Problems Faced by Returning NRIs & How to Overcome Them

Ahoy, dear Indian NRI, contemplating a return to the land of Bollywood beats and spicy street food! “Back to Desh” isn’t just a journey across oceans; it’s a soulful voyage across a universe of emotions, cultural shocks, and of course, traffic jams.

As you tighten your seatbelt for this ride, let’s talk about the speed bumps you might hit and, more importantly, how to cruise over them like a pro.

1. The Chaotic Symphony of India

The Problem: Landing in India, you’re greeted not by the tuneful chirping of birds, but by the rhapsody of honks, the distant melody of a vegetable vendor, and perhaps an enthusiastic neighbor belting out a Lata Mangeshkar classic.

The Fix: Embrace it! Remember, in this cacophony lies the heartbeat of India. Pop in some noise-cancelling headphones, or better still, join the neighbor in a duet. Out of tune? No worries – enthusiasm trumps talent in India!

2. “You’ve Changed!” Chronicles

The Problem: Your first family gathering and you’re bombarded with observations ranging from “You’ve become so thin/fat!” to “Your accent sounds so…foreign!” or the classic “You’ve changed!”

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The Fix: A simple nod, a chuckle, and the magical phrase “It’s just the air abroad!” works wonders. Remember, these comments come from a place of love and perhaps, a bit of envy.

3. The Great Indian Bureaucracy Dance

The Problem: Need to get some official work done? Brace yourself for a wild dance across multiple counters, peppered with chai breaks.

The Fix: Patience is key. Make friends, learn the local administrative lingo, and when in doubt, remember the age-old Indian trick: just nod and smile.

4. The Homecoming Wallet Shock

The Problem: Goods are no longer priced in dollars or euros. Suddenly, that 500-rupee note seems both abundant and meager.

The Fix: Give yourself a crash course in the current economy. For the first few transactions, think not in terms of dollars, but in masala dosas. “How many dosas is this worth?” puts things in perspective.

5. Digital Desi Dilemma

The Problem: Your digital fluency abroad doesn’t quite translate to the PayTMs and UPIs of India.

The Fix: Fear not! Your teenage cousin or the neighborhood kiddo is your guru here. A few sessions, and you’ll be navigating digital India like a boss.

6. Relearning the Indian Clock

The Problem: Remember IST? Nope, not Indian Standard Time. It’s Indian Stretchable Time. Meetings, parties, or trains, things can run a ‘bit’ late.

The Fix: Factor in some buffer time. And during the wait? Rediscover the joy of people-watching at a local chai stall.

7. Navigating Emotional GPS

The Problem: The emotional landscape is a maze. You’ll juggle the euphoria of homecoming with moments of longing for your life abroad.

The Fix: This is normal! Cultivate local friendships, dive deep into community activities, and when homesickness for your second home hits, video call a friend from that part of the world.

In Conclusion

Dear returning NRI, remember that every challenge on the Indian turf is also an opportunity – to reconnect, rediscover, and to revel in the vibrant chaos that is India.

With every hurdle, there’s a story, and with every story, there’s a hearty laugh to share with friends across continents.

Cheers to your new journey, filled with flavors both familiar and novel. To the adventures, misadventures, and the timeless joy of being back home! 🍻🌍

How to Plan Your Move Back to India – A Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is everyone constantly staring at me?

It’s not just your sparkling personality or that snazzy jacket you picked up in New York. In India, staring is…well, a national pastime. Most of the time, it’s just plain curiosity. Smile back; you might just make someone’s day!

2. What’s the best way to deal with the insane traffic?

Remember the video game ‘Frogger’? It’s like that, but real life. Stick to known routes, use GPS, or even better, hire a local driver till you get the hang of the ‘organized chaos’.

3. How do I dodge the “When are you settling down/getting married/having kids” questions?

Aha! The quintessential Indian family query. A good tactic? Diversion. Start talking about your latest travel escapade or how you tried to make samosas and ended up with…something unrecognizable.

4. Why are people obsessed with my foreign-acquired accent?

Let’s face it, even a two-week trip to Singapore can apparently bestow one with an accent. Play along, throw in some local slang, and watch the reactions!

5. Is haggling still a thing?

Oh, absolutely! It’s practically an Olympic sport. The key is to start at half the price, gauge reactions, and find a middle ground.

6. What’s up with all the paperwork?

Remember that scene in ‘Harry Potter’ with the room of keys? Indian bureaucracy is a bit like that. Just make sure you have multiple copies of everything. Yes, even that one document you deem unimportant.

7. How do I handle the emotional rollercoaster of returning?

It’s like getting back on a bicycle after years. Wobbly at first, but it’ll come back to you. Reach out, connect with old friends, make new ones, and soak in all the familiarity and novelty.

8. Why is spicy food here a WHOLE new level of spicy?

Your taste buds had a vacation abroad. Now, they’re in boot camp. Start slow, maybe don’t dive straight into that plate of ‘extra spicy’ pani puris.

9. How do I keep up with the rapidly changing cultural landscape?

Podcasts, local news apps, and that chatty neighborhood aunty – the ultimate source of all cultural and societal updates.

10. Can I still get my favorite foreign brand of chocolates/snacks here?

India’s global, baby! Most metros have stores stocking international goods. If not, there’s always that one friend coming from the US to smuggle some for you. Wink!

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