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An incredible country that can amaze and shock at the same time, India is crazy yet totally irresistible! Love it or hate it, but you just can’t escape it because there’s something about this country and its people that makes us…mmm…exclusively us! On this 15th August as we celebrate India’s 69th Independence Day, we take a look at some of the things that make us an Indian!
1. Booming Population – 1.25 billion and we’re still soaring high!
2. Mahatma Gandhi – A true leader whose message stands true even today, Gandhiji and his strong ideals changed the course of Indian history.
3. Cultural Diversity – One country and so many diverse languages, customs, cuisines, and beliefs; India is a cultural potpourri!
4. Obsession with other’s opinion – “Log dekhenge toh kya bolenge!!” We worry too much about the opinion of others…sigh!!!
5. Bargaining – It’s like a tradition for us! No shopping experience ever seems complete without engaging in this ritual…
6. Bollywood – You cannot think of India and not think Bollywood! Even the silliest movie finds a loyal fan following here…and those 3 hours…happily spent!
7. Indian Armed Forces – The guardians of our nation, the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy, and their selfless contribution is inestimable! Hats off to all the brave warriors who have defended our freedom with their lives…
8. Yoga – Our ancestors introduced it to the world and the world re-introduced it to us, as many other treasures of India!
9. Himalayas – Home to the highest mountain peak in the world, the Himalayas are India’s pride.
10. Jugaad – We’re unbeatable at this! Whatever be the emergency, we Indians always have a jugaad for it.
11. Scams and scandals – Endless! Paisa toh sabko pyaara hai…lekin sirf kucch logon ke paas hai!! Kaise?? Keep on wondering…
12. Gossip – The lives of others can be so fascinating, hai naa?? Gossiping is what keeps many entertained day in and day out!
13. Indian ‘Stretchable’ Time – We like to do things our way and on our time! Minimum half an hour late is how time operates in this country!
14. Astrology – From parrots to people, we are flooded with clairvoyants who are ever ready to solve your problems and unravel the future for you!
15. Sanskrit – It’s regarded as the mother of all languages!
16. Public garbage – The country is an open dustbin! Except your own home, that is!
17. Ayurveda – The earliest school of medicine and healing known to man, the ancient system of Ayurveda has given much to us in terms of healing and well-being minus the ill effects caused by modern allopathic medicines.
18. Indian food – Whether it’s restaurant food or ‘ghar ka khaana’, Indian food is a wonderful blend of flavours, spices, traditional recipes and culinary expertise that promises a gastronomical experience like no other!
19. Crime against women – Yes our men worship the goddess and yes they also beat and rape their women. How wonderfully hypocritical we are, astounding!
20. Love for freebies! Everyone loves free things, but in India it goes to a whole new level! Free dhaniya, free mirchi, free condiment packets, extra carry bag when out shopping and wait…that extra gol gappa also! Waaaah!
21. Kindly adjust! Anybody who travels in the metro will vouch for this! The fact that there is no space to sit doesn’t matter because “thoda sa adjust toh sabhi kar sakte hain!
22. 365 days of festivals – Every day is a new reason to celebrate!
23. Big Fat Weddings – There’s no business like the shaadi business, even the ‘simplest’ ones are quite elaborate and go on for days at a stretch! The lavish ones will definitely blow your mind off!
24. Street vendors – No matter how much technology seeps into the country, there is no doing away with the good ol’ street vendors! From sabjiwalas to chanawalas to ear cleaners to fortune tellers…we’ve got them all.
25. Corruption – We screamed, we fought and yet we’re still wallowing in it…life in India seems incomplete without corruption!
26. The Indian Headshake – Our standard reply to any question is a headshake that can imply Yes or No or Maybe or all three…Only the fellow who shakes his head knows! Genius!
27. Invention of zero – Yeah world, we gave you the ‘zero’ and the decimal system. As Einstein had said “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count…”
28. Rajnikanth – Indian real life superhero! Period!
29. Saas-Bahu serials – How can we miss this! The whole nation l.o.v.e.s these never ending tales of familial ties, conspiracy, and love and hate between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law! Not to forget those villainous ladies who just can’t get enough of conspiring!
30. Mysticism and spirituality – A land of yogis, wandering sadhus, seers and spiritually enlightened people along with some of the major religions of the world, India has a rich heritage of mysticism and spirituality that is a quintessential part of our identity.
31. Public PeePee – Who needs all those public urinals when the whole country is yours!? Kudos to the Indian fraternity for showing again and again that men in this country are free to do anything…ANYTHING!
32. Apathy towards historical monuments – Probably ours is the only country where historical monuments are treated with such disrespect! You’ll always find these ancient relics marked with something or the other, be it graffiti, spit or some lover’s heart or name!
33. Nalanda University – The first great university in recorded history, Nalanda was an ancient seat of learning for a long time. It was revived again in 2014 and now functions as a post-graduate and doctoral school.
34. Funny signboards – You’ll find them in hoards! Silly, outrageous and funny…these will seriously make anyone go ROFL! But I doubt if all of them are real!
35. Hypocrisy – We often preach one thing and practice the opposite. Be it our political leaders and their words, our views regarding sex and the girl child or our holier than thou attitude about almost everything…hypocrisy runs deep in our people!
36. Chess – India’s connection with chess isn’t just Vishwanathan Anand. In fact the game itself was invented here! The earliest form of the game was known as chaturaṅga, and it originated in India during the Gupta Empire in the 6th century.
