Friday, May 2, 2008

The Drama of North And South

Cultures and people of north India and south India are as different as chalk and cheese; seems to be an understatement. And who better than a south Indian living in North India to tell the tale. I've been In Delhi since my birth and have seen the city in all its colors. I will call it neither beautiful nor Ugly, but somewhere in between, tilting day by day to the uglier side. But who are the People living in Delhi. If I put it in percentage; out of all the people I met, 0.002% call themselves 'Pure Dilliwallas' (please, no need to admire my statistical skills; I know!!!). Rest all are migrants from here, there, somewhere. And again if I let my statistics do the talking, around 40% are from south India.

“MADRAS IS (was, actually; now Chennai) IN TAMIL NADU, and THAT IS NOT WHERE I HAIL FROM”; is what I had to shout out whenever called 'Madrasi'. That is what all South Indians are called. Though not a derogatory word, it just does not feel good. To be honest, in this context, I was far more luckier than many of my south Indian counterparts. Living in Delhi from the start, I am quite fluent in Hindi, with no dripping of that peculiar south Indian accent from my words. So, until I don't specify that I am a south Indian, no body knows I am one. “CHEERS”. What; well of course I am a proud South Indian, a Keralite to be precise; but I don't like to be called a 'Madrasi'. I knew few kids in school who were fresh imports from south India and were terrible with Hindi. Though grammatically, they were better than most. Result, they were all stereotyped as 'Madrasis' and often taunted.
And politely, the victim said, “I am from Karnataka, not Tamil Nadu”, making them a bigger 'hassi ka patr'.

That's the uglier side of being a south Indian in Delhi. But there is a beautiful face of it as well. You are thought to be more intelligent, more cultured, more hard working and after meeting me, far more smarter as well. (To be a member of Self Appreciation Society, Call ME). And in your hometown, you are considered sophisticated and modern and snazzy, and all that. One of my friends, who was from north-east, and a real dude; was always up there on the taunt meter, leading the way. But he told me once, that he does it to not feel alone when called 'chinki', a ridiculously irritating word. It made me notice that south Indians are not the only once picked on; almost everybody has a nickname they got because of their native place.

Of all the instances I have seen in my life, thank God, most of them were said and taken in sporting spirit. But still, people STOP IT!!!!!!


Shubhajit May 3, 2008 at 6:39 AM  

its better to remain alone than mix with crowd...u have a good sense of humour and u nicely put it down in ur words...

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