India is a land of colours, culture, traditions and history! There is no denying that some of the most magnanimous lifestyle habits, innovations and creations are influenced by the Indian history. From Yoga, Ayurveda to the colourful festivals, the world draws inspiration from Indian style of living.
Being an Indian Traveler, finding the world more clean and organized is but a reality. And so when it comes to leaving India – there is a storm of mixed emotions. I want to fill up my pockets with all the beauty that exists here but leave a lot of things I hate. Digging deeper on what influence my life, here are 7 habits that I will take with me when I leave India!
Chai – The mighty cup of tea!
‘Chai’ or Tea should be declared as the national drink of India. The joy of drinking carefully brewed tea in milk in clay cups is beyond this world. And with a dash of spices like ginger, cardamom, holy basil, pepper and cloves – its not just healthy but mystifying. There is nothing as soothing to the senses and calming to the mind as a hot cup of tea in the morning. It rejuvenates.
World food chains like Starbucks and Teavana have gloriously adapted to the Tea Culture and now serve Indian Style tea labeled as ‘Chai Tea’ around the world. Being an Indian knowing the drill of making a mighty cup of tea it’s difficult to love the taste that is brewed abroad. My love for chai stays with me wherever I stay in the world!
Indian food & the habit of eating with hands
Unlike the world India doesn’t have a cutlery and fork-&-knife culture. Most of the Indian Cuisines are designed to be eaten by raw hands. And that is where the taste lies. While the luxury of using the fork and knife shall stay for the restaurants, the habit of eating the food items like Rice, khichdi, chappatis etc with hands stall remain.
So even if I pick a bowl of Mexican rice or a slice of pizza – my comfort zone is to sit and hog over them with my bare hands.
Bargaining at Street shops
Street shops are the powerhouse of all things fashionable in budget friendly prices. In India all the latest home décor, clothes and jewelries are available at great quality and cheap price at the street shops. ‘Cheap’ because the hefty prices quoted by the shopkeepers are bargain-able. Travel anywhere in the world, the most authentic shopping experience lies in street shopping.
Being trained in slashing down the prices by almost half in street shopping, the ability to bargain stays as a habit for me. No matter where I go, the trips to street shops would come as a choice and bargaining will be something I will stick to.
Yoga – The art of life!
Yoga originated in India centuries ago. From ancient yogis to the modern day yoga instructors, Yoga is a gift of Indian History. The benefits of Yoga for health and life balance have been mind-blowing. It aids in the balancing of the body, mind and soul for a fulfilled life.
Having grown in India, Yoga has become one of the daily rituals that keep a check on my health, fitness and mental health. The ritual to spread that yoga mat and start practicing with an intention is something I would not give up for anything!
Ayurveda – secret of nature!
Deepest darkest of nature’s secrets rest into the arms of nature! Ayurveda, the science of nature has been of close relevance in India. From home remedies to ayurvedic supplements and medicines – it is something that treats us to live a healthy life.
My Indian living has brought me closer to ayurvedic recipes like that of Turmeric milk, neem leaves, aloe vera extracts etc for a healthier life. While the world is educating itself on Ayurvedic benefits, my little world of ayurvedic knowledge stays with me.
Addressing people as ‘bhaiya’ or ‘brother’
Indians are used to calling every other man as ‘bhaiya’ or brother, especially when they aren’t related to you. This brings in a sense of respect and affection for the person. So when I address a driver, cleaner, shopkeeper or any man of service around me – it would go as brother or uncle. For women the words are didi (sister) and aunty. Instead of addressing people by their names or surnames – I would stick to this personalized call to utter respect in conversations. And yes, ‘Namaste’ wouldn’t be forgotten too!
Respecting other’s beliefs!
India is a land of diverse culture and traditions. Each religion has its own beliefs. We have grown to respect and accommodate the difference right from our colonies in childhood to the instagram handles in the internet era. From keeping the shoes outside temples and houses to waiting for the person to finish his meal – the respect for belief stays!
Some habits inculcated from childhood are a gift of being born as an Indian. No matter how much I travel or turn into a global citizen – a part of it just like the 7 habits stays with me when I leave India!