On that Sunday, Rahul woke up quite hungry. It was almost 12 in the afternoon. But after all, it was a holiday. He doesn’t remember when he slept last night. At first, he was on a call with his school friends. They’d been planning a trip to Paris for ages now. But looks like, it is going to happen finally. 2022 is definitely his year. After that call, he thought he had some time to watch a few episodes of ‘Money Heist’ on Netflix.

He entered the living room and took a handful of popcorn that he had ordered last night. Some of it was spilt on a sky-blue bound copy of ‘Ikigai’ that was kept on his coffee table. It was okay to skip breakfast, he’d rather order some chicken biryani. While he did that, ‘Excuses’ played on his phone. His phone buzzed. No, it wasn’t the restaurant, but this was an update from Quest, an app that he had downloaded a few days back.

Rahul is not a real person. However, his resemblance to anyone that you know from real life is not really coincidental. Wonder why? His habits are derived from a few trends that defined the life of Indians in 2022. And what exactly are they? We take a look here.

According to Netflix’s weekly data, the most watched show by Indians was ‘Money Heist’, which spent 43 weeks on the top 10 list. The fifth and final instalment of the Spanish heist crime drama premiered with more than 69 million views in the first month of its release in September. The show finished airing in December 2021 and has since consistently stayed on the top 10 list.

Indian viewers have tuned in consistently to South Korean shows in 2022 — the second most viewed show on Netflix was the survival drama ‘Squid Game’, which stayed in the top 10 for 28 weeks after its release in September 2021. ‘All of Us are Dead,’ another Korean-language series which revolves around a zombie virus outbreak (21 weeks), was followed by Stranger Things (20 weeks), the only English-language show that made the cut. And when it comes to Disney+ Hotstar, the first episode of Koffee With Karan’s Season 7 had 12.2 million views in a week, according to the data by bollywoodmoviereviewz.com. This was followed by hotstar originals Masoom and Special Ops.

Read, eat, live

Flipping the page, Amazon India’s best-selling books saw some massive success this year. Topping everyone’s reading list was the self-help book ‘Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life’, released in 2017. The bestseller was followed by ‘Atomic Habits: The life-changing million copy bestseller’ (2018). ‘Doglapan: The Hard Truth about Life and Start-Ups’ (2022), authored by Ashneer Grover, former managing director of BharatPe, was the only autobiography on this list.

While the preferences for books and TV shows might have seen a foreign tilt, one thing that Indian consumers did not stray far away from home for was food. Swiggy’s 2022 trends report showed that the flavourful biryani was the most ordered dish on the delivery app for the seventh year in a row. A total of 137 biryanis were ordered every minute in 2022 — that is 2.88 orders a second. Another classic dish Indians couldn’t say no to was masaladosa. Also, given the amount of time Indians spent on movies and shows, their Swiggy orders too reflect the binge: 22 lakh popcorns were ordered past 10 pm on the food delivery platform.

A few weeks ago, the Google Play store released its Best of 2022 list. According to that, homegrown app Quest: Navigator for learning bagged the best app title across categories. The app provides study coaches and helps students with comprehensive study plans. It has over a million downloads. For personal growth, most Indians relied on the live instant tutoring app Filo. The app claims to be the world’s only live instant tutoring app, where students can connect with teachers in 60 seconds. Flipkart’s Shopsy app was what most Indians relied on for shopping. Over 100 million people have downloaded the app now.

2022 was also a year when the world saw most pandemic-related restrictions ease. Armed with the vaccine’s power, people across the world packed their bags to travel. According to market research firm Euromonitor International’s data, globally, Paris attracted the most number of travellers. This was followed by Dubai, Amsterdam, Madrid and Rome, in that order.

Songs and podcasts

We also looked at Indians’ listening trends in 2022. Spotify data that was out in November says ‘Excuses’ by AP Dhillon, Gurinder Gill and Intense saw the highest number of weeks spent in the top five spots of the ‘Top Song’ chart at a 33-week streak. And when it comes to artists, Arijit Singh topped the charts consistently this year. During the tracking period, he held two 21-week streaks as number one in India’s ‘Top Artist’ chart. In 2022 alone, close to 50 of his songs were released.

Pocket FM’s data, on the other hand, said Indians spent a long time listening to audio series, mostly of romance genres. In fact, a series called ‘Ye Rishta Kaisa Hai’, was listened to for a total of 2,238 minutes.