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Red Fort | © Akshatha Inamdar / Wikimedia Commons
Red Fort | © Akshatha Inamdar / Wikimedia Commons
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13 Things People Miss When They Leave India

Picture of Poonam Binayak
India Writer
Updated: 23 August 2017
India is a land of diversity, and with 29 states, each distinct from one another in terms of landscape, culture, customs and language, this south Asian country intrigues one and all. After staying here for a while, it’s inevitable you’ll get accustomed to it and more so, become an integral part of the country, even if you’re an out-of-towner. So, when it’s time to bid adieu, it goes without saying that nostalgia will kick in, sooner or later. Here are 13 things you’ll probably miss when you leave India.

The People

With a population of over 1.2 billion people, it’s hard not to miss them (no pun intended). Indians are known for their amiable nature and warm hospitality. The popular phrase ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, meaning ‘Guest as God’ is the ethos of the Indian people and culture. Whether you’re lost in the crowd or in case of any emergency, they are ever ready to help. This warmth and spirit is something you will certainly miss.

The Festivals

Festivals are the lynchpin of India. Nothing showcases the diversity and uniqueness of each state like its festivals, for instance, Holi, Diwali, Dusshera, Eid, etc. In fact, every single month is marked by a festival that brings together everyone. No matter where in the world you’re at, you are bound to miss these festivals and celebration that keep the whole country abuzz, thus you’ll feel the urge to return and experience it all.

The Indian food

After spending any amount of time here, your tastebuds get accustomed to Indian food, which is flavourful – spicy, sweet, sour and salty all in one meal. These gustatory delights are to be found at every nook and corner – be it at street food stalls or some fancy restaurant. Your tastebuds will yearn for this cuisine for a long time, as it is certainly not found in your land, at least not with the same taste and aroma.

Pani puri, Indian street food
Pani puri, Indian street food | © imruge / Flickr

The Chai (Tea)

This south Asian country actually runs on ‘Chai’, be it masala chai, cutting chai from the roadside tea stalls, or any type. The chai is, indeed, the energy booster. After living here for a while, you are sure to get addicted to chai and once you leave India, it’s almost impossible to get your fix. You may get the Chai latte in your land, but it doesn’t match up to the Indian chai and surely doesn’t quench your thirst for tea.

The Street Shopping (Or should we say ‘Haggling’)

The best shopping in India is street shopping. There are numerous petite colourful shops dotting various alleys across the country selling everything from fashion to knick-knacks. And, there’s nothing more fun than haggling while street shopping. Perhaps you’ve now become a pro haggler. When you leave India this is surely something you’ll miss, as haggling may just not be an option in your part of the world.

Bargaining while shopping in India
Bargaining while shopping in India | © Cleavers / Flickr

The bustling streets and sounds

No matter how much you detest the sounds and chaos on Indian streets, you will find yourself missing it. You’ll probably miss zipping past the crowded roads in seconds, the long hours in car with volume up and windows down, the street vendors proclaiming, the sounds of bell and conch shell from the nearby temple, or sound of call to prayer from mosque, the sound of children playing on the streets – all this is part and parcel of Indian streets. Assuredly not the scene in most countries!

Indian streets
Indian streets | © PDPics / pixabay

The Culture

India consists of a kaleidoscope of emotions through diverse cultures, traditions, customs and landscapes. And, with so much diversity, India never stops to fascinate everyone around the world. In addition, there is a myriad of art galleries, bars and nightclubs, live music, restaurants, theatre and cinema, rich and varied architectural, cultural and historical splendours – visitors can never have a dull moment in this country. These cultural nuances are hard to find anywhere else, rest assured you’ll miss them.

The endless travel options

People from all walks of life, all cultures and all ethnicities call India home and what’s alluring is that each city has its own charm and character. There is vibrancy of metropolis, like Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore, there’s spiritual charm of cities, like Varanasi and Haridwar. There are places with ancient touch, like Agra, Hampi and Ayodhya, there are snow-laden Himalayas, there are sand dunes of Rajasthan, there’s abundant natural beauty down south and there’s sun, sea and sand at Goa and Pondicherry – all this makes India unique and offers never-ending travel possibilities. Every part of India offers different scenery and experiences that will definitely be missed.

Hampi
Hampi | © Poonam Binayak

The cricket

One of the things that Indians are passionate about is cricket and on match day the vibe is different with celebrations on roads, burning of crackers and beating drums. While you stay here it is inevitable you’ll enjoy the game too and probably become passionate about the sport like Indians. Sure, it can be watched online from any part of the world, but it will not be the same as in India amidst the action-packed energy and zest of the locals.

Cricket enthusiasm in India
Cricket enthusiasm in India | © Danny Howard / Flickr

The ease of travel with public transportation

One of the best ways to get around any city in India is rickshaw (whether auto or bicycle one). With one shout of ‘Rickshaw’, a ride stops right in front of you. This is something that will be majorly missed when you’re stuck in rain or you have to walk long distances just to get the public transport. You’ll think dearly about India where public transit was just at your doorstep. Even travelling via train around India is easy, convenient and cheap. This isn’t the case everywhere else.

Auto-rickshaw in India
Auto-rickshaw in India | © RJ B / Flickr

The language

Having stayed in India, you’ve surely picked up the local dialect and successfully conversed with the people. You’ve almost become a local, give yourself a pat on the back! But the sad part is when you leave, you’ll certainly miss speaking the local language.

The affordability

There is no denying the fact India is one of the most affordable countries. Living here is cheaper than anywhere else in the world. There are restaurants for every budget, there’s cheap public transport, there’s inexpensive shopping, there’s affordable medical care, there’s cheap accommodation, and there are even freebies throw in at times … back home the story is completely different.

The joy of eating with bare hands

Eating with bare hands is a part of Indian culture and no one here feels guilty about doing so. In fact, this eating habit not only offers a feeling of satiety, but is also good for health, for instance improving digestion, helping prevent Type 2 diabetes, and helping to stay fit. Perhaps you’ll miss this, as anywhere besides India, savouring food with bare hands might not be as comfortable.

Eating with bare hands
Eating with bare hands | © Tetyana Pryymak / Flickr