I was very excited and optimistic to be back in my hometown Karachi, Pakistan. I was homesick and missed all the Karachi madness. Last month, the city welcomed me with opened arms, treated me with free street concerts aka election campaigns on the road and all my favorite “ultra-concerned aunties” still worries about my weight, my future, my relationship and my pimples.
However, to my dismay, I realized not everyone understands the perks of living in their own home country. Whenever I meet an old friend or acquaintance, one of the common questions I get is what is the point of coming back to this country? There is nothing left here! Life is hard, there is no law and order. They think that living away from home equates to success, luxury and a better life.
I agree, the first world country is more developed and issues like power outages, water crisis are seldom. But at the end of the day, from an expat’s perspective, the essence of home is missing. The joy of simple life, the ability to be physically around parents and loved ones are missing. No luxury in this world can replace the feeling of belongingness they get in their home country. It’s weird how a random person who parked his car in the middle of the road and created a traffic jam for his own convenience gave me tears of joy and made me laugh. I still remember the odd look I got from a random street beggar when I told them how talented they are and should train the beggars in the first world countries as well.
On a serious note, being away from home is hard and dealing with the dark clouds in paradise can often be challenging. Last night my friend said, “Sometimes I wish I had never left Pakistan, life was so simple and easy.” I just asked him one question: would you be what you are today if you didn’t leave the country to get a better education, to have a sound career and eventually support your family and give back to your country? The answer was No! But the distances create difficulties, challenges and lack of communication sometimes creates hurdles and misunderstandings. Although I agree with all his concerns and understand his fears, however, in the long run, if he does not deviate from his goal of giving back to his family and loved ones in the country then these challenges are temporary.
Moreover, today we are blessed with technological advancements, so it is up to us how we make time for our loved ones, eliminate all the barriers and work towards making stronger emotional connections. But at the end of the day, if you really miss home come back or simply visit, there is no harm. Your country will always welcome you with open arms. But if you chose to make a foreign land home then never forget or belittle your roots, your culture, your language and your tradition. Yet embrace the new culture and new life with open arms, build bridges, stay optimistic but do not forget your identity! #ProudDesi