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Maulik: Why Expats Are the Ultimate Rebels

In many ways, a pioneer is a rebel: he undertakes a metaphoric voyage against norms, against a familiar place, and sometimes against a “truth” – mostly untold or camouflaged. Mustering up the courage to punch the computer keys and tell my truth is an emotional strain. But I’ll attempt it.

In a nutshell, I left my home and my country to become an expat at a time when I knew that my mother was going to die. She had been diagnosed with multiple-organ cancer and did not have much time. In my head, I knew that I couldn’t take up the opportunity and I had to be with her.

But the stars had other plans. My mother, a lady with a never-say-die attitude, tactically coerced me into accepting the offer. She simply asked, “son, will you just wait upon me to watch me depart?” The decision was made.

As an expat in my new home abroad, each day would pass with thoughts of my mother: Was that the last time I would see her, when she came to wave me off at the airport? It was unnerving.

Professional demands were up too. Having never started my work day before 10 am in my home country, here I began my day at around 8am. New people and a new work culture needed me to fall in line.

I thought aloofness and silence would best help to hide all my emotions and fears. But being into a people-facing job, it was about balance – making no one uncomfortable, cheerfully doing work in teams, and yet keeping calm about the truth that was continually chipping off portions of my soul.

Finally, the time arrived — unannounced. I managed to reach home just in time but only see my mother in a comatose state before she entered into eternal sleep.

After that, I could have stayed back home and not returned to my country of work. I could have wallowed in sorrow. But I went back to resume my professional duties. Why? Because this was a rebellion against my wishes. Me becoming an expat made my mother happy. A mother who would see her son doing well, with his wife, a good job, a home of his own and a car. What did she gain from it? Besides a smile and a satisfaction, nothing. She was preparing to leave behind everything, preparing for her voyage beyond life. I couldn’t let her down.

In that sense, if, as an expat, I am to be called a pioneer, then I am a rebel first. So is every expat — a pioneer with a spirit of rebellion against his truths and his wishes who forays into the unknown for the sake of his loved ones.


Maulik decided to pursue a life abroad during a very emotional time in his life, largely due to the encouragement of his mother. He is a firm believer that sometimes things in life may not happen as you imagined, but that they have still happened for a reason. Making the move abroad has given him a sense of victory and the ability to grow both professionally and personally.

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