Tag Emotional

What will it take to make us like India after moving back?

Relationships: Sailing with family in Mumbai harbourPHOTO: Sailing with family in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai Harbor, India

Meenal and I are experimenting living in Delhi for a year. At the end of the year, we’ll decide if we want to commit to India longer.

HOW will we decide if we like India or not?

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Healthcare consulting feels meaningful after 3 weeks of working in India

Badami, Karnataka 2002As healthcare consultants in India, we work a lot with the government and institutions such as the United Nations to bring basic healthcare facilities to the poor. And by “basic” I really do mean basic – 24×7 support for deliveries, care for newborns, immunization clinics, emergency care, blood storage units, etc. Next week, I will make my first business trip to a village to assess a public hospital that serves thousands of people but may not have the ability to do c-sections.  Our deliverables – assess the hospital, develop a plan to offer the various kinds of care expected from district level hospitals, and finally execute the plan over the next few years.

In the U.S., our contributions felt more indirect and due to a mature market, the problems we attempted to solve were more “first world”. Our solutions probably affected fewer people and were incremental and evolutionary. In India, our contributions have the potential of being very impactful – bringing healthcare services where there weren’t any or dramatically raising the quality of care provided. The large population exponentially multiplies the effect of our successes or failures.

India is so different from the U.S.

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Diwali in India is a reminder to celebrate

Shweta lighting diyas in her rangoliI’m not religious and don’t celebrate religious holidays. And yet, this Diwali I’m struck by the festive mood – decorating, wrapping gifts and socializing. It is a reminder that celebration is worth the effort. Whether its doing rangoli and pujas for Diwali or a barbeque with your spouse and friends with whom you enjoy living life.

Life’s successes seem almost inevitable after the fact. In about 10 days, Meenal and I would have settled into our new place in Gurgaon. Meenal will start her new job in India on November 15th. I’ll start working full time on my business this month. And we’ll start spending more time with family, old friends and new people we meet. This is a milestone for us. Diwali has reminded me to celebrate this milestone.

Seasons greetings and Happy Life! And lookout for our party invite…

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Why we moved to India

THE POINT OF IT ALL – WHY DID WE MOVED TO INDIA?

Prashant: Animals have fought for mates since the beginning of time. Human history is full of examples of wars waged in the pursuit of beauty. In this great tradition, I’m following my wife half way around the world. My masterstroke has only one goal – to unashamedly use this in every marital argument from this point on. If you don’t want to move and your spouse does, this mind-numbingly brilliant strategy could serve you well.

Also, I had an opportunity to start a design company. I was smitten.

Meenal: Even after a blissful decade in Massachusetts, I still referred to Delhi as “home.” I was not ready to settle down in the US without at least attempting to live in India. I didn’t want to be a middle-aged naturalized American who longed to settle down in the motherland one day. This wasn’t due to any nationalistic sentiment. I just missed family – I missed being a part of people’s lives. By perfect accident, I got a great opportunity to work in India for a couple of years – so we took the plunge.

It may end up being a classic case of the “grass is greener on the other side” but at least I’ll know where I want “home” to be.

Continue reading: Why we moved to India

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