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Sunday, April 24

Deccan Chronicle, Glam Sham

Deccan Chronicle has featured yours truly and my better half in their continuing feature on NRI Malayalees. The article has been readied by my friend and reporter Ms. Cris Seetha, who has been kind enough to approach me for this piece on Easter Sunday edition (24/05/2011)

The column can be accessed online at Deccan Chronicle, Tabloid, on Glam Sham section, or follow the link below.

It’s so near, yet so far for Malayalis abroad  (Click to open in new tab)

Anish Sahadevan is a registered nurse who lives with his wife Raagee and daughter Niranjana in Brisbane, Australia. 

Born, bred and literally brewed in Thiruvananthapuram, he left his hometown in 2003 after graduating from the Medical College and roamed around before finally reaching Down Under. 

But with the Internet, social media sites and other modern-day communication media, the links with home are still strong. But it is never the same as being back home in person. “Being a social animal, I find it sad not being able to actively participate in elections,” he says. “I want to be part of our politics, movies and development initiatives.”

He adds that the active interest with which he maintains his blog over the past four years stems from his nostalgia.

“I’m a kind of person who likes to walk the well trodden lanes of my hometown even though it is for the millionth time,” says Anish. “I still go for that lone walk through the MG Road and if Kuttan chettan’s tea-stall has been replaced by a new age coffee shop I’d know that even now.”

“I miss the bike rides to Ponmudi, Kallar and Kovalam, spending vacation at my native village in Kayamkulam, thronging to see the movies on the first day, election time debates and of course, the famed street-side dosa and double-omlette,” he goes on and on.

But what he misses most is the time he spent with his friends. “Even when I am in Thiruvananthapuram now, I miss those old days. My friends have all moved on...”

Like most Malayais living abroad, he celebrates all festivals. “But sleeping with your head on a pillow is different from sleeping on your mother’s lap,” he says wistfully.

Anish has not yet made any plans to come back. “Australia has provided better scope for building my career,” he says. “But as you grow older, you grow fond of your roots and have this yearning to go back to where you belong.”

Sunday, 24 April 2011
by Cris Seetha

May I also take the liberty of putting up my response to one of the questions put forward by Cris. Not that there would be a whole set different answers to this one question even if you ask a hundred people, but this is one reply I gave Cris by walking in the shoes of people many years my senior. I've just stepped into the 30+ age category but you ask people approaching the fifth and sixth decades of their life, you could always see the obvious thrust to return back home.

Q:   What is most intolerable about living abroad?

Ans: "The fact is that however naturalized you are to these alien nations, no matter if you no longer hold the Passport with the Ashoka Emblem, your hometown and state will always be an integral part of you. As you grow older, you grow fond of your roots and have this increasing yearn towards getting back to where you belong. But we've to build our own lives and perhaps the realization that you've to reset your life priorities over such nostalgia may be the hard thing to adjust. Don't know, just trying to be philosophical :D"

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