Lessons learnt from India Visit

Well, 3 weeks flew so fast. I arrived in India on 5th March, stayed for hardly 3 weeks and left on the evening of 23rd March. 2 years and 2 months' gap is too big to observe any changes and variations in any country. Especially when you observe government transition in the middle. Some things changed and some did not. Here's my takeaway from what I observed in the last 3 weeks.

  1. People looked more disciplined and matured. Though there are some goons and local pathogens who still litter and spit tobacco wherever they like. These cases are largely reduced

  2. Costs are high in almost all the products which you get in supermarket. I would often convert them to dollars and compare with US prices. They would match most of the time. This applies to food, chocolates, clothes and branded goods

  3. Death of local stores and rise of malls and multinational - This transition started years ago, but now I observed people are prone to going to supermarkets as opposed to local shops. This might have caused due to local shops' rotten attitude and arrogance and and big discount offered by these supermarkets

  4. Family centric politics and local politicians' influence backed up by mafia, criminals and police - Sadly this hasn't changed which is evidenced by big hoardings and control over local businesses and people who would voice against them

  5. Public transportation has improved - At least where I live and wherever I travelled in Mumbai. Government employees are keen to help and will provide as much information as they could. There are less arguments over money change as it did few years ago

  6. Private rickshaws and taxis are still expensive. Not only that they try to steal from people they think are rich enough to pay so - This is the main reason I prefer to travel by public transportation. Compare this, cost to travel from US Embassy to Bandra station - Public transportation - 10 INR, private transportation 90 INR (Minimum)

  7. People are helpful and I observe less or no quarrels, arguments and physical violence. There are such people who still use these demeaning ways to put forward their points. But thankfully their number is decreasing

  8. Family values - People often try to deride and demean others who stay away from their families. I wonder why would they think that we care less about our families? In my opinion, it is better to stay away from family and care about them rather than stay with them with grudge against them, trying to split apart and having don't care attitude towards your family members. I saw bunch of cold wars among family members. This is not at all healthy and will hamper relationship in the long run

  9. Lot of people are moving towards nuclear family. They have money, houses, lands and other resources to setup their second home. Well, who needs joint family. But at least stop bitching about United States for lack of family values. They are not hypocrites like you!

  10. Less fascination about US made products - With world closing in together and establishment of many multinationals in developing countries have given people an opportunity to buy many imported products in the same country. I no longer saw people getting excited about things which had Made in USA inscribed on it

  11. Unlike earlier generation where people would take education lightly because they were being vouched a safe and minimal government jobs. But now, even those jobs demand more skill set and given the rise of skilled labor, they would need to have greater skills and education level to compete with them.

  12. I saw lot of 'swag' teenagers, using western conventions, styles and fashions without any regard for why they are used. I personally hate superficial act and given that many people do something cause other people do is the prime indicator of immaturity. Maybe they think it makes them cooler than rest of the kids of their age

  13. Rise of mobile phones, four wheelers, bikes and expensive accessories - I still think twice before spending my parents cash. We were taught to spend as much money as we like where it makes sense, but spending money for no reason was not allowed. When I see these teenagers spending their parents' or their own money for fruitless products such as bikes, cars and unnecessary products, it just makes me sad.
    Money saved for a future is the money best spent

  14. Apathy towards foreign returned people - I first met the person who'd been to abroad when I was 5 years old kid. That fascinated me a lot. When these people brought these things from foreign, I looked at them as if they were moon rocks. Things have changed over the course of time. Lot of people go to Australia, Algeria, Europe and USA. For temporary work, if not permanently. The fascination about NRIs Indians had few years ago has now vanished completely

  15. Thanks to e-governance backed by a Modi government, lot of things are moving online. Passport, Adhaar card, ticketing and mobile charging has good support for multiple carriers and merchants. You are a superhuman if you have home internet with router and Wi-fi. You won't believe this, but my father had to renew his passport. By old Indian system, it would at least take 3 months to get new document shipped to house. But thanks to online facility, my father got new passport within 5 days of filling online application. Nice, isn't it?

  16. People are getting more audacious and investing in houses, shares and other real estate. This is backed up by the fact that they have surplus money which they can still keep after investing overflow into something more profitable

  17. More crowd in cheaper suburbs - I live it suburb outside of main Mumbai. We had less population and people would live in harmony few years ago. But rising prices of land and houses in Mumbai has encouraged people to sell off their Mumbai property for huge money, buy cheaper flats in suburbs and sit on the surplus money for rest of their life. People are rising here, which gives too much stress on basic facilities such as roads, water, electricity and local trains

  18. You can blame it on me for living in US for last 4 years or global warming, but though summer hasn't yet officially commenced in India it was the time of scorching heat which made me suffer during daytime. But I don't think people are worried about this climate change. With money rolling, majority of people have already installed Air conditioners in their houses. (I am just waiting for the time when people will begin installing central AC in apartment/houses just like US)

  19. Modernized Mumbai International terminal - T2. Actually we use the word modernized too many times in the real life that now it's too overused. But our government officials have properly utilized tax payers' money to create highly modern, attractive and indian touched Terminal T2. Kudos to people responsible for this. Now I am no longer ashamed of our International Airport when people from all over the world arrive in this colorful city. (I bet this terminal is even cleaner and more beautiful than many of its equals in developed nations)

  20. I feel sad while writing this. But in some things Indian people are still Indians. Unfortunately these things haven't changed. Yet! They still cut into queues, refuse to pay taxes, haggle with poor sellers and willing to pay for overpriced goods in malls and markets, get sultry when reminded of rules and regulations, hesitate to help strangers, proud to be bystanders in the event of an emergency, try to use political influence for personal benefits, try no to follow traffic rules at all and especially bus and rickshaw drivers try to run pedestrians over and so on. These things haven't changed and I have little or no hope of getting these things changed any time in the future

  21. Loud radios - Not sure why people do it but lot many people including my neighbors have REALLY BAD HABIT of playing their tv sets, radios and mobile phones on loudspeaker. This is applicable for people in public places and trains. Maybe they want to let world know they have phones with loudspeakers, have songs on them and know how to play them in high volume. Sadly I am not sure what it would take them to start using earphones instead of loudspeakers. Hopefully, as I mentioned earlier distributing free headphones would convince them to turn off their loudspeakers for good

Jayesh Kawli

I am a web and mobile developer working at Wayfair in Boston, MA. I come to learn so many things during course of life and I write about things which helped me and feel like they can help others too.

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