10 Things NRIs Deal With In India

As an NRI who has lived for quite a long time in an ARAB country, the shift back home really tossed my senses. There’s quite a lot of things we are not accustomed to, but I have listed just a few here:

1) Liquid Curd
When we are served curd for the first time, the predictable question is “Why is it flowing?”. Let me tell you, we have only eaten SET curd irrespective of the seasons and we didn’t  pay a mini fortune for it.


2) Gaping People
People come to know we are NRIs and we are suddenly the subject of sly stares. And ridiculous questions like “Do you understand Hindi? Are you Indian?” are constantly asked. Making it clear here once and for all : NRI stands for Non Residential INDIAN. Get it? I swear, we look and talk the same.


3) The Streets
Have you realized that walking on streets in India means we have to maneuver through people, dogs, potholes, cycles, cars, cows and the Nimbus that are strewn everywhere? If through all this we manage not to trip and break a leg, we reminisce of days when we safely sat in cars that moved in clean straight lines.


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4) Dogs
The strays scare us. Don’t think we are over reacting if we flee from a street dog, it’s just that we came from a friendly cat country and they didn’t scratch.



5) The Moolah
Everyone, I mean everyone presumes NRIs have shit loads of money. Why? Do we look like descendants of Uncle Scrooge? Our families are working as hard as yours and there are no money spills from where we come. Yet.


6) The ‘No Laban’ crisis
Predictably I come from an Arab country, and the whole NO LABAN scenario is quite sad. For those who don’t know, LABAN is a drink made out of curd. No, it’s not like LASSI. No, it can’t be made at home.


7) Facebook Disasters
Why would you upload pictures on Facebook and tag your other 50 friends on it? Are we forced to look at it and like it? Seriously?! Is it just me who finds this strange or others agree? Also, I/we don’t accept friend requests just because I see you across the halls. I know you first, than accept the request and not vice versa. NRI or not, just wanted to get this across.


8) Round Plug Points
This is so frustrating! Every gadget we own has flat plugs and to find a socket like that,
is like searching for Nirvana. We usually end up with adapters, extensions and what not falling right out of the plug point.


9) Masala Madness
Everything from noodles, to rice to oats to chips has to have a Masala Twist. By Masala read : Chilli and Pepper. Some people like their food to actually taste like what it’s named, you know. Minus innovations.

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10) Mosquitoes
The infestation here is our own personal hell. The mosquitoes frustratingly love our blood more leaving us scratching day in and out. ODOMOS and GOODKNIGHT are our perennial best friends.




Before you slander, I love the country!!
Four years here, and I have learnt to adjust. I no more trip on footpaths and have mastered the art of dealing with the questions. It’s now home with its own perks. This post just highlights our initial reactions. 🙂


148 thoughts on “10 Things NRIs Deal With In India

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  1. What is said in the article is very true but one thing to notice here is that western world develops lot of conditionings in you and when you come to India you have to give up those conditionings and live. Instead of having personal space, in India you have to adjust and learn to share. Only those who are ready to give up their conditionings set in their minds will be able to appreciate India and live in there.

  2. its a bit strange that nothing is mentioned about the dress code. in Arab countries. You are not allowed to wear jeans and all those western clothes right? Even if you are allowed to wear, you have to wear a black robe over it in the hot sun. In the gym some women wear five layers of clothing. Women can’t drive in public. The government blocks all web sites that it deems “offensive” to the “religious, moral, and cultural values”. Pity you didn’t mentioned all these as your so called nice adjustments or should i say freedom you get to enjoy in India. 😉

    1. You obviously got the wrong end of the article, I reiterate I love the country. And if for you freedom means me not wearing a black robe, I wear it in India too. 🙂 Oh well.

    2. Hi Ronnie, the article speaks about the things that we miss about the Arab nations. Now KSA is the only place where women can’t go out with out their Abayas ( the black robe you mentioned) and I definitely miss wearing it when I am in India. I enjoy and take pride in wearing my black robe so much that I carry it and even wear it whilst I am in India or anywhere for that matter. Every place has its pros and cons. While some may refer to wearing abayas as a con some of us love arab culture and our attire. It’s not an adjustment to all.

