Aug 26, 2009

Whats in a surname

Let me on the onset admit that this is not a review of any movie but the fact is that I saw Kaminey last week and loved it to the core. It’s THE movie of recent times for sure. It had just the right combination of everything and made a perfect treat for hungry eyes, ears and minds.
A fistful of darkness
Liberal sprinkle of humor
Loads of guffaws
Earful of lovely music
Mouthful of awesome lyrics
2 hours of hot masala
And Tears to taste (for insane people like me, who can cry seeing a cute hero getting beaten up!)
All these made to simmer over brilliant direction made for something not to be missed.
But then this dish is like the continental and exotic serve. Either you have the taste for it and will love it. Or you will not! Simple. There have been a couple of my friends who have felt let down and have been found exclaiming “paisa bhi hum kharch karein aur bheja bhi? “ (Meaning why should we spend money as well as brains? ;) You get the drift!
I will not go into the storyline or a review here since I feel too inadequate for that. I am not one of those who can observe and comment on the nuances. You can read many of the brilliant posts already published.
The point of the post here is one among the many points which was raised in the movie- that of division on the basis of region.
I have already written once against the anti-north-indian attitude of certain politicians in Maharashtra. This movie beautifully brings forth the issue without dwelling too much upon it and yet making sure that it makes its presence felt.
But isn’t it true in our everyday affairs to categorize a person solely based on his surname and/or region, especially so in India. This categorization is not on the basis of external characteristics but more on traits.
I remember my growing up years in Delhi. My father had a shrewd, calculating, bully of a colleague who also happened to be a Sindhi. Needless to say, one of the favorite dialogues mouthed by my father was “trust a snake, but never trust a Sindhi” while I listened attentively and processed the information for future usage!
My father being a Palakkad Iyer, obviously has good words for his brethren. Oh, they are the neatest lot and the most hardworking at that.
After shifting to Mumbai, I started attending my PG classes. During one of the classes the Maharashtrian teached started rattling off in Marathi in answer to a query from a student. He did not even bother to notice that a few of us could hardly make head or tail of the conversation! Irked by this, one of my Tamil friends remarked “These marathi people are just so ill mannered. They start chattering in their language irrespective of other people around”.
It was quite ironic that years later, another of my juniors, who happened to be a Marathi, and working in Chennai, called me up and started complaining over the same issue- that in meetings, everyone starts speaking in Tamil while she has to look around clueless!
How can I forget to mention Gujjus. When I got to stay in Gujarat, there were ofcourse the typical statements like “oh these lazy gujjus. They sleep all through the afternoon!” Or, “These people live to eat”.
Ever wondered why is it that certain traits are attributed to regions?
Why is it that Maths teachers are generally Tamilians? Why are nurses and stenos from Kerala? Why are the most famous singers of Bollywood from Bengal? Why are most of the successful businessmen from Gujarat? Why are many of the soldiers from Gurkhaland?
Maybe regions do have an effect on the nature. Could it be that climatic conditions play a role in conditioning all this? Or is it the food habits that have been passed from generation to generation? Is it the traditions, the customs behind the display of such typical characteristics?
Here is the summary of various tidbits I collected based partly on hearsay and partly by observation.
1. Punjabi (Punjus)
Loving, believe in PDA (public display of affection), exhibitionists, Spend more than they can afford (you can see from their grand marriages)
2. Biharis
Polite Hindi speaking, more inclined towards public services and politics, hardworking.
3. Malayalees ( Mallus)
Systematic, Neat, Short-tempered, would readily help other mallus, a clos community.
4. Maharashtrians (Marathis)
Culture loving, fanatics (for good and for bad), extremely loyal to their state.
5. Bengalis (Bongs)
Like Marathis, these people love their state, language and culture, artistically oriented, a bit loud, believe-in-me-first, again a close community
6. Gujratis (Gujjus)
Laid back, great business mind, live-to-eat, loud
7. Tamilians (madrasi)
Religious, artistically inclined, good sloggers, timid (save a few politicians), too rigid, less tolerant.
There are exceptions to the rules but I feel that nature of a person is the resultant of the environment he is growing up in and that very well constitutes the region.
But having said all the above, the fact remains that India of today is changing for sure. There are people like me who are basically metro-born-and bred, who have mixture of habits borrowed from all around. So, this hybrid breed is surely breaking all the rules that have no basis. And till such time, this hybrid breed takes over India, we will keep having fight between states and our neighbours would keep using such differences as a weapon against us!
Jai Ho!
Take a look at this for a hilarious note on mallu habits
As for Bongs, read this for a good laugh

p.s. the mudra on the header is mine... some 20 years back. Gosh, even I cant believe it!


Aug 15, 2009

This and That : When swine flew!

The alarm clock started singing mauja hi mauja. I hit it hard on its head and went back to sleep. And down went my walking plans for the nth time! So there! This is what happens if I let a little break creep into my nicely laid out routine life…and then the break becomes my routine. You get the drift. Yeah I am a routine freak. Newton would have loved to have me as a sample – a creature who loves to be in the state of whatever-state-she-is-in! But one fine day it dawned upon me that I have this tiny whiny cyberspace. So, now I just need to break this state of laziness; of setting-alarm-and-shutting-it-up-and-sleeping-back, carting-myself-to-work-to-get-bored, back-home-and-ofcos-sleep-again with nothing in between. And what could be better than scribbling on my blog.

Well, where do I begin? OK, I want to confess that I am one of those who got into panic due to recent flu in the town. But, it was certainly not on the day I read about the poor young little girl Reida, who was the first (recorded) victim of this swinest swine flu. Pune still seemed quite far off from Mumbai. But, the day I got to know that a class 12th student in the very school my kids go to, has contacted this virus and has been rushed to Kasturba hospital, thats the day I got my first panic attack. Somehow, it felt too close now. I admit, that I was one of those who paid an exorbitant 25 rs for masks which actually are worth only 5-10. But ofcourse, now I am recovering from the panic attack. I am seeing to it that hands are washed often with soap and water, lots of fluid intake is happening and overall hygiene s maintained in the household. Besides that certain herbs like turmeric and tulsi are being used more! I guess, awareness is the key. And here goes my prayer to the Almighty to cause no more deaths due to this viral attack.

That brings me to another point. I wanted to see Kaminey so very badly! But it will release in Mumbai only on monday. Sigh! Let me see if I can catch hold of tickets for monday then.

BTW, to all those who kept banging the doors of this sleeping blog to check if I am fine, you people are a sweetheart and hopefully I will be more regular now. To all those who tagged me, you people are also sweethearts for still having hopes on me :-), I will do them soon!

Oh yeah, and I bought a treadmill. Hopefully walking will happen more often now. and hope the same for blogging ;)

Heres wishing all a very happy independance day. Lets hope we learn to become more responsible citizens and India shines in the real sense of the word.


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