Becoming an NRI
After about living in Canada for 3 months, someone mentioned over the phone: “Hey you are an NRI!!” And then it struck me. NRI!!!! That term held such magic back home! An NRI account in a bank will fetch you a double coke! A NRI status in a restaurant or a five-star hotel will fetch you extra service. If you are a bankrupt NRI, people in India will think you are kidding, right? Add a few words in NRI accent and there will be a visible awe around you. Think of NRIs and you think of a different genre of people… holding magic wands to transform the dismal state of affairs into a rosy picture. “Mamata Banerjee in a meeting with NRIs!!!” “NRIs investing more in Indian economy,” “Ramdev Baba has more NRI support!” “The party is targeting the NRIs!”
Oopss! I looked around. I hope no one is “targeting” me, ’cause instead of contributing something to the country’s economy I could do with the countrymen contributing some to MY economy!
Struggling in a new land all over again at middle age and trying to make two ends meet has taken up so much of my ‘economy’, that I looked to crouch under the bed whenever people back home mentioned casually, “Hey, when are you coming to India next?” I was supposed to be an NRI and conjure dollars magically the moment I stepped out of the airport.
Life as an ‘NRI’ is tough. It’s hard work to meet the needs. Now don’t say I am kidding, because the kind of ‘hard work’ that we have to do has a literal meaning. And I am sure you know what’s that.
So this is going to be the story of an NRI. And shed some light to Indians back home about how to become an NRI.