Monday, October 03, 2005

Stranded in US

From The Telegraph -

America’s desperate Indian wives - Achievers at home become dependants (sic) in land of no opportunity.

“I had a very good impression of America, that there are equal rights for women.... It’s not that I feel lonely. I feel unnecessary.”

Most people I know would refuse to admit this as a problem. In this politically correct world - its indeed difficult to do so. A man's ego would get hurt real bad if his wife is unhappy in spite of all his attention. After all , they would point out, how many of their buddies are in the US of A?

And the situation is worse with F2 visa people. At least the H1B folks have the money - may be money can't buy you happiness - but it sure makes life slightly more comfortable. But think about the poor overworked and underpaid graduate students - whose pay check in most cases is barely enough for them live decently and make an annual trip back home. When you add to that responsibility to of taking care of their spouses - I dont think that leaves too much breathing space in there. While I unequivocally appreciate their dedication to their partners - I just dont feel comfortable with the idea of a girl sitting at home whole day doing nothing productive.

Yeah - I have actually said nothing productive. Which most people dont seem to realize is that there is a dramatic difference in lifestyle between India and here. Although I personally still dont "like" it - but I realize a lady can be a "homemaker" (an aside: I feel homemaker is a far better word than the much more used housewife) there and still be mostly content. Thats not only because there are so many things need to be taken care of at home - but there is a support system around you. Your family and friends are just a phone call away - and you are so used to the surroundings that you can go out independently and do whatever you feel like.

But its hardly like that here. Whether its a shabby graduate student dwelling or a well decorated family apartment - there is nothing much to do at home except for watching TV and browsing Internet - which obviously gets immensely boring after a while. In most cases there is nothing to do either even if you go out - public transports are virtually non existent except in major cities and the surroundings are cruelly unfamiliar with strangers all around. Life is fun in USA only if you have the means to enjoy it!

And all these while - as the Telegraph story so realistically points out - it makes you "feel useless". Your husband has a gruelling work schedule - and he has a social life beyond you. Most of the days he would come back home dead tired - hardly in a situation to spend some quality time with the poor creature waiting at home. Your life has to revolve around him - after all thats how you are here - but his doesnt. And you cant expect it to get any better.

So whats the solution? To ease the Visa norms? I would strongly disagree. With American economy losing jobs badly - outsourcing and all that reasons - the first priority is to get jobs for the Americans. After all its their country! But then again you cant expect people not to be with their loved ones. Like a thousand other problems in the world - this has no apparent generalized solution. But unlike most of those - this does affect me personally.

1 comment:

Smi said...

he he nice post ..on H4 here with H1B I can proudly say I am a homemaker..Goodbye to a frustated Housewife..