The Urban Guide to Surviving Just About Anything


The Urban Guide to Surviving Just About Anything

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

We live in difficult times. In these days anything can catch you off-guard, blind side you, and leave you grasping at survival. Your office parking spot can, at any point, be occupied by an ambulance on duty, the guy at the Apple store can throw shade at you, and Uber can develop a software glitch. It’s a jungle out there and survival is on everyone’s mind.

So don your oversized sunglasses and pack your backpack because we’re giving you  a crash course in overcoming everything that life throws at you. Here is a list of the essentials that the urban Indian needs to survive First World problems and the Armageddon.

SPF 50 Sunscreen: “If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen it would be,” said Baz Luhrmann.

Come summers and the idea of a sunburn is more terrifying than the thought of total economic collapse. So, to paraphrase the Baz Luhrmann song, carry sunscreen. When the hypothetical collapse finally happens, and everyone begins to go broke, at least you’ll be the only broke person with blemish-free skin.

Deodorant: Every city has a distinct scent. The scent of Delhi, for instance is affluence mixed with bling dust; Mumbai smells of drying fish and flowers crushed underfoot on Dadar Station. The fragrance of a city is equal parts nice and noxious, a kind of Russian roulette with your nostrils. You never know when the fragrance of roses might turn into the wretched stench of rotting garbage. The smart move here is to carry around a can of your favourite deodorant. Use this as your shield against the everyday stench of civilisation that you encounter in a train compartment or a packed office. And when you are caught in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, a deodorant makes for an excellent portable flamethrower.

Curd: There are few things as timeless as good old dahi. A good cup of Artisanal Curd can be many things: First it’s breakfast in conjunction with some nuts and oats. Second, it comes in handy for the times when you need a sanskari omen against all the malevolent sprites floating in the air, aka dahi-shakkar before an interview. And now there is an extra gut-friendly option, Epigamia’s lactose-free Artisanal Curd. The lactose in the milk is already broken down for you, making it even easier to digest, especially if you’re one of those people whose stomach revolts anytime you eat dairy. The curd’s for everybody. It’s packed with probiotics for when you don’t feel biotic enough. These gut-friendly probiotics calm your stomach in a stressful and fast-food- frenzied world. Not only does it add to your social standing, it also keeps your gut healthy and your cool quotient dizzyingly high.

Hand Sanitiser: Hand sanitiser is the fix-all you didn’t know you needed. It’s marketed as a way to keep your hands clean after touching people, places, animals, and things your germaphobic hands deem unsanitary. But did you know, using that same sanitiser to start a fire and cook the animal you just caught which you marinated using the curd from your bag, is a survival hack that would make Bear Grylls shed a solitary tear of joy?

Fitbit: You might not be fit, you definitely do not look the bit, but with a Fitbit on your wrist, rest assured you’ll make it through some pretty heavy shit. The main purpose of a Fitbit is to give you #FitnessGoalz by counting the calories you burned every day.

How does this help one survive, you ask? Well it’s simple, nothing motivates human beings like danger or being able to post your Fitbit stats to Facebook and make your friends turn green with envy. Being the jaded millennial you probably are, even a cataclysmic climate event may not elicit a fight-or-flight response from you. But factor in your need for external validation and online pats on the back, and you’ll probably take off faster than the Flash. Like most Fitbit users, this may not actually get you fit, but could someday probably save your life.

So there you have it, a definitive list of the essentials when you wage your daily war with the world, prepared for any outcome. Carry this around every day, to make you feel better prepared for the eventualities of 2018. But remember, when the shit truly hits the fan, find cover, eat your curd, and wait for help to arrive. Hopefully, help hasn’t decided to duck and eat some dahi too.

This post is sponsored by Epigamia.