The Great Indian Quirks

First of all let me start by saying that I absolutely love my country. The amount of versatility the country has to offer, no other place could come close. It is a complete and overwhelming assault on all your senses in way that it offers more than you can handle

While Hollywood chooses to focus only on the slums and poverty there is so much rich culture and history here, that it would offer them movie content for generations if they ever even tried to explore. Unfortunately, the current trend is to sell a quick win and what more than slums to help that along (although even slums have so much more life to them than simply poverty).

Having said that and the fact that this particular blog entry talks about quirks, we have even those in great abundance (we Indians do not like to do anything in moderation or within bounds of sanity and we absolutely love that part about ourselves).

So here are some of the quirky habits (I am personally guilty of some of them) that we have as per International standards, which we don't even realize. Intended for humour and a quick laugh, take them with a pinch of salt. 

Loud Celebrations
Whatever we do,  we love to do it big. Nothing can be small by any proportion (pun intended) and what best to prove this point than our need/love for loud music. Ever danced in a marriage or a religious procession? (Ganesh Chaturthi?). If the answer is 'No',  you have either not lived in India long enough or you are lying. Stop smiling. It's in our very DNA. 

Hospital Zones? Schools? Late Nights? Do they matter over our need for loud music. Seriously doubt it. In fact, each of those places, you will have people come to the window to watch or tap their feet to the music instead.  If the music ain't loud, the party hasn't started yet. 

Noise pollution or exams; sick or sleepy; very rarely will you see people complain. Pull something off like this in Western countries and the only place you will be dancing would be the inside of a dark prison cell. In India,  everyone joins the party instead.

Personal Space?
Now this is literally a 'touchy' issue. Being part of overcrowded cities,  the one thing you cannot help but notice is the amount of space people maintain between each other in queues, public transport or for that matter even walking down the road. At times it's even difficult to understand where one person ends and the next one starts (Human Centipede?).  

The best happens to be if you live in or have visited the Northern states and tried to use an ATM machine to withdraw cash. The queue does not start behind you,  it in fact starts over your shoulder, with the next three people after you peering over to see your transaction; as if maybe they are bank officers ensuring you are doing it right or maybe to offer sympathy on your small transaction and even smaller bank balance. 

Personal space for us by definition I guess means the space that exists between atoms (the quantum realm). 

The Famous Indian 'No'
A simple conversation from anywhere in the world (except India of course). 
Host   : Why don't you taste some more of this dish? 
Guest : Aah.. Thank you much But I'm full now. Maybe another time? 
Host   : No worries :) 

The same conversation (this time in India
Host   : Why don't you taste some more of this dish? 
Guest : Oh no!  I'm full...  I shouldn't (lying
Host   : No! No! I insist!  Please (lying too...
Guest : No! No! I'm already full (I do want more
Host   : No! You have to! Please! (Take it!
Guest : Ok!... Since you are insisting so much

Classic case of how we say 'No' when we want to say yes to enforce a win-win situation for everyone (Guest isn't seen as greedy and Host is seen as extra generous and hospitable). The annoyance in the conversation and the fact that both parties are well aware of what is going on is completely overseen. It is part of us and it wouldn't be wrong to say that in a way, it has actually turned into a ritual.

Try to be an honest host or take words on face value in India and you will have lost quite a few friends. Point to be noted.

Cheap and Proud of It
The concept of showing off is a tad bit different in India. While common understanding states, you normally oversell your rich and lavish status, we contrary to the whole idea, love to show off how cheap we are. Before everyone jumps to conclusions, let me clarify. Instead of showing off how we spent an entire fortune to buy something expensive and luxurious, we instead love to show off how we bargained, waited in queues for hours, pulled favours, clicked on every privacy-leeching, adware filled link in search of discount coupons to buy that thing lower than anyone else around. Now be that item an apple or a Ferrari, doesn't matter.

While it may be intelligent to have saved a lot of money to buy an iPhone or clothes from Zara or a Tissot watch, the idea of de-valuating the premium product and feel good about it is an absolute extraordinary talent we possess. Most of you reading may be smiling or laughing at this bit, but have actually pulled this off. If you say 'No', go back in time and answer yourself... in all earnest, the answer is for you, not for the world.

Horny and Impatient
This one is close to my heart. Yes heart! In case you misunderstood the caption and assumed wrong. The one quirky habit, we Indian men and women possess is honking our head off on the road. We absolutely hate getting anywhere late (despite snarling traffic - like the one this article is written in). The seconds saved by honking to prod others faster in a bumper to bumper traffic are completely necessary for us to solve the nucleus fission formulae or solve the socio-economic crises in the country.

Waiting at the signal with 10 seconds remaining to go green or someone old/disabled crossing the street or traffic jams the causes for which only God can answer are all detonators for the ticking bombs inside us to be set off. Out comes the hand/finger and onwards goes the loud horn.

It happens to be our weapon choice to de-stress and ease frustration. Some even get creative and honk in musical rhythms while others won't even realize how much they are doing it (I didn't do it!). Doing our bit towards sharing into the country's widespread noise pollution.

We may be crazy, we may be different, we may be as I say 'quirky', but when it comes to be being lively, fun loving and living life to every extreme; we are always up to the challenge. Remember, you can always take the Indian out of the country, but you will never be able to take country out of the Indian.

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