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You Know You Are a South Indian Woman in North India When…

“Well Toto,” you mutter to yourself, as you sit in one of New Delhi’s rickety black and green taxis, “I guess we’re not in Bangalore anymore.” The flyovers zip over your head, the people speak the kind of Hindi you’ve only heard in Bollywood movies, no one seems to wear a nice sari in office… Welcome, welcome to your new home!


You know you are a South Indian woman in North India when…

1. You meet the aunty or well-meaning colleague who will make you grit your teeth when she says, “Oh my God (or beta), you don’t look South Indian at all!” What do they expect, you wonder.

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2. You have a middle-of-the-night dosa craving, which no amount of paneer tikka roll can fulfil. Argh. Why is it so hard to find normal food?

3. How much chicken do these people eat anyway, you think.

4. Also stuff is just not spicy. Where is the spice? Why are these Northies so afraid of a little chilli?

5. You want to ask everyone – from the auto driver to your landlady – to speak a little slower so you can understand their Hindi. Honestly. What sort of accent is this?

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6. Wow, the men on the road just do not stop staring, no matter how many times you make threatening eye contact with them.

7. You begin to really miss your local Tollywood or Kollywood music, no matter how many times you dissed it back home.

8. Overhearing other “Southies” from your city on the metro makes you yearn to go up to them and lean against their shoulders, telling them all your problems.

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9. You learn a new style of bargaining: angry debates as opposed to delicate negotiations.

10. Yuck, this coffee is absolutely vile.

11. So this is the winter everyone talks about. You don’t know why they ever complained, it’s November and it’s delightful.

12. Holy f&^k, it’s January and you have never been this cold in your whole entire life.

13. Everyone is super-shocked that you’ve never been to the Taj Mahal. But have they been to Madurai? No? You feel superior.

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14. You can’t wait to go home for special occasions and be fed proper food and drink real filter coffee.

15. And when you’re home, you find yourself dreaming of the North again. You’d kill for a good tandoori chicken. Welcome to two lives.

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