No matter where you choose to live, it is important to make time to be with your near and dear ones. It’s obvious why you left Pakistan (or whichever country you left) – for greener pastures abroad! Actually, you left your country for many reasons: Interfering ‘family network’, lack of punctuality, challenging job situations, flies, mosquitos, garbage heaps, corruption, joblessness, class difference, witnessing poverty first hand, street children. Yes, I know, the list is endless.
When you left, you found, that you had replaced these problems with other problems: So, instead of the class difference back home, you found a lot of racism in your adopted country. (Since when did a wheatish complexion turn ‘black’ or ‘brown’?) Receiving special treatment at airports sometimes, combined with extra questioning at immigration. Many times you cannot ‘connect’ with the people, you feel so much loneliness. The big news is, there are crooks there too, and lots of office politics. So, you have to watch out.
Settling abroad is no joke!
Then, you can’t talk about all those (bad) things freely, as you did back home. You just don’t.
It is like a love marriage you had fought for, and later found out it wasn’t as ‘love-ly’ but now you can’t talk about it since …… you asked for it. So, it’s the same here too.
With time, you find yourself letting go of all that nostalgia, memories, and yearnings for things ‘back home.’ You slowly get adjusted. You’ve moved from that claustrophobic first apartment to a beautiful huge house now. Suddenly, being a second-class ‘citizen’ in your adopted country doesn’t seem so bad after all.
Just remember, that all the privileges you are enjoying abroad are due to the skills and education you learnt in your home country. The grounded personality you have today, is due to the love and care you received during your growing years with your family back home. So, it is vital to find a way to pay back some of it, and to stay in touch with those who made a difference to your life today.
I truly believe this: If an American leaves his country today, (for the taxes or whatever reason,) it won’t make any difference to his country. It is already where it should have gotten. But when someone living in an under-developed country leaves, his original country moves back many steps. Unless, he remembers, and still takes part in developing his original country. Its a delicate balance, one must give be loyal to both countries.
When I went abroad and met Pakistanis there, I found a new scenario. Many Pakistanis there are already giving back to both countries; their adopted one and the one back home. That is the best scenario. I’ve realized that some Pakistanis living abroad are doing even more for their home country than us, who are living here. I mean the kind of donations they send to various organizations like Edhi, Shaukat Khanum, and PEF is phenomenal.
So, what’s the best thing to do? Whether you choose to live in your country, or abroad. The point is:
- Give back to your roots.
- Stay in touch with your loved ones back home.
- Give your best to both the country you left behind, and one you have chosen to adopt.
What with WhatsApp, and WhatNot, (I made up the second one 😉 ) you can easily stay in touch if you want to. More important than that; Please come back to see how things have improved in so many ways; it is now far better than what it was when you left it. Terrorism (touch wood) is non-existent now. Though in the USA, children do still keep getting killed by some ex-school fellow or class fellow. (- couldn’t resist that one!) So, please come at least once a year, to meet your ‘loved ones’ or even the ‘not-so-loved-ones’. Come and bond with them. See how things are changing for the better wherever you are.
The time can come, when even these loved ones may not be there.
Then you will think,
‘I could have gone and met them at least one last time.’
That hug and late night ‘gup shup’ or chit-chats are worth a visit to your home country. Having your favorite foods cooked for you, and going back to your old haunts will be worth the trip. Also, make sure you go and checkout the many ways in which your country has improved. Such trips ‘back home’ will make you a stronger, happier individual in your life – wherever you choose to live. It is what this journey of life is all about. Being connected to your loved ones, no matter where you are.
Here are eighteen ways to be a good Pakistani, wherever you are living now. https://www.nadiyanajib.com/18-ways-to-serve-pakistan-this-year/
Thank you Nataliya and A, for coming every year – you keep recharging my batteries! (Thank you Bilal, for taking the brunt of that trip in so many ways, it means the world to me.)
Stay connected and blessed my dear Reader.