Category Archives: Culture Shock!

Moving back to India – what to expect.

A Returning Indian Entrepreneur Reflects…

By Kashyap Deorah

Let’s just say our job in the US was done for now and it was time to go back home. Shruti and I returned to Mumbai at the end of October 2007. We carried back memorable moments from our time in the US: the parties, road trips, startups, ideas, cracking the code, problem solving, craigslist, blueberries, wine, mountains, lakes, snow, runs, beaches, dance, gigs, deals, money, stock options, weather, cars, hacks, radio stations, the daily show; but, most of all,our friends who helped us live each moment to the fullest.

It took us two years of planning to pull this off. Shruti decided to take a break and explore an entry into the environment and climate change industry. I decided to start a business to serve the Indian mass market with a direct-to-consumer service over the phone. Though the impulse to simultaneously desert our lucrative career paths front-loaded the risk; moving back with my parents into their nice spacious apartment with a bonsai garden and a window plunge into Juhu beach provided a launch-pad.So what did we learn in the first few months? I share these thoughts so you can set your own expectations as you consider or plan your own back-to-India move. I try to stay away from the points that are oft discussed about the differences between the two places (lifestyle, economy, growth, family, food, kids, etc.), though they are all relevant and significant. Here I point out differences that oft get missed as we imagine our new lives from 10,000 miles away. Continue reading

Culture Shock – Moving back to India

(Also read "A returning Indian entrepreneur reflects", an excellent article on moving back to India and The Big Move back, which talks about the practical aspects of moving back)

By Isheeta Sanghi

Delhi is one of the most fascinating places in the world,weather wise. It’s deathly hot in the summer, and its winters are frighteningly cold. On one such winter morning in Delhi, on my way to college in an auto I experienced something I had never experienced before. I was at a stop sign, and a young girl with dirty brown hair, and big curious brown eyes walked up to me. It was not that I hadn’t seen girls like her before, or that it was the first time someone had come up to me in an auto and asked me for money, but this time it was different. It’s almost as though the numbness of my fingers reached my heart, and I was able to feel just how numb it had become.

For years now, I have been coming to India for vacation and staying with extended relatives. They all seem to have one common mantra from Delhi to Bangalore “don’t look at their faces.” 'Their', in this case, referring to the beggars on the street. I never questioned this because I wanted to avoid the awkward situation of staring at a complete stranger, and them staring back. But this morning was different; I looked into this young girl’s eyes, and looked past her smile. I saw her parents on the sidewalk, or at least what they call a sidewalk in Delhi, and saw them covered in torn blankets, and rotting clothes. I saw their health and spirit deteriorating, and me not being able to do anything about it. When I saw this, it was like all of a sudden my problems had no place in the world. I didn’t have the right to complain about the cold because I am fortunate enough to run the heater the whole night, and afford blankets that make me sweat so much that I have to pull it off at times. What seem like little, or insignificant things are actually the most important in life. And if one wants to discover that, India is the place to come to. The disparity between the rich and the poor is just horrific, and it’s probably the only place on earth where the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor can live on the same street, side by side. Continue reading