A startling fact about UAE tells me that hardly around 20% of the total residents here are Emirati nationals while the other 80%+ are expatriates who come here, work here and then go back to their countries to retire. A major portion of that expatriate population comes from the Indian subcontinent and I’m one of those thousands (or probably millions) who have come here to chase their dreams – or simply, the money. But deep in the heart, everyone is an Indian, a Pakistani, a Brit, a German or an American, but not a Dubaian or an Emirati. There can be a long discussion on that, but my immediate point is that like many others, I also want to return to my country at some point in time. I bought a house there, just in case. I repatriate most of my savings, just in case. And I always stay connected, just in case.
Now I have many strong reasons to return back to India, my home country, and some of them might sound absurd to you. First and foremost, I don’t think I can be anything else emotionally than an Indian. I spent a quarter century in India – growing up, studying, learning to walk, learning to ride and learning to live – and it’s simply not possible to erase the memories of those beautiful years from the memory. My first school, my first stage appearance, my first crush, my first love, my first job, my first air travel – all of that happened in India. The food, the people, the streets, the rush, the family, the crowds, the festivals and the festivities, all pull me back to what I call – my roots.
But then how easy is it for someone to forget the present and connect to the past. My friends tell me that if you want to return, you return in 3 years or else you are caught in what they call – golden handcuffs. This country might not give me love, affection, family or adoption, but it surely gives me security, safety, lifestyle and yes, money. For a change, I am not affected by my relatives’ perceptions while making my life decisions. I have an option to live a ‘Western’ lifestyle and yet the option to go back to the Indian roots in every corner of Dubai. And I’m just 3 hours flight from my family in India, so that’s not a worry either.
So, while I might be tempted to go back to the roots, my selfish self tells me that that might not be the best thing to do. And if you think otherwise, I would love to know.