We Indians crave for foreign destinations. Hitherto, one of the most sought after destinations was US, but thanks to Trump and his idiosyncrasies, the land of dreams no longer retains its numero uno position. Geographies such as Canada and Australia are new places of choice (unless you are Nirav Modi or Mehul Choksi, opting for safer havens like one of the Caribbean nations or tax friendly nations). Of course, places like Singapore, Dubai and much of Gulf house millions of Indians, though these countries have become much more stringent in giving work permits or permanent resident ships.
When we go abroad as tourists, we lament about the lack of cleanliness, discipline, hygiene, road manners and general orderliness lacking in India, but are the hallmarks of almost all developed countries. But when we go there either for long term or permanently, we start missing certain luxuries that are unique to India. No these luxuries are not coffee book cliches such as Indian cuisine, Taj Mahal, Folk Music and Dances, Culture, Mysticism, Varanasi, Moksha etc. Guess what are these luxuries? I have tried to list a few, without which my wife, a foreign travel freak and aspirant to migrate to one of the developed countries, cannot imagine to survive! These are:
(1) Maid, the poor impoverished lady who comes every morning to sweep our homes clean, do our dishes and wash our clothes. For what we pay to her for making our lives so comfortable, she’s is an irreplaceable luxury.
(2) Driver, the Man Friday who drives you to wherever you want, manages your vehicle as you shop around, drops your kids to school and brings them back, opens the car doors for you and do several other odd jobs. I am told valets and drivers are meant for blue blood top elite in western world and the likes of us, the middle class types, either handle our own wheels or take public transport! Our driver, our man Friday has been with us for last 20 years and once he reports in the morning, it’s the end of all our troubles and problems. Where do you get such loyal, hardworking drivers at such unimaginable cost?
(3) How about your local ironman, who takes your washed clothes and returns them duly ironed with immaculate crease? Even most affluent of the people in developed countries have an iron table and a handy iron home to do self ironing!
(4) Many Indian households with both the working members, have Maharaj coming home everyday and cooking most delicious meals! It’s said that meals so cooked are not mere delicacies but is like God’s own gift in the form of Prasadam!
(5) Then there are newspaper boy, milkman, grocery delivery person, kabadiwala, paan wala and a host of such fellows who are there for you unassumingly, but whom you miss when they are not around!
My wife is right! If some organisation wants to hire me abroad, salary is negotiable but absolutely non negotiable requirements are – a maid, a driver, a Maharaj, newspaper and milk delivered every morning at the doorstep and a masseur, who gives full body massage every Sunday morning for 2 dollars an hour!