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Meenal and Prashant were on NPR!

Sounds from this India experiment were aired on public radio in the US! Sangar ki sabzi, noisy kitchen, our opinion on renting vs. buying – it’s all there.
Read the 2012 article on WBUR and Listen to the 2012 story on WBUR.

Meenal's parent's place, Delhi, 2012. Meenal's mom is center left in Red Sari.Celebrating Meenal’s 2 week old niece. Delhi, 2012.

2 years ago, NPR (Morning Edition) had done a story on couples who were choosing to rent instead of buying a place. See 2010 pictures of our Boston apartment on WBUR and Listen to the 2010 story on WBUR.

Thanks to the very talented storyteller Curt Nickisch for seeking our wise words.

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R2I highlights – 60 days after moving to India from USA

  • I bribed a traffic official $2.13 (Rs.100) at the airport to watch my car so I could run into the terminal and fetch my lost American friend
  • Meenal watched and graded the delivery of a baby (failing grade) as well as a sterilization (near perfect score) in a government hospital in rural Rajasthan
  • A grandmother in the labor room wished that her newborn granddaughter die leaving Meenal speechless. This was the fifth girl in the family as they had been trying to get a son.
  • Our $4000 car needed $650 (Rs.30,000) in major repairs due to a missing drain cover inside our apartment complex
  • We’ve visited family and friends in Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta), Ajmer (Rajasthan) and several parts of Delhi and enjoyed most of it
  • We’ve learnt to drive on Delhi roads – send a confident ‘don’t cross’ message when you spot pedestrians, beware of vehicles bigger than you, and don’t take people cutting you off personally
  • When I want a glass of water, I have caught myself looking around for the housekeeper
  • We’ve attended several weddings – an experience so boring that I’m contemplating a complete ban on all future attendance
  • After we caught 2 rats in the air conditioning ducts, we’ve experienced no further visits a revisit from the rodent
  • We came very close to fatal traffic accident and each of the 5 passengers treated the incident as a minor annoyance

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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?

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

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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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We are moving to a our own place in Gurgaon, India!

My mother in law can’t keep feeding us. We will be moving to our own place on November 1st. The breakfasts will be slightly more modest in a few days.

Breakfast at Tiffany'sBreakfast at Tiffany'sBreakfast at Tiffany'sBreakfast at Tiffany's

Loosing your vision? Enlarge these pictures!

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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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