Once every three years, during the h1b renewal window I like to play a game called – let’s move back to India. The last three rounds were a sham, this time tho (owing to heavy uncertainty in getting approvals on time) the game veered into for realsies territory.
On broadcasting my intent to the extended family WhatsApp group, I was bombarded with messages of support : ‘don’t come..stay there’ ; ‘Simon go back’ ; ‘not now beta..especially when the dollar is soaring’ ; ‘no beef here..chew on that’ ; ‘fly you fools’ ; ‘have kids and then come back’ ; ‘withdraw your 401k but pay attention to Article 23 of the the India US Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement’ ; ‘you will need to get an aadhar card and a PAN card’ ; ‘do you even have a voter ID card?’ ; ‘get chocolates in bulk from Costco’ ;
Since this is a board game, it required a map. I arrived at this list based on availability of a residence from day one.
Ignoring the previous messages of support, I shared this in the extended family WhatsApp group.
It then became an Amazon HQ2 like contest (the irony!) with everyone vouching for their city – weather, pollution, traffic, economy, political – statistics and all that. We finally decided on Hyderabad because that was the plan all along. kek. Hyderabad is always home.
The game came to an abrupt end because my h1b approval came through and my landlord said I couldn’t break my lease mid-term. And so it goes.