Thee* R2I Manifesto

Inspired by Moral Science classes in high school, I would like to perform an altruistic deed for society, especially for those people who are considering a 1-way trip to the Motherland in search of that elusive, mythical Eastern peace. The following points have been drawn from my own experience in gearing up for the impending jump through hyperspace. It is up to the reader to take them seriously but let it be known that he/she WILL DIE if he/she doesn’t adhere to the principles devoutly.

1. Financial Engineering: heads the list because I spent quite a bit of time today shuffling bank accounts and ensuring uninterrupted access to my considerable fortune from B’lore. Thank <insert random entity here> for “Chat Specialists” and e-mail requests, else the more reticent and telepho(no)bic among us would never get a chance to accomplish anything. It’s during stressful moments like these that one appreciates the value of Call/Chat Centres. Of course, the brief flashes of gratitude expressed just about compensate for the amount of flak later directed towards them so things are karmically balanced. Thank <same or different random entity> for wire transfers. I have no clue how they work but 10 years of technical training doesn’t stop me from advancing a supremely analytical guess: Bank A’s HQ is in the Netherlands, which we shall define as the “source”. The terminus or “destination” is an account in Bank B. When the wire is initiated, paper euros start funelling through a special channel that traverses the depth of the Atlantic. I’m assuming that some sort of suction device at the destination is responsible for the driving force. The sheer length of the cable leads to a pressure drop – hence gradually diminishing suction – which is why the transaction takes 2 business days. Once the euros cross the American shore, a Converter transforms them into dollars and that is how they reach the desired account. And then comes the challenge of slowly and quietly infusing the Indian economy with the said currency but that is a tale better left for later. The point I’d like to make here is that profligacy in bank accounts and credit cards might fetch memberships in elite clubs in the short term but will turn out to be migraine-generators at the most inopportune moments.

2. Social Engineering: People can’t help but deduce that highly educated, dashing eligible bachelors will return home only to be greeted with a red carpet flanked by the choicest potential brides that Mother India has to offer. For some reason, similar yet infinitely diluted assumptions have been fired my way by individuals who should know better – professors. GM stands for “General Motors” folks, not “Getting Married” or even “General Martyrs”. PhDs should return simply to raise the quality of science and intellectualism in India and leave this shaadi-waadi-ka-jhanjhat to Marital Business Administrators. Oh, it is also incumbent upon us to be humble. This blueprint of life wherein one secures a job and “settles down” with real estate, automobiles, wives and kids in tow must be avoided. There is only one routine that matters in life: arise, awake, head to work, return, ad infinitum. So tell all those uncles, aunties and ancillary industries at home to shove off your case and desist from forging unwanted connections. More interference from them directly translates into fewer gifts from phoren. Speaking of which, I will always be grateful for a mother whose only demand is that I bring home some nuts, aluminium foil and chocolate chips. Being a miserly rascal has its advantages.

3. Aeronautical Engineering: As the scions of Bharat’s dynasty, we are fortunate enough to be Air to India. Be Indian, fly Indian just so that you may arrive in style according to the rigorous precepts of IST. No other airline is even remotely qualified to serve you shuddh Bharatiya khaana. We don’t need Lufthansic Caucasians or Singaporean Hot-‘n-tauts (the genetically manufactured ethnicity of Singapore Airlines’ stewardesses) to serve us beverages or announce safety procedures. Sari-clad Valkyries are what we deserve and, indeed, what the price of the flight ticket bestows on the lucky passengers. For the hopelessly airsick, there is literally an ocean of alternative means of transportation. Your future employer may reimburse costs incurred in shipping cargo such as furniture or your favourite American-conceived-but-Chinese-made commode. Simply pack yourself up in the shipping crate and set sail through waters and maritime realms charted. It’s quite possible that confinement in a sealed container might prevent you from drinking in the sights of the sea but will you allow your imagination to be trammelled by mere walls, total darkness and exponentially growing claustrophobia, not to mention 100% humidity? I think not. At the very least, you’ll have your priceless commode for company.

That was just the preamble to a successful move back to the Mothership. Greater challenges lie ahead in terms of finding accommodation that’s slightly bigger than a cardboard box on the pavement, navigating R. Humanity with all its rapids and cataracts, and finally, not drawing attention to oneself as a newly-returned ex-NRI (or (NRI)’ in more technical language) because it’s evident where such flagrant behaviour will lead – higher autorickshaw charges. Stay tuned as this guinea pig willingly submits himself to the frisk of a lifetime.

* Ye Olde English for “You betcha** arse this is authoritative!”

** Example of a Palindrone


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