Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Moving to India

Moving between houses is a pain by itself. But moving across countries takes the definition of pain to a whole new level. The number of tasks that need to be taken care of range from closing myriad gas, electricity, internet, bank, telephone.... accounts and selling every last stick of furniture you have to figuring out how to handle any leftover things once you have actually moved out of the country. Not fun at all, I tell ya.

My stress levels have held steady at the red-danger zone for over a month now. We started executing our move in right earnest from the middle of June. While it seemed a bit early at the time, looking back, it gave us time to take things a wee bit easier than we would otherwise have been able to.

Since then, everyday has brought along its own set of tasks: posting furniture listings on Craigslist , setting up account closing dates , sorting out stuff that needs to be tossed/donated or packed and so on. The last activity is the one which has taken the lion's share of our time. I am now ready to run at the sight of any box. Besides, nowadays, everytime I need to pack something, my brain slows down so much in protest that I can actually see things happening in slow-motion. Only two more days, Archu, only two more days.

My biggest consolation is, once we get back to India, our support system is so well-entrenched that many of the settling in tasks can be delegated or at least be moved along with generous doses of help.

On the work front, things have worked out awesomely well. I can't believe the number of hoops my manager and my company has jumped through to make sure that I can continue working for them from India as well. I must tell ya, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that I am valuable enough to be worth making all that effort for. My ego has gotten boosted by several hundred points.

Curiously enough, in spite of all the moving work that we are doing, I still feel like we are going on vacation rather than moving back permanently. I guess three months in Chennai would cure me of that notion.

I will keep you folks posted as we go through the process.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Home sweet home

The first reaction I got from most fellow Indians when I told them that I was moving back to India was the last one I expected: envy. Most of them sighed and said they wished they could go back home as well.

Thinking back, I guess it is a predictable reaction from most first generation Indians who arrived in the US thinking that they would go back to India in a couple of years. In reality, two years became three, three became five, five became ten and suddenly, the roots had grown so deep that acceptance slowly started to creep in that perhaps US was home now. Still, that does not stop residual guilt from popping up when someone else is implementing their original plan. There, that is my Freudian analysis for today.

Coming back to me, next week this time, S and me will be on a flight back to India, going back to home sweet home: Chennai, India. It took me time to get used to the idea that I will be leaving the country I have lived in for almost 9 years now for good. The bay area, especially, boasts the privilege of hosting me for 7 years continually, a privilege which no other city has had in all my years of existence. I will miss the city, its weather, its parks, its community recreation center, its roads and most of all, the lovely city library.

Still, the idea of being among family and friends, celebrating all the major festivals with pomp, not missing out on the various functions, eating delicious food, having a very well-entrenched support system and finally going HOME is very intoxicating. Both of us are very much looking forward to it.

India, here we come :-D!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The aim game

I have written about my not-so-happy bowling experiences before. Little wonder then, when we had to choose an activity for a team-outing at work, I steered clear of Bowling and Bocche ball (which sounded like it involved plenty of aiming as well) and voted for Laser-tag and Go-karting instead.

Most of the rest of the team voted for Go-karting as well. We picked a location which offered Go-karting as well as mini-golf. Now, while mini-golf involves aiming as well, during my previous mini-golf outings, while nowhere near the best, I had at least fared average, on par with most of the other participants. So I was not unduly worried about winding up as the mini-golf idiot.

Last Friday, after a hearty lunch at a Thai place, we decided to begin our outing with a round of mini-golf. Two teams were formed. We began playing. Plenty of good-natured laughter ensued when for some people, the ball merrily went over, around, beside, across but not into the hole. Oh goodie, if I was going to make a fool of myself, I at least had company. Hurrah!

Then my turn came, I hit the ball and to my pleasant surprise, it went right into the hole in a decent number of strokes, without much detouring. Nice!

We continued playing. Lady Luck, who had favored me for the first hole, continued to sit on my shoulder. At every hole, my ball went precisely where I wanted it to go, stopped at convenient places and never once overshot its intended position. Of course, there were other good players as well - but I could not believe that I could actually count myself among them.

Finally, it was time to tally up the scores. My team had won - yaaay!

And *drum rolls*: I was the one with the best individual score! Among 10 other people. Wonders will never ever cease. I had actually managed to play an aiming game well. Woohoo!

I acted totally cool like I was a born mini-golf pro around my colleagues. However, once I got home, I crowed to S about my "achievement" only about two dozen times over the past weekend. Now, he is just about ready to swing a mini-golf club at me the next time I go, "Guess who had the best score at mini-golf".

Funny how little things can bring big cheap thrills.