1. SSSSSSSS Samosa!
SSSSSSSS Surprised? The triangular delights which often is a food of the common Indian is not at all Indian. It traveled to India with the Mughals in the 14th century through Central Asia where it is called sanbusak. Traveler Ibn Battuta describes sanbusak as minced meat cooked with onions, pistachios, almonds and spices filled in a thin envelop of wheat and then fried deeply in ghee. Samosa finds a place in Ain-I-Aikbari too where it mentions Hindus call it as sanbusa. Perhaps, the Hindus instead of stuffing the meat started stuffing potato and we got the Indianized Samosa. People in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt still call it as sanbusak!
2. Maggi Maggi Maggi
Maggi Noodles is synonymous to India that we often forget it is an International brand. Founded and started by Julius Maggi in 1872 in the German town of Singen, it now owned (from 1947) by the Switzerland company Nestle.
3. Maruti 800
This car was named after the Hindu God of Speed – Maruti. It is iconic because it pole vaulted India out of its insular existence and is a symbol of the liberalization process. But the car has a Japanese engine manufactured by Suzuki albeit a very Indian heart.
4. Kites aka PATANG
On the eve of Makar Sankranti, Indians fly kites. In addition Gujarat hosts the International Kite festival ~ Uttarayan on 14th January every year. Kite flying is the favorite sport of village boys in rural India. Don’t raise your eyebrows when I surprise you by saying Kite is not an Indian product. Aha, yes! Kite was invented in China and the concept was introduced in India.
5. Bata Shoes and Chappals
We all have worn a pair to school, haven’t we? Whether, it was the black shoes or the white canvas shoes, everyone felt comfortable only in Bata. Then there were grandfathers and grandmothers who insisted that if you want quality, you ought to buy “BATA”. While, many of us believed that it is an Indian retailer, it is widely known that the company was founded in 1894 by the Bata family in the Austro-Hungarian Empire i.e. Czech Republic. Currently its headquarter is in Switerland. It isn’t desi at all, but has more than 5000 retail stores in 60 countries.
6. Colgate Toothpaste
Go in any rural area and you will hear, “Bhaiya zara Colgate dena“. They actually mean toothpaste just the way they mean biscuit when they utter PARLE G. Although Parle G is very much Indian, Colgate isn’t. Introduced in New York, it is now situated in Singapore with manufacturing unit in India.
7. Rajma and Rajma-Chawal
I always thought since Rajma Chol (Chawal) is a Punjabi dish, Rajma is our desi Punjabi item grown in India. But, but, but, neither Rajma is our product nor the combination – Rajma Chawal. Rajma or Red Kidney Bean is purely Mexican and beand with rice is their staple diet. Ole!
8. Marie Biscuit
My mom and granny always prefer Marie Biscuit with their chai. It has been always like this. While, I prefer Good Day, Nutri Choice and Hide N Seek, they insist for their Marie. Not sure if the two ladies know that the Rich Tea Biscuit they always preferred is a product of the British while my sweet biscuits are purely Desi. Oh, now I know what to say when they blame me of imitating the west!
9. Cadbury Dairymilk
“Kuch Meetha Ho jaaye” is now a part and parcel of our lives. Whether it is a celebration of Rakshabandhan, Diwali, India’s victory in cricket or a joyous news of “Pappu Paas Ho Gaya” – we have our share of Diary Milk and other chocolates of Cabdury. But sadly, it is not INDIAN but Angrez chocolate company. That line suits here perfectly, “Angrez chale gaye par Cadbury chodd gaye!”
10. Star Plus
One would think that Star Plus is a purely Indian/Hindi entertainment channel where serials like ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ and ‘Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki’ have aired for nearly 15 years. However Star Plus was introduced in India as a a pure English channel in the early 90’s showing International content from UK, Australia and US? Owned initially by NewsCorp and now 21st Century Fox, Star Plus from its inception in 1992 is a New York Based Company.
Did you grow up drinking Horlicks? Every Indian mom relied on this to provide her kids with good vitamins and nutrition. Developed and Founded by William and James Horlicks, the malted milk is a foreign material now manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, the UK Based company.
12. Beating Retreat
Beating Retreat which marks the conclusion of Republic day following with a national Salute to President is not an Indian concept, it is adapted by the 16th Century England!
Don’t stare, you read it right! I know it is founded by Sachin and Binny Bansal, but the company is not Indian since it is not only registered in Singapore but owned by a Singapore based holding company. Ouch! So, legally though it operates in India, it is not an Indian company. Moreover, most of the investors are foreigners. Now, do you know why Flipkart sells its product under WS Retail? Well because being a foreign company it cannot do multi branding E-Retailing in India. And I thought Flipkart was desi – Facepalm!
14. Kalki Koechlin
No, Kalki Koechlin isn’t Anglo Indian – She is completely French with French parents! Though one cannot miss the fact that she was born and brought up in South India! Her parents both devotees of Sri Aurobindo met in AUROVILLE, Pondicherry and later settled in Ooty.
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Image Source: Samosa, Maggi, Desi Maggi, Canvas SHOES, Bata, Kites, Kite Flying, Rajma Chawal, Colgate, Diary Milk, Horlicks, Flipkart, , Beating Retreat, Marie, Maruti 800, Star Plus, Featured Image, Kalki