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!”