21 Tips On Surviving Life in Modern India

September 8, 2010

Here’s some pointers on leading a happy life in the India of the Gandhis, call centers, Pizza Hut, DLF, and Road Rage.

Read, and learn. Here we go.

1. Be rich. Very rich. Money may not buy happiness, but a Crore or two lying around doesn’t hurt.

2. Don’t buy anything without bargaining. Nothing. It is just against the Indian spirit. If your kid asks for a school trip to Egypt, propose Jaipur. If he turns out to be a bargainer, raise the offer to Aurangabad.

3. Have lots of kids. You must have a doctor, a lawyer, an police officer, and a magistrate in the family. Cant rely on outsiders anymore.

4. Do not watch TV. Colors et al are all channels dedicated to the cause of social injustice and women empowerment; you’ll get bored. Krishi Darshan on DD is more entertaining.

5. Forget that you have a middle finger. We are a peace loving country; no obscenities here please.

6. Chai-Paani is not that. Seriously, who would drink tea and water together. Even kids know what it means.

7. Go private. Prefer ICICI to SBI. Unitech to DDA. FedEx to Speedpost. Airtel to BSNL. You dont want anything to do with the government or their offices. Leave that to the losers.

8. The media is the new government. If you lose as much as a dog, just call up Aajtak. If you can convince them to take up your cause, rest assured a dog will be found, yours or not.

9. When in trouble, claim you are from the media. Nobody messes with the media.

10.  Get blocked on Twitter by Chetan Bhagat. You don’t belong to the intelligentsia till you can offend the greatest writer of our times enough to grant you this status symbol.

11. Everything can be outsourced in India. Get a maid, a cook, a driver, a gardener, a body guard, someone to pick your trash. You’ll even find a young engineer to walk your dogs. They are aplenty, and come cheap.

Find a young engineer to walk your dogs. They are aplenty, and come cheap.

12. It is not law and order. It’s law and disorder. Never bother calling up 100. Most likely it will go unanswered, which truly is the best case scenario for you.

13. Do not argue with your sabzi-wallah (vegetable vendor). If he gets pissed, he will not just not sell to you but make sure nobody else does either.

14. Anything can be blamed on Pakistan. Didn’t do your homework – the Pakistanis stole it. Made mistakes in the homework – the Pakistanis stole it and returned a wrong copy.

15. While out and about, make sure you know the name of the area ACP/DCP/Head Constable. If a cop busts you, claim that Mr ACP is your maternal uncle. And hope the person you name isn’t the one stopping you. In which case, god be with you.

16. Don’t go out during the day. Too much traffic. Also, don’t go out in the night. There’s rapists everywhere.

17. Know your cricket. You must know the names of all IPL teams, Tendulkar’s test average, and the marital status of all Indian players. A strong opinion on match fixing will be helpful. If you think short leg is related to a flat foot, then this one needs a lot of work.

If you think short leg is related to a flat foot, then you need to work on your cricket knowledge.

18. Never rant about how bad things are in India. Especially if you are a non resident. Indians dont like outsiders blowing the cover.

19. You can never bad mouth Shahrukh Khan. He has a private army of millions all over the country. For your own safety, claim to be an SRK fan wherever you go. Add that to your introduction. “Myself, Ravi Kumar. 5 years experience in Java, including 4 months and 12 days onsite. Big fan of Shahrukh Khan.”

20. You will be frisked wherever you go. The mall, the movies, the metro, haldirams, the library. Everywhere. Don’t complain – it’s for your own good. Privacy be damned, but at least the terrorists will be thwarted in their plan to blow up the grocery store.

21. If you believe in god, rest assured you will lead a happy life in India. With over a million gods, you can get a dedicated hot line to one of them. Just make sure you do the needful at the local temple.

There. Follow these tips and you will live happily ever after. Just don’t forget our chai paani for showing the path.

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51 Responses to “ 21 Tips On Surviving Life in Modern India ”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by amreekandesi and amreekandesi, Leo Varughese. Leo Varughese said: RT @amreekandesi: 21 Tips On Surviving Life in Modern India | amreekandesi.com http://bit.ly/97fv8X […]

  2. Paushali on September 8, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    :-).amazing post

  3. kavi on September 8, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Neat !


  4. Suren on September 9, 2010 at 1:01 am


    • amreekandesi on September 10, 2010 at 12:12 am

      Aww. That’s the best comment ever! Muchly appreciated :)

  5. dinu on September 9, 2010 at 4:10 am

    awesome work buddy :D shared on twitter and fb :D

  6. Liju Philip on September 9, 2010 at 11:26 am

    The only people who ask “tu jaanta nahin mera baap kaun hai” are the ones who in reality dont know their own father’s identity.

    • amreekandesi on September 10, 2010 at 12:11 am

      Very profound statement!

  7. Poonam on September 9, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    2,3, 8 and 10 are really good.

    But 12th is not true, completely off-mark. Delhi, is one city where 100 call always gets answered, because calls are recorded and monitored by higher officials. I have dialed 100 countless times to disperse kirtans, mandir festivals blaring loudspeakers after 11. Or, when I was mugged and many other times.

    100 always works in the city. I don’t know about NCR though.

    • amreekandesi on September 10, 2010 at 12:21 am

      Poonam – Delhi is not India. Closer to the capital, in Noida i once had to call up 100 and it went unanswered.

      Actually even in Delhi, once someone in the family had occasion to seek help, and it took three calls to get through to 100.

      No doubt Delhi Police is much better than elsewhere in the country, which still isnt enough. The city is far from a state of Ram Rajya.

