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I: Indian Mentality #AtoZChallenge

We Indians are a crazy lot. And our mentality is something else altogether. Although I haven't met people from many nationalities, I've traveled enough to know some of them. When I compare their mentality and behavior with us Indians, we clearly rank really low. Of course I'm not speaking for everyone and about everyone in India here. I'm just talking about a few obvious examples which made me feel like we Indians still have a lot to learn and behave cultured.

Once I was travelling back to India from Ghana, where I was working for a month and I had a stop over at Dubai for four hours. Dubai airport is like a magical palace and I just love roaming around it. After picking up a few items from duty free, I headed towards the lounge for getting some rest. The lounge was almost full and I managed to find a chair for myself and tried to get some sleep. I had barely shut my eye when I heard someone shouting. I then saw an Indian woman shouting at a foreigner lady for sitting near the foot of her chair while she was sleeping. The chairs in the lounge are like half beds. You can sleep comfortably, but there would be enough room for a person to sit at the foot of the bed. Almost all the beds were populated this way, but this one lady was not willing to share her seat. She started shouting expletives in Hindi at the poor shocked woman who was constantly chanting "sorry, sorry". Only after the airport staff intervened, did the lady finally shut up.

The flight from Ghana to Dubai is a nine hour one and since most of it is always filled by non-Indians it usually is a pleasant trip. I had slept throughout the journey and hence decided to read something on the journey from Dubai to Bangalore. There was an Indian man sitting in the seat ahead of me. As soon as everyone boarded, he called for the air hostess asking for something to eat. She provided him some juice and chocolates. He refused to take them and insisted on having his lunch instead. The poor lady politely informed him that they only serve meals after take-off, but he wouldn't listen. The chief purser was called and he created a huge scene by screaming at them. Finally, he was served first as soon as we were air borne. And yet he complained about the quality of food and the way it was served. If I was the air hostess, he'd have his rice and curry thrown right into his face.

Also, we Indians clearly do not understand the concept of sitting down until the plane has come to a complete halt and exit row by row. Even in domestic travels I have noticed that people get up and pull their luggage from the top compartment as soon as the plane lands. They then push to get to the front of the exit line. Every passenger on board will get off, but no, some people just have to be the first!

We recently traveled to Sri Lanka for a vacation and we had a peaceful and easy time with immigration at the Sri Lankan airport. There were five counters and the people behind the desk were so agile and quick! After a week of rest and relaxation, when we returned we were jolted back to reality in the best way possible. The immigration center in Bangalore airport has three counters for foreign passport holders and about twelve counters for Indian passport holders. Needless to say the queue for the Indian passport holders were the longest, but out of the twelve counters only two had officers at the desk. It was only 8.30 pm and all the others had left. Finally after standing in the line for a good thirty minutes I managed to make it to the counter and the man behind the desk just took his bag and walked away! Welcome back to India, was an unsaid message.

We Indians also love anything that comes free of cost. If it is of use to us or not, doesn't matter. In the world of blogging I have seen enough of this. People sign up for books they have no intention of reading and ask for samples of almost every product under the sun. Blogging has become a source for accumulating free stuff and I know quite a lot of people who have turned to blogging only for this.

If I continue on this topic I'd go on and on for about twenty pages at least. So I better stop now. But do let me know of your experiences with the typical Indian mentality.


  1. Oh goodness...I wouldn't know where to stop with this one. Agree with all you've said: I've experinced that at airports and planes myself. Also, Indians think they should bring snacks on the plane. The two times I've flown back to Bombay, the plane from Singapore to Bombay is usually full of Indians and they opens packs of food usually on the way to Singapore.

    There is never the sense of standing in line --- I always stand in line and once again, at Mumbai airport there is no sense of that. The last time though I had my Aussie passport so I didn't have to deal with that as much. The other thing about Indians I hate is the need to butt into others' business. I still remember when we were getting a loan for me to come and study here in Aus, the dude at the bank was questioning my mother as to why she was sending her daughter to a country where there were no relatives. I wanted to sock him in the face!

  2. I know how it feels.. When I was travelling back to India. When I reached India, all hell broke lose because us Indians were jostling and pushing people to get to their baggage lines and immigration counters. There was no queue discipline. People were joining the queues in the middle. I was irritated and I really appreciated the no pushing, no jostling , everyone wait their turn attitude abroad.

  3. Oh yes, yes, can totally agree to the scenarios of flights. I don't understand why people should get up as soon as the flight lands. I just do not get up and that apparently causes trouble for the others, in case I am seated at the end. Weird!

  4. ouch...yes...but that's quite true! There's also this weird mentality I have observed, the same people who are careful throwing litter abroad have no qualms about littering the streets of India.

  5. Have you read Shantaram? There are a lot of explanations of Indian behavior. Their behavior just helps them survive.

  6. Ha ha! rice and curry thrown on his face was the best :P
    On a serious note - I agree with you. The way people behave when the plane hits the ground or take how people drive in India and following traffic rules, how they give you a stare for being humble makes me think why Indian are this way.

  7. Soumya sad but this is the reality. I am happy that you have put it forward. Another point is , Indians aren't polite to Indians. I am not speaking about the crowd, but there are ample such people. You stand in queue and people behind will try to go ahead of you. They only stop if you tell them that you were ahead and the look you get is as if you have committed a crime by stopping them. Pushing in a queue is another trouble. Line never goes ahead with pushing. Many times I get irritated when I do not get a sense of privacy and people stare what you are reading by peeping.

    We do have many good things but we should learn many things from other countries about courtesy and being polite.

    And yes once flight lands, when I was travelling with husband, he said "now look these people will stand and wait in line though they won't go forward." Yes, it was funny for me the first time when I saw it.

  8. I've seen a lot on day to day basis and yes it would go on for pages. Hope things will change!

  9. This post really hit home with me. I couldn't agree with you more. There is something intrinsically wrong with the way Indians bring up their children. We Indians are so afraid of being taken for a ride that we are super aggressive before anyone can put us down. This may be the woman at Dubai airport or the unpleasant prince on the flight demanding food. The attitude is that observing rules or courtesies is for everyone else not for me, because I'm special. It's this lack of manners that makes living in India such a pain. Thanks for writing this


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