    3. u r wrong abt d dress code nd driving thing…
      thats only in saudi arabia… In other middle eats countries ppl wear wt they want to wera and women drive…

      nd btw.. arab countries are waaayyyy safe 😉

    4. I lived in an Arab country and I wore jeans… There are no such restriction in 99% of Arab countries.. Come there and you’d find all Indian ladies wearing sarees, churidar, tops and jeans ..and why not even Arab youngsters wear them too…
      And Ladies are found driving equally….
      And i haven’t had any trouble navigating through the sites either…
      Ive been able to live there free and safely for an entirety of my life…#qatar
      I don’t think generalising all Arab nation based on A single country is fair..
      and even in Saudi,which I heard to have thr rules u mentioned above, ive walked in casual tops and jeans…

    5. Brother,dress codes are mandatory only in saudi arabia and some of the arab countries…UAE & Qatar is different from them…you can habe more freedom than nowhere.:)

    6. Whaaaaat? Where do you come from? 😮 you can wear the shortest tops and not get gaped at :/ unlike here… thats saudi your talkin about. The rest of us aint nothing like it

    7. Ahem! You’re just talking about Saudi. The rest of the countries abroad do support a lot of freedom, talk about America. Try going abroad. One week, and you’d start hating the idea of coming back.

  3. Reema, Angela dont be so frustrated and sentimental
    if both of you miss your arabic cultures so much, then why have you come here to this silly place INDIA (according to you people) .
    Its just like stabbing your mother from the back. On the one hand you people are writing all the shit about India and on the other hand enjoying here like bastards. If you people like other countries so much then go back silly people. Haha bevakufo ka discussion :/
    carry on NRI people

    1. You cleared missed the whole point of the post, it isn’t about missing Arab Culture. It’s the changes we face when we return home, and no way are you kicking us out of our own country. Peace, thanks for reading. ✌️

    2. Oh Honey! I surely was born and partly raised here, but I did spend a good time in India too. And I do take pride in the Indian culture, but the thing is when we go back it difficult to get along because let’s face it people aren’t really welcoming and it is difficult on a whole other point for us to adjust. Sure, we love where we come from, everyone does. It’s human nature. But on the other hand we are brought as a part of two surroundings in one place. So yes, we do tend to compare the place we come from when we are India.

    3. Shaap dude… That’s exactly the thing u judge us just cause we lived a few years outside India. I literally kissed the runway at Mumbai airport when i returned to India. Don’t bullshit me about culture, we have seen both sides and we know better. I love my country and it’s rich heritage that’s all i keep telling my friends from ARAB. It is just that we like both cultures and enjoy them as i was there i was missing Indian culture and i am here i miss Arab culture. And the biggest problem here i faced i to convince guys not to gape at girls, i argued, shouted, begged still no change, i accept girls have a few restrictions but they are not treated as TOYS.


  4. Ms. Reema Ayesha, people who write wrong things about their own country they are needed to be thrown out and yes you really need to be calm! 😀
    Apart from this ,as you were sharing your experiences you should think 10 times before writing anything bad here because its public post dear 🙂
    so keep a watch on yours fingers and mind while writing anything!
    have a great time!
    Meet me at IGI airport.
    Avni Kashyap it is!!!

  5. What a great adjustment!! laban, flatpin,mosquito es are a problem is it? You say ur cat’s are friendly but not Indian dogs . do u have a good education in ur Arab countries? Do not make a big fuss for nothing.

  6. Mutual feelings, all the way!
    Summing up all my summer vacations and my four year stay in India.

    -Love from KSA via India 😉

  7. what some people here dont understand is that NRI’s like us living for over 2 decades in UAE or other arab countries do face these minor issues when coming into India … No, Its not a silly place for us .. we love India as much as you do .. at least when we come to India we dont litter like some of you so called patriotic people who starts a war against NRI’s do .. we love India alot .. but the whole point of this post is only to show the minor changes we face .. so chill and lay back … Enjoy life .. it’s Short anyway ..

  8. Loved this as an NRI myself,I can understand the plight you’re in.But hey,it’s amusing when the locals come up with these questions and at the same time it makes us feel privileged as well.

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