    • ashok on September 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      alleast aftr three calls 100 answrd.ppl dnt pay taxes dnt wry abt abt electns but want instant services.WTF amreekandesi thinks definitely she writes as if she is an nri

  8. Poonam on September 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Strangely, I can’t see my comment. :|

    • amreekandesi on September 10, 2010 at 12:21 am

      Went into moderation, for some reason!

  9. Ashish Deodhar on September 9, 2010 at 11:04 pm


    I liked the 8th tip most.

    Brilliantly funny. Good stuff.


    • amreekandesi on September 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm

      thanks AD :)

  10. amreekandesi on September 10, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Thanks guys for the appreciation :)

  11. rp on September 10, 2010 at 2:19 am


  12. Prashant Serai on September 10, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Nice one!

    Just that the public companies though the cause loss to the nation, many of them provide reasonably good services at extremely low rates.. i can definitely recommend SBI and Speedpost..

    You see this turned out to be an example of point 18..

    • amreekandesi on September 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm


      Satire is often based on exaggeration. I guess you too proved point 18 by taking offense :P

  13. Poonam on September 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    “Delhi is not India.” – My bad, I replied keeping your ‘Delhi Drowns’ in mind. ;) And city is a far cry from Ram Rajya. But unless you are too unfortunate to have dropped calls/busy line, 100 is always (ok, let’s make it mostly keeping human laxity in account :P) answered – a reaction of being in crime-infested National Capital city. It is another matter that subsequent action by police may not mean much.

    • amreekandesi on September 11, 2010 at 10:58 pm

      Poonam, its good to know that we have a veteran at emergency calls here :)

      Do they recognize your voice now?

  14. B K CHOWLA on September 11, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Right or wrong, agree or disagree, is not the issue.All I know I enjoyed reading this post and marking it as STARRED

    • amreekandesi on September 11, 2010 at 10:58 pm

      thank you sir!

  15. desipooj on September 11, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Hilarious! Only discovered your blog recently and it’s become a favorite weekend stop-over!

    • amreekandesi on September 11, 2010 at 10:59 pm

      thanks…do keep reading, and commenting :)

  16. mystique on September 13, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Way to go sir!!
    Btw you can call me to help you walk your dog sometime ;)

    • amreekandesi on September 15, 2010 at 7:14 pm

      haha…send over your CV! :P

  17. DJ on September 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    best part IMO : 4 months and *some days* of onsite experience ROFL

    • amreekandesi on September 15, 2010 at 7:15 pm

      Of course…you cant ever undersell yourself on the onsite experience. That alone makes us stand out from the crowd.

  18. Sangitha on September 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Not sure what to think of this post. Parts are funny if given some benefit of doubt and other parts can be very easily offensive, if I let them be so (I certainly don’t agree). I guess as an once-upon-a-time NRI who loves to live in India, I am not on the same plane as you are. Actually wrote a letter to other NRIs who got my goat sometime ago. Hope things get better for you in your Indian dream and soon! Love the way your blog is set up.

    • amreekandesi on September 18, 2010 at 10:25 am

      A wise man once said “not everybody gets satire”.

      On another note, so are you in the goat retail business? Sounds like fun!

  19. Paul Singh on September 17, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Lovely article. It is all true. You could also add that the bigger the car you own, the better the respect will be. And, you can get away by killing several people on the road, driving drunk.

    • amreekandesi on September 18, 2010 at 10:27 am

      Thanks. And good points those!

  20. Mee on September 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Dude the engineers rule the world and I do not question Bill Gates on this:) Out of question asking them to walk the dog/s:)

  21. rajinder on September 23, 2010 at 11:58 am

    best post. your chai pani will be taken care of but tell how to send.
    wish to have such posts more.

  22. B=troll on September 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Be sure to ignore B the troll!!!

  23. B=troll on September 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm
  24. Erin on January 26, 2011 at 5:59 am

    I love this- thanks for the tips!

  25. Kedar on March 8, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Awesome awesome article….
    Can’t gather enough words to praise it… Too good..!!

  26. Lioness on March 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Dude OR dudette,
    I love your posts.
    Though sometimes over the top, a bit exaggerated nevertheless a good read.
    I am for the country even with its vices theres a lot of progress made here too, if someone were to write about it. Granted we maybe a million years behind most nations. Your thought about Gods and their worship is strikes a cord. Very true.

    Anyhow, well written n good job done.


  27. Doot on April 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Really interesting post ..and somehow i connect with it

  28. nazi zombies on May 1, 2011 at 5:05 am

    I love keeping up to date on everything new so i?ll definitely be bookmarking this site.

  29. […] saw 21 Tips for Surviving Life in India earlier. Here’s some more that would help you lead a life without too much stress. Bear the […]

  30. Lucio Rhoney on September 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm

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  31. Musings of a bou on October 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

    So sad, but true. Will change ever come?

    • Narendra on November 11, 2011 at 4:25 am

      Change? Not likely. 30 years ago, in a god-forsaken place such as Bhuj, I made the mistake of asking for a leg of lamb from the butcher, just wanted to sell the shoulder. No reason. When I insisted on what I wanted, he not only refused, but also asked all his brethren not to sell me meat EVER! Every one of them gave me a hard look, and from that day, became persona no grata in the meat market.

      We Indians are tradition bound. Customer non-care is a tradition, and thank you, AmreekanDesi, for this illuminating write-up.

  32. best deals on iphone 4s on February 8, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Fantastic article and I had thought of this before

  33. Preeti Sharma on March 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Haha, that was hilarious, Thanks for sharing.:D

  34. Reachus on April 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Dear friend,
    That’s all correct and understandable. But the simplest way to acknowledge the motherland is to think of the little children in your extended family in INDIA. Gift them something through Babyoye.com – http://tinyurl.com/cuvpe9y

  35. Brittney Caelie on September 6, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    it’s really interesting article like it ….

    shabby chic

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