Book Review: 'R2i: Return to India, A Tale of Living "India-genously"

posted by Divya , October 29, 2018

The term "r2i" stands for “Return to India”, a commonly used term to describe the transformation that every NRI (Non-Resident Indian) goes through when returning to their Motherland, India.

The book R2i: Return to India, A Tale of Living "India-genously" by Parth Pandya, is an honest account of the author's own experience of moving back to India.

"The transformation between, the 'India' that one leaves behind and the 'India' that they return to, is directly proportional to the amount of time they spent away from the country", says Parth who spent sixteen years in the US before he decided to r2i,

Whether you have lived away from India for more than a decade (like Parth himself) or just a few years (like some of us have), or if you plan to move back someday, there are some common worries that the Indian immigrant mind is sure to have.

Such as - "Will we be able to adjust to Life in India? Will our kids adapt to the new lifestyle? Will the move affect my standard of living? What about the traffic, kids schooling...and so many more!" The Author gives a very interesting take on these aspects which plague most NRI's minds and gives a beautiful insight into looking at the larger picture!

From my personal experience with the move- kids especially younger ones adjust really quickly! My six year old felt at home almost immediately, probably since we have a lot of extended family and old friends around. I, on the other hand, took a bit longer! The husband still struggles with certain aspects, but of course, it has only been a month for him.

What I liked about the book!

The book touches upon several aspects that I could relate to, like the driving situation in India or the fact that independent women are still looked upon a certain way, or the red-tapism when it comes to getting things done, are just a few that stuck with me & where I felt the author had read my mind!

Having moved back  just 3 months ago, and witnessing how different life is in both countries, I thought the author hits the nail on the head when he says,

".....living in India has led to the self-awareness that adjusting to changes is not as hard as it is made out to be! It is directly related to the appetite for change one possesses!"

I couldn’t agree more! In the brief period since my move, I have gone through this myself. A realization that when we are ready to acknowledge and accept that the move is going to be different and it is definitely a big change, it actually...really..... does not feel as hard to adjust! It is, however, a question of what one must adjust to or give up and what one cannot let go off, that makes the move easy or difficult.

For instance, for the ease of living that one feels in the US, there is this element of human/family connect that we sometimes definitely miss! For the lack of social life or rather lack of family around, we find ourselves among innumerable, mostly unplanned & impromptu social gatherings for any occasion here! Or simply the fact that, for the perfect IHOP omelet that we Indians look forward to every other Sunday, there is a variety of local and global eat-out options at every nook and corner in today's India :)!!

That being said, it is definitely not all hunky-dory back home! Be it the crowds in the malls or anywhere you step out, or the traffic jams and the pollution, or simply that overly-friendly neighbor who comes knocking at your door (no offense), life is a lot is different and can be difficult to adjust for many.

Why I recommend reading this book!

The author manages to cover a wide range of topics through his own journey! Among other things, he also delves into the financial aspects and the toll, a move as big as this can take depending on each individual’s situation. And how does one go about finding the answer to that lingering "doubt" that grapples the NRI mind - "Is moving back to India, a wise decision or a choice that one would come to regret? 

As the author rightly puts it -

“India intimidates Indians who have been away from it for a while! Indians of a certain vintage can’t be blamed if their belief led them to have an inherent distrust of the system. Especially the bureaucracy. Everyone I know has a tale to tell. Everyone has a dose of healthy skepticism ingrained into them."

Either way, the book definitely has instances that most of us can relate to, more so since the author brings in most of his personal experiences into his writing.

A lovely book, one that I wanted to read and can safely say, enjoyed reading! Would definitely recommend it to all other folks planning their r2i. The book could help make peace with your r2i decision, whatever that might be!

Buy the book now!

Amazon India | Amazon US



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