When I started with my classes here at Michigan Tech, I really loved the way professors taught and the way students attended the lectures. The US education system was undoubtedly better, if not the best. There are few factors I really loved about this country apart from education system. "Equal opportunity employer" yes this is what I found on most of the recruiting websites. They value everyone, may it be an engineer, may it be your cab driver or a plumber, unlike India where we (including me) would not treat an engineer and a plumber with the same respect (with regards to their job profile). Everyone shares the same status, if I would have been a cab driver in India, I would surely have felt some inferiority in front of a company manager or if not then the society would have made me feel so (in general, of coarse there are modest people too). People do not watch out for their expressions in public, now not talking in general but I really become conscious of my expressions in public and behave as if someone is keeping a watch over me all the time. So actually what I felt is these things do induce confidence in you and this is my personal observation/perception that people (aam janta) here are more confident in expressions, words and thoughts than I was back in my country.
Now coming to the main point of this post. Will I return to India? Why or Why not?
# Well just few days back I was in Chicago, enjoying my Spring break. A beautiful city and a good place to be at for a change. I went to a shop with two other friends of mine. The lady at that shop was an Indian (Gujarati), we placed orders with her, she served our burgers and donuts, she did greet us very warmly...a nice lady. When we returned back to our hotel that night I was thinking..'when people go to US from India, we generally think that they might be doing some good job (yeah in India we define a good job and a bad job, which now I feel should not be done) but she has come miles away to serve burgers to customers (which I would have termed a bad job with my previous thinking), why? And I put this question to my friends I had come along with to Chicago.
I really got a very nice reply from my friend, here it is- "First of all no work is big or small, good or bad. Secondly what do you think this lady would have done or how much she would have earned back in India with almost no academic degree in her hand?". I literally agreed to my friend and I was sort of blank for a moment. He continued "Without a good academic profile she would be earning more than some literate in India, so whats bad". And yes that was very true.
# One of my home mate's Uncle and Aunt live here in the US. He went to see them few months back, when he returned he used to tell me about the luxury cars they had, about their lavish house, their lifestyle and everything else. Then he said "My uncle recently retired from his job" to which I replied "Then what is he doing here? Why he does not go back to India and live rest of his life there? Anyways he is done with his job...he must take his family back to the land he belongs to." Then my home mate replied "Do you think after the kind of life he lived here, he would ever wish to go back to India, where possibly never he would have been what he is now, anyways he visits India once or twice every year, why would he sacrifice this lavish life which he earned with his hard work in the US?". I was confused but nodded my head in agreement to his arguments because he was at least not wrong.
Now if I look at my life ahead, with a masters degree in US I will surely earn 3-4 times more than a Masters student would earn in India (again in general). Its clear where does the profit lies. No returning tickets to India then. Isn't it?? And here I would like to pause you for a moment and ask you to think about the word "profit". Yes to me profit is not a salary that pays me more or a lavish life in the US. There is only one thing I find in the US in terms of profit and that is MONEY which can buy almost anything for you these days. For me there are other priorities that bother me more. I cant live all my life serving a company who pays for my labor and makes profit out of me. I consider staying back in the US as purely being selfish, which I would never prefer to be (and yes as I said the word profit has different meaning for different people). I want my final destination to be India.
I do not wish to exactly share my future plans now because I fear if I would really be able to make it or not and the second reason is your priorities in life change and when this reason hits me..I get a flash back "Son never go to America, my only son went to study there and now he is settled over there only..I rare to even see him".
I have no clue how things will shape up in my life but I do realize what my priorities are and what kind of profits would make me happy, so as of now I can say I will book "Tickets to my Final Destination" finally one day.