When you think of anything Indian – the first few things that come to the mind is the culture, values, traditions, festivals, weddings, cricket and of-course the food! We’re definitely very proud of our culture even if we are following a lot of western trends, the comfort lies in our roots.
If I have to share how being an ‘Indian’ helped me win in situations, I have some fun anecdotes to share with you.
I was once invited for a destination big fat Indian wedding at Goa and that meant buying outfits. I was really anxious as everyone would surely have designer-wear from the top designers. I decided to stick to the traditional outfits – a lehenga for the sangeet, a saree for the reception and a bandhani saree for the maayra (something we have in Rajasthanis). To my delight, most of the other people of my age wore the modern fusion versions like palazzos, pants, kurtis, capes and the sort and I got tons of compliments for my outfits. Infact there were a few foreigners as we call them, invited for the wedding and they wanted to click pictures with me to capture the traditional outfits! (Avantika 1 – Others 0)
Okay this other one is quite funny (and a little grotesque too). For office, we had a firang guest coming down from one of our USA branches, and rumour had it that he did not wash his hands after visiting the loo (this was the grotesque part). Since he was coming down to our office, everyone was just talking about this to entertain themselves, and whenever he shook hands with others as a greeting, those people were laughed at too. When my turn came, I was nervous for a second because I definitely did not want to be mocked at, so when he came to greet me, I prompty smiled and did a Indian ‘Namaste’ to welcome him to our country in our way. Not only it saved me from the mockery, the fellow was quite delighted and did a Namaste back to me. (Now that’s a win-win situation!)
We visited Singapore & Malaysia for our honeymoon, and I was definitely a very enthu-bride totally flaunting the newly-married proofs like mehndi, bangles (Chooda as they’re called), toe-ring, sindoor, mangalsutra etc. Now this makes you look like a obvious new-ly married couple, and that got us a lot of perks wherever we went! Free room upgrades in the hotels, special service or free drinks/desserts sent to our table, complimentary tokens at the casino and what not! I was so delighted and thrilled, with everyone congratulating us and all (It reminded me of the FRIENDS episode when Monica doesn’t get the free business class upgrade and then tries her best to look like a new bride..haha).
Absolutely love the Lufthansa TVC for 'More Indian Than You Think':