100 Tips for Avoiding Shocks & Surviving in the Motherland

My personalized survival guide to India

My personalized survival guide to India

As part of our 30 day photo challenge (please visit our facebook page and participate), I had to take a picture of 13 things. I was completely perplexed, which 13 things will make an interesting subject? The answer is related to this post. As a wedding gift, my friends gifted me a survival guide for India. Basically, this guide had 100 tips to smoothen my  adjustment to India. I won’t give you each and every single suggestion here, but I will mention some of my favourites!

  1. There is a person for everything: someone to hammer holes, someone to drop your groceries, and even someone to pay your bills.
  2. You can get someone to come home and do your waxing, mani-pedis, facial, threading and even hair rebonding.
  3. Practice the head-wobble. It can be used to indicate anything from ‘of course, you moron’ to ‘yeah’, ‘no’, ‘I don’t know’ and ‘may-be’.
  4. Everyone you are family friends with is your uncle or aunty. And once you are married, you too are automatically an aunty.
  5. People will stare for no apparent reason. Learn to ignore.
  6. People pee on the side of the road. It’s normal. There is no need to stare.
  7. Learn the lingo, onion is called kanda and potato is called batata in Maharashtra.
  8. Only two sports are followed in India – cricket and anything that we are winning.
  9. While out and about, make sure you know the name of the area ACP/DCP/Head Constable (important designations in the police department). If a cop busts you, claim that Mr. ACP is your maternal uncle. And hope the person you name isn’t the one stopping you. In which case, God be with you.
  10. Patience is the biggest irony in India. You need it for everything, yet no one has it.

This list was prepared by my dear friends so you can’t find this golden piece of advice everywhere:) I have to say I have encountered each and every one of these incidents (apart from getting pulled over by a cop, but this might happen soon as I have started driving) in my four months here. I will continue to share these experiences. Thanks for reading!  


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