Young family looking to shift & settle in Uttranchal - seek your advice

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#1 Jun 25th, 2009, 12:16
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#1
Sirs,

We are a family of 4 living in Noida. Ages - 36, 36, 8 & 3. We have our own penthouse apartment, all normal material possessions a typical middle class family aspires for, children go to best (pricey) schools, have 2 full time maid servants, driver etc. etc. Both of us have decent enough paying IT jobs and bring home around 35 L per annum. Etc.Etc...hope you get the picture...we are like most of you i guess. Have everything but still need to toil everyday to make ends meet. We are affluent but poor....like the normal middle class living in Metros today!

And life sucks!!! We don't like the whether here in Noida. We don't like our jobs. We don't like the Metro lifestyle. We don't like everything being highly commercialized here - education, medical facilities and so on. We work day and night, have no time for our kids, do not have many friends, do not find time to attend family functions and so on. May be the problem is with us...but the fact of the matter end of the day is that we don't like the 'Life in a Metro".

So why am I killing you guys with the boring personal bullshit. Well I need your help/advice. See we have been contemplating since some time to wind up things in Noida - sell everything - and move to a small town...a bit remote ...a bit closer to nature...possibly on Hills of Uttranchal - somewhere near Ranikhet, Kausani etc. With every passing day we are now getting desperate to start working towards materializing our plans. In fact we have now planned a 2 week road trip up Uttranchal to explore the possibility.

But yes we understand that all this is very easily said than done. Especially when we have not done any substantial research so far. I need help from you guys to give your frank view about our thoughts. Do you think its feasible or just our impractical desperation. Can we hope for a better calmer life in the hills. If yes what the are the places to look out for. What the cost of settlement and cost of living? I hope you get the story. Please give me your views and suggest ways how we can practically achieve what we are looking for. Feel free to criticize the idea should you think its not practical.

Let me put some facts, constraints and wish list for you to consider while advising:

- After winding up stuff, we will have a limited sum of around 1.75-2 crores only with us. Apart from this, we will have our cars and all household stuff, gadgets, furniture. etc.
- We would like to invest minimum possible (say 25 Lakhs) on resettlement (buying property) and depend on the rest of the money and interest earned for our living.
- We have 2 daughters - 8 year old and 4 year old. We understand that they will not have fine schools. But still they will need some reasonable school.
- We would not like to again live in a crowded/commercialized place (like Nainital).
- We will obviously be looking for secure place.
- Where water and electricity should not be a major issue.
- Where we have access to reasonable hospital/doctor atleast who can take care of normal routine issues.
- Another thing I really want to ask - Will it be possible for us to open a small shop or something commercial just to keep us engaged and helping us earn something.(obviously it can't be anything big because we have very little money as mentioned above and we won't be getting salaries any longer)

Sirs, please advise what are the places we should consider. Can we buy land in Uttranchal? How much? How much will it cost? What should we keep in mind? Etc. Etc. Any inputs will be much appreciated. Help us make this happen please.

rgds,
Arun
#2 Jun 25th, 2009, 13:12
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#2
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This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#3 Jun 25th, 2009, 13:42
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thanks capt. mahajan. what a wonderful thread.
#4 Jun 25th, 2009, 14:16
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#4
I can understand your feelings but what you are saying is complete change of lifestyle. This is easy to think about but difficult to implement. The very busy schedule you are talking about and cursing will finally be your roadblock to have a peaceful life because the hectic lifestyle will be a part of your existence. However, you have gone through the threads and there are many numbers there, which may help you. Once you are certain, the other aspects can be discussed. Lastly, all that you want is POSSIBLE.
If you find my posts confrontationist, please bear, I am an old frustrated guy who has nothing better to do than sit on rocking chair and curse the world whole day
#5 Jun 25th, 2009, 18:10
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#5

Getting away from it all..

You can probably buy 1.25 Nallis (300 Sq.yds)per head..once you have done that you can buy more by applying to the DM.I think you should start a Guest-House,there will be some income and if things don't work out,you can come back to this life but don't burn ALL your bridges at once!There was Tannie Baig who ran Aah Himalaya at Bhallard,Nathuakhan for a couple of years..her husband ,Murad Baig knows a lot about the hills of Uttarakhand and the associated hurdles..then there is Bunty Bakshi and his wife who run Fisherman's Lodge in Bhimtal but has a life in Delhi as well.He ia also building a house in Ranikhet.Tread this path carefully..is my advice.On the other hand,you are a young family and with a little grit,you can do it!!

