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Monday, September 16, 2013

EXPERIENCES IN THE U.S.-3




            
As you grow older, adjustment in a new place that too in a new country takes much longer.Taste buds play spoil sport. They respond to new foods slowly.  If some health issues crop up unexpectedly, one gets alarmed and jittery as medical expenses without proper insurance cover are mind boggling here. Even in the perfectly sanitized atmosphere, infections are rampant. Allergies due to seasonal changes are countless. Medicine cabinets keep overflowing. For working people recovery takes much longer because of lack of complete rest. Actually, sickness is a curse here. It is a lonely battle against bugs.
Down with some infection I ’as out of reckoning for a few days and felt utterly miserable. Being sick and away from home- what can be more disconcerting? Perhaps it was my mind which was more culpable than my body. As a blogger my conscience pricks and questions me to no end, if I miss my regular writing odyssey. Thought process continues internally with loose ends, unable to be inked on the screen. Writing bug gnaws  your insides,  sans any escape route whatsoever. It often chides  for precious days wasted. Therefore I decided some observations need to be jotted down to earn silence from the stern internal cop. So here I am!
 The way I observe life in the U.S., I feel working ladies have a tough time here in whatever field they are employed.  One is required  to be professionally very competent and flexible. Eight hours minimum in the work place and if you add  lunch break then it is eight and a half, plus commuting time. Under the circumstances young children suffer the most. If working hours can’t be adjusted with children’s school time; parents arrange for the child to be dropped at a day care center after school hours from where they’re picked by the parents. In the process parents feel exhausted and children cranky after long hours away from home. Running the household smoothly becomes a dream. Preparing time consuming meals is a rarity here. Hence they don’t cook meals; they fix meals or eat out.
Longing for weekends for a change and for restoring depleted energy levels becomes a necessity. This apart, they got to seize that extra sleep hour as well. Outing on the weekends is like a prescriptive medicine. Initiative needs to be mustered up for taking up pending jobs, but it mostly gives a slip. Things pile up and result in further postponements and rising stress levels. There is little time for playful interaction and human machine moves on likewise till the next weekend.
Lifestyle needs and priorities are entirely different now as compared to our times.  In my superannuated stage now, I can look back objectively. In my professional days, Sunday used to be the busiest day and a sort of preparation for the coming week. In fact staying at home was felt to be heavenly after six days of running around (Saturday used to be a working day then.) We used to ensure, not to leave important jobs pending. And that helped to ease the tensions. But the principles and values which kept our lives on track are irrelevant now. The tilt here is towards  instant gratification syndrome. The world has changed exponentially and every day there are surprises in store. ‘Old order has to change, to give place to the new.’
The U.S. is goldmine of natural resources. There is overwhelming material prosperity here. Infrastructure is enviable. It is blessed with unparalleled natural beauty. People are peace loving and gentle. One feels awestruck by vast lands, beautiful open spaces and lush green forest cover, home to some endearing animals. One is surrounded by awe inspiring scenic beauty: Fabulous mountains and plateaus, heart stopping cloud formations, golden and dazzling sunlight and heart stealing meandering water bodies. Enormous opportunities for adventure, for sports, for music, theater and arts exist here in ample measure. In fact one can shine in any field if one is passionate enough. Pursuit of happiness and excellence is nowhere as achievable as over here. 
Interestingly, fundamentals of life are the same here as elsewhere on earth.

However, where are the sounds of laughter? Residences appear to be just nicely designed, meticulously maintained, buildings. There is silence and stillness even on weekends. Loneliness and aloofness is the new fashion. Sadly, TV, computer and other gadgets have replaced the interrelatedness of the real world.
Social interaction, the elixir for healthy living seems to be on the decline. The craving appears to be to attain self-sufficiency and the discourse about the  goodwill for others has perhaps lost its significance! Objectivity and rationality are the cornerstones of scientific research and economic planning but to keep alive the vibrancy of our lives, simple pleasures matter the most. 

Images: Courtesy Google 

 Friends:Waiting for your comments.

6 comments:

  1. The hard working woman is the same in Mumbai trying to juggle office and family in limited time available!

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  2. oh yes, Working women every where are hard pressed for time and are stressed frequently.

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  3. nice to read abt usa....hope to visit there sometime

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  4. A very good observation of life in USA. Please do write more.

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  5. Hi Pattu,
    So glad to see you here! Okay, I'll try.Thanks!

    ReplyDelete