The soul of an Indian woman living abroad is always attached to her homeland!
I witnessed it first-hand recently when I was attending a marriage ceremony of one of my old friends. There, I got an opportunity to meet many of my distant relatives and childhood friends.
One of the distinguished women whom I met in that function was an NRI who has been living in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2005 for nearly 5 years. We had an hour-long conversation and I was really excited by hearing her experiences. It was very interesting to hear her spontaneous narration. The very important thing she mentioned was- If you want to lead a peaceful and comfortable life, there is no better place in this world than KSA. She went on to claim that there may not be a single person in Saudi Arabia who is hungry for a single day or night!
However, she mentioned in same breath that she still misses India the way she did 5 years ago.
So, what was the reason?
She belonged to a big family, which has its members scattered all over South India, especially Mangalore. She narrated her experience of her family trip to Kerala a few weeks back (she had lived in Kannur, Kerala immediately after her marriage with her husband, who later moved to Riyadh, KSA seeking a better standard of life), where she bought and swallowed locally made items and wandered endlessly for hours visiting her old friends. She used to do that 5 years back and she did it during her recent visit, the only difference was the puttu-sherva that cost her no more than 4 rupees earlier and now it cost her no less than 20 rupees. She said that visit was priceless for her because all her earlier memories came flooding back to her - her childhood, school and college days, marriage, first all India tour etc….
At the end of our conversation she mentioned that she could not stay in India now as her husband was working in Riyadh and children have also joined school there. However she has decided to settle and lead her later part of life and ultimately to be buried back home in India.
So even though large South Indian diaspora may be spread across the gulf countries including KSA, their heart is never really far from the roots. Most of them have a consistent feeling to go back and surely many of them succeed in returning!
“You can take a man out of India but you cannot take India out of a man!”