Wednesday, July 4, 2007

One Month After

I completed a month of working last week. And I have acquired a couple of things in the process. Of course, there is the salary. I have also found a friend in my colleague, M.

To have someone at your place of work to watch over you is important. Especially a woman friend is most nice. After all she is the best person who is likely to lend you a sanitary napkin (of the same brand that you use), should you need one.

I liked M, from the very first day I met her. For one, she went to the same college that I did. We even went to the same school, albeit different branches. Teachers, who gave us grief, make for fantastic lunch-time conversations.

Most critically, she is a very good journalist. And a brilliant and envy inducing writer. That is very important. It is years of conditioning. Tamizh-Brahmin snobbery, I suppose. One only associated self with people who were brighter than you. You know, in school it was the kind of people who could solve the most complex of mathematics problems faster than you. Or in college, those who knew more Shakespeare Sonnets than you did and would quote them at will and with immense feeling. It was like, if one also did breathe the same air that they did, it would magically rub off on you and lead to dramatic change in one’s own skills. So you become like a moon, basking on all the reflected light.

M is what people would call a Global Citizen. Her world-view is large. Her heart is big. And she loves the non Tamizh world too. She sings Hindi songs. She thinks that Iyengaar boys are better looking than Iyers. She did her Post-Graduation from Bombay. She had not heard of the movie Paruthiveeran till I told her about it. And she also thinks that going away to Bangalore is the best way to spend her weekend.

I can’t relate to any of that. But let’s just say I am not spoilt for choice here at work. So I have chosen to like her. At least, more often that not, we speak the same language.

However, I was wondering last week, why would she want to hang-out with me? I think, now I know.

I, she and a batch-mate from Journalism school went to see this play at the Museum Theatre, Flame of the Forest, based on Kalki Krisnamurthi’s novel, Sivagamiyin Sabatham. Of course it is a wonderfully nuanced story, seeped in Tamizhness and English can never do it adequate justice. But M kept whining all through. The sudden rains were a problem. The audi was a problem. The music and dance were a problem. And she kept referring to Sivakami as a moron. I found it annoying. How can we complain about North Indians making fun of Rajni, if we don’t love our heroes?

When we met at work on Monday, M tells me, you know I cannot wear my Tamizhness as a badge.

She is perceptive and I am not terribly subtle, I suppose.

Having spent a few years in the North of India, she thinks that being overtly Tamizh is both unattractive and also makes other people dub you a racist. When she was 20 and traveled from Bombay to Madras in a train, co-passengers would be shocked that she was from Madras, because she was pretty and fair. Rather, fair and therefore implied prettiness. That opened the world of non Tamizh to her.

And then she tells me that secretly she would love to have my little Tamizh world view, but simply cannot because she wants to please more number of people and be loved by them.

It is a bit strange. I somehow feel sorry for her that she must sing Hindi songs so that more people can be happy. But she is a very clever journalist. I hope to grow up and become like her. So, I must forgive her. I must like her also.

If she were a Hindi songs singing Tamizh boy, I would find it much more difficult to handle.

The good part is, I finally seem to have become somebody’s sun.


Robin Samuel said...

In a few years of "outside-Tamilnadu" life, you will also sing the same tune(i.e. story) as M.. Truth always take time to hit us.. [More we love the lies, the more time it takes].. :)

Anonymous said...

Nilu has quit, you should follow suit.
I would rather read M. She is fair.

avataram said...

Why worry so much about a girl who is full of misconceptions like iyengar boys are better looking than iyer boys? How can she be a good journalist if her opinions cloud her facts?

Thatha says the only somewhat goodlooking iyengar boy he can remember is C Rajagopalachariar and that too when he had some hair.

I said...

Seceding from India is the only hope for Thamizh Nadu.

Anonymous said...

What if you needed to work elsewhere? Out of Tamizhland? What if you were packed off as wife to some dumbass NRI?

Very likely illaiya?

Paruthiveeran said...

isn't it normal that a blogger will actually reply to comments that he/she gets?

Anonymous said...

Tamil people are ugly and hateful.

Anonymous said...

Nilu sold his blog to Asal Penn.

Toxi said...

Paavum you. Constantly being hated can't be very good.

Toxi said...

But don't let any of that bother you! :)

Vendakkai said...

Everyone can hate you. You are better off without them anyway. But I don't hate you.

the hawk said...


Another fucking Madrasi elitsit bitch. Somebody kill all of you.

Though you are cuter than some of the others.

I said...

north indians are all lower caste people.

the hawk said...

Are you high?

I said...

Definitely. Your constipation-causing roti, language, buffoon clothes, music, movies, people are all disgusting and pretentious. And you try to impose that on everyone else. I seriously hope all of North India goes down to an earthquake.

To be fair to you, your grandmothers were raped my the Mughals and that's why you all turn out to be suck jerks. But then.

Anonymous said...

this blog reminds me of nilu

sharadjaiswal said...

Dear Tamizh Penn

I have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and have always found the writing to be funny, cute and with insightful surprises. Your depiction of things around you is sweet and perceptive.

I wish the comments were a fraction as good though. I have never come across a blog with such nice posts, yet such weird and negative comments.


Anonymous said...

ya ya!

i've seen that these tamizh makkal who get to stay in some "seth" state get a kinda condescending view of tamizh and tamizh makkal.


Anonymous said...

i sokka sonna ba. indha indhi kara loosungalai enna dhaan pandradhu?
Tamizh ponnu, kalakkarama neeyi. Apdiye maintain pannu.
Flame of forest stage panninadhu Hindu employee Gowri Ramanarayan dhaane. Free-ya ticket kuduthangala?

Namrata said...

being someone's sun is awesome.
i'm happy for you.