Are you an Indian living in Singapore? May be a new citizen or PR or foreigner…You visit India during school holidays and other special occasions like Deepavali etc…If yes, then in high probability, you will relate to below.

You keep packing bags till you are almost in the flight

You keep buying things for your loved ones and never stop…Till the last minute, you are buying toys for your brothers’ kids, you are buying chocolates for your mother’s friends and some fancy stuff that you think will be a novelty for your Indian counterparts…Oh, for me, I have bought countless fortune cats. So much so that whichever relative’s or acquaintance’s Home I go to, at least one cat meows at me!!!

By the way, let’s get real…You get almost everything in India and those oops-I-thought-u-don’t-get-this-in-India moments are surely going to happen.

When you are going to India with kids, it’s a different ballgame all together

Phew, panicky mom like me, pack the world as if we are going to space. Wet wipes, mosquito patches, all sorts of foods and medicines for fever, tummy, wounds, thermometer and the entire pharmacy.

Kids have their own views when it comes to packing. My Son insists on carrying around 25 cars. After negotiations, the number comes down to 24. The girl wants to carry entire Divergent series, entire John Green collection and complete Art kit. Oh not to forget their favourite plush pillows and cuddlies. Their dad very lovingly allows them to carry all this mess and says that let them enjoy. Sigh!

India is changing…

Even if I am born and brought up in India, now a days, I feel that this country is changing – changing a lot – for good and worse. Technology is on everyone’s fingertips and fashion, new trends are dominating youth like never before. Life has become way too fast. It was always but now it’s totally maddening rush.

Whoa! The Malls, the restaurants and all the other glam and glitter – almost like any other big country. The girls and ladies are paying much attention to the grooming and that’s great to see.

Elderly? Respect respect…How fast and well they are coping up with the technology and how swiftly they have adapted the lingo of WhatsApp, FB and how nicely they use WhatsApp to communicate with their friends and family members. Really, the forwards, the photos, videos – awesome!!!

But at the same time, stray animals, needy people begging at the traffic lights is still as it was always. My kids get very disturbed when they see poor little puppies running in streets and kids who are of the same age as theirs in such dire state. We help whatever we can. We donate food, money, clothes. My girl and boy happily give away even a bag of candies to these needy people.

Oh and cleanliness? I found some places very clean and some very dirty. India has been always a very curious mix of extremities and remains the same.

Are your kids on the same page as you?

Hmmm, this is the question am pondering upon. You see, you are born and brought up in India so of course, you know how it is there – customs, traditions, people, surroundings…But for kids? For my kids, they go to India during holidays and not so frequently. So every time, I see sea-change in their attitude. When they were babies and toddlers all they did was eat, play and sleep while on India trip.

Now that they understand – one preschooler and one almost-teen; queries have become more direct and more piercing. Example: Why there are no western toilets in this place? Why there are strays on the streets and why not anyone taking care of them? Why there are so many flies buzzing around the food…wow, I sweated this time to answer their queries.

Of course, they love their extended family members so much. Grandparents, cousins, uncles-aunties and the love n warmth that even acquaintances shower…They don’t get to see so many loved ones at the same time in Singapore and their craving for appreciation, endless laughter, silly talks gets completely satisfied when on India trip.

And…they learn so much – they learn about life that is slightly different than theirs. they learn about things that are similar – especially School and studies.

So all in all, yes, as parents we have to put some extra efforts so to that they make the most of the trip and carry lots of memories back to Singapore.

You make 100 plans and manage to execute very little

When am planning for the trip, there are always zillions of things that I want to do: meet school and college friends after 20 years, get a haircut done at my favorite salon, visit that relative uncle-auntie, show my favorite Hangout place to kids, eat that tasty dish, take kids to the world-famous temple and pray the God that saved me many times during my exams and so on…

Alas! I manage to do only a meagre 2% of them…how much we can do in 15 days BTW?! So obviously, most of these things are put on a back burner.

But, anyways whatever we do in our birth country is super duper fun always…and there’s always next time to tick off the bucket list.

What I don’t like at all…

I don’t like to see my loved ones getting old…I can’t fathom the fact that my grandma cannot make hot fresh rotis for me now. I can’t tolerate that some of the people I loved dearly are no more there in this world to pamper us, to receive us on the airport…and I hate my inability to do anything about it.

May be I have to visit more often to reduce this pinch…

How’s your India trip? Do you get same feelings like me…what are your experiences…Do share.

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Disclaimer: this post is completely based on my own thoughts and feelings. No intention at all to demean anyone or any place.