The one thing I’ve always admired about Indian society is how visibly the trend is changing – what once was a frenzied state of “shifting to a foreign country” is soon attaining an equilibrial state, where people stop and question the very method. We shift gears to the pace on mass movement – similar to bunch of sheep deported to a foreign land in search of something no member of the flock knows yet – and evaluate options in different dimensions.

I came across a very neatly written blog. “Exposure to me means changing the way you look at things,” the blogger writes. “[It is] to get an understanding of life out of your comfort zone, to be inspired, to have a goal, and to find your purpose.” (The Oxford comma was missing in the original post.) This one statement is standing proof that we are weighing our options; we are slowing down to doubt the popular culture of settling down in a glamorous place. The article is self-contented to swimming in a pond, explaining its beautiful, little things, as opposed to skiing in the ocean, to the point it is brimming with naivety – it hugely underestimates the word “exposure.”

Oh, yes, I was told the same thing: “you will get a lot of exposure!” And I thought, too, that — just because it was said too much — it was a false notion; an idea conceived by daydreamers! I came to the USA, not because I believed those words, but due to the fact I saw no other options down the road. I got stashed into a very strange land, because I was wandering aimlessly — a wayward pedestrian. I was one of the sheep. But looking back on it now, I could, with confidence, say that deciding to go to the US was one of the best decisions I had made in my life, however baseless it seemed to be, however unpatriotic, and selfish it looked. And the more I think about it now, the more I come to realise how true the exposure part was.

What do I understand from the word “exposure”? Simply that you learn to respect differences. And to do so, you will have to be in the right place. You’ve got to be practically put in a suitable ecosystem to understand that. A fish out of water may die, but what if you never know that, and you dream about getting out every single minute, wasting away your life? Exposure is not only about implementing what you believe, but to think from the shoes of minority, and to distribute your contribution effectively. Where else to get first-hand knowledge about this than from starting to be a part of minority? You are put in a place where people basically think you’re some kind of an alien — that’s where you learn what empathy is. That’s the real kind of exposure. That’s what stepping from your comfort zone really means.

We’d like to believe in a single colony. We’d like to be a part of a single big thing, under one big umbrella, and still retain each person’s individuality. I don’t want to use very big words, but isn’t this what global unity is? Just like there’s visible change in Indian mind-set, hasn’t it occurred to you that Indian Americans, too, are coming to accept the possibility of going back to their roots? That some people decide to stay, and some people decide to go back, but the “exposure” they got from a multi-cultural benevolence will be spread wherever they go. Wasn’t that evident from renaissance age, when the whole of Europe came together to redefine science? That’s how we move toward the big dream of “One Race” and “One Love” — again, I don’t have the maturity to use big words. So —

“You will get exposure, if you go study abroad!”

Hence, proved! Your move!

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One thought on “Why We Do Masters’ Abroad

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