The guest writer for this week is Akila Venkataramani
Yes I AM a ‘proud Indian’. I know we were the ‘discoverers’ of ZERO. We were the ones who taught Pythagoras his own theorem. We are one of the rapidly ‘developing’ countries in the world (yeah right. Ours is the only case where the ‘present tense’ has a long lost ‘past’). And we belong to that country which was ‘freed’ by Mahatma Gandhi because of his one ‘stern’ order…QUIT INDIA! (Lol! Sorry couldn’t help. Does this mean that freedom fighters such as Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose were playing Mafia Wars as there was no Facebook during their time?)
Having (sarcastically) said the above, I wish to bring it to your notice that I did not mean to offend any of your beliefs or pride (phew…that was close!). I am a person who believes ‘No one is perfect! Not even God! (If he was, then he wouldn’t have created me in the first place!). We are all faulty. We live ‘with’ it and we live ‘amongst’ it. India sets an ‘interesting’ example this way.
The below are my personal ‘mind picked’ observations until now.
You know you are in INDIA when…..
1. You see the traffic police and the traffic signal clash with their functionality.(The signal turns green, but you see him flash his palm with full vigour and hasting the vehicles on all the other sides that are under the ‘red’ signal)
2. You find accidents happening on an ‘Express highway’ caused majorly
- by the humongous ‘lingerie’ hoardings planted along the roads. Enough said. 70 % chance.
- by the surprise craters and speed breakers, catapulting ecstatic riders in air. 20% chance.
- by sudden ‘special appearances’ of the attention craving buffaloes and stray dogs (what do they think? It’s a Harappa-Mohenjodaro civilization?) 10% chance.
3. You find that a pale juice-less lemon and a bunch of green chilies are the driving force of any vehicle and NOT the engines.
4. You infer that the highways are for pedestrians and not for the vehicle. [Oh don’t question about the foot paths. They are ‘rightfully’ occupied by the BPLs( below poverty line) and with their invisible and invincible powers get a legal grant from the Govt. So beware! Don’t ‘encroach’ on their space by taking the footpaths]
5. You find the roads painted with a colorful and abstract combination of vermilion (mostly dull or vibrant) and shades of grey. The various artists behind such a ‘mind-boggling’ piece of art are the ‘paan’ chewers and spitters who solely contribute the vermilion color. For the ‘grey’ inputs, one should honor the glorious crows and pigeons. (I firmly believe that crow should be our National bird.)
6. You find a beggar begging for alms and you notice his fingers and wrists ‘bejeweled’ with the ‘nakshatra’ stones (they tend to be intimidating sometimes).
7. You feel that the person is addressing to a crowd when in reality he is trying to sound audible to the one on the other side of his phone (and puts us on the receiving end-pun intended).
8. You find girls getting out of BMW and bargaining for a Rs.50/- (cost price) daily wear slippers on a road side sale.
9. You find ‘that’ BMW doing rounds in the street in the process of finding ‘free’ parking space, finally getting to park and resulting in getting ‘towed’ as a result of being found in a ‘NO’ parking space.
10. When you find autos having ‘highly sensitive’ meters. I am not talking about their ‘we jump with every road bump’ motto. They carry very fancily written fonts exclaiming ‘DO NOT TOUCH ME’.
11. When you see that 2 dogs doing PDA in some corner of the road can actually get the road jammed with traffic! (Grow up humans! This land belongs to them too! Give them some privacy!)
12. When you find people exercising their right to vote religiously. Thanks to ‘J Amma’ and K ‘Appa’ kind of rulers who are ‘timely’ generous enough to provide color TVs and herds of cow to their supporters.
|India is like a child. You lament about how poorly it works, how slow it is at developing and how much it can test your patience. You bad mouth it, you lash at it and you even isolate yourself from it (NRIs?) But at the end of the day, You ‘indefinably’ love it.
P.S: In my defense, I suffer from multiple personality disorder. So any of these lines could have been said by any of my alter egos (especially the controversial ones).
And now time for some photos!
Akila is a sinful polygamist when it comes to art. A student of architecture, she speaks with a strong south Indian accent, for which she credits the ‘Tambram’ tag. Her FB profile is flooded with either ‘quirky’ statuses or ‘ooooh la la’ photos of her and by her! She is a mystery to most of them who check her blogs; Oh by the way she maintains 3 of them. Do drop by them at