Sheekha Singh

Writer, Technologist & Podcast Host

Indians Abroad and Minimalism

Don’t be shocked to see Indians and minimalism in one sentence. Minimalist living is the trend these days. YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram have been playing with my mind in a way that I have started to feel weird. Wait, no, you are wrong if you are thinking these videos titled ‘Guide to be a minimalist’, ‘Tips for minimalism’, ‘De-clutter -First step to minimalism’, ‘5 ways to be a minimalist’, blah blah and blah have influenced me for good. Nope. These minimalist videos and posts are not effective on Indians living abroad especially students.

So, let us get our basics straight. We Indian students in abroad start an entire new chapter in our lives with just two 23kgs suitcases and one 7kg carry on bag. Don’t forget half of them are filled with mummy k haath ka achaar and paapad. Oh, I forgot, one plate, one mug, one bedsheet, one kadayi and the most precious pressure cooker. How minimalist can one be!
Imagine leaving behind the golden days of a flat screen tv, home theater and a bed. (sniff sniff). Now replace this with 11’’ laptop screen, cheapest Bluetooth speaker and sleeping on comforters.

Minimalists often say throw things that you haven’t used in a while. I say we are the epitome in this. People should take classes and training from us. You cannot find a single thing to throw from that 23kg suitcase ever! Like never ever!. We share one pressure cooker with 5 people, an entire 1 bhk shared by as many people as possible and not to forget splitwise groups. 😉 Indian students living abroad could be the best examples one can give for minimalism.

Budget. We could be the prime example on how to live the cheapest way possible. Craigslist, Garage sales and Yard sales become our best friends during the initial 6 months.

That sheer joy of getting a sofa, a proper bed and a mattress and buying a tv with the first salary is just priceless. Those little things bring us immense joy because we have earned them. This is the reason why someone making a random video on minimalism will never understand what it actually feels like to be a minimalist away from home. They will never understand what one goes through living life out of those 23 kgs suitcases. They can never know the value because they did not have to move away from their country after 22 years and start from scratch. It is easy for us to let go of things now, because we have learnt to survive without the lavish stuff in life as students. So, yeah, Indians and minimalism can’t be in one line. 😉

InExAcT as always.

8 thoughts on “Indians Abroad and Minimalism

  1. Loved your article …. and yeah never experienced that as a student ..but yeah definitely had that experience.. in 2014 as new comers to USA, who cant let go converting converting $$ to rupee before buying stuff.. so finally move on to yard sales and craiglist .. 😛

  2. Well said sheekha… Loved ur small but very heart touching article… It’s filled with ur emotions what u face on reality.. But it carries a very strong message… I totally agree with you..

  3. We as parents never understand ur struggle and pain.All we boost about is my daughter/ son is in US .lovely article.keep up n keep writing .proud of u

  4. A flash of my early days in states! 2 23kg suitcase and one 7kg carry-on.. 👌🏻 Good one Sheeka 👍🏻

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