19 ways to spot an Indian. What’s the 20th?

Yes, India, as we knew it, has changed. But have we Indians, as we knew them (and ourselves), changed?

K.R. DINAKAR forwards a checklist of 19 ways to spot an Indian. What’s the 20th?

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# When everything you eat is savoured with garlic, onions, coriander and chillies.

# You try and reuse gift wrappers, gift boxes, and of course, aluminum foil.

# You are standing next to the two largest suitcases at the airport.

# You arrive one or two hours late at a party, and think it’s normal.

# You peel the stamps off letters that the Postal Service missed to stamp.

# Your toilet has a plastic mug next to the commode.

# All your children have pet names, which sound nowhere close to their real names.

# You talk for an hour at the front door when leaving someone’s house.

# You load up the family car with as many people as possible.

# You use plastic to cover anything new in your house whether it’s the remote control, VCR, carpet or couch.

# You live with your parents even if you are 40 years old. (And they like it that way).

# If she is NOT your daughter, you always take an interest in knowing whose daughter has run off with whose son and feel it’s your duty to spread the word around.

# You only make long distance calls after 11 pm.

# If you stay away from home and your parents call, they ask if you’ve eaten, even if it’s midnight.

# When your parents meet any Indian (especially of your caste) for the first time and talk for a few minutes, you soon discover they are your relatives.

# Your parents still don’t realize phone connections to foreign countries have improved in the last two decades, and still scream at the top of their lungs while talking.

# You have bed sheets on your sofas to keep them off from getting dirty.

# It’s embarrassing if your wedding reception has fewer than 600 people.

# You list your daughter as “fair and slim” in the matrimonial column no matter what she looks like.