Thursday, November 15, 2018

FAQ for NRIs: After being an NRI, what are the major setbacks you are still facing after returning to Bengaluru?

My wife, son and I have US citizenship (and Indian OCI) and we moved back to Bengaluru about two years ago. My dad, who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer a while ago was starting to gradually slow down. My aging parents lived alone in Bangalore, and I got the dreaded phone call from my mother on the verge of breakdown herself, asking for help.
We had our fair share of setbacks after returning back to Bengaluru after a couple of decades in the west. Here are a few:
  • I’ll club the usual suspects - Traffic, pollution and general chaos of the life - in one bucket. This is something I had to work through and accept as a way of life here.
  • Bangaloreans have become more parochial and less tolerant of outsiders Refer to the question on Quora “When will outsiders leave Bengaluru?” and my response. Bangaloreans like me who have spent time outside the city and country are likely to feel a bit out of place in the new “Bengaluru
  • Organic growth of the city - I had grown up and worked in the Bengaluru where people still rode bicycles for short distance commutes. Now Cars, bikes and scooters are much more ubiquitous. After living in the west where zoning laws and regulations are generally respected, it takes a while to accept that such organic, unplanned growth is the way of life.
  • Bangalore was known as a Garden city, but there are hardly any private gardens (ref my post - Return to India Musings: when a home becomes a golden egg). Houses that had some patch of greenery or even a few coconut trees are giving way to concrete structures and flats.
As far as the last part of the question goes “Do you regret coming back to your home city and not being able to go back to your desired foreign land?”
I haven’t yet reached the point where the regrets outweigh the decision to move back.