Wherever you go - a party, event or a road trip - it's a convoy going along with you. You and your live-in buddies (aka family) basically form an inseparable team outside the house more than INSIDE the house.
2. Inside the house it's a different story - it's a war you fight every day.
For starters, forget having any secrets in the house because there's not one big mouth that you have to care about, there are LOADS.
3. At least one irritating kid you HAVE TO entertain.
You can't do away with saying "I don't like kids," you are showered with this responsibility as soon as you hit your teens. Sometimes you feel more like a nanny than a kid of the same family you live with. You can't count the number of times you've wanted to go play but you were stopped because you need to take care of THAT annoying kid because everyone else is busy. By the way, that's the kid who'll be the love of your life when he/she grows up and he/she will remain the first ever kid you fell in love with - more precious than your own kid (or may be not).
4. Privacy is bombarded (literally) constantly.
"Eaves dropping" is a common practice. Talking on the phone? Your uncle, aunty, sibling, cousin, everyone knows what you're talking about. Obviously. Because no matter where they are sitting and what they are doing, their ears are with you, for you, forever.
5. And add five more lecturers in your list (beside THE parents).
If your parents weren't enough, here you are getting taunts and lectures from all the adults of the house, especially the "villain" aunt of the family. This is the time you shout in your mind, "IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WOMAN." but you can't because your parents being old enough, they aren't saying anything. How can you? Where are your manners?
6. You land up late at a family function, you bare serious consequences .
Yes you do have a social life but only YOU know that, your BIG FAT FAMILY does not understand all this. It doesn't matter to them if you have a life outside the house or you don't, it's all about keeping their heads held high in the "society". You land up late for a family function, you have a hundred eyes staring at you because they all live with you. So, either you travel in the CONVOY or you cancel the dinner/function (because your presence is crucial even if the other 20 family members are more than willing to go) - either ways, you're screwed (mark my words).
7. Sometimes, it's more of a "fish market" than a house.
You have exams coming? Forget about it - "We need to shout about something even we are unaware of!"
8. You eat all day long.
There's loads and loads of food in the house all the time plus you can't miss meals. It's not allowed. Even if you're really not hungry, you NEED to sit on the table with everyone and EAT. This is the most basic rule of living in an Indian joint family.
9. Alone time? LOL.
Whether it's study, work or just a break from the chaos in the house, these are essentially the only times you'll get absolutely no space in the house to spend time with yourself.
10. Even your thoughts are not yours.
If you're thinking, your uncles/aunties/cousins/siblings - they'll all be guessing what YOU are really thinking. Weird but true.
11. Free unwanted opinions when you get dressed.
You have ten different opinions about how you're looking when you get dressed for a party. The best and most common - "nazar na lage!"
12. You need to be involved in EVERYTHING.
Your choice does not matter, what matters is - what "the family" wants. They want to go on a road trip - you need to go. They want to do a cricket match - you need to play (even if you're horrible at cricket). It's basically a time-consuming process - living in a joint family.
13. No boyfriend/girlfriend policy.
In case you have a lover, there's no way you can sneak him/her into the house for obvious reasons but more importantly, you don't want to bring them home - spare THEM the scrutiny at least. So, you run off to the garden or the "khets" (for the dramatic effect) to live up your romantic life (if you have the time to have any).
14. Endless drama.
If the drama at home wasn't enough, there's drama everywhere for you. Since you're so many of you - different ages, different personalities, different kinds - every time you all go out for shopping or just a casual outing, you entertain the crowd around you with all the drama going on in your group. It's ACTUALLY super fun sometimes for you and other random people.
15. You need to cry like a baby, you need to do that OUTSIDE the house premises.
You can rely on a hundred shoulders in your own house when you're hurt, which also means the person making you cry is cursed like there's no tomorrow. Plus you don't want 20 other people crying because of you. So, you need to find a better place to truly express your feelings!
16. A not-so-successful marriage bureau.
Since there are so many people in the house, there are even more "rishtas" coming for each and every single person in the house. The funniest is when there are many unmarried girls in the house. It often happens that a guy comes to see one girl who wants to get married but ends up liking another, who has no intentions of getting married. This is the most embarrassing thing in the world but it still happens.
17. Comparison with the counterparts.
All your car journeys or private conversations with your parents consists of - "Saira got a 99% in her boards and you are wasting your life playing all these sports. LEARN SOMETHING." (And other similar comparisons.) This is why you're hardly interested in starting a conversation with them after a point.
18. On the brighter side, you always have 4 am friend with you.
You don't need a friend who's just a call away, you have your brothers and sisters around to take care of that. Whether it is boredom at 2 am in the night or you need to take out your frustration somewhere, you have someone around indefinitely to give you company.