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The India We Know Too Well

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
July 2013
The India We Know Too Well

BBC News Magazine recently published an article called “10 things you might not know about India,” which for most Khabar readers could be called “10 things you definitely know about India.” Even so, writer Rajini Vaidyanathan made some interesting observations.

On the thriving newspaper industry: “A growing literacy rate, relatively low internet use, and the large number of languages in the country, mean more people want to pick up their daily rag.”

Picking up the daily rag is a habit even internet users can’t lose—it’s amazing how much dust gathers on a computer screen.

On the constant honking on Indian roads: “The average rickshaw horn produces a sound of around 93 decibels (close to that of a pneumatic drill), with the general sound of traffic equivalent to a jumbo jet taking off. A deafening sound, quite literally.”

It’s a vicious cycle. The more you honk, the deafer everyone becomes. The deafer everyone becomes, the more you have to honk.

On street-side services: “The inventiveness and resourcefulness of people in the country is like no other—there are people who will sell or serve you in all kinds of ways. Broken an umbrella? There’s a man who’ll fix it. Need your shoes re-heeled? There’s a man who will come to your house to do it. … Then there’s the serious stuff—the roadside bone setters, who will repair fractures, plus the ear cleaners and the corn and bunion removal men.”

If you think bone-setting on the side of a street is amazing, you should see the guy in Bangalore who has a sign that says: “Open heart surgery while you wait.”

[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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