I initially wanted to name the post as “Why we are like that only?”. You know a regular post where I broach about amusing Indian idiosyncrasies. Then I thought, am I any better? Well obviously not.
A side note, I want this post to reflect an introspective frame of mind not narcissistic. And I promise you, no amount of high self esteem would ever encourage me to talk about myself in a positive light.
Where are you from?
It seems to be an innocuous question. Where are you from, name the place. Well I get twitchy when asked about it. I was born in mumbai, brought up in kalpakkam (satellite township near chennai) and graduated in mumbai and working in gulf.
My father hails from madurai, and hence I have learned from my parents that, whenever I am asked the question I should answer madurai. Even though I haven’t spent more than a month there.
Now picture this. Whenever you ask a fellow Indian where he/she is from the conversation would go something like this.
A: Where are u from?
B: I am from delhi.
A: Oh , delhi city?
B: Its 60 kms off the main city.
A: Oh, which place is it.
B: (A bit flustered) uhm ghaziabad.
If you ask B, why didn’t they say ghaziabad in the first place. They would reason that the other person might not know about their place. But why should one be guilty of others ignorance? It would be safe to say not a lot of us, including me are proud to admit our roots. I needed a movie like Rang de basanti, an Idol like sachin or AR Rahman. An Icon like Gandhi to wear my nationality on my sleeve.
After all not many of us admit their rural roots. At least not until we are famous. As the line makes for a great speech. “I come from a small town called xyz and have made it big here etc…” ending the speech by raising a toast.
Shouldn’t I be more comfortable with my roots. Why am I being so insecure over something that cannot be changed? The same extends to within city conversations too. In college i over heard this
A: Dude where are u from?
B: Mumbai only?
A: Abey yede(idiot) Where in mumbai?
B: Navi mumbai
A: Fuck you man, that is not mumbai.
B: ya-a-aha( in a weird raga with a crescendo in the end which signifies disappointment)
What are you reading/watching/listening?
I grew up reading tinkle and panchatantra. They propelled me to a wider genre of writers in my growing years. However I “liked” tinkle on facebook only after making sure that it is famous enough and that accepting that would not make me low in my social circle.
Movies: I grew up watching tamil movies aired on sun tv, it was only when around 9th or 8th standard (Not 8th/9th grade) that I started watching baywatch. Cough to improve my english you see, and you can’t point a finger that my early endeavors have failed me. Can you?
Check out my facebook page, I have listed about a good hundred odd western movies and a very few Indian movies. I still don’t feel comfortable sharing the information that I have seen not so famous Indian movies too.
Music: I always get a bit fidgety, if someone grabs my i-pod and tries to listen to music.There are two sides to this phenomenon. One in college and other while visiting relatives.
College: During college i would have a few tamil saangs, which i really love. Some might be uncouth, and not hip enough.But hey I still loved them. Though I wouldn’t want others to know that I listen to tamil songs. Somehow I sensed that being honest about my taste’s in music wouldn’t go proper.
Visiting relatives: Similarly if my playlist consisted of 30% tamil saangs, the remaining would be a mixture of metal, audiobooks, progressive rock, pop and opera music. Now if my south Indian cousins would chance upon these weird range of collection, I still would feel out of place. I still haven’t figured out, why I try so hard not to be myself.
Now there is a side note to this too. The above literature was not an account of my alleged honesty. No. I hate people who want others to be as honest and outspoken as they are. Honesty must not be confrontational, it has to do with one’s comfort level.
May be those who confront theirs are just trying too hard to get noticed or accepted.
Just a stray thought.