Good vegetarian food
I know I know, not all Indians are vegetarian, and you can certainly be vegetarian if you aren’t Indian. But the fact is a lot of people who were “born vegetarian” tend to be either Hindu or Buddhist – which are, by the way, cousin religions. Growing up vegetarian makes shopping for food an adventure and not prosaic.
A normal friend will call you by your name.
An Indian friend will call you mama or chacha (both meaning “uncle”).
A normal friend will decline to hang out if she’s busy at work.
An Indian friend will say bhaad mein jaaye kaam (“let the work go to hell”) and will hang out with you regardless of how much it’ll piss off her boss.
A normal friend might not be a good dancer.
An Indian friend is the craziest dancer you’ll ever meet and will have some insane Bollywood dance moves to teach you. Skip to 0:43 in the video below if you don’t believe me:
There’s no trade-off
In economics, there is the notion of trade-offs. For anyone benefit you get, you have to incur a loss – that’s the trade-off. When you buy a soda at the vending machine, you get a cool CO2-filled drink; the trade-off involves parting with 2 dollars (though I remember a time when it used to cost a dollar; what the hell happened to cheap junk-food?) Sometimes there’s the perception that if you hang out with Indians, you’re trading adventure for safety.
A normal friend will accompany you to go shopping.
Not only does an Indian friend go shopping with you, but he’s an expert bargainer and will bargain on your behalf.
A normal friend will become provoked if you ask dumb questions about her country.
An Indian friend will just get friendlier if you ask dumb questions about India.
A normal friend will trust in the skills they possess.
An Indian friend will have more trust in Gods, stars, and astrology than in his own skill set.
A normal friend will go in for a haircut on any day of the week.
An Indian friend will refuse to visit the barber on certain days because of superstition.
Every time I hear someone saying that they went to the beach for a tan, or shocked themselves with ultra-violet rays from a machine, I know they’re jealous. But see, it doesn’t have to be painful. There’s a popular notion that friends seek in each other the qualities that complement them, or to be more precise, they wish they had. Since that’s the case, just hang out with us! I know you aspire to have our skin…come on…be humble…know your limits….