India is a dynamic, soulful, colorful, unique country. Most of all it’s full: full of life, full of people, full of energy, full of experiences! There’s a common saying “It happens only in India!” which came from a popular Bollywood song. There are incidents which make my belief in this very strong!
Once, I was invited to my uncle’s friend’s house-warming. Yes, we Indians are warm people and any life event big or small needs to be validated by our extended friends & family (Prime example being the Big Fat Indian Wedding). The dress code was Indian ethnic which for girls is usually only a few kilos lighter than their self-weight.
Being overly stingy and a smartass, I decided to book a shared Uber. I boarded my Uber which was clean and air conditioning was effective. All was well. We took a de-route to pick my fellow Uber share passengers. We had three seats left and a family of four was waiting after the de-route which added around twenty minutes to my trip. The driver and the family requested “Adjust karlo Madam. Chota bacha god mei baith jaega.” I didn’t have the heart to say no. It was that time of the year when we can make fully cooked sunny side up eggs on Delhi roads!
In the packed tiny WagonR, I was forced to sit at an angle where I had no choice but to stare outside the window. It surprises me to see folks wearing helmet only in fear of traffic tickets. Else, they have no regard for their own head! It’s such a common site. Saw a family of three where both mom and dad were wearing helmets and the little girl was wearing an over sized hairband. What logic was this? Annoyed, I tried to focus on something else. Sometimes you just wish you had a camera because no amount of retelling can be as good! It was insane! I saw four riding a scooter: three persons and one monkey at the back! Now we are making animals break the law as well!
Finally, I reached my destination after the eventful ride. It was a two storied building in a small area touching both the neighbor’s houses. My uncle’s friend had made sure to utilize every inch of land he paid for. I straight away headed to the terrace where the lunch was being served. It was a lavish buffet under a small tent. As I was about to reach for some naans, my uncle’s friend’s wife insisted on getting the fresh ones out of the Tandoor. I was confused as I couldn’t see Tandoor setup anywhere. Then, I realized there was a basket tied to rope which was going around the neighbor’s wall. The tandoor was setup in the neighbor’s front yard and we were getting fresh naan on the second floor! Necessity definitely is the mother of invention!
This is a summary of about 3 hours on a regular afternoon! We Indians might have messy, crowded, sweaty lives but it can never get dull…