Saturday, February 27, 2010

Closed Windows

i found this really very insulting when once travelling in the train my co-passenger, the Principal of a very prestigious school in Chennai remarked that i had nothing in me that reflected me being a Bihari.My very first reconnoitre with a left-handed compliment left me with a sense of being inadequate and also mirrored a major flaw in my character.i make people too comfortable to walk over me and really lack that smooth talker talent which smart people normally use to get back.i remember then how quiet i had become the entire journey and how embarrassed i felt for not being able to stand up for myself and My Bihar.i couldn't ascertain what prompted that compliment.Was it my fluency in language or my way of conducting myself or my appearance which many say resembles that of a Punjabi Kudi(Punjabi for young girl)? What was it?
Well this also brings me to another very close incident which happened a few years later and once again in the train when i was going to Patna for a short holiday.This person from Delhi not realising maybe that i was a Bihari was reprimanding his friend in his local lingo, who was messing up the area with peanut shells "kyun Bihariyon ki terah seat ki raid peet raha hai"(why are you littering /messing up the seat like a Bihari).Once again i was unable to utter-"What is so Bihari about your own individual choice in being uncivilised ?"
Many such incidents later and now in a mature position to talk about embarrassments and failings freely, i feel it grossly unfair to stereotype any region and make unjust declarations.Each region has it's own hue,it's own feel.Each region resonates with the sounds and smells typical of that region and each has it's fair share of good and bad.We all encounter rough behaviour oft an on and it can also happen in the most sophisticated places but it is not only uncouth to give it a regional name but also very separatist.
We often delight in making fun of the food,language,clothing of any region and it is as common as crow to talk about accents and mocking anyone who sounds the slightest bit different.If the party ridiculing us is at fault then i think it's shameful and cowardly to let it pass.No i don't mean to be aggressive or pick up a fight but to feel delighted about your own roots and proclaim who you are instead of running for cover.
Today when i recall that first train incident i have got my answer.It was nothing but my own low self esteem which had kept me tongue tied instead of asking-"What exactly do you mean with that maam?" or perhaps "what is so Chennaite in all those simpletons who came to see you off and have begged the TT to get you this lower berth and have bid you farewell humbly taking care that you are well provided for so far as food and drinks is concerned?"
i fail to see that the reason to have separate state for oneself is purely economical or purely political.Somewhere down the road each one of us is responsible.Considering our own to be best and looking down upon the rest, we sow the seeds of separatism within us and nurture this instead of weeding it out.Falling prey to manipulative leaders follows much later.Sometimes we flourish so much away from our homes and instead of feeling grateful we go on a rampage booing even that which deserves credit.It is sad to see the kind of North Indians Vs South Indians going on.And i often wonder have we been educated well enough or are we just glorified literares?


  1. This stems from complete insensitivity to other cultures and their preferences. Remember Alex Hailey's book Roots where he tells us how he was amazed at the concept of beauty in Africa being diametrically opposite to America? Since Bollywood rules preferences in India we seem to think of beauty through the eyes of Manish Malhotra.Stand up for Bihar young lady, Magadh was the citadel of ancient Indian civilisation and culture:)

  2. Thanks for getting me correct.And yes i do remember Alex Hailey now more than ever.Am definitely good now but also nurture the desire that as we move forward can't we stop nitpicking and truly appreciate and stop that i/we are better than you.:)