Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Of Cannes Film Festival and Brain Drain



Come May and all everyone can talk about is the Cannes film festival. Cannes is an international film festival held in Cannes, France which showcases movies of all genres from all over the world. The invitation only affair became popularized in India, in the early 2000s when the princess of India, Aishwarya Rai scored an invitation to the event. The first few years were spent in criticizing her sartorial choices and bad mouthing her designers. However with time and the necessary exposure to the international fashion scene Ash nailed it. Over the years many other actresses like Mallika Sherawat, Sonam Kapoor and the likes have had their share of paparazzi moments at the Cannes. But Aishwarya continues to hold a special place. Even though I am not a fan but this year I was blown over by the pictures of her first appearance at the Cannes. She looked like an exquisite doll, 10 years younger and extremely flawless. 

Picture Courtesy - www.apunkachoice.com
 Moving on, have you given a thought to this scenario where at least a distant or near relative of yours is based out of India. It may be the IIT nerd or the sister who got married off or the bad- at-studies-but-relatives-abroad kinda guy. When I was a kid, living abroad was like a distant dream. Once my father’s best friend and his family visited us from America. We were hugely excited about this impending visit. Apart from being excited about the quintessential chocolates we were nervous about how we would cope up to talk with their American born-and-brought-up kids.  

Needless to say my sister - the perfect hostess did teach me few pleasantries in English and made it a rule to talk only in English a week prior to their visit. Once we actually met them, we were quite put-off with their NRI type nakhras. However the gifts like chocolates, perfumes and phoren soaps were very well received. In the 90s the term imported was pretty huge. Shopkeepers sold scores of items by the mention of just one line “Madam, yeh imported hai”. Imported word linked the items to foreign locales and people and that was a sure shot winner. 90s was the time when Indian Movies majorly ditched Kashmir and Ooty in favour of Switzerland and States. On and on the foreign fever was never as huge as in the 90s. For the middle class however it was still an out of scope thing and they had to rely on their NRI uncle aunties for the dark Belgian chocolates, the Calvin Klein undergarments, cosmetics and the super-soft sweaters.

With the advent of globalization in the last decade, no place is far enough. Study loans and stuff means the overseas thing is pretty mainstream now. The Belgian chocolates, cosmetics and everything else is readily available, if not in shops then online. The world is literally on our fingertips. And most of our friends and family in the foreign companies or universities. From my batch I know atleast 25 friends, friends of friends and random acquaintance who have opted for masters in the USA. Most of the marriage alliances received these days are from these super-smart guys - MS from Chicago, working in California and no plans for settling in India. Masters in US means job in US which in short means they ain’t coming back.It is estimated that India loses $2 billion a year because of the emigration of computer experts to the U.S.Indian students going abroad for their higher studies costs India a foreign exchange outflow of $10 billion annually. Phew, some number that is!



There is definitely nothing wrong in being ambitious and I totally agree that India doesn't give as many options as desired. However if given a choice, I wouldn't be able to stay after from India and my people for so long. I love to travel, see new places but the mere thought of not being able to meet up for years together gives me shivers. In India staying up in different state you do have an option to visit as many times, as frequently or as quickly as you can. But sadly same option is not available for foreign travels. It takes months and months of handwork and hobnobbing with government officials to score a visit. And to top it most of our parents can't even afford to visit (unless sponsored). It would take a major chunk of their savings and a toll on their mental health for a trip to far-away lands. 
This post is surely going to make the overseas readers to hate me and most of my reader are based out of India.

Sorry Guys, just a random thought. Has been on my mind for sometime now. So....

Love:
Sepo