What are the drawbacks of living in India?
Jul, 29 2023
The Frog in the Well Syndrome
Okay, let's start with this one. It's a bit funny, isn't it? The frog in the well syndrome. This is what I call the limited exposure and lack of global perspective we sometimes have living in India. Don't get me wrong, our cultures and traditions are vast, unique, and something to be cherished, but this sometimes causes us to become complacent and overlook global trends and standards.
You see, when the only life you know is that of the frog at the bottom of the well, the sky only seems as big as the top of the well. It tends to limit your capacity to think out of the box and limits your understanding of the world at large. This isn't something only I've experienced, but so has Radhika. She once auditioned for a global theater group and felt completely overwhelmed by the differing view of perspectives and techniques. She felt like a frog unexpectedly tossed in the ocean!
The Persistent Issue of Pollution
Ever tried to have an early morning walk along the streets of Bangalore? Don't mind me joking about how doing so might actually just add more years to your life. There's nothing like a face mask to complement your morning jog ensemble. And hey, if the smog isn’t enough, there’s always the noise to keep you company.
India is beautiful, no doubt, but pollution, be it air, water, or noise, has become quite the adversary. It's an adversary we've created ourselves, and one that has now become a part of our day to day life here. It's no secret our cities rank among the world's most polluted, and the battle against it is a constant uphill.
Corruption: The Battle We Wage
The next stop on this journey of ours is the ever-pervasive corruption. To be totally honest, it can sometimes feel like you're part of an elaborate video game. You know, the ‘avoid the obstacles’ type! Paying "extra" for quicker service, or bypassing regulations, might feel like an achievement in the short run, but it leaves a lasting effect on the general morale and societal structure.
It's also the understanding that, as Indians, not everyone is playing on a level field. It requires a substantial amount of mental strength, perseverance, and, alas, sometimes even turning a blind eye to the moral transgressions around you.
Pickles and Chutneys: The Indian Spice Space Adventure
What's an Indian dish without a bit of spice, right? And while I'm a big fan of our traditional pickles and chutneys, too much spice can surely set your mouth (and digestive system) on fire. Just ask Radhika. I remember the time I used extra chillies in the Biryani I made, mistaking them for bell peppers. You can imagine the river of tears and the marathon to the refrigerator for water that followed.
While our spices give our cuisine their unique flavours and aromas, often, they're also the culprits for common health issues like indigestion, gastritis, and ulcers. It's a bit like trying to extinguish a hut on fire using a cup of rice. So remember, everything in moderation, including your spices. Too hot to handle comes with real-world consequences, unfortunately!
Lost in the Crowd: Survival in India's Sea of Humanity
Being one among 1.3 billion, it's easy to feel like you're lost in the crowd, isn’t it? India's bursting population is a boon for diversity and labour force, but it also has its drawbacks. From intense competition at every stage of life to overcrowded public facilities, life in India sometimes feels like a race amongst a huge crowd.
Potential opportunities can sometimes seem elusive due to the huge competition. But hey, on the positive side, it's the perfect place to perfect your crowd navigating skills. No kidding, if you can navigate through a typical Indian market, you can navigate through anything.
My Dearest Friend, Traffic
If you've lived in India, you have a love-hate relationship with traffic. A simple drive to work can become a treasure hunt for shortcuts and faster routes. And let's not even get started on the honking orchestra. An interesting fact, did you know India has the highest death rate from road accidents according to the World Health Organisation?
It's a bit like being part of a never-ending, nerve-wracking reality show where you're in a rush, but so is everyone else. Take it from me. When you're stuck in traffic, honking is the national pastime. It's chaos, it's a test of patience, and it's unfortunately, undeniably Indian.
India's Great Wall of Bureaucracy
Last, but not least – navigating the corridors of Indian bureaucracy! It's a maze, a well-constructed labyrinth of paperwork, red-tapism and inefficiency. For something as simple as getting a personal document, one can sometimes feel like they've taken on the task of climbing Mount Everest!
But, it's kind of like a rite of passage for us. If you've been to a government office and managed to get your work done in under a day without losing your mind, you've achieved something none short of miraculous. Just take that as a badge of honour and move on. You've survived the labyrinth of Indian bureaucracy!
So that's it, folks. A brief rundown of familiar drawbacks of living in India: from the curious case of the trapped frog to our battles with pollution, the ever-present corruption, the fiery love affair with spices, feeling lost in the crowd, enduring the traffic, and navigating through our Great Wall of bureaucracy. It's hot, it's chaotic, it's challenging - it's India. And despite all, I wouldn't want it any other way.