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NRI: Now, Returned to India

Now, Returned to India is a play on words on the term “NRI” (Non Resident Indian)

The book follows the life of a 30 year old man who relocates to India with every intention of heading back to North America after an year. Even though he is born and raised in India, he has never worked there. His back to India story starts on a disastrous note. For the first few months, nothing seems to be going right for him. Frustrations at the workplace are not the only challenge that he has to undergo. Readjusting to living with his parents and the presence of a very large extended family in the neighborhood further complicate his life.

One year passes by faster than he had expected, and he is ready to leave India. But something happens and he decides to stay put. That’s when the downhill journey really begins. If the first year was bad, the second year seems worse. That is, until he decides to take charge of his life.

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In early 2008, I started narrating my back to India experiences at the Return to India forum ( Over the next two years, my online diary got followers and received a few pageviews. (more than 80,000 at the last count).

While I was certainly not the top poster, and definitely not the most popular one, the readers did provide a lot of positive feedback. Quite a few suggested that I should write a book based on my experiences. In 2010, marriage happened. And then another suggestion came.. rather, it was a request that I could not refuse. This is the story behind Now, Returned to India- the first book in a four part series that I am currently writing.

Even though Now, Returned to India is based on my diary, it is a work of fiction, and by no means do I intend to write a sob story.

Frequently Asked Questions about NRI:Now, Returned to India

I had mentioned in an earlier post that one also needs to think about some basic questions about one’s book: What is my book all about?  For me to answer the question needed some introspection. It’s like applying to grad school, or even a job. These are the questions make you think about the ‘why/who/how/what/where’ aspects of the book.

Here are a few of those questions and my initial thoughts that I had penned down several months ago as I started writing Now Returned to India

The main reason was to share my story with a wider audience. My online diary on the R2iclub forum, which forms the base material for the book, had received a good response, and the feedback was positive. So writing a book seemed like the logical extension of my work.

Based on what I have read, discussed and learnt so far, my book would fall under the fiction/ humor category.

There was no specific reason for choosing fiction/ humour. My book covers a two year period of my life, so its not quite an autobiography. Moreover, I thought fiction would make it more readable.

First and foremost, I thought of humor/satire as a category because my book is based on incidents that are now life’s lessons. Many of them seemed to cause a lot of pain and emotional suffering at that point in time, but these are also incidents that I can sit back and laugh about. And laughter can be contagious. There have been several authors who are masters of tragedy, and I have a great amount of respect for them. But for me, humor would work best.

I initially thought that the 30 to 40 year old readers, typically those who have spent a few years outside of India, would be my target readers. They continue to be the main segment I am focusing on. But as I am talking to more and more people, I am discovering new groups of people who might be interested too. For example, parents of NRIs are such a segment.

(The above FAQ was originally published in August 2013, and updated in August 2014 and most recently in Feb ’23).