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You can put an Indian back in India, but ...

Tag: desi

A foreigner’s guide to traditional Hindu weddings

If you’ve just arrived from the US to attend a traditional Hindu wedding in India, you might be jet-lagged – but that’s not necessarily bad. While the other wedding guests groggily arrive at the wedding venue at 4 a.m., it will be late afternoon according to your body clock – the perfect time to enjoy […]

A beginner’s guide to understanding racism, intolerance and bigotry

Several years ago, during a party at his house in the US, Neo decided to have some fun. He convinced a couple of his white guests to hop on one foot, because that was a customary Indian way to thank the host for a great party. For once, Mrs. Neo found it funny too, except […]

Men are from Mars, Women are from Pluto

Neo’s return to India was planned somewhat better than the U.S. invasion of Iraq; his Plan was the product of several months of vigorous lurking on the Return to India forums, hours of detailed discussions with his parents in India, and had been vigorously debated, modified, and then finally adopted by the Neos via a […]

A foreigner’s guide to traditional Indian dining etiquette

“Sigh. Kindly order quickly, many customer is waiting” is the official motto of The Association Of Waiters In Indian Restaurants. But don’t be fooled, dear foreigner – food is of critical importance to Indian people. Nothing binds Indians together more, and divides them more, than the belief that their specific type of Indian cuisine is […]

A letter from a guy who was killed in a recent terror attack

Dear all, Thank you for the outpouring of sympathy over my death in the recent terror attack. I’m the guy whose remains were never identified, but my car keys were found in the rubble. I wish that I never really died and that I had just decided to drop my car keys in after the […]

Useful phrases for foreigners visiting India

Are you visiting India for the first time ? Here are some phrases that you might want to learn to say in Hindi. “Where’s the restroom?” “Hi, I’d like to book a pre-paid taxi.” “Can you take me to Le Meridien?” “No, thank you. I don’t need an escort for tonight.” “Wow, you look beautiful. […]

What people say to you when you tell them that you don’t believe in God

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The only piece of real estate in Bangalore that is worth buying

“It’s not an apartment, it’s an abode!” Welcome to Gurgling Creek Sprawling Meadows Courtyard Burj Al-Bangalore, a truly integrated township enclave featuring 10,000 idyllic, angelic, low-rise, high-tech, upscale, down-to-earth, close-to-nature, self-contained, self-sustainable, contemporary, exemplary, auxiliary, prestigious, almost religious, state-of-the-art, individually crafted, pedestrian-friendly, eco-friendly and vastu-friendly residential nay presidential homes that will leave you positively speechless, […]

10 things Google users really want to know about India

What’s puzzling about China’s attempts to access Gmail accounts of human rights activists is this – why go through the trouble? If the Chinese government knows which specific Gmail account to hack into, it must know who the activist is. Why not arrest the naughty fellow for driving too slowly on his bicycle and then […]

20 signs that you’ve successfully made the transition to living in India

How long can Neo call himself a “newly returned Indian” ? It’s been almost three years since he moved to India. But – as Neo said recently to one of his engineers who was denied a promotion – it’s not how long you’ve been doing it, but how well you’ve done it that counts. (Also, […]

Questions about life that seem important but are actually not: #5: “Why am I here?”

The 22nd year of a man’s life is very important because it represents the peak of his sexual virility. Which is why Neo will never forget what he was doing during the last minute of his 22nd year of life – he was saying “not tonight dear, I need to finish my Algorithms homework”. (As […]

10 exciting things that you can only learn by growing up in India

“He probably doesn’t have an ear for melody, so just put him in the Tabla class. But don’t buy a Tabla until he’s practiced on the dinner table for six months” – Music teacher at a prominent music school in Mumbai. These were the inspiring words that started Neo’s musical education at the age of […]

The only Venn diagram about life that you will ever need

  (Neo couldn’t figure out which set Alcohol belongs to. Probably all three.) Tweet

25 ridiculously clichéd Hindi film dialogues that tell you the even more clichéd story of an Indian girl

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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to doing Namaste

Neo suffered from a rare form of “prostrate cancer”, i.e. the inability to figure out when and how to prostrate himself and perform Namaste. This is the guide he wished he had read then. How to do Namaste (a.k.a. namaskar) There are two major techniques: 1. The I’m-feeling-particularly-humble-today technique: That’s how. Practice it at home. […]

What happens in Vegas ends up as a wedding ceremony in Chennai

Last week Neo finally reconciled with the friend who convinced him that it is considered romantic to propose to South Indian girls with a rava idli instead of a ring. The only reason why Mrs. Neo accepted the proposal was because she probably didn’t know any better (plus there was the slight matter of Neo […]

How to stop faking it and start living in the real India

Not one to shy away from the occasional delusions of grandeur, Neo often gives his “we choose to move to India not because it is easy, but because it is hard” speech to the sundry relatives and friends who visit Neoville. But last weekend, instead of giving him the usual blank expression and heading towards […]