Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hello from India!

This post is from India. Been here for the past 5 days or so. After the usual last minute harried packing and stuff, we were off to India on the 29th, in time to ring in the New Year with family.

Strange as it may sound, these days when I visit India, I almost feel like a tourist. It's not because I've been living out of India for a while, or because I want to pretend that it's alien to me now, but because India is so very dynamic and every time I'm here, I find it very, very changed.

Just the other day we went to a departmental store here. While, I'm very impressed with the new supermarkets and all the stuff you can buy here, I was somewhat alarmed to find Kellogs Special K cereal, Betty Crocker cake mix , Olay products, etc. in the store. Call me a hypocrite (who very much appreciates Special K otherwise), but I was suddenly yearning for the old India, where we had Indian brands and Indian food in every departmental or the corner-of-the-street-grocery store, complete with the familiar soothing smell of dals and soap and such. It's hard to explain the emotion, but I felt somewhat cheated - like India had suddenly changed on me while I was sleeping or something. And at the risk of sounding like a "stuck up NRI", I was suddenly worried that India would no longer be unique and that eventually everything would end up looking like a Walmart or Target.

While I was thinking these dismal thoughts standing in line for the cash register, I was told that freshly made dosa and idly batter was also being sold at the store, and suddenly I felt at ease . Somethings never change, and that's a real comfort!

Happy New Year everyone!


  1. Interesting... When I go to India.. its like switch flips in my brain.. and it was as if I never left India. Paul got to see it first hand.. he was quite amused :). But as for India changing.. I think I do share similar feelings.. I want the same old India back...

  2. Priya, this is so true!! I was pretty surprised to find that Maggi now makes pasta and that ScotchBrite sells their handle scrubs for Rs 150 in the big stores now. Little things, but they show how the world is merging together in grocery aisles. The upside was that I was able to find Neutrogena shampoo this time....and I always told myself I'll be ready to move to India when Neutrogena moves there too! :)