Relocating to India wasn’t planned. It was on our minds for a while. Your first child is quite an experience. It literally acted as a trigger that was waiting to fire for a long time.
Hey! you know what it’s like to sleep peacefully right?
Not as bad for me now but its true! Babies are side projects that will test you to your physical, and psychological limit. Its one of those times in your life when you have new found appreciation for your parents. Thanks mom and dad for putting up with me!!
Hey and by the way it’s been 2.5 years since I moved back to India. The ride so far has been exhilarating, exhausting and simply humbling. I want to take you down to the moment I realised I was going back to India. It was actually one such sleepless night when my son, Anik had been crying for more than 3 hours straight. There was nothing wrong with him, just a stressful night. If you don’t have kids, please remember this!
Human brains are wired to respond to the cries of babies, unlike anything else.
You cannot ignore it, the stress hormones will kick in. Just ride it out. People worry about labour ☺️ but with all due respect this part is harder.
Anyway the constant screaming was making me think and introspect. I was able to reach a conclusion that some unresolved thoughts in my mind were beginning to surface during that stressful situation. They were causing me lots of anxiety.
It was crystal clear. I concluded that I would be a stronger person with my extended family. We were relocating to India.
Deepika and I wanted the option of seeing our parents when we desired. I wanted my son to truly have grandparents, cousins and an extended family and not speak with them on just FaceTime. We both wanted to spend time with my parents and for Deepika to spend time with her mother, not when they are critically ill but when they were happy and fine. I have met so many people that live with regret of having prioritised their careers over their family.
One of the mental models I follow in life is to ensure I live with no regrets (much as humanly possible), I was certainly not going to live with this one. Next morning I had a long discussion with Deepika. I spoke with my mentors and my trusted friends. Finally, we sealed it. We were moving back. A lot of things transpired between now and then, finding roles, switching countries, houses, jobs, vehicles, you get the drift ☺️
After relocating to India.
I have lived most of my life in Pune, relocating to India shouldn’t have been very challenging but boy I was wrong. We were a family now. With home and office in 2 different parts of the city, and the terrible traffic meant that I had to move closer to work. Setup a new house, and everything. It all fell in place after some (actually lots of) effort. We even fell ill a lot during the first year or so but we made it alright. We are certainly happier – Anik has grandparents he can see whenever he wants, he has cousins, we have family get togethers, Deepika and I get to see old friends and yes the Sun makes a whole lot of difference ☀️!
Professionally this was a roller coaster but a really fun one. As I mentioned, the decision to move back was personal. As a result, On the professional front, I had fewer choices, including choosing a city. India is a wonderful place to work, it is the fastest growing economy in the world, and Pune was recently ranked as the most liveable city in India. Minus traffic and some air / noise pollution woes it is a sunny “Paradiso”. Pune is home to one of the most iconic IT industry corridors in India. While I had the option to continue with Vodafone, I chose to go back to Barclays as I found a better fit and a greater challenge there.
Pune has been brilliant
My Pune role has been a brilliant change – even though it was Barclays with a 8 year history I came from a commercial role to a tech role, I changed from a product owner to an engineering role. However my tech background and well established networks were immensely helpful. I have so far managed to build with support from our amazing leadership one of the best machine learning teams in Barclays and have also recently been working on building an India arm for our Barclays Ventures division. Its a big deal and my team and management has nothing but kind to me.
It’s been almost 3 years since I moved back. I have also made 3-4 trips to London since but there is only positive reaffirmation.
My mind feels lighter, there are no regrets, no burden or as they say, home is where the heart is or in this case just a little left of center.