Sunday, September 7, 2008

Returned to India

So the project is finally complete - executed per the plan, on time, in budget and within scope. Spoken like a true Project Manager huh? ;-)

Nyways, we finally made the move to India after living in the US for almost a decade. Here is how we had planned it and here is how things actually took shape:
  • Aug 15: My last day at work. Went with a heavy heart since it meant saying goodbye to a place and to the folks I grew to really like. Not many people in this world are happy working where they work but after a few years of struggle and making it in this firm, I was at a good place there. Oh well, there was always the hope of continuing to work for them from India. So I wasn't that disheartened about that. The only thing I didn't like was that I did not get the opportunity to say my goodbyes to everyone I knew and wanted to keep in touch with. The reason? Fate I must say...coz just a day prior, I got an appointment notice from USCIS (used to be INS) to be present for my fingerprinting in a far off location from work by mid afternoon on Aug 15. What rotten luck. So that day also being my last day at work in the US, I literally had to wrap up and rush out of the office by 2pm. And to top it all, quite a few of my coworkers had arranged a really nice farewell lunch and gathered quite a crowd for me that day. So by the time we all reached and settled for lunch, it was already 1pm. And by the time we got done, it was 2pm and I was in a mad rush to pack my cube into boxes and get out asap. It was so bad that I did not even get to see my own manager before leaving. This has to be the weirdest termination of an employee - where I turned in my keys, laptop, badge and stuff to an empty chair :-) My poor manager was on the road trying to get back to work in time to see me off. But I was in a hurry for the appointment so we just said our goodbyes over the phone! Imagine that! After 3 years of working here, I had never imagined this is how my last day would be. No time to say goodbye one last time to the place that had taught me soooo the place that gave me so much. I swore I will come back next week and finish what I left off but we all know how that goes. Next week came and went and the only time I could finally take out was the day we were actually flying out. I rushed in and was barely able to meet only a few of the many folks on my list.
  • Aug 17: Hosted our little N's first birthday party. I wrote about that here.
  • Aug 22: This is when the movers came in and whisked off all our stuff from our home in the Bay Area. We had estimated around 250 cubic feet of container space but it seemed like our luggage was limitless. I am pretty sure we ended up loading much more than that. We will find out soon. In all we ended up shipping 78 items!!!
  • Aug 25: Took little N to the pediatrician for her well check exam. Got her immunized and said our goodbyes to the best pediatrician we have ever met. We will miss you Dr. Kang.
  • Aug 26: Amongst a lot of other things such as our move out inspection, went to the temple near our home one last time.
  • Aug 27: I went to the office in the morning to meet a few folks I could not meet earlier on my last day. Also to collect the laptop so that I can work from India remotely once the new offer letter comes through and I accept it. Delivered the car we sold to the buyer and finally boarded the Jet Airways flight at night.
Landed in Mumbai, India with excessive baggage and all on the morning of Aug 29th 2008 at 7am local time. Our stuff shipped via the container will probably join us by early to mid October in Bangalore.

I do need to document how much we carried on our flight home so that I can advise everyone to NEVER do this ever. We managed to check in a total of 6 items (we were allowed only 5 amongst the 2 of us and our infant). And we had like 9 carry on items and other miscellaneous things hanging around here and there like the baby's blanket, my purse and what not. You should have seen the sight - me and my hubby juggling around the baby and all these carry on items. The Jet Airline staff was very courteous with us though. They did not charge us a single penny for all of this luggage and infact helped us lug our carry on items in the flight. But we swore after this experience to NEVER EVER travel with so much stuff :-) The worst thing was that they checked in our stroller and did not give it to us in the lay over or as soon as we deplaned in Mumbai. We had to lug all of this through immigration, customs and only got the stroller at the baggage claim - completely defeated the purpose of us going through the pains of buying and carrying an umbrella stroller for the travel!

Oh well - an experience we will never forget - we can now tell our little N this is how we R2Ied :-)

1 comment:

Sheel said...

wow, thats quiet a story! I still can't believe that you're not here in US anymore. I can't believe all that you guys had to do! how is it going so far? Loving it yet? How are you all adjusting to the new life?? I'm hoping to meet you next year when I come to India, if you're in Bombay that is :-)