Yawn! The alarm goes off at 6 in the morning and it's time to start another day in India. As Arvind, your beloved blogger, I can tell you that these early morning alarm sounds are a common symphony across most Indian households. It's not that we are a country of early risers, though many are. It's that our routine-packed days demand that early start.
Early morning hours in India radiate a magical charm. As the sun peeks out from the horizon, streets come alive with the bustling sounds of vegetable and fruit vendors, their voice echoing through the mystical morning fog. People stepping out for morning walks, joggers hitting the parks, children rushing to catch their school buses, invigorating aroma of street-side tea stalls, newspaper delivery kids cycling around the neighborhood - all these constitute the pulse of a typical Indian morning that embodies a wonderful mix of tranquility and energy.
Remember, breakfast is a big deal here. We Indians love to start our day with a hearty breakfast - it's not just about a bowl of cereals or a piece of toast here. Dishing out a table-full of varied regional delicacies like Idli, Dosa, Upma, Poha, Aloo Paranthas, or Chole Bhature, the breakfast is a delightful affair designed to fuel us for the day ahead.
And then, it’s the hustle-bustle time. Office-goers catching local trains, buses or autos, students rushing to schools or colleges, shops opening up for business, the city gets all charged up. Some indulge in quick morning prayers before stepping out while others murmur a swift 'touch wood' and adjust their day's plan during the commute.
Afternoon in India is the time when temples, mosques, gurdwaras, and other places of worship gain life, filled with devout visitors. Meanwhile, those at work continue to battle their daily tasks, creating, innovating, and laboring for a better tomorrow. Stalls selling freshly-squeezed juice or 'cutting chai' become popular haunts for short afternoon breaks while power naps become an invincible support for many at home.
Lunch in India is a grandiose affair that transcends beyond a mere meal. It's a social ritual, a family bonding time, an excuse to savor the gastronomic diversity of India. From Rajma Chawal in the north to Biryani in the south, from Dhokla in the west to fish rice in the east, lunchtime is a celebration of India's culinary richness.
Evenings in India are filled with myriad activities. Irrespective of whether you're in a metro city or a small town, you'll always find a whirl of activities around you. People visiting parks, the hullabaloo of street markets, the resonating chatter of evening classes or tuition centres, food stalls preparing for the evening rush - every bit contributes to the evening rhythm.
Evening is a special time for the average Indian. While some find solace in the calmness of twilight, others utilize this time for socializing. The setting sun is a cue for many street vendors to set up their stalls, selling everything from snacks, clothing, electronics to handicrafts.
Chai time or tea time is a significant part of the evening ritual in many Indian households. Accompanied by some lip-smacking snacks or biscuits, it's a time to rest, chat, discuss the day’s events, or even debate the latest political developments. In a way, it's a little pause before the night's run.
Talking of entertainment, the scenes can vary from cricket matches on open grounds, people gathering around TVs in local tea shops to watch a popular soap opera, kids hooked to mobile games, or families lining up for the latest movie release. Not to forget, India is a country that loves to celebrate. Festivals, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries - there is always an occasion for a celebration and evenings are the best time for these merry gatherings.
The average day in India ends with a scrumptious dinner enjoyed in the company of family and friends. This is a cherished, end-of-the-day ritual where everyone exchanges stories of the day, discusses news, shares laughter, and bonds over food. From piping-hot Rotis with different curries to regional specials, the choices are endless and incredible.
And when the clock strikes 10 or 11, it's time to go off to bed. Sleep is a dear friend to the average Indian, especially after a long, action-packed day. This is the time to recharge, finding peace in the comfortable silence of the night - preparing for another day, another story.
This, my friends, is a snapshot of an average day in India for an average person. Yet, in reality, every day is a new adventure, a new story, thanks to the infinite colors and dimensions of this incredible country. So, do join me, Arvind, again, as I continue to explore and share more interesting facets of life in India.