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

Tag: India

As an Indian woman, how do you feel when you drink water?

As you drink water, as the life-sustaining nectar that is as old as the Vedas and is as fresh as this moment washes away the tiredness of your long day, what do you think of? As an Indian woman water-drinker, do you find yourself wondering if the water will be safe for your husband and […]

Ganpati celebrations

(Contents of the blog September 3rd, 2021 This year Ganpati is only twenty-nine days long. The house is fully stocked up—as usual Reshma forced me to get enough food to last us three Ganpatis—the armed guards are patrolling outside, and the flags have been installed. Now I intend to relax and use these holidays […]

Letter writing, and other polite ways to deal with crap

Respected Mr. Damodaran, As part of my neighborly endeavor to convince your kind self that your dog is the creator of the “doo doo” deposited frequently outside my front door, I have attached to this letter a set of nine photographs, one video and ten slides of my proposed presentation at the Society Meeting, tentatively […]

An important letter to my son, written during commercial breaks on TV

You didn’t cry when you were born; you just looked around the room with an expression that said, “Brighter than I expected, but whatever. Are all nurses this good-looking ? Why are y’all staring at me ? Shock laga kya?” You were Definitely Male, Born Tough, Like.No.Other. – The Best A Man Can Get. So, […]

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 […]

Living in India tip #7: How to negotiate with vastly smarter people, such as your maid.

Moving to India has caused Neo to make 180 degree shifts in many of his core opinions (not as dramatic a shift as Neo’s boss though, who once remarked that she’d like to see the company make a 360 degree shift in direction.) Here’s one example: When he lived in the US, Neo believed that […]

The sign outside Neo’s office cube

Thank you for visiting my cube. I am very friendly, but please: before you knock, slap me on my back, attempt to strangulate me to gain my attention, or pull out my earphones from my ears, please read this: 1. I have the same calendar system as you – so I probably already know I’m […]

A quick refresher of ancient Indian history, in case you forgot what you learnt in school

The earliest evidence of human activity in India is 75,000 years old, in Tamil Nadu. Historians are divided on whether the homo sapiens skeletons discovered were Iyengar, Iyer, Hindi-speaking barbarians from northern India, or unemployed prehistoric historians who committed suicide due to career frustrations. By 2600 BC, in Harappa, we see proof of the first […]

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 […]

Why it is meaningless to say you’re proud to be an Indian

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama. “More than you know it I’m aware, Of this connection that we share. I know it seems like sometimes I don’t care, […]

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. […]

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, […]

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 […]

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

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 […]

The best thing to do right after your move to India: Panic

Neo arrived in India during mosquito-gras – the yearly event in Bangalore when millions of scantily-clad mosquitoes get high and swarm around searching for the Jonas Brothers mosquitoes. The good news is they are so crazed that they forget their mosquito-duty to bite you, and sort of leave you alone – just remember to keep […]

Why it is better to be “charming like India” rather than “hot like China”

In 2004, most of Mrs. Neo’s friends were surprised when she announced that she had broken up with a rather handsome Ganesh and was engaged to marry the very skinny-looking Neo. Yes, they said, Neo was sort of smart, charming and funny, but – he’s so skinny! It was a brilliant decision by Mrs. Neo […]

The finer subtleties of immigration

It takes Neo’s special grasp of the English language to understand that when Mrs. Neo says “Fine!” at the end of an argument, it is neither the end of the argument, nor does it mean that things are “fine”. It is the same, sophisticated, auto-antonym-grokking intelligence that allows Neo to understand how he can be […]