10 More Tips to Survive India

July 9, 2011

India. The land of the Taj Mahal, AR Rehman, Sonia Gandhi, Bobby Jindal, and the PSLV. It’s all cool but things can get a bit tricky at times, especially for expats or returning Indians.

We 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 following in mind, and it will be a happy story. Don’t, and well, its your life!

Some are repeated, but that’s because they are THAT important.

Forget lane driving. Lane driving is for wimps. Like a well forwarded letter once famously said, in India you just point your vehicle in the direction you want to go to, and then keep moving into the closest open space on the road.

Anyway, a three lane road can easily accommodate five cars astride. Drive in a lane only if you have ample time to kill.

Know correct usage of yaar and bhaiyya. Everybody is your yaar. The rickshaw wala. The person who runs the college canteen. The technician from the DTH company in a rush to go home before completing the job he came for. Yaar is the keyword that unlocks the kindness in Indians.

Where yaar doesnt work, bhaiya comes in. Evening time, the auto driver wont agree to take the harassed woman where she needs to go. A feeble “bhaiya, please” is all it takes to convince even the most seasoned auto wallahs.

Learn how to use missed calls. Missed calls are the life blood of modern India. Morning cab pickup. Reminder for office meeting. Confirmation to mom that you are en route…

The possibilities are endless. You could even setup a code based on the number of rings. Two rings means i am coming. Three mean i am not coming. A single one means we are done. And so on.

Forget lining up. In India only stupid and old people line up. You will be the last one to get milk at the mother dairy if you try to line up behind the person who came before you.

The people who truly matter don’t form lines. You leverage your height, body odour or loud voice to get others out of the day and get what you want.

This was well summed up by Amitabh Bachchan some 40 years back when he was not yet a Bbuddah. ” Jahan hum khade hote hain, wahin line shuru ho jaati hai“. (The line starts whereever i stand)

The line caught India’s imagination. And how!

Women - don’t go out, unless you are in a Burqa. India is inherently unsafe for women. A recent report stated that 35% of Indian women get beaten up at home. Essentially, if you have a happy married life, then the two women standing next to you must get smacked by a drunk husband every night. Be nice to them.

Outside home, don’t wear risque clothes, or go in secluded areas without your man, who hopefully has a 15 pack stomach and can beat up any ruffian who looks at you for a second too long.

Best bet - wear a burqa, and stay home. If possible buy a Taser, and shock the scoundrels out of their skins.

Pretend you like Cricket. If you are Indian, there’s a good chance you love cricket and know all sorts of stats including the runs scored by the 7th wicket partnership in the 4th innings of the 3rd test of the India-Australia series back in 1999.

If you dont, tough luck.

Because the only thing worse than being a hockey player in India is being someone who doesnt like cricket. There’s going to be cricket all around. At work. In the bus. At the movie theater. On Twitter. If you dont participate in the inevitably intellectual discussions, you are a snob. If you actually say you are bored of it, well, god have mercy on you. You’d be like that girl from Haryana who fell in love with a boy from the same gotra. Running for her life.

For politicians, know how to blame it on Pakistan. Anything can be attributed to our friendly neighbor. They are the dog that never fails to eat our homework.

Food grain shortage. Blame it on Pakistan. Fake currency notes. Blame it on Pakistan. PM gets the Piles. Blame it on Pakistan. Aishwarya Rai’s acting. You get the drill.

Divide and rule. This may be how the British took control of our country, but it’s a lesson we have learnt well. Politicians do it. Managers in our IT giants go through trainings on how to do it.

At the grassroots level moms do it in many homes against their kids, who in turn leverage the parents to their benefit, pitting mom against dad to get that latest PSP.

Everything can be bought. Yes, everything. Beyond the regular roti, kapda and makaan, you can buy little boys and girls from some village in Jharkhand to work as domestic helps. You can buy government officers. You can buy college admissions. You can buy love. You can buy DVDs of movies before they release in theaters.

It’s a never ending sale.

Never get in trouble. If you do, be well connected and/or super rich. In India you are happy only till you’re out of trouble. Get in a car crash, and expect to be harassed out of your wits, with violent on-the-spot retribution in the worst case. Get in police trouble and lord have mercy on you.

Make sure you have the following in your family:

1. A high ranking police officer
2. An IAS
3. A lawyer of repute
4. A doctor at a top hospital

If not, then just stay the hell out of harm’s way. If someone rear-ends your car, just bend down, beg for forgiveness, and try to get away as fast as you can.

Know what terms like backend and release signify. India is a country of geeks. Expect tech terms like release, deployment, backend, recursion, java thrown at you at family get-togethers and bride-hunting expeditions. Dont understand what’s being talked about, and you lose out. It’s much like the point about Cricket.

Ok that’s it for now.

Now take a printout in large font and stick it on your wall, right next to the driving tips we saw earlier. One day you will thank us for the enlightenment.

Damn…this already feels like the Banyan tree under which Gautam Budha attained his nirvana.

Tags: , , ,

9 Responses to “ 10 More Tips to Survive India ”

  1. latasuksham on July 10, 2011 at 7:28 am

    The delight of being with your dear ones when you/they need you is much above the dearly cherished achievements in terms of jobs and the treasures accumulated,The so called success .

    After all its one’s own priority.However we live to be happy and
    I have not seen people very happy with hoards of money ,good jobs,good wife etc.It lies within you and you have to set your priorities yourself.

  2. AmanSM on July 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I can add a few more tips..

    1)Know your relatives-This is very important,chances are that the girl you just met at the coffee shop might actually be your cousin,Always a relationship hierarchy tree comes handy

    2)Know standard bribe rates-This is again very important,Govt officials are there to serve you,But don’t expect them to read out the current bribe rates for you every time you visit a govt office

    3)Learn expletives in various languages if you drive yourself to work

    • amreekandesi on July 11, 2011 at 10:57 pm

      Haha…that relatives one? Just how big a family do you have :P

      Good additions those!

  3. vadakkus on July 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Anyone not following any of the above mentioned points is #AgainstIndianCulture :)

  4. Amit on August 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    If you are serious, then you are complaining too much, i think its not the way we live today. Things have changed …

  5. Vlad on November 4, 2011 at 9:25 am

    He had made gymnastics and cricket compulsory for boys of the upper standards. I disliked both. I never took part in any exercise, cricket or football, before they were made compulsory.

    — M.K. Gandhi. An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth.

    Mahatma Gandhi didn’t like cricket :)

  6. Abhishek on December 16, 2011 at 2:08 am

    Can you actually buy your way into IIT?

    • fd on May 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm


Leave a Reply


Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog


All content on this site is the personal opinion of the writer. It is in no way related to their employer or their official policies. Most of what is written here is in a satirical tone. If it hurts your sensibilities, I sincerely apologize.
%d bloggers like this: