As the dream of most parents I had acquired a degree in Software Engineering and joined a company based in USA, the land of braves and opportunity. When I arrived in the USA, it was as if a dream had come true.
Here at last I was in the place I always dreamt of. I decided I would be staying in this country for about five years in which time I would have earned enough money to settle down in India.
My father was a government employee and after his retirement, the only asset he could acquire was a decent one-bedroom apartment.
I wanted to do some thing more than him. I started feeling homesick and lonely as the time passed. I used to call home and speak to my parents every week using cheap international phone cards. Two years passed, two years of fast food at McDonald’s and pizzas and 2 years of watching the foreign exchange rate getting happy whenever the Rupee value went down.
Finally I decided to get married. Told my parents that I have only 10 days of holidays and everything must be done within these 10 days. I got my ticket booked in the cheapest flight. Was jubilant and was actually enjoying, shopping for gifts for all my friends back home. If I miss anyone then there will be talks. After reaching home I spent home one week going through all the photographs of girls and as the time was getting shorter I was forced to select one.
In-laws told me, to my surprise, that I would have to get married in 2-3 days, as I will not get any more holidays. After the marriage, it was time to return to USA, after giving some money to my parents and telling the neighbors to look after them, we returned to USA.
My wife enjoyed this country for about two months and then she started feeling lonely. The frequency of calling India increased to twice in a week sometimes thrice a week. Our savings started diminishing.
After two more years we had kids. Two lovely kids, a boy and a girl, were gifted to us by the almighty. Every time I spoke to my parents, they asked me to come to India so that they can see their grand-children.
Every year I decide to go to India… But work and monetary conditions prevented it. Years went by and visiting India was a distant dream. Then suddenly one day I got a message that my parents were seriously sick. I tried but I couldn’t get any holidays and thus could not go to India … The next message I got was my parents had passed away and as there was no one to do the last rights the society members had done whatever they could. I was depressed. My parents had passed away without seeing their grand children.
After a couple of years passed by, much to my children’s dislike and my wife’s joy we returned to India to settle down. I started to look for a suitable property, but to my dismay my savings were short and the property prices had gone up during all these years. I had to return to the USA…
My wife refused to come back with me and my children refused to stay in India… My 2 children and I returned to USA after promising my wife I would be back for good after two years.
Time passed by, my daughter decided to get married to an American and my son was happy living in USA… I decided that had enough and wound-up every thing and returned to India… I had just enough money to buy a decent 2-bedroom apartment in a well-developed locality.
Now I am 60 years old and the only time I go out of the apartment is for the routine visit to the nearby temple. My faithful wife has also left me and gone to the holy abode.
Sometimes I wondered was it worth all this?
My father, even after staying in India, had a house to his name and I too have the same nothing more.
I lost my parents, wife and children for just one extra bedroom.
Looking out from the window I see a lot of children dancing and wish I could rewind my life and live it better.
I get occasional cards from my children asking I am alright. Well at least they remember me.
Now perhaps after I die, it will be the neighbors again who will be performing my last rights, God Bless them.
But the question still remains ‘was all this worth it?’
I am still searching for an answer…!
Money hidden in a metal like gold or in mere bricks is not legacy…
There is more to a legacy… live a life you would never regret….
Earn to live life king size… and do not restrict your dreams to material pleasure…
Make a choice now…!