My husband regularly engages in India bashing, as do a lot of my friends’ spouses.  I too, on occasion have been known to slip into the mode of “I love visiting India b-ut….after 2 weeks, I hate ‘so and so’.”  So, in another goofy & thoroughly unscientific poll, here are the TOP 5 THINGS NRI’S (NON-RESIDENT INDIANS) HATE ABOUT INDIA:

1. CORRUPTION: Any NRI who has waited in line at a government office or bank will unequivocally tell you that the thing they hate about India is the high level of bureaucracy.  No ‘Indian babu’ will respond to an e-mail, letter or personal apperance, whether it be for the release of a pension check or a deed for a piece of land that belongs to you, unless their palms are greased.  Arrey bhai, ‘sab chalta hai’! (in other words, everything goes)

2. THE POVERTY: Beggars touching you in marketplaces, begging for alms.  Little children swarming like flies when your Mercedes glides to a stop at a traffic signal, begging for a few coins to appease their hunger.  NRI’s, no longer used to scenes of abject poverty in their adopted homelands, have forgotten the art of ignoring a beggar’s dramatic entreaties.  ‘To give or not to give’ becomes the question.

3. THE TRAFFIC: Even Indians in India agree the traffic is truly horrendous!  Rickshaws piled with children going to school jostle for space with stray dogs and cattle, on roadways buzzing with cars and beeping horns.  As a non-Indian friend of mine observed, “It’s difficult to comprehend how there are not more casualties on the road.”

4. THE FILTH: NRI’s can talk till they’re hoarse about the filth in India.  Walk around on any street and you see people spitting; urinating on the streets; eating and throwing away their garbage right on the pavement.  As a conscientious NRI, on my first visit back home, I carefully held on to my garbage until I reached a friend’s house.  When I asked her where I could dispose off my trash, she took it from me and in one swift movement, threw it in the open trench beside her own house.  I give up!

5. POWER CUTS: If you’ve stayed with family or relatives in India, you’ve likely experienced the joy of power cuts.  Without any notice, the electricity Board will cut off the power supply.  The reasons can range from a storm that lasts 15-20 minutes or ‘load shedding’  – when power generation capacity falls below electricity demand.  As a precautionary measure, officials will kindly disconnect vast areas from the network, with no intimation of when the connection will resume.

Sigh.  There’s still no place quite like India, though!

The Blog

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