You can put an Indian back in India, but ...

Category: Return to India

Men are from Mars, Women are from Pluto

Neo’s return to India was planned somewhat better than the U.S. invasion of Iraq; his Plan was the product of several months of vigorous lurking on the Return to India forums, hours of detailed discussions with his parents in India, and had been vigorously debated, modified, and then finally adopted by the Neos via a […]

Living in India tip #7: How to negotiate with vastly smarter people, such as your maid.

Moving to India has caused Neo to make 180 degree shifts in many of his core opinions (not as dramatic a shift as Neo’s boss though, who once remarked that she’d like to see the company make a 360 degree shift in direction.) Here’s one example: When he lived in the US, Neo believed that […]

Why it is meaningless to say you’re proud to be an Indian

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama. “More than you know it I’m aware, Of this connection that we share. I know it seems like sometimes I don’t care, […]

20 signs that you’ve successfully made the transition to living in India

How long can Neo call himself a “newly returned Indian” ? It’s been almost three years since he moved to India. But – as Neo said recently to one of his engineers who was denied a promotion – it’s not how long you’ve been doing it, but how well you’ve done it that counts. (Also, […]

Why it is better to be “charming like India” rather than “hot like China”

In 2004, most of Mrs. Neo’s friends were surprised when she announced that she had broken up with a rather handsome Ganesh and was engaged to marry the very skinny-looking Neo. Yes, they said, Neo was sort of smart, charming and funny, but – he’s so skinny! It was a brilliant decision by Mrs. Neo […]

The finer subtleties of immigration

It takes Neo’s special grasp of the English language to understand that when Mrs. Neo says “Fine!” at the end of an argument, it is neither the end of the argument, nor does it mean that things are “fine”. It is the same, sophisticated, auto-antonym-grokking intelligence that allows Neo to understand how he can be […]

Return to India myth #5: You and your kids will have lots of friends in India

“Great job!” said Neo Jr, when Neo accidentally broke the Mikasa fruit bowl (the kind you get when you have no idea what to gift someone) into 18,433 pieces. It’s not like you need more proof that Neo’s son is smarter than yours, but come on, how gifted is a child who can be sarcastic […]

Shock laga kya ?

Neo’s relatives in India were shocked when he moved to India (“oh but he is so Americanized!”, “he will move back within six months, just watch!”, “Don’t let Sonali be influenced by him, she will also become atheist and then who will marry her?”). The poor relatives were even more hopelessly surprised when they found […]

Stop sweating the details and look at the big picture while planning your return to India

Image via Wikipedia Mrs. Neo’s friend “Amit” in the Bay Area always tells the Neos to “stop sweating the details and look at the big picture”. Amit’s “big picture” plan for returning to India starts with how the US-India nuclear deal and the crash of the US Dollar, coupled with the linking of the rivers […]

3 tips to help you connect with youngsters in India

“Premal Uncle is a f*ng jerk. Why did you stay with him every time you visited Mumbai ? Everyone thought you were a jerk too! And come on man, what’s up with the khaki shorts all the time? You really think it’s too f*ng warm to wear jeans like the rest of us ?”. Yes, […]

How to stop faking it and start living in the real India

Not one to shy away from the occasional delusions of grandeur, Neo often gives his “we choose to move to India not because it is easy, but because it is hard” speech to the sundry relatives and friends who visit Neoville. But last weekend, instead of giving him the usual blank expression and heading towards […]

How much money do you need to save before you move to India ?

The most frequently asked question that this blog’s contact form gets isn’t “Are you really sure Neo isn’t single?”. No – that distinction goes to “How much money should I save up before returning to India” ? (While on the topic of being single, here’s a good rule for married men to follow in pubs: […]

Would you move to the US today?

Neo is popular with the ladies (well, at least for a few minutes in every party before reality Mrs. Neo intervenes), but there is a notable exception. One of Mrs. Neo’s friends, “Sneha”, hates Neo almost as much as she hated her boyfriend at the time. The hatred erupted after an especially long whining session […]

13 ways to look like a stupid American in India

Neo was one of those lucky few who never had a “fresh off the boat” phase when he moved to the US. Any rumors about Neo walking through a Taco Bell drive-thru are completely false. (And even if he might have accidentally walked through a drive-thru, it was because he didn’t have a car, and […]

How to stop being a pseudo-intellectual and start earning respect after your move to India

Neo’s grandma is just the funniest and the most devastatingly logical person you will ever meet. During Neo’s recent vacation, when his uncle was in the middle of an interminably long soliloquy on pranayama, Neo’s grandma stopped him with “Nonsense. Claiming that using alternate nostrils is beneficial to your breathing is like claiming that eating […]

Neo is moving back to the US

Neo thought he’ll play an April Fools day prank on his readers by announcing that he was ending his stay in India and moving back to the Bay Area. But, like any responsible blogger, Neo tests all his pranks on his hapless colleagues at work before  releasing them on his higher-valued blog readership. So he […]

Return to India myth #4: Moving to India will make you happy

One of the more unintuitive things Neo discovered after moving back to India was this – the happier someone was with their lives in the US, the happier they seemed after moving to India. (Except on dry days of course – when everyone is required by the Indian government to be unhappy.) Neo has many […]

6 surprising benefits of moving to India

It’s no secret that Mrs. Neo isn’t the biggest fan of Neo’s sense of humor – but her decision to make Neo sleep on the couch for the past 3 days seems very harsh indeed. Was Neo’s imitation of Mrs. Neo’s dad’s eating style really all that offensive ? Does he not in fact loudly […]

15 financial tips for returning Indians

Neo thinks of himself as “penny foolish and pound wise”. Mrs. Neo’s opinions on Neo’s financial wisdom are mostly unprintable – not because Neo is afraid to print swear words, but because this is Neo’s blog! Neo is not obliged to print anything critical of Neo. Mrs. Neo can start her own blog if she […]

40+ resources for your move to India

Your move to India will quite possibly be one of the most difficult moves of your life. You will gain a deep, philosophical understanding of the phrase “WTF?!”. But the good news is – you have Neo as a reliable ally, and he will do whatever he can to help. So here is a list […]