‘An Indian job won’t be as good’ | business | Hindustan Times
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‘An Indian job won’t be as good’

When people ask me where I live, and I say Omaha, I love watching the looks I get. I know it doesn’t have the same ring to its name that New York has but today, sitting in my brand new home, I’m glad I passed up bigger, better jobs in the East Coast.

business Updated: Oct 19, 2008 00:09 IST

Shyamala V.
Omaha, Nebraska

When people ask me where I live, and I say Omaha, I love watching the looks I get. I know it doesn’t have the same ring to its name that New York has but today, sitting in my brand new home, I’m glad I passed up bigger, better jobs in the East Coast. I still have my job, and ditto for all my Indian colleagues. Nobody’s been sacked in my company — one of the biggest names in American railroad. I have a green card and I can choose where I want to live and work the way an H1B visa holder cannot. Yet, I choose to live in the middle of America’s flatlands, bang in the middle of the two sexiest destinations for desis — the bay area and New York. Here, where I live, I don’t see the panic or desperation of Wall Street. The only time I see spirited public response is when gas prices rise.

So, yes, I’ve gone ahead and bought a home dirt cheap at a time when real estate prices are at rock bottom. I am completely aware of the risk, but mortgage, tax and insurance together amount to a little more than the rent I was paying, and house rents are going up every year, so for me and the other Indians here, it makes sense to buy.

Where I live is another world. Large farmhouses, large families, a couple of old American companies involved in transportation, one Hindu temple and two Indian grocery stores. Like so many other Indians, I too worry about bringing up a girl child in this country, but Omaha is a safer bet than most places. It’s conservative, its distractions are not many.

A couple of days ago, a prominent local company announced a 10 per cent staff cut, so that’s the first economy related announcement in these parts.

My parents want me back home in Chennai and I miss the life there too, but I know I cannot get a job in India that’s as good as the one I have now. My company is willing to foot the bill for my Masters degree, I have two days off in a week, my daughter has access to the very best resources and choices in education, there’s lot of parking space, locals have the time to smile and strike up a conversation. That doesn’t happen in Manhattan. For me, life is good on these country roads.