Monday, August 10, 2009
I took the road less traveled by ...
"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference"
- Robert Frost
It was Oct, 2001. That was my first visit to US (& the first visit to any country outside India). US was recovering from the great tragedy of terrorist attacks. I went to US on a business trip and I stayed there for about 6 weeks. At the end of the trip, I told my friends "I don't want to come to US on a long term assignment. I don't think I would do that even in my dreams". Exactly 1 year since my visit to US, I got my H1B visa stamped and I was ready to go to US to work.
It was July, 2002. I decided to quit HCL Technologies because of the lack of proper recognition. My best friend was working in US, for a startup company. He told me that they have an opening in their company. I never dreamt about moving to US. So, I wasn't very excited about the opportunity. I thought about my options, for a while - "There were not many good companies in Chennai. If at all, I have to quit HCL, I have to find a job in Bangalore - which means, I have to stay away from my family. If I have to stay away from my home/family, why shouldn't I move to US?" It took me very less time to make the decision. In the following week, I attended interview over the phone and got selected. I don't think I had any relevant work experience but I showed lots of interest, enthusiasm and willingness to learn. I got an offer in August, 2002. I told my employer (HCL) right away that I'm quitting. I applied for my visa stamping.
2002 was a bad year to move to US. Only a handful of people would've gone to US on a H1B visa. Some of my friends (out of good intentions), told me that I'm making a wrong move. There were signs of war looming between Saddam & US. Economy was going through its worst period. The company that I got an offer from had hardly a few months of runway (Yes. They were about to run out of their funds). My dad was questioning me, "Why should I quit HCL & why should I go to US when I'm getting paid well in HCL". But, I blindly followed my intuitions. My best friend assured me, "Common buddy. We can manage it".
My future was completely dark - it looked as-if my future was covered by thick fog. I know that I was leaving the green pasture to explore the unknown lands. The curiosity got me excited. I know that there was still some 'cheese' left out to eat, in my current place. But, I started my journey to explore and find new 'cheese' mountains.
It is nearly 7 years since I made my decision to move to US. I now have answers to all the questions/unknowns that I had in 2002.
Did I make the right decision?
Yes, I did !
Did I get a better exposure?
Yes, I did !
Did I become a better person?
Yes, I did !
Had I known the answers to all these questions in 2002, the ride wouldn't have been joyful. The ride was joyful because there were unknowns & sudden twists/turns.
Now, I'm back in India cherishing my 7 years of memories/experiences. I've to continue my journey. Looking down, I see green pasture. Looking ahead, I see darkness covered by thick fog. Looking around, I see some lingering 'cheese'. But, I want to explore and find those hiding 'cheese' mountains. Am I making the right decision? Will I get a better exposure? Will I become a better person? Who knows... But, I'm sure the ride is going to be exciting. I'm looking forward to that.
Stages of immigrant life in USA
Back from a short business trip to US
Election day in India is always like a festival. You can see autorickshaws offering free rides to the elderly and disabled people from home ...
This post consolidates rich information on various R2I topics such as R2I checklist, R2I reasons, 401K, Social Security, R2I Jobs/salaries, ...
Are you planning to Return to India (R2I)? Are you wondering whether you'll be eligible for the Social Security Benefits when you retir...
Good to know that you are thinking of Returning to India (R2I). R2I is indeed a hard decision and requires meticulous planning. ( Also read...