I have previously written not just about why I am thinking to move to India, Policies for Humans or Humans for Policies, but also about how sad or how incapable I feel to switch to a new job, Incapability to switch jobs, even in my home country! This one is about a decision that was hard to make for me and difficult to swallow for others. I did try to talk out my problems to managers at work, to friends, to relatives and to everyone I could get hold of. In my world, that’s my style of making decisions:
Sunlo sabki, Karlo dilki. Just to evaluate my situation, I am at the same juncture where I was a couple of months back, both emotionally and economically. Situations worsened and a more deadly strain of COVID has appeared in my city wreaking havoc on the health system, thousands are dying and hundreds of people are being bulk-cremated daily. Still, I stand my ground that I want to go to India.
In most of the discussions, people try to convince me of their version of what I should be doing, of course with no malicious intent, but for my good. That I should not be going to India at all, that I should be instead delaying my trip or that I should be travelling only if I have a job. But I feel emotionally vulnerable more than ever before, shit scared for my parents and fearful for the upcoming devastation that is going to come. I do not know whom I will be seeing for the last or will never be able to see. Every call that rings from home or is from my sisters, I pray before picking it up. It is tough for me in Singapore. Only thing is that I have some money to spend out of my job, free evenings to go around and a free locality to enjoy, meet people or relax.
In this situation, one of the options is to pause my job (not resign) and travel to India. Though this will put me at financial risk and I will have no salary money, it will give me lots of time to think and relax, more importantly, feel close to the people who matter. Who knows, I will be able to get closer to the girl I like! But beyond all the fantasy, there is a possible risk of me contracting the disease and suffering needlessly. If I die, then my story ends there sadly. But if I don’t then I won’t be living the life of a dead person. Thinking on a positive note, I think I can arrange my quarantine well and won’t lacklustre in taking precautions. Beyond putting others at risk, there’s always a degree of personal risk, which I think I can bear with taking extreme care during travel.
Another possible option is to delay my trip, have a lot of savings since all my debt obligations are over by now. So, I can rethink travelling again after a couple of months. Now, per Facebook Singapore’s policy, I will not be allowed to do work from home in India, since it’s a restricted country. So, I will have to use up my PTOs - paid holidays. Probably there will be no better time to go and quell my insecurities. My rental lease has expired and I do not want to have any more financial obligation in Singapore as of now. I am freer than ever before in Singapore. My visa will continue till 2023 and I am in no hurry to return or earn money in the immediate term.
There are pros and cons on both end and I feel I should go and not wait. One can accuse me of behaving like a fanatic and closed doors to all reasoning in the garb of some potential emotional loss in future. But to me:
Now is the time when I have to be closer to family. Now is the time when I don't want to enjoy time away. Now is the time when I want to live together. Now is the time when I don't want to be bogged with money.
I don’t know whether or when I will be able to return. But at these crucial life-changing moments of my life, I guess I only risk taking a long (in fact very long) break from work and potentially not earning money at all. But as life goes on, I will get back up to whatever I deserve. To those who are convincing me to avoid hitting the road, I want to say I just do not want to regret taking the road less travelled by. I will end my blog on Robert Frost’s poem which I do not want to read and lament but be proud to guide me on a better path.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.
career life family