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                        Today’s young NRI!

Once upon a time, about forty years ago, the parents of the present young generation left their motherland and settled abroad in countries of their choice. Professionals such as doctors, engineers and professors soon secured decent employment, and embarked on path of discovering financial security. Others took up any job that came their way, as their primary intention was to make ends meet. After having managed to settle down in some form, they decided to be reunited with their partners, whom they had left behind in India in search for a better future abroad. Usually, the arrival of the partner was primarily to begin family-life, and also to augment the family income.

Parents worked hard to provide their children with the best possible standard of living. Every indulgence from toys to candy, and from clothes to education, was met, sometimes with smiles and sometimes with tears. Many a time, parents sacrificed their own needs or pleasures for the sake of their children. Many parents were not particularly highly educated, by UK standards, but they had realised that a good education would be the best investment they could make for their children's life. As life marched forward, the values of life somehow managed to change without much warning, for this new generation adapting to life in a completely alien culture. Western culture overshadowed Indian values, without much perceivable cause for alarm.

So this new generation grew up, enjoying both financial and social freedom. What do I mean by social freedom? I mean 'education' and 'general upbringing', is homologous, irrespective of whether it concerns a girl or a boy. That is to say, nobody bothers if youngsters preferred to live life alone or with friends, as opposed to living with their parents. Now what is the typical lifestyle of this young generation? Most of them have good jobs, promising careers and a home of their own. They have the financial power to travel, live well and enjoy life with their friends. They are at the pinnacle of their youth and success, and hence three to four years easily shrug by.

However, this seemingly bright side of life always has a shade of darkness. These youngsters ", also have different pressures. They know the concept of racism since their childhood. They are aware of the hardship, through which their parents have gone. They realise the sacrifices made by the parents for them. And they realise that their parents also expect a lot from them. The young generation also has the pressure of proving themselves better at work, than the locals. As a result, with their lifestyles, they become increasingly self-centred.

Until now, the young generation had never had to take heed of the concept of having to settle for anything but the best. If they have rarely compromised with life until now, there was scarcely any valid reason to compromise with the biggest challenge in life, their choice of a life partner.

In this complicated journey for the new generation, some lucky individuals have been able to find their life partners. However, others decided to wait for 'the perfect person', meanwhile some keep themselves engrossed in improving their careers. Unfortunately, time or tide waits for no one and to compound matters, the biological clock goes on ticking, making many susceptible to various social pressures. No one wants to accept the harsh reality of life, the fact that imperfection is normal. After trying hard to find this ideal partner, most youngsters give up feeling of despondency. They find it hard to reconcile to the realisation, of whether marriage makes much sense if they were living a reasonably happy life alone.

When the age barrier of 35 is crossed the biological clock suddenly goes into a somewhat furious countdown mode. Worries start clouding the mind and the marriage equations dramatically change. This is the time one realizes that though male and female have equal financial and educational status, their needs, instincts and emotions are different. At this point in life, our convictions have become somewhat deep rooted, life-style is set, and they try hard to defy any change. Habits are hard to break, and it is easy to procrastinate when it comes to find a life partner. Once a certain lifestyle is set, there seem to be fewer opportunities to meet a perfect or ideal partner.

I personally believe that the problem of finding a suitable partner is especially of great concern in the case of Non-Indian Resident (NRI) females. NRI men normally take the "escape route"- return to India to seek a marriage partner of their own choice. The truth is, that people from India are too willing to come abroad, as foreign countries are perceived as 'greener pastures'. This equation adds to the matrimonial difficulties for NRI women. This is one the biggest problem of our times.

This phenomenon certainly isn't recent; it has definitely been exacerbated in recent times. I must say that where losing hope is a crime, accepting defeat will be a bigger crime.

After having 10 years experience of running a marriage bureau, I can definitely unfold the useful hints for the younger generation.

· Traditionally, finding a partner was the parent's responsibility. Today, it cannot be limited to parents.

· Youngsters should realise their responsibility too.

· Imperfection is the reality of life, embrace it, do not deny it.

· Finding a right partner is a slow process. . As a good career is important for survival similarly a good relationship or a partner, is equally important for happy living.

· It is very difficult to adjust with another person, once you are used to living alone, with a set lifestyle.

· Many are afraid of losing freedom.

· Once it is late to find a suitable partner, one may lose confidence to make any 'long term commitment'.

· At later stage of life the need for companionship is more.

· Do not miss the opportunity to meet new crowd, whenever there is scope. Parents should also encourage their son or daughter to do so at the right time of life.

· Here, I must suggest that we have in this country and many other European countries very well educated youngsters (from India) such as doctors and IT professionals who are working and would like to settle here permanently. I sincerely feel that girls should consider them as good perspective partners.

I want to assure them that due to increased media exposure and revolutionary lifestyle changes, most Indians while living in India, have also conveniently opted for western values. ( Valentine's Day is now celebrated in India too.) It is often said that media is nothing more than a judgmental reflection of the society. We all notice that a lot of the Indian soap operas are based on values which are foreign, to the traditional Indian culture. However, this is not a matter to despair about. Times are a-changing, and our society is gearing itself for a universal culture, that anyone and everyone can follow. We must accept our children are intrigued by and imbibed with different cultural values, and will inevitably make choices about what they believe in.

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