India — An Alphabetical Journey

Hand vector designed by Freepik

Namaste! Greetings from India! Yes, India…the ancient, mystic home of the Taj Mahal, 6 billion humans, and a million odd IT parks.

When we were asked to write something about India, we ambitiously decided to write a glossary. But we’ve only picked our favorites:

B is for Bollywood- At first the name sounds like a rip-off of the American counterpart (and it is). But you then realize that Bollywood had a Spiderman long before Toby Maguire donned the webbed suit.

C is for Cricket- (Pronounced: Krik-it) We had to choose between “c” for Curry, “c” and “c” for Cricket but Cricket won by popular demand! And we mean POPULAR. If you’re thinking, what turns us Indians on about crickets, think again.

G is for Garland: Let’s face it — flowers as bouquets just can’t compete with the versatile flower garland. You can offer those to a distinguished guest, put them around your significant other, or stick them in your hair. Hah! Garlands 3, Bouquets 0.

H is for hockey, or field hockey. Here’s a quick question: What’s India’s official national sport? Cricket? Nope. Drum roll please- it’s Hockey. There. Now you know something many Indians don’t **Silence and the sound of crickets**

L is for Lakh (pronounced — Lack): Pop quiz: What do you call the number 100000 in India? Not a hundred thousand. You call it one Lakh and the commas go this way à 1,00,000. But why this numbering convention? Well, cause the regular convention lakhs that special something!

M is for Mother tongue- So you’re at a trendy club in India and you see this cute girl/guy approach you and he/she goes “What’s your mother tongue girl/guy?” Since 1,652 something languages are spoken in India (16 are official!), it’s a pretty important question to ask someone…especially a potential significant other.

N is for Names: Most Indian names have a meaning — a good conversation starter is “what does your name mean”. Not just people, we rename cities at the drop of a hat. Try this beginner puzzle — On my last holiday to India, I went to Bombay, Calcutta, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Bangalore. How many cities did I actually visit?

R is for Rickshaw- (Pronounced Rick-Shaw) Hide them Bentleys, ya’ll! These local pimped-up tricycles are by far the coolest way to roll on Indian roads. They also serve as indigenous massage machines when ridden on rocky roads.

S is for Sari (Pronounced: Sa- ree) Part toga, part tank top, this dress in worn in different ways in all part of India. It’s basically a really really long rectangular piece of fabric that’s wrapped around the waist. So if you’re really curious to try this, a tank top and bed sheet would work too.

T is for Tea, the Indian kind — (Pronounced: Ch-aye) Water-cooler gossip is for losers, the **real gossip** is at the nearest “chai” stall. Just about everyone huddles around the nearest makeshift tea-restaurant to talk about why they hate their boss/mom-in-law/politician, over the great Indian Cuppa. No bro, “I don’t drink tea” just don’t cut it!

Speaking of Chai, it’s time for the perpetrator of this glossary to get one.

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