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Our memories of food tend to revolve around two distinct themes: one, of home-cooked delicacies, and, two, of mom smilingly slaving over a hot stove. These memories may seem heart-warming, but in my mind they've ruined things for thousands of Gen X women in the Indian diaspora who are trying to carve out a life of economic empowerment and equal partnership at home. The Bharatiya Nari image is so ingrained that we are neither able to follow Sheryl Sandberg's exhortations to "lean in" nor Rosa Brooks's call to "recline".
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When people leave their country for foreign shores, they carry with them an image of the country. Years later, when they return or visit their homeland, they often find a disconnect between the image of the country in their mind and the reality of it. How they respond to the gap between expectation and reality can make or break their bond with the friends and family they visit.
For the 'well-paying' job (and the associated 'good quality life'), most of us give up most other considerations. It would be foolish of course to belittle the importance of money, but it is also ill-advised to give it too much weight. Understanding this subtle truth is the sine qua non for ensuring that the big choices of life stay choices, not bargains.