India vs USA: Part 2 - Why I returned to India
It’s been over a year since I wrote the first part to this series of entries about my relationship with India and the US.
If you read the first part to this, you’ll understand how frustrated I had been living in India. It was like a prison break when I finally left. I remember chuckling at the idea of me returning back to this country, which I had to state as my intention during my US visa interview in 2012. At the time it was unthinkable that I would return back to India for good. The 3 years until my graduation in 2015 were some of my most memorable years, filled with growth, friendships, transformation, fulfilment of long-held desires, some eye-opening revelations among other things.
In fact, until the very final weeks before my graduation, I hadn’t even considered resettling back in India. My plan after graduating was to relocate to a city bigger than Wooster and work at a job that satisfied my intellect and become financially independent. Soon, I had included my then girlfriend into that dream. We had planned for me to relocate to a different city. I’d make decent amount of money doing something exciting, I’d buy a car, have a nice apartment and I’d visit her frequently while she was still in college for the next 3 years. It was a perfect dream. But this was all after the incident in the summer of 2014, which was somewhat of a defining moment in my life - me accidentally discovering meditation.
After that defining moment, I was no longer the same. The way I viewed the world changed. I started questioning my own thoughts and motivations. I had initiated the process of fundamentally rewiring myself. My earlier plans for myself held little to no personal significance. Even activities that I had been engrossed in earlier like photography, film making, gaming among other things started to seem insipid. It felt like the screens that made life magical was lifted and everything clicked and the magic that these activities held no longer had any sway. I began realizing that the source of my happiness and sorrow was all within me. What was outside was just a means to trigger these innately internal processes. It made very little sense to focus on these external elements after that.
It was a lot to process as someone independently going through this realization. I was thoroughly disillusioned from all that I had believed and understood as real until then. It was daunting and the entirety of its significance hadn’t fully dawned on me. For instance, I still didn’t know where to go from here. Do I just continue to go about my life as I had been and just include meditation as an integral part to improve what I had been doing, or do I halt everything and redefine everything about my life in a way that complements this realization? I definitely needed a break to figure things out. That’s the short answer to why I returned to India.
It took a lot of courage to abandon what I had. I was in a materially good position in life with exciting prospects ahead of me. But I chose to do what I saw as inevitable and took what I saw as the only sensible path to take. And that was to drop everything that I felt disillusioned about and go in search of the unknown, pulling that tiny little thread I had little by little, to see where it takes me. What happened afterwards is another story altogether.