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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Independence Day 2017: 70 things that only Indians do

On Independence Day today, here are 70 things that make us Indians stand out — Be it our love for food, our little quirks and annoying habits (like comparing our children to Sharma ji ka beta/beti) and even our common sense of patriotism during every India vs Pakistan match.

Written by Anuradha Varma | New Delhi |
Updated: August 15, 2017 12:19:20 pm
As India turns 70, here are 70 things that make us truly Indian! Express Photo by Amit Mehra

As India stands proud with head held high at the cusp of 70 years of its independence, there are many things that make us Indians quite similar — be it our love for food, our little quirks and annoying habits (like comparing our children to Sharma ji ka beta/beti), our common sense of patriotism during every India vs Pakistan match, so on and so forth. Here are 70 things that make us Indians the way we are, on this Independence Day.

As India turns 70, here are 70 things that make us truly Indian!


1. When you meet someone, try to peg them by guessing their age, marital status, if they have kids, etc.
2. Speaking English with an accent, never mind if it’s all wrong grammatically.
3. Speaking in Hinglish, asking for lemonade with ‘nimbu’.
4. Talking about someone the minute they step out of the room.
5. Speaking in Hindi or your state language when around foreigners, so that they don’t know what you’re saying about them.
6. When you shift houses and the neighbourhood aunty walks right inside to check out your possessions and give random advice. And continues doing that as long as you live there, till you start relying on it.

7. When you walk into a single person’s home and are surprised that they have anything more than a mattress and fridge, leave alone a dining table!
8. Getting free advice, even from the autowallah, on why you should be married.
9. When all the world’s problems can be discussed and sorted over a cup of tea.
10. When you get used to having red (black) tea or because most of your friends are from the North-east. (Or if you’re from the North-East!)
11. Solutions to complex political scenarios are found during morning walks by senior citizens.


12. Saying no to samosas, because they’re so unhealthy.
13. Saying you love street food, because that’s so in.
14. When you travel abroad, but after a week, all you crave is some ‘dal-chaawal’.
15. Summers mean mangoes, all through the season, and all things made from it.
16. The rains mean pakodas and piping hot chai!
17. Going to Mumbai means having ‘vada pav’!
18. Pack dhoklas, mathris and theplas when travelling abroad.


19. If you’re from Mumbai or Delhi, you secretly believe you’re better off than the other!
20. If you’re from Mumbai, you think Delhiites love to show off!
21. If you’re from Delhi, you can’t believe how Mumbaikars can show up at an evening event in the same clothes they wore during the day at work!
22. Your Bengali friends (or if you’re a Bengali), whether born and bred in Kolkata or Delhi, have the works of Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray on their fingertips.
23. Asking your Muslim friends to treat you to Biryani and Seviyaan, every Eid.

24. Expecting to be treated by your Christian friends to plum cake every Christmas.
25. When an Udupi or south Indian restaurant is on your speed dial. And you crave a dosa ever so often, no matter what part of India you’re from.
26. Feeling extremely safe, somehow, if you get an old Sardarji as your taxi driver.
27. When meeting even a Pakistani abroad reminds you of home.


28. Ordering a buffet meal, but hoping to sneak in a couple of dishes for your best-friend to share for free.
29. Keeping your kid’s school text-books so they can be used by a younger sibling.
30. Passing down a growing kid’s clothes in the extended family, to be used by cousins, etc.
31. Re-using gift-wrapping paper or keeping it aside for a rainy day.
32. Moms from the older generation recycling sarees and clothes as cushion and pillow covers.
33. Your old clothes and t-shirts turning up as dusting rags.
34. Buying clothes a size or two bigger for kids, so that it lasts minimum a year, if not more.
35. Supposedly trying to motivate your kid by comparing them to the neighbour’s brilliant kid.

36. Buy something you don’t need, simply because you’re getting something free with it.
37. Try to get the best price for everything and then be told by a friend or partner that you could have got it for even lower if you’d tried harder.
38. You hang on to bags from stores to use for emergencies and throwing garbage.
39. When you find plastic wrappers and bags stored for years in a drawer or under mattresses.
40. We keep our TV remotes covered in plastic, to keep them safe from dust!
41. The plastic covers never come off car seats, even when it’s no longer new!
42. Feeling cheated when you book something online, and not get a deal!
43. Checking Cleartrip, MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Paytm, Ixigo for ‘cashback’ offers, before you can finally book a flight.
44. You save salt and sugar sachets from restaurants and hotels for an emergency.
45. You look forward to trying out the shampoos and soaps when you’re staying at a hotel, especially if it’s a five-star!


46. You don’t believe in rented accommodation beyond a point…it makes sense to invest in a home!
47. You fantasize about owning a home in the hills or near the beach in Goa, but suspect you’d be bored in months.
48. It’s second nature to switch off lights and fans when you leave a room.
49. We’re keyboard warriors, and love to share our opinion, but mostly within our comfort zones.
50. We read Chacha Chowdhury as much as we loved Archie and Tintin comics.

51. When your neighbor makes sure nobody uses their parking space, so what if they don’t own a car…yet!
52. Breaking traffic rules, when the traffic cops aren’t looking. And laughing at others who don’t do this!
53. We love to hate cringe-worthy soaps, making sure the TRPs soar.
54. We all have our personal or family Guru-jis.
55. We all have our favourite Kishore Kumar song.
56. You’re a self-professed fan of Hollywood fims, but can watch Mithun Chakraborty’s Gunda when alone!
57. You know all the iconic dialogues from Sholay! ‘Kitne aadmi the’, anyone?
58. If it’s an India vs Pakistan cricket match, everybody’s eyes are on the score, whether you’re a fan of cricket or not!
59. When aunties in navel-baring sarees and deep cleavage blouses raise eyebrows at mini-skirts.
60. When we leave office 10 minutes before time to beat the peak hour!
61. Sitting on the floor in a crowded metro, getting up when you see the guard, and sitting back down when he leaves.
62. When your Facebook profile pic and Aadhar card pic could belong to two different people!


63. Independence Day reminds you of flying kites on the terrace.
64. Independence Day also reminds you of school celebrations and singing the national anthem.
65. Republic Day and Independence Day are also when the film Gandhi is telecast on television for the nth time!

66. All the Indian mythology you know is from Amar Chitra Katha, or most of it at least.
67. You felt sad when the Ambassador car was retired.
68. For many of you, or your parents, the first watch one wore was by HMT.
69. Summer holidays meant visits to grandparents and relatives.
70. Sundays are family days!

(The writer is an editorial consultant and co-founder of The Goodwill Project. She tweets @anuvee) Views expressed are personal.

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