So May was when I had the travel bug. Decided to make a trip to Pune and kill 2 birds with one stone - finish my business and spend a few days with my brother while I was there. I did exactly this, then flew back to Bangalore, picked up my baby and flew to Bombay the following weekend. Spent a week there with my in-laws and then went off to Vapi to my parents. Spent another week there, came back to Bombay for a couple days and then back home to Bangalore. All in all a wonderful trip was had and lots of memories were made. But what urged me to write this post today was this feeling I had topmost in my heart during the entire stay this time with our families. I suddenly felt closer to my parents than I have ever felt in years. I now understood why in all these years when I was in the US, I was treated like a guest every time we came home for a 3 week break. Ofcourse we were guests who were so detached from the day to day ongoings of our own parents...who would call them just once a week and talk about the health and weather and visit them just once a year for a coupla weeks and call it a day. Really? Is that all you get from your own children once you are done raising them all these years...staying up at nights for them...praying...worrying...thinking...breathing...practially living for them all these years? I think now that I am a mother I suddenly realize what our own parents have gone through to bring us up as the good human beings we now are. Now I understand what they mean by saying - it is much easier to give birth to a child than to raise him/her in life.
I guess my husband always knew why he was moving back to our country and he might just read this post and say - duh! But honestly, it took me a while to really get it. I mean, yes we were all moving back to be physically closer to our families and stuff but even during all that, I never thought I would have this feeling in my heart after being away from home for soooo long. I mean I guess once you are in a situation for this long, you kinda start getting used to the setup and start looking at the positive side of things - such as you have a better standard of living in the US, your independence is a huge factor that you gain as a woman, your work life balance is far better than in India. True. But the intimacy we think we still maintain with our loved ones back home by making 2 or3 calls a week, is, in my opinion, just a fantasy in our own mind.
So this time when I was leaving my parents place for coming back to my own home, I suddenly felt glad about moving back to India. I did not have tears in my eyes during the goodbyes for the first time in ages...and I somehow felt like now I am their daughter once again (instead of the once in a year visiting guest). And most of all, I felt I could do so much more for them now that I am here instead of just buying them clothes or gadgets from the US every time we visited. Those are really such superficial joys that they don't even care for anymore. What brings a twinkle in their eye now is the precious bond they now share with their granddaughter...the love she showers on them unconditionally...the joy she brings in their life by just being around. That is a gift that is truely priceless. Oh this can soooo be a Mastercard commercial:
A nice formal shirt for dad from JCPenney - 80$
A pearl necklace for mom from Macys - 200$
A new laptop for dear bro from CircuitCity - 1500$
The joy in their eyes on seeing their little granddaughter/neice - PRICELESS!