“You are from which country!?”

“You are from which country!?”

When you hear it for the first time, probably you were a bit puzzled. For the 5th time you know what do they mean. By the third day in India you are already frustrated, answering the question for the 50th time. There is no way to predict your condition two weeks down the line though . Nevertheless the bonus is you’ve already picked up the so called Indian English spoken by the infinitely inquisitive creatures called Indians .

You know at least this much about the lady sitting beside you in the train, that her second daughter scored poor in algebra, that her husband’s favorite curry is Chicken Tikka masala, that the sari she is wearing costed her (actually her husband) three thousand rupees. You ‘met’ her for the first time some 20 minutes back in that train, you still have 4 more hours to go.

They don’t feel embarrassed in sharing such details with total strangers. In fact people come closer by sharing such ‘secrets’ . Sometimes these exchanges are generally laced with a few drops vanity.

Though a patient race, it is an emotional time-bomb. Handle it with care. They simply expect a response from you. It doesn’t matter how accurate it is....

Being reserved could be treated as a hint of rudeness at the most, or bad etiquette the least. “Let us not waste time by keeping quiet”. That seems to be the national mood. According to a theory, this is the reason why India is too noisy. As if that is not enough, even the trucks and buses carry the sign “Horn OK Please!”, whatever it means.

By the way to the question “…which country?” you may opt to say, “Timbuktu”. They don’t mind that as an answer!

w“You are from which country!?”  

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