India is diverse not only in its culture and traditions but also in how we Indians perceive what a ‘paying job’ really means. We are going you take you through some funny yet, unusual and weird professions of India that pay enough to make a sustainable living and some that have been passed on from generation to generation.
The SRK movie Raees staunchly proclaims in a famous dialogue, “Ammi jaankehtithi ki koi dhandachotanahihotaaurdhandesebada koi dharamnahihota”, which means my mom used to say that no job is too small and it is equal to ethics of duty.
Seems like Indians are born with this principle ingrained in their minds! There are many jobs and vocations many Indians do that are either oblivious to most foreigners or that might haven’t even crossed their minds! However, they still pay enough to carve a life out of!
Snake Charmers-one of the simplest of unusual professions in India
Snake charmers have a simple job to do, play a side-blown flute (been) and make a snake dance to the tune of the been in front of admiring spectators.
The snake doesn’t really ‘dance’ (it’s totally deaf); it simply tries to adjust itself into an attack position to protect itself. This ‘art’ is slowly fading away due to strong animal rights activism. Although it is a really lame job, it pays well.
In India, every celebration in a family marks the appearance of neighbourhood transgender women who are locally known as ‘kinnar’. Many people consider blessings by kinnars for a new-born child, marriage, etc. as very auspicious.
The kinnars perform clap and dance gleefully at such events in exchange for alms that can earn them many thousand rupees in a single day!
In Rajasthan, there is a certain section of women who are hired as mourners (‘rudaali’). They have one simple job – to cry out loud and shriek as much as they can at a funeral of someone who is not even related to them!
It is an odd custom since the old times, but these women are proudly earning money for their family. Weird sort of women empowerment, eh?
We believe that these unusual professions are found in India only, Let us know if you have seen these types of Weird Jobs outside India also?
Indian Railways is simply incomplete without these porters called coolies who help people by carrying their heavy luggage to their respective train or outside the train station. Indians would not find it one of the weird jobs of India since there are some Bollywood movies made on coolie as well.
They get meagre pay but are indispensable especially since Indians have an uncanny habit of taking very heavy luggage with them for all kinds of journeys. Next time you meet a coolie, please pay him well.
ATM Security Guard
Funny isn’t it? ATMs in India are so susceptible to tampering or theft that most banks need to hire professional security guards to keep watch on these machines.
It is another matter that the guards are mostly found absent from the ATM premises or sleeping inside the ATM vestibule. LOL!
Yeah, don’t be surprised! There are many people in India who turn professional beggars at strategic places to earn alms!
Bharat Jain is considered India’s richest professional beggar! He earns approximately 60K per month, owns two apartments (worth 70 lakhs each) and also earns 10,000 rupees per month as rent from a juice shop! Are you feeling jealous?
Nope, you read it right! In India, parrots do the ‘talking’!
The human accompanying the parrot simply opens a cage the parrot is enclosed within. The parrot then hops out of the cage and cherry-picks your ‘fortune’ with its beak from a bunch of 27 tarot cards. Each card represents a Hindu deity and the human tells you what fortune/misfortune it brings for you.
Now, that is a parrot with swag!
No, we are not talking about The Planet of the Apes movie! In India, you can find men dressed up as apes who are hired to scare away simians from train stations, local markets, the Parliament house, etc. where simians are a menace and pose a threat to humans.
Known as ‘langurwaala’, these men grunt, screech and even behave like a real ape to drive out monkeys from famous publicspaces and earn a smart pay of at least 6000 rupees per month!
In semi-rural India, you can find people getting fitted with a brand new tooth right on the street!
These roadside dentists are mostly self-trained and hold no valid professional degree, yet they earn loads of money doing fillings, root canals, scaling, etc. They usually use zero anesthesia and basic hardware tools like pliers and hammers!
Don’t try this at home, err on the roadside!
Ear and Nose piercers
In India, apart from grannies and nannies, there are many people who help make piercings on the nose or earsof little children. They use simple tools and effortlessly make the piercing with minimal pain to the child!
In southern India, during some religious rituals, people hire such piercers for piercing the body with huge rods and sharp objects as well!
Junk and Scrap Dealer
These dealers called kabaadiwaala or raddiwaala take away all your useless junk right from your doorstep and even pay you for it! They collect all the waste and make money by selling it in bulk to various recyclers and artists who use plastic, metal, paper, etc.
These scrap dealers are the true heroes who are helping us recycle our waste and reducing pollution as well!
Sales boys at Traffic Signals
At most busy traffic signals (red-light stops) in India, young boys can be seen running around from car to car and selling objects like books, flowers, balloons and other items of car maintenance like sun-shields, cloth wipes, etc. at nominal prices.
Famous tweets by Shilpa Shetty Kundra (author of The Great Indian Diet) and Twinkle Khanna Kumar (author of Mrs. Funnybones) have revealed how these celebrity authors were approached by traffic sales-boys at red lights to sell them their own recently-launched books! Little did the kids know that the very author of that book was inside the car themselves!
As you can see, there are many odd jobs that Indians do and they do so with aplomb and respect! Let us know in the comments if you know of any other odd-jobs in India that people do to earn a living.