37. Cows on the road – This has mystified and fascinated visitors to our country for a really long time, and it continues to do so! Forget the traffic chaos, cows are holy and we love animals!
38. Arts and handicrafts – India is a rich treasure trove of arts and handicrafts with each region producing its own unique work. Weaving, textile making, metal works, wood carving, pottery, jewellery, sculpting…just name it and you’ll find some of the finest and most exquisite works here.
39. Indian Railways – It’s the largest rail network in the world and also the largest employer in the world!
40. Awaaragardi – Mothers have always complained and sons have blatantly ignored! Folks in our country, especially boys, love to wander around doing nothing! Sometimes they’ll gather with their cronies by a roadside shop and either eye and tease a few girls or just drift away in the midst of endless talks.
41. Matrimonial sites – Real life interactions and relationships aren’t a good thing, or that’s what the taught…but meeting and marrying a stranger is ok…hmm… shaadi.com hai naa!
42. Board games – Board games have been in existence in India since antiquity, with Pachisi being the oldest of them all. The popular game of Ludo was derived from Pachisi and its closely related counterpart Chaupar.
43. Cricket Mania and IPL – India’s true religion and probably the only thing that draws out our patriotism to the max!
44. Breaking queues – We seriously don’t know how to stand in line! Whether the queue is for movie tickets, metro tokens, train or bus tickets or aarti in the temple, we just can’t resist the need to jostle, push and break the queue!
45. Economic disparity – On one side we have the rich and elite brigade of industrialists and politicians and celebrities while on the other hand we have the dying farmers, starving and homeless people and oh yes…the ever growing number of beggars!
46. Spices – Rich in aroma and flavours, spices are the very heart and soul of Indian cuisine. The appeal of Indian spices is such that even outsiders fell in love with it and for centuries it has been a major export commodity.
47. Car – o – Bar – That’s drinking in the car for you when you got no place and no money or you when gotta do it on the sly…like in weddings!
48. Love for Accents – Our people love speaking in English but they love accented English even more! American or British…just take your pick for you’ll find many people speaking in either of these.
49. Public scratching – It’s gross but who cares! We’re a free country and what better way to display this than scratching every imaginable body part and that too in full public view!
50. Roadside barber – Strictly for the boys, this one is delightful! Shaving and haircut can never ever be a problem in this country, thanks to these fellas!
51. Eating with our hands – Food not only tastes better but also more wholesome when eaten with one’s hands!
52. Playing tabla everywhere – Zakir Hussain is from India…how do you prove it? By thumping and playing the tabla on any flat surface that’s available! Waaah!
53. Indian Thaali – This is how a meal is done in most Indian homes. Apparently this balances the rasas as well! The Indian thaali is cheap, yummy and a wonderful culinary treat for everyone! Satisfaction guaranteed for sure!
54. Raj comics – The Indian alternative to Marvel and DC comics, Raj comics with the entourage of Indian superheroes have made the childhood of many a happy one.
55. Shaktimaan – Without mentioning Shaktimaan, the league of desi superheroes shall remain incomplete! You can’t ever forget Mukesh Khanna in his invincible roles as Gangadhar and Shaktimaan!!
56. Beverages – I don’t know of any other country that has as many non-alcoholic beverages as ours! Chai, lassi, chhas, sherbet, nimbu paani, jaljeera, masala doodh, banta or goli soda…aaah!
57. Indian bazaar – This was where we did our shopping before the arrival of online shopping sites and malls! The age old Indian bazaar is a fascinating place that’s always bustling with activity and that has a charm unlike anything else.
58. Taj Mahal – The symbol of eternal love and of magnificent architecture, the Taj Mahal is astounding and one of the things that make us proud Indians.
59. One kid in the family HAS to be a Doctor or Engineer – Yes… that is how it is in most Indian homes! And not to forget the IIT obsession that so many parents harbour!
60. Call centres – India’s the most preferred country for outsourcing and the vast number of call centres mushrooming all across the country have become a kind of insignia for India.
61. Parathas for breakfast – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day no doubt, but nobody eats such heavy food in the morning except us! Not to forget the dollops of butter along with the parathas!
62. Sari – A dress like no other, without a doubt! Every woman looks regal in a sari…that’s India for you
63. Fairness obsession – From whitening creams to face cleansers and shower gels – you’ll find everything in every corner of the country, except common sense of course!
64. Ogling at women – Favourite hobby for many men in our country!
65. Unique phrases – We have innovated English like nobody else! These amazing phrases are just priceless! “What is your good name?” “We are like this only!, “myself Harish”. The list goes on!
66. Street food – Bhel Puri, Paani Puri, Gol Gappas, Paapri Chaat, Vada Pav, Pav Bhaji, Momos and so much more! Street food in India is yummy, inexpensive and one of its kind in the whole world!
67. Largest democracy – Yes that’s us! Though how much in reality is pretty much debatable!
68. Paan or Gutka Spit everywhere – The infamous insignia of tobacco chewing Indians, you’ll find it everywhere…roads, government offices, banks and even on vehicles!
69. Road-side chaiwala – You’ll find them all over the country . Savour the best cuppa tea and that too at any time – day or night, thanks to these amazing fellas!
Phew! That’s quite a list, isn’t it! But doesn’t it make you proud to be an Indian? Not perfect, but awesome!
Happy Independence Day folks!
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