where we ate something so common place but we don’t the get same or the same feeling abroad etc. which make us love the place. If we have had really bad or tragic experiences, it doesn’t matter where one grows up or goes to college, the city or country may not be dear to one’s heart. Any thoughts?

    1. Nikhil Advani says

      Ya.. bro i agree with you .. its associated with ones good days and feeling

  6. Mandrake says

    Well, isn’t nostalgia the word for this feeling. People who leave India still see it in the same light as they left it and have fond memories. More like, after a person has left us ;)

    When you live here, you yearn to go to US,UK,Europe, Australia to have that "quality of living". When you are there, you think about India. :D

  7. trakin says

    Indian Blogger…These statistics are based on survey released by India based “JuxtConsultant”. You can visit there site http://juxtconsultant.com and register to download snapshots of various reports. This particular statistic is from one the reports that gives details on NRIs. The survey was based on a audience of around 1700 people spread across globe. This was a online survey based on which they have compiled the figures.
    Thanks for asking…

  8. Indian Blogger says


    You provide an interesting perspective. You have provided some stats ” Except US, more than 80% of Indian people staying abroad are on temporary work visa.” etc.
    Could you please provide me the source of these stats..Just curious?

  9. trakin says

    Wingco: Thak you for letting us know your opinion. I beg to differ.

    I lived in Kanpur for most part of my school days and then moved to Pune where I lived for nearly 16 years before I moved to US. I never once missed Kanpur, even though my school days were some of the best days of my life. But when I am in US, it is very different. Every time I land in Mumbai- I have the same very delightful feeling (although, Mumbai is not where I have lived) and I love everything at that time, the pollution, the typical- not so pleasant Mumbai smell, the traffic..you name it…I just like everything !
    About the money factor- I do tend to agree that things have changed- you get almost everything in India that you get in US – however, the difference of eating a MCDonalds/Pizza Hut in India an eating it here cannot even be compared. I am just not talking about taste- I am also talking about the feeling.

    Also, well said Mesmerized and I second your opinion completely.

  10. trakin says

    WoW SHubham,
    This raymod tag line really matches…I will mention this in my post !

  11. Shubham says

    Reminds me of the Raymonds ad “You can take a man out of India but you cannot take India out of a man!”

  12. wingco says

    thats got nothing to do with NRIs really… its basic human tendency. You’d feel the same way about mumbai if you were brought up there but were living in Delhi for the rest of your life without getting a chance to get back to your hometown. It’s not really about India – it’s just attachment to the earlier part of your life. I also disagree with the comfort and standard of living thing. If you have money in India – and a whole lot of people do – you can achieve the same if not higher levels of comfort here. This feelings mentioned by you are from people who’ve been living abroad for more than three years… India’s changing so fast that’s the time it takes for NRIs to lose track of this country.

  13. Mesmerized says


    @Shubham : :) Yes it does.

    @wingco: Well id like to think otherwise. Hmm if you lived in Delhi in your early years and move lets say to Mumbai. Your yet in India. You still will get Bhel Puri, Chaat, People spitting on the road, and super sensationalized news. But that i think you will never get anywhere else but India. Abroad you might find other Indians or Asians but you wont find the experience INDIA but still one is an Indian, either by nationality or by heart. thats my opinions :P

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

who's online