In India, Kindly Adjust

December 25, 2010

If ever there were a well adjusted country, it has got to be India. We define adjustment. It’s all over the place.

Ever been on a train? You stand in line to get a ticket, breathing a heavy sigh of relief on getting that prized confirmation. (Well, these days you wait with bated breath on-line to book tickets as soon as they are available, but that’s beside the point.)

On the appointed date you board the train, happy in the knowledge of having secured that train berth and looking forward to a peaceful trip. Ten minutes into the trip a happy family appears. Uncle Ji, Aunty Ji and two sweet little kids.

One girl. One boy. The perfect little Indian family. Hum Do Humare Do.

Uncleji promptly asks the kids to share your seat.

Arre bachchon uncle ke paas baith jao.
Bhai Saab, please adjust. Little children.

(Image courtesy:

College going kids know what it feels like to be called uncle in front of a bogey full of passengers. Ah, the humiliation! And can you ever say no to little children?  People who do that go to hell. They say Televisions there alternate between Rakhi Sawant and Arnab Goswami. On loop.

Going by the current aviation trends, we are probably just a couple of years away from airlines offering 2-for-1 seats, which will be just that – two people sitting on a single seat. Kindly adjust.

You reach your destination, and next day you are out on the road hoping to take your kids to the zoo. Not the Parliament, but the one with animals. The wild animals. Oh well, the place where they keep animals in cages, and there are no gun toting commandoes to intimidate you away.

Coming back to the point.

So you are out on the road driving happily. The road is two lanes each side, but today seems to be a particularly busy morning. There’s people all over the place.

How do we resolve this? Simple, we adjust. A two lane road is actually a misnomer. The road is capable of supporting five lanes, with additional space for the bikes, which can go pretty much anywhere, including the footpaths (and pedestrians).  Sometimes if there isn’t too much traffic on the other side we can take that as well, which potentially means an additional eight lanes on the two lane road. Awesomeness.

We’ll even share our roads with the occasional herd of buffaloes out on a leisure trip.

Live and let live. Share the space. Kindly adjust.

You reach the zoo to find some happy Zebras, ten sharing the space meant for two.  Even they get it.

Health-care? Split no hair.

We all know how India is a very populous country. The government can obviously not create enough hospitals (and beds therein) for the billions of people who live here (and continue to procreate and produce new ones faster than nature can get rid of them). We are a third world country. Adequate healthcare is not for us. But we adjust.

People might remember the recent outbreak of Dengue fever in Delhi. True to form, its citizens braved it out. Four people to a bed in government hospitals. We are already ill; how much worse can it get? Share the joy. Kindly adjust.

Of course, there’s no adjustment in death. If you die, you get the whole bed to yourself. Come on now.

Which reminds us of the famous Blue line buses plying on Delhi roads. Well, these are a joy to behold, and a prime example of adjustment. A thousand people in the space meant for 50 odd. The kind people from the Guinness book once came over to ratify a world record for bus occupancy. They just kept counting, but got tired and had to leave midway.

The only downside is that this does end up making the job very easy for terrorists in terms of the potential for damage by a single jihadi. Luckily no Americans ever travel in Blue lines. Indians. Well, they are dispensable.

You see, everything is adjustable in India. The price of Tomatoes to Toyotas. Government policies. Company accounts. Ticket sales figures for the Commonwealth games. All it  takes is an open heart.

Loved this post? Didn’t? Kindly adjust!

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24 Responses to “ In India, Kindly Adjust ”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by amreekandesi and Anish Kothari. Anish Kothari said: Great post from @amreekandesi In India, Kindly Adjust Adjust your plans and read it! […]

  2. Anish on December 25, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Great post! I never knew what it meant to adjust until I started commuting by local in Mumbai when people would push their way to ENTER the train. Then I went on an overnight train in general class; these passengers have graduate degrees in Adjustment. While I sat on the floor amidst the smelly feet, sitting on a seat was below the guy next to me – he was fast asleep underneath the seat! He earned his Ph.D. in Adjustment.

    • amreekandesi on December 25, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      haha…nice! That must have been quite an experience. Thanks for the appreciation :)

    • Rakshak on May 16, 2012 at 10:09 am

      I come from Singapore and found it extremely irritating

      Whenever I travelled in trains, some 8 random people (who became friends during the cross- country train journey ) would squash themselves in the 3rd class compartment. “Beta adjust kar lo na – aap upar so jayein kyun ki hum baatey karna chahtey hain”. WTH???

      If you start arguing, you risk looking like the selfish, spoilsport. So, adjust kar lo yaar.

  3. Amlistening on December 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    True! I like ur concept of 8 lane roads. It’s really an exercise managing to save ur car from all corners in those 4/5 lanes….stretch approaching the CSM mall it the worst

  4. desipooj on December 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Great post! Adjustment is ingrained in Indian DNA, I think. It’s our ingenuity – no seat? no problem! no road? no problem! everything is adjustable!

  5. Venkataraman Ramachandran on December 25, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Good one :) I write satire posts at
    I’ve just started.

  6. JOHN on December 25, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    True. We are born adjusters.Its n r DNA. But with sincere and planned effort we can make Indians unadjustable)

  7. Pratul Bagri on December 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Amazing post and carries truth for sure. I am new to your blog Please adjust :) Waiting for more.

  8. Ankush Jain on December 25, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Although I’ve had this precise thought process going in my mind for years now, it kinda *feels good* to have other people share the same observation.

    Hats off on an amazing article. :)

  9. Sreenath on December 26, 2010 at 6:53 am
  10. Sathya on December 26, 2010 at 10:54 am

    You haven’t “fully adjusted” till you’ve seated next to 11 others in Chennai share autos =.=

    (Apparently, that was ISRO’s inspiration for launching 10 satellites at once)

  11. Slug on December 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Nice read and very true indeed.

  12. OMDB on December 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Here’s how we adjust in Delhi:

  13. shail on December 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Hilarious and true.

  14. rajinder on December 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Adjustment does give sense of happiness to one who adjusts and also to one who is adjusted in the situations of shortages but not on the hospital bed and this is aptly described in the post which I liked & enjoyed keep it up.

  15. mysoul on January 17, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Truth can be so amusing. You have just touched the tip of the iceberg…dig a little more deeper and you will find adjustments based on Gender, Age, Class, Caste everything…You name it, its got an adjustment. If there was a Noble Prize for Adjustment, an Indian would get it every year.

  16. Ranjith on March 2, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    ha ha ! Absolutely loved it. ‘Kindly adjust’ is a taken-for-granted psyche here. I today got pushed behind in a queue. The perosn who pushed had the look that said “i know you will adjust. Kindly adjust. pleasee.” Jai ho! :)

  17. Ashwathy on September 18, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Kindly adjust spills into various regional areas also.
    Swalpam adjust pannunko…
    kurachu adjust cheyyu
    thoda adjust karlo na

    The list goes on!!

  18. Lady In Read on September 24, 2011 at 11:39 am

    And once an Indian, always one.. what does mommy teach her Amreekan kids? konjum adjust pannikongo! please adjust!
    added u in a list of my fav funnies on the www

  19. Ajay on October 5, 2011 at 6:19 am

    Very rightly put…

  20. Reachus on April 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

    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 –

  21. The Enchantress on December 20, 2013 at 3:20 am

    OMG !!! I am going mad reading all your posts..bursting in laughter like hell…

    thank u soo sooo muchhh for your wonderful wrirings…had a dil khol k wali hassiii….m a huge fan of urs now..

    getting d book soon…btw m new to dis amreeekaaaa ;) found u through blogadda

    • amreekandesi on December 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm

      Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the posts :)

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