The dilemma of a contributionUndoubtedly, this is the season of nostalgia and "what can I do to make a difference". By some strange coincidence, this December has seen more pravaasi bharatiyas (to give them their PC name) of my acquaintance come home for a visit, and plus the well-timed release of a much-discussed film (read "Swades") has made it a bit of a talking point.
A few days ago, someone I know told me that he/she wouldn't want to go watch "Swades" because it might make him/her want to come back. I didn't say anything then, but I found that a little odd. According to me, if you really, really want to come back, you will. When you weigh the different variables, if you find that is the most reasonable decision you can take, you should take that decision - be it staying abroad or returning to India. Surely a film shouldn't push you into that decision. It can at best evoke a sentiment but not one overpowering enough to beat hard-nosed practicality or to support any social discomfort.
This view could be completely wrong though, for I'm not likely to live elsewhere but here, so I have no first-hand view. The attendant thought with this kind of "homecoming" sentiment is one of contributing to one's country. Saket is facing this dilemma and mentions this in a recent post "Do the right thing!".
The problem is in essence the same, be it contributing to your city, your school, your college, your country, this earth. If the urge to contribute comes from within, find some way of achieving that wherever you are. It's not that everyone living in India actually contributes to alleviating problems. The same guys who find a "Swades/Prahaar/Unnaal MuDiyum Tha.mbi" kind of movie emotionally uplifting might spit on the roads and break every signal from here to eternity. If you don't feel like contributing, I don't think it's fair for anyone to emotionally blackmail you into doing so. Stop feeling guilty about this! It's not necessary to be a Mohan Bhargava and head directly for the smallest nearby village as well. It's probably just a question of self-realisation after all.