It was a hot and sweaty day today. I spent the morning hustling about in the older parts of Delhi meeting vendors. While looking for a vendor’s shop – I was lost in the many by-lanes of Old Delhi. After walking around for a few minutes – I nervously stopped to ask a bunch of men lounging around to guide me. Why was I nervous? Mainly because I was alone and there wasn’t a single woman in the nearby radius – which funnily only makes me nervous in my home city of Delhi. (:-P) Anyhow, I approached the men and it warmed my heart so much when one of them responded calling me “beti” or daughter – it took me by shock and disappeared all my nervousness. There are many such little moments that happen in my day to day life that I find endearing. Here are some –
- People calling random strangers bhaiya (brother), aunty, uncle – While I prefer calling people by their first name (thanks to my corporate job) but I find it so endearing when strangers form a bond with each other by just giving them a title.
- People asking each other for directions in the era of google maps – The number of times I’ve seen a car slow down to check the way from a passing autorickshaw driver or walker. Despite how far technology may come -it’s endearing to know that we still need each other to survive.
- People reading the newspaper at small corner tea stalls while sipping chai – In times of digital news and our fast lives, it reminds me of slower days when people sit leisurely and read the paper while sipping on chai (tea) and munching on local biscuits.
- Strangers chatting up with each other while commuting – honestly, I hate it when people talk to me on the bus/train/metro because I’m asocial – but it is so endearing to see people keep their phones aside and talk to total strangers like they’ve known each other forever! It can also be very therapeutic to open up and share about your life and problems with a complete stranger that you’ll never meet again.
- People sharing seats on public commute – this phenomenon only occurs in India where 5 people will share 4 seats and “adjust” to make sure that an extra person can comfortably sit. While I prefer standing, I still find it endearing when someone makes space and offers me a place to sit.
- People from different cultures meeting and sharing their cultures with each other – India is home to SO many religions and cultures – it always warms my heart when people from different beliefs and cultures come together to celebrate with each other and share their culture with each other. Eg: In my old office team – everyone would celebrate Christmas with the Christians, Diwali with the Hindus, Eid with the Muslims, Pongal with the Tamilians, Durga Puja with the Bengalis and all other celebrations!
- Street vendors – I find it endearing that street vendors and shops thrive in India despite the massive growth that Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce sites have seen. I love online shopping but could never stop myself from buying earrings/bags from the lady selling them on the Mumbai local train or from the street vendors of Bandra Hill road.
- So much history – I LOVE how you can just stumble on a piece of history while roaming the streets of India. While some cities are more rich in fragments of history – almost all have some pieces of history that will take you centuries back in time!
Where are you from? What are some things that happen only in your country that you find endearing? I’d love to read your experiences!
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