India

When, Oh When…

will I start feeling better about being in India?  Some people said I should give it at least 3 months.  I have given it 5.  Still no signs of me feeling happier about being here.  Some others say, it will take at least a year.  I have a strong feeling I would have gone barking mad by then.  And somebody told me a few days back that it will take at least 2 years before I feel at home here.  I doubt it though.  I mean, how can I ever get used to the whole city trying to kill me?   Cars and trucks and buses and cycles and bikes and buffaloes and dogs and pedestrians coming at me from everywhere.  I remember Ron (our driving instructor from Australia) telling me that I should drive defensively.  ‘Drive like everybody’s out to get you”, he would say.  Well…here that is the fact of life.  Everybody IS out to get you.  A few weeks after we bought a brand new car (our very first), I managed to come back home with a big scratch on the bumper.  Frankly, I was relieved.  This was the day I had been dreading every time I took the car out of the garage.  And then when it finally did happen, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  Now I have one less thing to worry about when I drive.  Driving here is so stressful, I sometimes get back home, sit in the garage for 10 minutes, cry my eyes out and then come home.  driving leaves me angry and stressed and frustrated and feeling helpless.  But, I think that’s just me.  Mr. M, on the other hand, finds it relaxing.  He loves driving in India coz there are no rules to remember or follow.  There are no cops you need to worry about.  You drive like you own the bloody road.  You drive as you please and if and when you get back home alive, you give yourself a pat on the back, open a bottle of beer, sit back and relax.  It’s like being in one of those horrible race car video game thingies.  Only worse!!

Then, of course, there are those endless calls you need to make for weeks before you get the stuff you have already paid for in full delivered.  The fridge was late by 3 days (which is as punctual and efficient a service as you can ever hope for), the sofa took 2 extra weeks to get here, the water purifier never made it, the refund for the water purifier took a month, and now the bookcase is supposed to arrive today after 10 days of frantic phone calls and status updates (at one point I was told that the bookcase has already been delivered!!).  There is one thing I have learnt over the last 5 months.  There is a very special secret formula for time conversions here.  When someone says they’ll call you back in 5 minutes, it means never.  The more they reassure you, the more unlikely the call will ever come.  2 days mean a week and a week means a month and 500 phone calls.  Basically, people are casual about everything.  I sure have come across some very sincere, honest, and punctual folks but that is a rarity.  the chances of your bumping into a tiger in the heart of the city is probably higher than finding someone who will keep their word.

And so, it is official.  I hate it here and I love it here.  I hate it coz life’s ten times more stressful here than anywhere else I have ever been.  And I love it here coz I have my bro and family living 20 minutes away and my 3 little princesses (Ka, Poochi and Bobo) are the most adorable little girls ever…

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