Red, yellow, green? Despite our fabled love of colour, we ignore the red and the yellow at traffic signals. For us, it's always green. That's when we cross the road at a signal at all. Mostly, we just saunter over to the other side without looking right and left and right again, confident in the knowledge that whichever passing car's way we happen to be in will screech to a halt or careen past on two wheels to avoid us
Honk all the time, especially 10 seconds before the red light is about to turn green
Traffic rules are for the rest of the world. We'll honk when we want people/cars/cows/dogs/trees to get out of our way. We'll honk when we don't want them to get out of our way. Heck, sometimes we'll honk just to beat time to Badtameez Dil on the radio. We'll honk in chorus at the car in front before the traffic light has a chance to turn from red to green because, what the hell, we've waited long enough already.
Paisa vasool is the one mantra that unites India. Kitni mileage deti hai? is our favourite question, whether asked of a bullock cart, a Maruti 800, a Rolls Royce or an aeroplane.
"Chalo, na tumhara na mera" - a deal is not closed until these words are said. Each rupee saved is a rupee worth saving. Buying at MRP is criminal and no shopkeeper will give respect or decent service if you pay him what he asks for straight off.
This is why our mothers fed us Chyawanprash when we were young - so we could hop on and off moving vehicles without mishap. It's an art we perfect in college, boarding DTC buses and Mumbai locals. We might graduate to owning vehicles we don't have to leap out off later in life, but this skill - like swimming and cycling - once acquired is never lost. If we had to catch that train pulling out the station tomorrow, we'd do it like a boss or like Kajol in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
Marriage and children are the most talked about topics in India, Facebook analytics will vouch for that. A shaadi isn't a shaadi unless the whole world is invited. Gate crashers will be fed, the gold and jewels on display could wipe out the fiscal deficit and the amount of ghee required to cook the wedding feast will moisturize our insides for life.
India has the second largest population is the world and it comes with advantages. Chances are, you'll have a name worth dropping up your sleeve when that cop catches you for running a red light. If it's not your dad's name then it's your dad's colleague's sister-in-law's brother-in-law's best friend's best friend's dad.
Indian Gods are specialists. One is a remover of obstacles, another is the protector of animals, a third brings us wealth and fortune. We also have many names for each God. There's divinity in numbers.
In India, everyone is family even if you've never seen them before in your life. If you accidentally knock the shopping bag out of someone's hand at the market you say 'sorry Aunty/Uncle.' At the stationer's you say 'Uncle, ek pen de dijiye.' At the beauty parlour you say 'Aunty please pass me the Cosmo next to you.'
Acquire a foreign accent after a holiday abroad
"I just went to London yeah Harrods was sooo expensive yeah. I bought this at Portobello Market yeah but it's cool because over there it's really trendy to shop at markets yeah." Sometimes we get the accent even if we've only been to the airport and back. Our national ability to pick up foreign accents almost without knowing it is what makes us the call centre capital of the world.
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