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Through the Eyes of an Indian Student

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
December 2014
Through the Eyes of an Indian Student

Aniruddh Chaturvedi, an Indian international student, is a smart guy. Not only is he majoring in computer science at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, he’s also making some astute observations about the differences between India and America. Here are just five of the points he shared in a Times of India article and Quora post:

1. “Nobody talks about grades here. Everyone is highly private about their accomplishments and failures. Someone’s performance in any field is their performance alone. This is different compared to India where people flaunt their riches and share their accomplishments with everybody else.”

2. “The retail experience is nowhere near as fun/nice as it is in India. Because labor is cheap in India, there is always someone who will act as a ‘personal shopper’ to assist you with holding your clothes, giving suggestions, etc. In America, on the other hand, even if you go to a Nordstrom or Bloomingdales, there is almost nobody to help you out while you’re shopping. Shopping in America is more of a commodity/chore than it is a pleasurable activity.”

3. “American serving sizes are HUGE! I’ve noticed that entree sizes are huge as well. I am by no means a small eater, but it usually takes me at least 1.5 meals to finish the entree.”

4. “An almost classless society: I’ve noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I’ve seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.”

5. “The return policy on almost everything: None of my friends back in India believed me when I told them that you can literally buy anything, including food, and return it within ninety days for a full refund even if you don’t have a specific reason for doing so.”


Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips and more.]



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