Monthly Archives: October 2015

Non Resident Indian becoming a Resident


So I have been in India now for three years! Can you believe it? Somedays it feels like the time just flew by but other days, oh did it drag. I will be honest, I have had my fair share (ok, more than that) of “why did I come here and what am I doing here…etc.” rantings and sobbing sessions which come with some of my biggest tears. Having been a NRI (non-resident Indian) for pretty much most of my life I suddenly find myself being a resident. But am I? Therefore I thought, why not do a post on somethings or idiosyncrasies of us NRIs that are finding ourselves becoming almost residents.


  1. No matter how many languages we may speak or how much our Hindi improves over time we will never ever master the Indian number system. Now imagine us trying to do our so called “haggling” with the vegetable guys and we come to the final price and are clueless. So how do we overcome this? We pretend to have a serious face so we give the impression that we are thinking of whether we are getting a fair price when we are actually having a mini panic attack trying to decipher the quoted number.
  2. Our accent will always be different or we will use different accents to talk to different people. Yes, we do speak in an Indianized accent to our Indian friends and will have our American/British/Aussie one for our other friends.
  3. Another thing that drives us crazy is how to write dates….is it the day/month/year system or month/day/year one? I can never figure this out so I always, always spell out the month when I have to write dates.
  4. We probably know more about Bollywood and Hindi songs than we would like to admit. Actually, we can probably win a game of Hindi movie trivia.
  5. Most of us will admit that we NEVER EVER (lemme repeat that…never ever) thought we would live in India. Let me just give you a real life example of my friends and I. We never ever thought we would be in India and 10-15 years later we are ALL here.
  6. Our understanding of our own Indian family tree is non existent. Who is chacha (uncle) and who is mama (also uncle but from your mother’s side…see what I am talking about) becomes a blur when we attend full family events. We can’t even master our own family tree so think about when it comes to our husband’s family. On such instances we just smile 🙂
  7. Coming back to the topic of buying vegetables. We somehow tend to know the names of vegetables in only one language or will forget how to say it in Hindi. True story: I was making a list of vegetables to buy for my help as I was busy, and while making the list I just couldn’t remember how to say Eggplant (Brinjal) in Hindi. So I wrote eggplant on the list and passed it along. My poor help went crazy trying to figure out what I wanted: an egg or a plant.
  8. We are obsessed with fitted bed sheets. I mean if you have to get bedsheets they have to be fitted ones. No questions asked.

So there is it. I am sure I can add a few more. But these mannerisms make our time in India quite interesting, confusing, and sometimes, ever so frustrating. If you want to add more idiosyncrasies to the list please share!