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  • Sanskriti Sinha

An Indian Day - Part 1

You open your eyes to your Mumma asking you to wake up. She walks to the windows of your room and slides them open. Although you live smack-dab in the middle of a wildly bustling city, the 6:00 morning air coupled with the cooing of annoying pigeons which so prominently populate our country manages to provide you with a country feel. The spiritual chanting of the Namaz prayers in the Masjid nearby simultaneously calms you down and refreshes you. Fascinatingly, it manages to do so regardless of whichever religious faith you hold.

You slide off your bed and scamper to your restroom. Half-asleep, you follow certain hygienic practices so deeply rooted in your heritage that you do not even question them because the alternatives seem blatantly barbaric and unfathomably gross. You nonchalantly utilise the features of your bathroom, not realizing that they are not present in any country outside the Indian subcontinent. You take a shower using an overhead spout, not a bathtub, yet you call that action Taking A Bath. It is nothing but a regional definition and you realize how national culture affects the most non-nationalist aspects of your life.

In your ironed school uniform, the one you had received perfectly pressed from the Istri wrapped in an old bedsheet, you walk to the Living Room. Not the ‘common area’ or the ‘TV room’ or any such meaningless label, it is the Living Room because you only truly live where your family is with you. You see your parents seated on a sofa drinking Chai, not tea, with ginger in it. Accompanying them are your Dada-Dadi or Nana-Nani, they too calmly sipping on Chai as if it were not of tongue-burning temperature.

You have a seat at your dining table, which is rarely ever used, and the househelp lovingly brings you a nice warm plate of breakfast. Depending on which part of India you are in, you could get Roti Dahi, Roti Sabjhi, Idli, Dosa, Paratha, Upma, Poha, or something else. Regardless of its dish, it will be excellently aromatic and heartwarmingly delicious. If it were a Sunday you might have gotten Chole Bhature or even French Toast which is nothing like the toast the French make but is nonetheless credited to their cuisine. You gobble your breakfast up and go on to delightfully pack your food items in your school bag, one you bought years ago and continue to use today even though its inner zips are broken. Your snack, dreadfully, is Cut Apple; however, your delectable lunch is Maggi (now supposedly free of iron or plastic or whatever horrific alleged additive the kid’s product contained), Hakka Noodles (one of the greatest examples of Indo-Chinese cuisine) or Rajma Chawal (the only good kind of Daal Chawal).

Your Pyari Mataji stuffs some peeled Badam into your mouth as if you are a dog forced to take dog medicine. You do not appreciate the force-feeding but enjoy the specifically bland yet ever-so-slightly sweet taste of the Chilka-less Almonds. You leave home bidding goodbye to your beloved family and rush to your school bus. The Didi inside welcomes you only if you are below the age of 7 and still have a bottle that hangs around your neck. If you are any older, she merely acknowledges your presence like an invigilator in the exam hall. As she returns to her quarrels with Driver Bhaiya, you push open the windows whilst being impressed by your strength. The giant bus moves like a swift tiny Auto-Rikshaw and so you enjoy the cooling winds, the only time you will experience a pleasant climate the entire day, and the interestingly varied vehicular noises.

One by one, your friends enter the bus, and you greet them with a "Namaste". Although you consider the fancy greeting too ancient and cultural for unironic use, you secretly respect it greatly and take pride in its inherent elegance and respect. You talk to your buddies prefixing almost every sentence with “Arre Yaar” and suffixing them with "Na?" -even though you are not really searching for confirmation. You complain and whine about yet another test your country’s spectacularly calculated and challenging education system has planned for you. You hate the tireless work of it all, but you love the exhilarating excitement you feel due to the competitive spirit the continuous tests have harboured within you. And it is exactly because of that, after the whining, you test each other with a passion and spirit of a dedicated athlete participating in the Olympics.

At last, the bus reaches the school gates and you look forward to your day.

You realise that even though you have barely started your day, you have managed to fill over 700 words. Over 700 words of descriptive narration about small things that make your regular day an Indian Day.

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