Leon waxing profundity never fails to inspire a blog post ;)
But it did get me thinking. About turning down an opportunity to study in the US of A. Why did I do it? Never wanted to study abroad. With all its pitfalls, the Indian education system is still one of the best in the world. Okay, I'm probably generalizing here, so I'll be more specific.
Till the 12th standard (grade, for you Yanks), if you study the C.B.S.E syllabus, you're guaranteed to have fun learning. I did it till the 10th, and loved every moment of it. And I still regret not continuing in it till 12th, but that's another post.
College is where it gets iffy. Undergrad is probably best in India, what with all its heavy subsidies and all, and ultra cool 'insti's. A technical grad school is probably best abroad, because of the better returns for that extra effort. [M.Tech from IIT earning only about Rs.60k per annum more than me is slightly sad...], but for B-schools, India would be it. So why'd I choose to stay here? Mostly because - I love India. It may sound corny, but I really do. For all its shortcomings and rough edges and poverty and grubbiness, it's still amazing. Best place in the world to live in. Why? Because it's home. Essentially the same reason I prefer Bombay over Chennai. Home. Beat that, U.S.A.
It's not really patriotism. Hell, I work for an American telco. I've stayed abroad for 7-something years, and realised that home rox. What you can do here, you can't do anywhere else. Simple analogy: when you visit someone's house, do you be yourself, or be the guest?
Apart from all that, there's some X factor, really. Why do I want to stay here? it's home. Why DON'T I want to study there? Dunno. And till now, that's the best reason I could come up with. Dunno, I just don't...beat that, U.S.A :)
Disclaimer: I love travelling, and wouldn't mind visiting any place on Earth. But to live? India it is, with distinct leanings towards Bombay ;)