You can get an Indian driver’s license if you were Indian in a past life. Road signs urge parents to “Never Encourage Your Children to Drive!” Cows take siestas on sidewalks and elephants walk alongside highways. There are over 330 million gods available to answer your prayers. World-renowned lamas come over for afternoon tea. Sequins aren’t reserved for special events. Tailors still make clothes. Scaffolding is built with bamboo. Guards outside of banks carry original 18th
century muskets. People are named Vijay. Body odor is sweetened by sugar and spices. Chana masala and masala chai. The Ganga.
The Indian head waggle that communicates countless exchanges, such as: Yes; I Understand; As You Wish; No Problem; Go For It, and Thank You, but No. People are capable of waiting without losing patience and are similarly nonplussed when things don’t work, or change unexpectedly. Heterosexual men walk hand-in-hand down the street and sleep in each other’s arms on long bus rides. Motherly affection is shown with light, but firm, smacks to the face. Elderly men and women dye their graying heads and beards bright orange with henna. Indian correctional facilities (from the Director down to the inmates) and armed forces (from the Generals
down to the infantry) practice Vipassana meditation. Anything
And last, but not least, the traffic. Call me crazy that I’ve fallen in love with the least desirable part of any populated area, but it’s true. There’s a method to its madness and, once you stop fighting it and surrender to it, you see that it flows beautifully. Horns are used excessively, but always to convey the message, “Please take note, I’m coming up behind you!” and not, “Hey you (enter expletive of your choice here)! Get the (expletive) out of my way!”
Yes, India is a great country.
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