They say the first year after a big change is the hardest, and that if you stick it out, the rest is smooth sailing. It’s been a year since we moved to India, which means we have made it past the turbulent phase of new beginnings and novel experiences. And on this occasion, I’d like to list the (mostly) good and (a few) bad things about our life here, so far:
1. Although it isn’t all fairy tale, living in a big family, I’m truly happy we decided to move in with our in-laws. Having them around to help us raise our kids has been a blessing. They play with the kids and teach them a thing or two about our culture.
2. Where once even using the restroom was a “communal” event, now I can leave the kids under their grandparents’ care and supervision to grab a few moments of solitude.
3. Domestic help is easy to find and not too expensive. Having someone to help me clean the house or do the dishes frees up my time.
4. I find more time to do all the things I enjoy doing like reading, blogging, cooking exotic dishes and spending time with the kids at the park.
5. All that free time from not having to look after the kids 24×7 is helping me nurture other relationships that matter to me, for e.g., my marriage!
6. My mother-in-law is such a perfectionist when it comes to cooking that it is helping me polish my own culinary skill.
7. When a crisis arose in my family, I was able to join them to provide support and comfort. It would have been difficult to undertake the LONG journey home with the kids from the US at such a short notice.
8. There are so many temples to choose from when I feel the urge to soak in some spirituality.
9. I’m better able to strengthen bonds with our extended families. The kids grow up knowing and spending time with their aunts, uncles and cousins.
10. Although I’m a careful driver who doesn’t drive too fast or skip signals, I’m relieved that I don’t have to worry about breaking traffic rules all the time, like I used to in the US. Rules are meant to be broken in India, which is pretty scary when I think about it!
11. There are so many restaurants and cuisines to choose from, one is spoiled for choice here.
12. There are so many National Parks and places of cultural and historical significance to visit, but sadly, most aren’t well-cared for.
13. Many people here only care for their personal hygiene and the cleanliness of their own homes and do not think twice about dumping their garbage in front of their neighbors’ homes.
14. I have friends, other moms, I meet at the park or at school, but, other than that, my social life here sucks!
15. I buy books and diapers online and pay “Cash on Delivery”, which I find very amazing!
16. I don’t know how to bargain with shop owners, which means I always end up paying more than what the thing’s worth for.
17. Trains are dirty, Public toilets are dirtier. But they don’t bother me much. I suppose having kids raises your threshold for tolerance towards filth!
18. India isn’t the India I once lived in as a young girl. So many things have changed, for the better. People are educated, aware of the mess around them and are willing to “clean up the mess”, instead of just blaming the higher authorities or acting as if it is none of their business.
And I think we moved to India at the right time.