I'm Indian too!
And I know pretty much everything you're talking about. The brushing, the oiling, the braiding. Ugh. My whole family (and almost every other lady in India I've met) are actually curlies..really damaged curlies anyways. I'm from south India though.
Going there was pure hair torture. For one, there's the heat damage. But then, when I'm drying my hair, my relatives insist I'm doing everything wrong and start rubbing my hair vigorously with a towel, combing it with a fine tooth comb, and oiling it up.
But other than that India was beautiful