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    Things I Hate About India: Part I

    I know hate is a strong word, but I am sure there are many who would agree that each of these items is capable of irritating the living daylights out of you on any given day and most of time make you feel like banging your head on the next pillar available.

    Neighborhood Aunty

    The more you talk about them, the lesser it seems. They follow you from your childhood days, till the point, either you are dead or alienated in some barren island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Just when you think you had your share of scolding from your father for the latest achievement scripted in your progress report, there she pops from the woodwork. You know bhai sahab. Kids are concentrating more on the cricket matches than studies. Look at Varun (her son), only got 94 in Maths this time. Is this a mark? His father is furious and giving him an earful for last one hour. By the way how he (pointing at you) has fared?

    Now you know what’s coming your way for getting a mere 62, that too with the help of 5 marks added by default for a wrong question. As you grow up, the aunty will get a bigger sphere to poke her unwanted nose. No sooner do you get your job; aunty gets employed into her full time job of worrying for your marriage. Even more concerned than your parents. Beta aab job bhi lag gaya.Shaadi karle, aur wese tere baal bhi kam hone lage hain. Achii ladki nehin milegi. It is only in India that a non-family member can worry so much for your matrimony as well as your disappearing hairline at the same time.

    Auto Rickshaw

    An orchestra of tragedy on Indian roads. I feel the vehicle is similar to Vikramaditya’s Sinhasan. Just as anyone sitting atop displays unimaginable IQ, the same is the case with these vehicles – Anyone driving these bloody machines is bound to drive rough. I still remember my tutor’s words while taking my driving lessons – Son, watch out for three things on the road. Women drivers, stray dogs and the auto rickshaws. They can come from any direction at any time without giving slightest of hint or warning. The drivers are equally notorious as the vehicle itself, if not more. What they believe is that their vehicles are not fitted with a 200 CC engine, but a cryogenic engine instead. What else can describe the effort to drive a highly unstable vehicle at breakneck speed? They are equally notorious in their direction sense. They can show their hand to the right and would take a left turn or worse won’t go anywhere but stop right there. Most of the time you would wonder – is there a human inside who is driving or a demon? Don’t go too close to them to verify though, or else your wife might very well have to search your cupboard for that life insurance policy paper. It must be easier driving in India than in Chicago, asked a friend from US. Only if we didn’t have these nuisances, I thought.

    Indian (Traffic) Police

    Indian movies have done their bit, so I am not talking about their corruption attributes, but their comic avatar. The most wicked among the lot are the traffic police chaps. At times I wonder, if they are posted there to control the traffic or to add more chaos. More than the traffic, they are interested to make some quick money by catching hold of a few erratic drivers. They won’t be seen on the roads but chewing a big Banarasi paan and hiding behind the paan shop like a cunning fox. As expected, we Indians are a big nonsense, if not controlled. At some point of the day one smarty pant biker would look to his left, and then to his right and the moment he is sure there are no traffic cops watching, he will give the traffic lights a miss and drive along while it is still red. Poor chap, how he could possibly know that - there are foxes hiding behind the adjacent paan shop for precisely this mistake of his. Now the hiding foxes would emerge from the paan shop and start chasing their pray, much like the way shown in National Geographic- where a group of wild dogs chase a rabbit. Along with being the masters of disguise these crooks are adept at bargaining also, which could easily put the Palika Bazar shop owners to shame. Most of the time they would start with 800 as a fine but will settle at 100, all the while taking out the Chalan books at least 10 times during the discussion. God knows which came first – corruption or Indian police?


    Nothing personal but a general grievance against these statues. It seems, to show our gratitude; the only way we are left with is to erect a statue of the person. It is stranger to see even individuals erecting their own statues to show gratitude to themselves. First they take a lot of space and add to the chaos of our ever growing traffic. It still would have been Ok, if we had a huge ground, where all statues were erected, but for some strange reasons, the statues are only to be erected in the middle of the heavy traffic junctions. Erecting them does come with a cost, which is grossly unnecessary and the subsequent cost incurred in maintaining (re-coloring, taking out the pigeon shit and garlanding during the birth & death anniversary of the person erected) them is always recurring. If at all at some point the authorities decide to remove the statue, it would invite Dharna, Morcha and Bandh from the supporters of the person erected. Worse, more often than not, it would lead to a riot. So, why erect them in the first place and then tolerate them for the rest of your life? Let’s not be too intellectually bankrupt and find better ways to adore our heroes than just erecting a damn statue and forgetting hence after at the mercy of pigeons.

    Load Shedding

    If you are still reading this article, then you are lucky enough to be at a place where there are less power cuts. Someone said – our electricity department is so notorious that it can induce power cuts even when there is no power supply to begin with. The power cuts in a day can very well overtake the saazish that erupts in each episode of any Ekta Kapoor’s serials. Most frustrating is when – Tendulkar lobs up a skier and the fielder is about to take a running catch. Your TV screen blackens out and by the time it returns men in blue are already 5 down. No clue on what the hell happened to that skier of Tendulkar or how the hell other four fell after that. Calling your nearest fuse call office to enquire is less effective than howling at Pakistan to control the breading terrorists there. Either no one would pick the call, or if at all one do, you will feel sorry for yourself, on why you called.

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