Lessons via India


I came across the below illustration on my Facebook newsfeed (original here), and it in turn was inspired by this Buzzfeed article. You know you have lived in India long enough when these no longer bother you.

Life Lessons

Life Lessons

This is my interpretation of it:

  1. Dodging your way through objects at high speed: Try crossing a road in India, and there will always an auntie on an Activa barely missing your feet. You would imagine that they are out to save the world from major disaster but in all likelihood are probably just late for a kitty party. Or there are the motorcycles whizzing past just an inch from your car.
  2. Crowds don’t phase you at all: Crowds is one thing. No sense of personal space is another. And you do get used to it. Very soon you might just be pushing someone aside while pretending to have no idea how it was happening.
  3. You can handle the spice: One word: Misal
  4. For your digestive system is made of steel: If you can handle that and the street style paani puri, you were born to live in India.
  5. 5.       You know your bargaining: From the corner vegetable ‘bhaiya’ to the kitchy stalls of Colaba we are never willing to pay the original price. Ever. Be shameless and start at at least 50% less.
  6. 6.       You are an expert driver: If you can drive here where there are no lane partitions drawn and in some places there are more potholes than road, trust me you can drive anywhere. Oh and lets not forget the cows.
  7. 7.       Traffic tolerance gave you patience: you have your laptop charged and with a few episodes of Big Bang or Grey’s Anatomy to pass the time. Or you catch up on your reading.
  8. 8.       Bollywood movies gave you a lot more patience: A 3 hour movie is no joke. We mock, but we love them, and it is a little bit strange to watch one where there are no songs. Takes away the whole point of the movie. I have never liked a movie that did not at least have one song that I loved.
  9. 9.       Test matches five long days. Patience galore: And sometimes there is never more than a couple of hundred runs scored, and after five long days the game is a draw!! Enough said.
  10. 10.   Adjust madi is a way of life: You can always squeeze a couple of inches more, and one seat was actually really meant to seat three.
  11. 11.   You’re good with animals: Cows, goats, pigs. In the farmers markets, on the roads, outside shops, at an intersection. They no longer faze you.
  12. 12.   Urban jungle takes on an entire new meaning: Horses trotting off for a wedding, a herd of goats crossing the road, traffic on a standstill because there are a couple of cows in the middle of the road.
  13. 13.   Not only can you hold your alcohol. You can hold questionable varieties too: Old Monk anyone?
  14. 14.   Stocking up for dry days: You know one is coming up when you see more than the usual number of people at the corner liquor store.
  15. 15.   After a Mumbai monsoon, rainy day elsewhere is child’s play:  You have to see it to believe it.  Children waddling through chest high water, paddle boats on where once there was a street, and public transport at a standstill.
  16. 16.   Religious diversity means you know your public holidays and the appropriate greetings: You definitely know one is coming up where sellers appear overnight selling all sorts of festival paraphernalia. And here there is always a festival coming up.
  17. 17.   You bleed blue: Hell yes! We might not know the names of all the players but we are always rooting for them. INDIA! INDIA!
  18. 18.   Keeping up with Indian politics question the logic sectors of your brain: Mayawati erects her statues all over the state while in power, while abusing the central government of not allocating enough funds for the progress of the state. Akhilesh Yadav comes in power, asks for the statues to be removed. Mayawati is scam central yet accuses everyone else of stashing away government funds. Kalmadi is back sitting on stages, garnering support for a comeback after causing national embarrassment with the Commonwealth fiasco.
  19. 19.   You are resourceful with the constant threat of losing water and electricity: You have at least a bucket filled with a fully charged inverter along with some flash lights.
  20. 20.   Moody internet connection has made you an IT expert: This also applies to 3G services on your phone. You know exactly what corner or what window to stand next to in order to get the best possible signal.
  21. 21.   Nothing can surprise you when it comes to loos: And you consider yourself lucky when they are clean and odor free. And you always carry travel size hand wash and sanitizer.
  22. 22.   And you can hold your own in any shouting match: I mean you have to if you want to be heard over not only your opponent but the general public that has gathered around.
  23. 23.   You have a massive network of friends and relatives looking out for you. Constantly: And you really notice it when you are single and of “marriageable” age. Your aunt’s, cousin’s, neighbor’s friend will even recommend matches for you.
  24. 24.   Your world is Technicolor: It makes you a little bit disappointed that there is no background score when you walk down the steps in your saree, and no petals dropping as you make your grand entrance.
  25. 25.   Your country is alive: There is always music, and dhol, and noise and horns. Even at 4 in the morning. You are never truly alone and its awesome!

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