I have heard a lot about Indians living abroad and the culture shock they get upon visiting India after a couple of years. All of a sudden, they feel that anything and everything in India is topsy turvy. I had the opportunity to see and feel the change in perspective about India during the recent visit of my aunt and her family from U.S.
My two cousins, aged six and ten, started bombarding me with questions from day one. They asked me why there are so many people, cars, buses, scooters, trucks and cattle on the road. My reply was that India was a big country with a big population. It satisfied their curiosity to some extent.
Hygiene-wise, they were paranoid about everything. It started off one morning when I saw them holding a Bisleri water bottle in their hands, presuming that it was meant for drinking. I was shocked when I heard them say that they were going to brush their teeth with mineral water. They thought that using Metro water will land them in the hospital.
They used hand sanitisers at regular intervals and they had used up a couple of tubes during their ten day-stay. And then there were the mosquitoes; for the majority of us, mosquitoes are considered extended family members. Mosquitoes started swarming around post sunset and started biting my younger cousin. This was quite a bother for her. She even wrote a letter to the mosquito which was indeed hilarious. The letter read:
I do not taste good. So I don't think that you should eat me.
After a short stay the family returned to the U.S., following extensive safety protocols during their stay In India.
All said and done, India is and will remain chaotic and crowded. But then for us, this country will remain enjoyable and pulsating with life. Don't we see people coming back to our motherland from overseas of late? There must be some mystical force bringing back many Indians in spite of the high decibels, garbage and the sea of humanity on the road. There must be a good reason to coin the phrase Incredible India!
DEEPTHI MOHAN, I Year, SRM University