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Monday, September 19, 2011

Open Letter to No One in Particular

The battlelines drawn by the mad Madrasan has Delhi Boy’s jockeys in a twist but what got my goat was the term MADRASAN. How derogatory is that? Just when everyone south of the Vindhyas had nicely got used to being called MADRASI by Goldy and Pinky up north, we suddenly get relabeled like old wine in a new bottle -transported from familiar surroundings to new territory and for what?! So that #madrasan can trend on twitter?!! Nevermind MADRASAN sounds like ‘she who attends a Madrasa’ and could open a whole can of worms with its communal overtones.

For every Fendi-clutching, Manolo Blahnik-tottering, blonde streaked ‘Dahli-ite’, there is a long-tressed wise Madrasi who orders Zara on sale from Baby Uncle in the US. And for every tight-shirted Delhite clawing his way up the Harvard Review there is a Madrasi who breaks a coconut at a Rajni shrine. It takes all types except the average Dahlite will insist his dad sups with Manmohan and his Mummyji does her weekly grocery shopping in Paris. The average ‘Madrasi’ can only feebly wave her dad’s Phd degree and colour–coordinate her mum’s pattu saari collection.

It’s a losing battle; we cannot match up to the Dahlite’s standards. We cannot dream of purchasing Bentley convertibles and running over sleeping beggars. And it is all because amma and amma keep our salaries locked in trust funds that will magically crack open when the Doomsday clock strikes the nth hour. We cannot party, drink (aaiyo) or hang out with unsavory types, that usually boosters your reputation no end on the college circuit, because amma has a GPS tracker embedded below our epidermis.

So what hope do we have of meeting the Dahli boy on his turf? So what if we can discuss rocket propulsion and the finer nuances of a Monet in the same breath. Or Jayalalitha’s gold bathroom fittings and the latest Sun TV serial for that matter - We can’t flash the cash and that’s that. Unless you count our big fat gold weddings…..

BOOKS I READ/AM READING: 'Alex’s Adventures in Numberland': I have never come across a book that made math so much fun and well…so idiot-proof;) Ouch. Unless you count Feyman of course. Makes me want to crack open Euclid’s….now THAT’S saying a lot. Other Recommended Reads: 'Madame Bovary' (forgotten how many times I have read it) and the ever-entertaining, so, so brilliant Tharoor tour de force ‘Great Indian Novel’, not to mention Du Maurier’s earliest work that has mysteriously surfaced ‘The Doll and Other Stories’ (Dark, somber and a bit gauche but it is her early work).

PS: Hell’s Bells….I just googled ‘Madrasan’ on Google (Images Options) and no points for guessing what I got.


LAK said...

Thought provoking---though I was resigned to the whole madrasi thing, it still rankles a bit! I used to follow your blog, and then sort of lost you---did you migrate to some other site? Found the familiar pic on The Punnery, and promptly re-added you to my blogroll! Please write in here more often!

The Upstairs Blogger said...

Where art thou, R??
This simply isn't done- you cannot not blog anymore no matter what period.

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