“If you can learn to live in Hyderabad, you can live anywhere around the world.”
Those words echoed in my ears every day, through every hardship I had faced during the first year that I had spent in Hyderabad, and it all seemed like a challenge without my family being around.
A little about myself first; I am an NRI who has lived all her life in a country outside India. the first time that I had set foot on Hyderabad’s soil, (well, it was actually the passenger boarding bridge), I was greeted by the hot, heavy and highly humid monsoon winds of July, and my very first thought was, “OMG, why isn’t the central AC working?” and I probably looked like a frantic monkey trying to figure out where the crowd was off to and trying to find the AC outlet.
Well, there are many jokes made on NRIs, how they cringe their nose at everything, how they talk with an accent and even on how they can’t deal with the heat. Though, no, we don’t just look at the negatives of this city, there’s a lot that this city offers us than you can think it can. Speaking on behalf of most of the “India – Returns” (as we prefer being called or referred to as), here are the major differences between other countries and India, (also, these things make India stand out and makes us Indians distinct from the others):
- Roller Coaster Rides
So, every time we plan to go out, for college or just to have a gala time with friends, the second we are in the car, ignite it and step onto the road, we are always reminded of our last roller coaster ride. The roads are just so bumpy and uneven. It doesn’t seem like a bad thing… unless you are sensitive to jerky rides and get nauseated easily!
- Zebra Crossing Is Where We Want It To Be
The other day, I was searching for the zebra crossing to cross this road which had two way heavy traffic coming from both the directions. It took me 15 minutes of observation, trials and errors and one near-death experience, to realize, you have to silently say your final prayers in your heart, trust your instincts (make sure there isn’t any truck in near sight – pay specific attention to this one), yell out “HAIL MARY” and cross the road as soon as possible while making eye contact with every annoyed driver on the road. No. One. Will. Stop. For. You. To. Cross. Period.
- The Buffalo Jumped The Signal. Say What?
Wait. What? Was that a buffalo walking past my car while I was waiting for the signal to go green? Oh Em Gee! My excitement touched the skies when I saw how compassionate, considerate and sympathetic the roads were. They were serving dogs, cattle, cattlemen, bicycles, scooters, sports bikes and four wheelers! And the drivers expect the buffaloes to move when they honk the horn! The roads are a carnival in India. Hilarious, feeding our excitement and fun to watch.
- My Tongue is on Fire, My Eyes are Watery, But My Stomach Loves This!
Every Indian dish (besides desserts) spell out ‘spicy’… in capitals (like literally, SPICY). It’s overwhelming and tongue burning, but damn, that stuff is delicious. Chicken 65, Chili Paneer, Chole Bature, Dosa, Pav Bhaji, these dishes were never done justice in countries besides India. They have always tasted better when Indians, in India, prepare it traditionally and authentically. Indians somehow have even altered western dishes to suit the Indian taste buds and that by far has been the greatest invention! Like, seriously, Maharaja Mac from McDonalds, Paneer Zinger from KFC, Krunchy Kurkure Pizza from Pizza Hut, who doesn’t like this stuff?! Hard to resist these lovely innovations.
- Eid Celebrations Today, Diwali Tomorrow, Christmas The Day After – I Am Out Of Outfits to Wear
Countries (besides India) give priority to the festival celebrated by the majority, and only give a day or twos holiday to celebrate that specific festival. But in India, the immensely found diversity and culture, joyously celebrates every festival and makes sure there’s a holiday for every festival that is celebrated by every religion and caste. And the people? Well, they are more than happy to include everyone in their celebration and ensure that everyone has had a good time (and a full, content stomach) by the time the party is over!
- “Deepika Padukone”, “Sharukh Khan”, “Hrithik Roshan” – OMG Bollywood!
Bollywood makes us distinct. Yeah, the west has Broadway Musical movies, but, it is incomparable to the way Bollywood movies incorporate songs and drama. The dances are looked up to by the west and people around the world try to mimic it and find it hard to keep up with the energy of us Indian dancers (all thanks to mom’s inclusion of Ghee into our food, when we weren’t looking). It’s not just the dances, well, the dusky tan of the Indian skin is considered extremely beautiful and actresses like Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra are loved by all! Besides the looks and the songs, Bollywood is also famous for its impeccable, incredible and inconceivable action, which is personified by the infamous Rajinikanth! Truly unbelievable.
- Oh, The Neighbour On The Left Is an Engineer, The One At The Right? I Think It’s a Mini Slum..!!
India is the only place where the diversity in the classes of people is visible in your society! Your neighbors can vary from top-class, leading businessmen to the people from the lowest class living in a tin roof house. The humanity and the peace that prevails is extraordinary and beyond believe. It’s not that the poor are ignored, either. Everyone who is a part of the society try their best to help each other, which is remarkable.
Yes, this distinct curriculum of education sets us Indians apart. Not that the subjects are unique and different. This curriculum includes all the mainstream subjects like English, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Economics, Civics, Home Science; we have it all. But, the difficulty level is set to: Oh – I – Am – A – Born – Scientist. It’s considered tough by mostly, every other curriculum (besides the British curriculum). Besides the difficulty level, what makes it so different is the fact that, there is more theory than practical knowledge. (What happened following the change in the pattern of studies ever since the evolution of technology? Nobody knows. Nobody seems to care, either). And getting 95+ per cent makes you the God of All Parrots, here (if you know what I mean). *Wink*
- Traditional Designs
The Indian tradition, in the 21st century, has become the symbol of design and fashion. Indians aren’t the only people who like the culture and religion making an impact on their personal clothing, like the Kurtis and stoles, but, people all around the world are fond of wearing a tee or bandana with the symbol of ‘Om’ or ‘Ganesh’ on it. On the other hand, such designs are not only limited to clothing, but now, people are seen tattooing the entire image of the Indian god or goddess on their bodies, because… they are highly inspired, extremely fond and feel completely devoted to our rich culture. This is something every Indian should be proud of.
India has a lot more than the above mentioned to offer than what has been mentioned above. Our uniqueness (even the nodding and shaking of our heads to answer someone’s questions) sets us apart from the others who are simply plain boring. A little bit of flaw makes things effortlessly different and