5 Things I Miss About Living In India And 5 Things I Really Don't

5 Things I Miss About Living In India And 5 Things I Really Don't

The McSpicy Paneer burger will always be my first love.

I've moved way too many times during the course of my life. I've lived in New Jersey, then Texas, then India and then in Georgia. Pune, India, has been my home for six years, and it has truly changed my perspective on so many things. Now that I'm back to living in the U.S., however, I do think that there is a lot that I miss about living India and a lot that I really wouldn't choose to go back to!

I'm going to be traveling to India over the summer, which made me recall a lot of old memories, both pleasant and not-so-pleasant ones. Here's my take on the pros and cons of living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world!

The Things I Miss:

1. The Food

If there's one thing I cry about on the regular, it has to be the food in India. India has become such a metropolitan place now that you can get all kinds of food there- Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and American. They even have TGI Fridays!

The pizza pies are herbed and saucy, with just the right amount of cheese, the vegetables in the noodles are crisp, the paneer tikka is soft and spiced well and the food in general tastes fresher, tastier, better. I can't express the number of times I've drooled over a menu of a restaurant in Pune on Zomato, waiting eagerly for summer vacation so I can taste it firsthand.

2. The Hospitality

India isn't playing around when it comes to her luxury hotels. The hospitality and service that one is treated to in these hotels are just unmatched. The rooms are bigger and grander, the lobbies magnificent, and there is always someone ready to wait on you hand and foot, and serve (yes, serv) you food and a drink if need be. A stay at the Marriott in the USA is not the same as a stay at the Marriott in India (even though they are often priced the same). You'll feel like royalty when you're taken care of and pampered at an Indian luxury hotel. Once you get used to being treated like a princess, it's kind of hard to go back to doing everything yourself.

3. The Festivals

If you thought the U.S. celebrated too many holidays, get ready to be blown away by Indian festivals. There's always a celebration taking place, whether it's Holi, the Festival of Colors (pictured above); or Diwali, the Festival of Lights; or Makar Sankranti, when you have a kite race; or Navratri, when you dance till your feet give in.

Everyone takes part in the festivities, even young children and senior citizens. Festivals in India are very joyous and are often celebrated in a group or by extended family, as opposed to many festivities in the US being celebrated just by the nuclear family.

4. The Unity

Indian people are so united, even though most of them speak different languages, have different cultures, and belong to different religions. They never hesitate to help you out if you're in a fix, and are such warm, kind beings in general. My favorite example of Indian unity is when everyone cheers when an Indian cricketer hits a six during a match- it's a nationwide celebration!

5. The Proximity

I really miss being able to walk everywhere. When I lived in Pune, I had two huge shopping malls (one of which is pictured above) within a five-minute walk from my house. I could easily visit bookstores, restaurants, clothing stores, and movie theaters without having to get into a car, drive there, and then drive back. Even if you didn't live in a neighborhood as developed as mine, if you live in India, chances are you have a grocery store, a stationery store, and some sort of clothing store a few minutes from you. Most people have fresh groceries delivered to their homes twice a week and have people come home to do the housework and fold and iron their clothes. It is so much more annoying to have to drive all the way to Walmart yourself every time you finish a milk carton.

The Things I Don't Miss:

1. The Noise

India has a lot of people, and a lot of vehicles. A lot of vehicles almost definitively means a lot of noise. Apart from the whirring of motorcycles and auto-rickshaws, there's sometimes speakers blaring music on the road and the sound of a security guard blowing a whistle. If you don't mind a little noise on the daily, it may not be that bad for you, but I absolutely detest it. I much rather prefer the tranquil silence in the U.S. to the blaring noise in India.

2. The Roads

I have already mentioned that India has a lot of vehicles. The roads are also pretty narrow, leading to a lot of traffic. Traffic jams are common and really make it difficult to get from one place to the other. I also really dislike the speed bumps and unevenness present in certain roads.

3. The Inability To Wear Certain Clothes

While catcalling happens in America as well, there is an added discomfort associated with wearing revealing clothing in India, and it usually results in being stared at by men on the streets. I do not generally feel safe stepping out in shorts or tank tops, even if the weather is in the high 90s.

4. The Heat

India is a country located in the tropics, so it's bound to get a little hot. However, in recent times, the temperature has risen significantly, causing the pleasant weather to become extremely uncomfortable.

5. The Pressure

In India, there is a pressure to behave and dress a certain way. Of course, today's youth are switching it up and redefining Indian culture, but there is always an auntie (who you're almost never related to) who feels the need to remark that your parents should have brought you up better. There is also pressure to do well academically, to get into one of the IIT colleges, to get a high-paying job, to marry well and to have children (yes, in that order).

These looming expectations do create, to some extent, a type of pressure that is unpleasant to handle.

Even though I may dislike certain aspects of life in India, and adore many others, at the end of the day, I'm glad to have had the chance to live in both India and the US, and both countries have a place in my heart.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.


To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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What's Happening In China?

The Chinese government stands accused of rounding up Chinese Muslims and holding them without trial and against their will.


Recently, NowThis news source released a video of an advocate by the name of Aydin Anwar speaking about the current state of East Turkestan. She discussed how people were being taken from their homes, their lives, and forced into "concentration camps" (her words specifically). She alleges that inside these camps, people are being tortured and forced to denounce God and their own identities and religions and then to pledge loyalty to the Chinese president, government, and country. She even says that one of her own relatives was sent to a camp and was killed there.

This video spread around the internet pretty rapidly circulated this information with the video having over 19 million views on Facebook. I decided to do some digging into this. If what Anwar alleges is true, it closely resembles actions taken by Chechnya to purge their LGBT population back in 2017 and even actions were taken against the many millions who were affected by the Holocaust. Here is what I have found so far:

The government has denied any concentration or internment camps. They claim that people are at special schools to combat the rise of religious violence and extremism. Despite this claim, BBC reporters have published an aerial image of an alleged concentration camp in the desert this past April (2018) that was not present in July of 2015. Another aerial image taken in October 2018 shows the alleged concentration camp has grown in size since April.

Inside these concentration camps, as outlined earlier, the Chinese government is carrying out acts of psychological and physical torture. It is alleged that the guards and interrogators inside the camps are pulling out nails and teeth as forms of torture to counteract any "bad behavior" or "resistance". It is also alleged that victims are tied down in chairs and left in solitary confinement. Snakes are used during interrogations as well. Victims inside the concentration camps allegedly stand chanting things like "there is no God" or "all hail the Chinese state" for hours on end. It has even been alleged that people inside the concentration camps are being sterilized (this is a practice used in genocide to destroy the possibility of any future offspring from the affected group of people).

But, you may be thinking, if this is true, WHY hasn't anyone in a position of power done anything? There are a few different answers to this question: The first is that China is extremely good at regulating what their media can and cannot post. This means any news of the concentration camps generated within the country itself would immediately be shut down before even reaching the post. Also, China has close ties with strong countries and could be suing its political and economic (specifically its economic) power to put pressure on the rest of the world not to say anything. Think about it, many products come with a little tag that says "made in China". This gives China the power and connections to shut down production of goods. In an economic world such as this, production means power.

However, YOU can do something. You can dig around for more information and raise awareness for such atrocities. Here are a few links to get you started:



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