Email me at ssbrar744@hotmail.com and maybe I can fill in some more blanks....
#6 Jun 25th, 2009, 19:36
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#6
Well if you desire it hard enough and demand it of yourself, then it will happen. But as others have said, there are many pitfalls and it is easy enough to give up. My husband and I did something similar, but we were years planning it and working towards it. Since you are both IT professionals why don't you look at opportunities of setting up something in the same field and going freelance? Best way to keep the money rolling in. Guest house is not a good idea specially with so many of them cropping up each day and the number of tourists dropping (global recession hit the tourism industry the most).
You can buy 1.25 nalis only. That is the upper limit for non domicile Uttarakhandis. This includes, father, mother, and kids. So it is 1.25 per family. Of course you can apply to the DM if you wnat to buy more.
Anyway, best of luck for your plans, be prepared for a huge change in lifestyle once you come to the hills.
He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees. - Benjamin Franklin
#7 Jun 25th, 2009, 21:32
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Thank you folks.
So clearly it seems that while things are possible and may work out, its all not that simple and straight forward.

Can you please give me a glimpse of the pitfalls that one normally faces? This is the most important thing that we want to know about. As I mentioned, we are looking and hoping for a simple and uncluttered life. May be we are day-dreaming. But if that's not what we get, moving away from am established life where at least we earn much more than we need and have all normal luxuries of life can be a very dangerous step. Because after leaving our settled jobs, selling our property in Noida, we will reach a point of no return.

By the way, tomorrow I and my wife are leaving on a week long initial exploration trip to Uttranchal. We are planning to visit areas like Ranikhet, Kausani, Mukteshwar etc. to try and see if some things are possible. We have already explored these areas earlier as tourists last year but this time we want to evalaute it from settling purpose. Any advice that can make our trip fruitful will be very welcome.

So again, please let me know what can be the pitfalls and problems one can face - especially with young kids.

Also, can anybody suggest some people whom we can meet during the trip to seek their help and advice for finding some suitable place and property?

Madam (LiveinHimalayas)- Thanks a lot for your inputs. Where are you settled? When did you shift? what do you do now? Are you happy with your decision (Really hope so)? Howz the place you are settled in and life? I don't mean to intrude (sorry if it sounds that way)...it just that I think you can give us some best advice. Would request you to handhold us a bit more. We are very seriously looking for this option. As far as your other advice about looking for options in IT field are concerned, I would humbly say that those options do not suit and interest us at all. I guess setting up something of our own will not change anything. Rather it would make us busier. We will still keep running after money and keeping ourselves successful. That way our current jobs are much better. We are considered pretty successful, are pretty powerful in our office, get paid much more than we require, and have absolutely stable jobs...no insecurities of recession etc. Its just that we don't appreciate the fact that we need to work odd hours (Us time, UK time), getting into conferences, handling big clients, and end of the day not having any time for our kids and ourselves. Simply put, we don't like the fact that in Delhi it seems that we are working to just survive...we don't get to enjoy life...nature...kids...our pets! Is it OK if we can talk to you on phone to seek your advice more in detail? May be meet you guys (depending on where you are based). Please feel free to say no...just don't get upset. I know it might be a bit too much to ask for.

Thank you all...really looking forward to your response.
#8 Jun 25th, 2009, 22:41
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aroongupta View Post So clearly it seems that while things are possible and may work out, its all not that simple and straight forward.
Things never are simple or straight forward, but that is life.

Quote:
Can you please give me a glimpse of the pitfalls that one normally faces? This is the most important thing that we want to know about. As I mentioned, we are looking and hoping for a simple and uncluttered life. May be we are day-dreaming. But if that's not what we get, moving away from am established life where at least we earn much more than we need and have all normal luxuries of life can be a very dangerous step. Because after leaving our settled jobs, selling our property in Noida, we will reach a point of no return.
There are a lot of things that people do not take into consideration when thinking of a lifestyle change. The first and foremost being able to integrate yourself to the local life. What you see and experience as a tourist is a lot different when you are living here. People can be as obstructive as you can imagine. Most people in the hills are not well educated there are a few but the majority have a very restricted view of life and that can colour the way they look at you and what you do. You are open to exploitation and being segregated for being an outsider. It takes a lot of patience and a very thick skin to be able to deal with the daily pettiness of things that can come across your way. People are more intrusive than people in big cities and to city born bred folks like us it can be a constant pain in the backside.
Everything you do and say is looked upon with suspicion till you prove yourself time and time again to be an honest and upright person.
This is just the beginning. There are lots of things that can dishearten a person and make them leave.
A trip or two for a week or two will never show you how it is to actually live a life that you are demanding of yourself.
My husband and I lived for months over a period of almost a year in the most primitive of conditions to be where we are today. We wanted to test ourselves and our determination before we embarked on what we had planned.

