Monday, October 26, 2009

Moving to India - part 5

Life is full of tradeoffs.

Top 10 things I will miss in India.
1. Driving my Mustang - it was my most prized possession and I thoroughly enjoyed driving. I could drive 1000 miles in a day in mountains and not feel tired. In India, I will have to use powerless car in hapless roads with nary a road discipline :(.
2. Splendid Seattle - I-90 is the road to the heavens and 101 is the boardwalk of utopia. I drove these roads dozens of times for 100s of miles with no end in purpose. Sometimes I ended all the way in Montana while planning for a 20 min drive. There is going be nothing like I-90.
3. Hiking - I throughly enjoyed the hikes of Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie forest. The peacefullness of Granite Mountain, crowds of Mt. Si, pleasantness of Rattlesnake mountain, beauty of Oyester dome and dozes of other places. In India I need to travel to the Himalayas (1500 miles away from my place) which I could drive in 20 mins from my place in Seattle.
4. My current home - It is a rental, but I got the home I wanted. Watching the sun rising over the entire breadth of Sammamish Lake, without even getting up from bed is something I will sorely miss. There won't be a lake like Sammamish.
5. Brilliant national parks - swimming in Olympic's crescent lake, biking the Tetons, hiking the Denali, driving through Arctic national refuce, sneaking for wildlife in Yellowstone, flying in Glacier park, riding a mule into the Grand Canyon, gawking at the Arches, rafting the colorado, trekking the Rocky Mountains, crawling into wind caves, camping in the red woods, walking the Yosemite - there is no place like America with accessible natural beauty.
6. Dollar - oh yeah dollar smells sweet even after its fall. One dollar is still worth 45 Indian rupees.
7. Efficient government services.
8. Civic facilities - clean water, cleaned up streets, no stray dogs etc.
9. Pretty energetic work environment
10. Most importantly the friends I made here.

Top 10 things I will gain in India.
1. Staying with my parents and family - there is nothing as sweet as a family.
2. Temples - I might be a rational, objective man. That doesn't preclude the fact that I'm a spiritual person.
3. Festivals - Oh yeah.
4. Food - I might like Thai and chains like Denny's and Subway, but there is no match for Indian food. And then Sugarcane in Jan, Mangoes and Jack fruit in summer and lychee's in winter.
5. Lower cost of living - Dollar buys more there. Even after the scorching inflation, India works to be a lot cheaper than living in the US. Particularly in the startup phase, I need to have as long a runway as possible.
6. No long winters. While winter is great if you are skier, but I stopped skiing after 2 seasons when I tore my ligaments. That means 6 months of year goes short of activities - in dark, damp, cooler Seattle winter. (But to compensate for no winter, Chennai gives you plenty of brutal summer).
7. No more restriction on activities. If you are a visa holder in any country (particularly in US), what you can or cannot do with your career is dictated by your visa. Now, I will be a free man.
8. I reactivate my old networks. For obvious reasons my network is a lot extensive in India and a lot of people in business that I know of.
9. Ability to access large, untapped markets. Indian businesses are sometimes run in stone age principles and there is a lot of room for improvement if I utilize my experience in US to make even smallest of changes.
10. Most importantly, I will be in India. My own little country. It can be poor, shabby, corrupt and diseased. But, it is a part of me and it is my dream to build the country I want, instead of just moving to some country that has already been built.


Neeraj said...

I saw your email on MSIndians group.

First of all, Its a drastic step that you have taken, and I somehow like it.

Just wanted to wish you best of luck in all your furture engagements. Let your passion drive you to your destiny. I am sure you will do well.

Have fun and Just do it !!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats and all the best

Ajay Reddy said...

All the best in India Balaji!
Looks like you posted the entire 'moving to India' series at one go.
Anyway, if you love hiking, you won't miss it in India - the Nilgiris can give you plenty of options. There's a very active club in Chennai too - Check them out. And, if possible, mark your trek routes on (which I built) :)

rajiv said...

I'm glad you are doing what you've always dreamed of.. Not many in this world have the courage and determination to do that. I hope you succeed in whatever you do in your life.


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