India, Nov. 20 -- It's hard seeing your child out of sorts in the home in which you raised them. Hard to listen sympathetically as they complain about how much they miss a city far away and loved ones that are no big part of your life.

It's also hard to renegotiate the little things. Bad habits like smoking (and leaving the fridge door open) become harder to ignore. Old arguments that never surfaced on the two- and three-week visits begin to rear their heads all the time.

Ranjeet Kaur, 52, whose son Ramandeep is home in Jammu from Mumbai, says she's had to get to know her son all over again. "He's a changed man. I listen to him talking, and see how much more confident he is than when he was growing up here in Jammu. I see his skill with...