Quote:
By the way, tomorrow I and my wife are leaving on a week long initial exploration trip to Uttranchal. We are planning to visit areas like Ranikhet, Kausani, Mukteshwar etc. to try and see if some things are possible. We have already explored these areas earlier as tourists last year but this time we want to evalaute it from settling purpose. Any advice that can make our trip fruitful will be very welcome.
All the areas you are looking towards exploring with a view to settle down have severe water shortage. That is why we never even gave it a thought to look for land that side. We did our homework and explored (there was a bit of divine intervention too I would say in choosing the area) a lot of places before we settled on Uttarkashi.
We had three main requirements - a good school for my son, a good hospital for i am a chronic asthma patient, and good communication network that allowed me internet access for my freelance work. After the three main requirements were the lesser ones - connectivity to the rest of the country, peace tranquility and water. We were lucky we found all we were looking for and more.

Quote:
So again, please let me know what can be the pitfalls and problems one can face - especially with young kids.
Education and companionship are the main pitfalls with young kids. Otherwise it is a good way to detoxify them from the evils of city living and instant food and gratification of demands.

Quote:
Madam (LiveinHimalayas)- Thanks a lot for your inputs. Where are you settled? When did you shift? what do you do now? Are you happy with your decision (Really hope so)? Howz the place you are settled in and life?
I can answer all those questiones and more no hassles but do we want to bore the other posters with my life story? Why don't you give me your email id and we can carry one the interview there but to answer you one question - I am very satisfied with the decision and do not regret it one bit. Don;t miss city life at all.
Quote:
As far as your other advice about looking for options in IT field are concerned, I would humbly say that those options do not suit and interest us at all. I guess setting up something of our own will not change anything. Rather it would make us busier. We will still keep running after money and keeping ourselves successful.
This is one of the biggest pitfalls - every time you meet people who are from cities you will want to go back to the acquisitive lifestyle again and again. The thing is to change your own mindset about what you need and what you desire. Remember needs are always limited - food, water, clothes and a roof to sleep under but wants and desires are unlimited the list of desires never ends - you meet one desire and the next one is there to tempt you all over again. The day you think you can give up running after money - that is the day you can unclutter your life and make the change you desire. Till then it is all empty talk. The temptation to have loads of money is always there but you have to weigh the pros and cons and find what you want more peace and quiet or endless striving for money. You have to find your own sense of balance before you can get anywhere.

Quote:
Is it OK if we can talk to you on phone to seek your advice more in detail? May be meet you guys (depending on where you are based).
Yes you can talk to us and meet us if you so desire. we live in Uttarkashi and if you are coming this way most welcome to come and spend some time with us and see how we live.
#9 Jun 25th, 2009, 23:05
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#9
Hi aroon...I havent read what the other people wrote coz that will be too much to read..so I might be repeating some points..First of all I must say that I am with u coz I might do something like this one day..
Some points taht come to my mind..

1) you can look for a house in bheemtal..beautifukl apartments are coming up near naukuchiyatal lake in bheemtal..very near to nature and very beautiful..

2)Bheemtal has got good schools where ur girls can get good education..but I would suggest that u put up ur girls in some boarding school in delhi or elsewhere because study environment in the hills can never be as competitive as it is in the metros..otherwise u will be doing a disservice to ur lil tots..they might grow up and complain..daddy why did u choose the wrong choice for us..you will have to choose the best for them so that they can survive in an ever compounding competitive world..so please dont sell their future for ur present wishes..

3) within 30 lakhs u can buy an appartment in bheemtal..that will be just an hour drive from the plains (read haldwani)

4) around ! crore you can put in a fixed deposit which will take care of yiour daughter's studies..that being ur most important duty..

3) with remaining 50-60 lakh you can start some enterprise in bheemtal or down there in haldwani where there are opportunities galore..

4) while u go road hunting from tomorrow..have a look at bheemtal..especially near the naukuchiyatal area..

These are the thoughts tghat were coming to my mind...all the best
#10 Jun 25th, 2009, 23:07
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#10
Gotta walk and don't look back....
#11 Jun 25th, 2009, 23:29
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Ma'am LiveinHimalayas,

Great! Wonderful inputs. Exactly the kind we were looking for. We were ourselves perplexed about the locations I had mentioned. If we wanted good school, hospital and communication network we had too look for places nearby nainital. but then those are highly commercialized places now. I won't call them being close to nature anyhow. If we went a bit further to Raniket, Kausani - all those important considerations were lacking.

We had thought about Uttrakashi but we assumed that it would be even more remote. Seems its a great option to explore. With you around, atleast we will have somebody to provide initial guidance.

Madam - My eamil id is Arun.Gupta@ps.net. Will look for your next message there. Please share your email address and phone no. too.

Based on your inputs we have changed our plans. We will rather visit Uttarkashi instead of the other areas I mentioned. We will get our first experience with the place. It will double up as a quick vacation too for us as well as kids. We will take it on from there. Anyhow howsoever hard we may want to shift, we understand that it will take up time to explopre and experience places to take the final decision and plunge.

Will it be ok with you if on Saturday/Sunday we meet up with you guys for couple of hours. Truly speaking, apart from our own interest, we are very excited to meet up with you guys now.

rgds,
Arun & Vandana
#12 Jun 25th, 2009, 23:44
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Originally Posted by Aroongupta View Post we are very excited to meet up with you guys now.
Madam is a woman isn't it?
#13 Jun 25th, 2009, 23:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by de_cooky View Post Hi aroon...I havent read what the other people wrote coz that will be too much to read..so I might be repeating some points..First of all I must say that I am with u coz I might do something like this one day..
Some points taht come to my mind..

1) you can look for a house in bheemtal..beautifukl apartments are coming up near naukuchiyatal lake in bheemtal..very near to nature and very beautiful..

2)Bheemtal has got good schools where ur girls can get good education..but I would suggest that u put up ur girls in some boarding school in delhi or elsewhere because study environment in the hills can never be as competitive as it is in the metros..otherwise u will be doing a disservice to ur lil tots..they might grow up and complain..daddy why did u choose the wrong choice for us..you will have to choose the best for them so that they can survive in an ever compounding competitive world..so please dont sell their future for ur present wishes..

3) within 30 lakhs u can buy an appartment in bheemtal..that will be just an hour drive from the plains (read haldwani)

4) around ! crore you can put in a fixed deposit which will take care of yiour daughter's studies..that being ur most important duty..

3) with remaining 50-60 lakh you can start some enterprise in bheemtal or down there in haldwani where there are opportunities galore..

4) while u go road hunting from tomorrow..have a look at bheemtal..especially near the naukuchiyatal area..

These are the thoughts that were coming to my mind...all the best
Hi,

Thanks sir. Good inputs. That's an area which we will definitely explore. I know many options are coming there. Not sure if that is the life we are looking at...but worth exploring.

Yeah I would like to quickly comment about the other interesting and complex subject that you have raised - about the education of our kids. First of all appreciate your thoughts and concern about them. Great that you saw them as one of the most important factor in the decision. Many would probably not agree but our thoughts are as follows: While we fully acknowledge and appreciate the need & value of education, we do not have similar views about 'competition' per se! We want our kids to be nicely educated but do not believe that boarding schools/competitive schools are best bets. Well, its a very complex subject and I don't think I have liberty to discuss my thoughts on the subject on this forum...it would be like killing fellow posters ! So I will rather keep mum except for saying that we want to keep them away from such environment and keep them simple, loving, and educated - an education which is less corrupted than what it is in Delhi - and which has good involvement from their parents, which unfortunately on date is missing.

Anyhow, appreciate and respect your thoughts!
#14 Jun 25th, 2009, 23:53
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#14
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Originally Posted by Paleface View Post Madam is a woman isn't it?
It is sir! But with family it becomes 'guys'...no? (Don't go by dictionary...you are correct that way)
#15 Jun 26th, 2009, 08:20
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HI Aroon, I will be replying to you on your email shortly. We will be home this weekend so no hassles you can drop in for a visit.
Don;t mind Paleface he can be grumpy at times and is quite a stickler for correct language
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