Mini high-school reunions half way across the world

Ever since I came to Cambridge, I have been getting a steady stream of friends from my high-school visiting the greater Boston area. My friends and colleagues at the Media Lab are often surprised by the frequency of instances where I introduce a visitor as a high-school friend. By the end of this year, I would even have two close high-school friends living within a couple of hours of driving distance.

These meetings, half-way around the world from where we grew up and became friends, makes me happy (it’s always fun to catch up, and have long adda sessions), but also makes me reflect about how people are migrating away from West Bengal and India. Growing up, I used to hear about the “brain-drain”, and over the last 3-4 years, I encountered the term “reverse brain-drain” a number of times. However, my personal experience still points towards an overall brain drain, especially for friends who have gone or are going for advanced (post-graduate) studies. It’s entirely possible that this is too early to make a comment, and perhaps many of us will return (and contribute to the “reverse brain-drain”), but I’m not that optimistic. I guess only time will tell…

February 27, 2012