Long time back I had read a novel “Dollar Bahu” which closely captures the life of people settled in USA and shows underneath the mask of successful and wealthy life everyone has their own issues and is fighting their own demons. It ultimately makes us aware of the fact that “Grass is always greener on the other side”.
Just like any other Indian Software professional I also had a dream of coming onsite once to take that experience. Finally after a long wait I reached USA few months back. Before coming over here, I heard a lot of stories from my friends who had traveled before me. All these stories highlighted more on reaching here as sign of ultimate success and once you cross this mark there is no looking back. I even met people whose ultimate dream was to make it to this place.
Listening to all this I had a very rosy picture of life over here but little did I realize that everything comes with a price. Almost a decade back I started my career in IT in a small company as developer with a very meagre salary. Back then I did not earn enough even to support my basic expenses, but was still enthusiastic and happy. After a day’s hard work I would come home and sleep peacefully without any worries. I had a dream of experiencing what working for a big company was like. After more than a year my dream was fulfilled and I got a new job with almost three times salary, which even though was not a big amount but I was very happy with this increase.
I started with my second job and was learning many new things technically, which was still easy. The real challenge was how to save yourself from office politics. Fortunately I got a few good colleagues who not only guided me in work, but also in how to save myself from politics. After spending few days in that company one of my colleague told me, “now you maybe happy with the initial salary hike that you got but this happiness is short lived”. Slowly over a period of time the dissatisfaction and competition started growing in mind and peace of mind started vanishing.
Finally I left the job and joined some other company ready to face the new challenge in life. Slowly settling in this company, I changed from a shy and reserved person who was scared to talk to people to a confident individual highly trusted by the customers. In amidst all politics, I not only managed to survive but also rise to the rank of top 20% performers. But as I said everything comes with a price tag attached to it. The good hearted and the contented person inside me was getting killed daily fighting all the politics. Somewhere deep down inside I knew that people who seem to be very nice to me may have some different motives. Everyone had a mask worn. I also learnt a lesson that there is nothing that you can do about it. Life is not fair but still you cannot give up.
After I reached USA and met new people over here and closely observed their struggles, I realized that each one has a story to tell. I saw people, struggling for a job and to meet their daily expenses, lonely people who kept pets for company to avoid loneliness, homeless people and people struggling with lot many different issues but still living with a smile on their face. Over a period of years I met few people who questioned me about my income and then reacted “Oh! you have such a good income”. But little did they know about all the struggles I had to undergo to reach this stage and still there is a long way to go.
Only four months in USA taught me a very important lesson, that there is a vast difference between the outside image and the inner reel of people’s lives. Now when I look at people more successful than me, I really wonder, “are they really happy with the price they paid to reach here”? But then if you leave opportunities because of the price tag associated with it then sometimes the regret of not trying is also more hurting than the pain of all the struggle you have to undergo.
Life is a big dilemma and each person has to find his way out of it, hiding his personal demons behind a smiling face. I am also struggling to find my happiness……hope I will be successful🙂🙂Follow us: