We grow up fed with a lot of ideas about things, in general. A lot of Indians would like to believe that we keep the culture flag flying high, Americans have no values, a woman who prefers traditional sarees to comfortable western wear is ideal wife material any day, men who smoke and drink are bad people who decent girls ought to keep safe distance from, and oh yes, dating is scandalous.
In the same vein we Indians love to tear our country into bits, and have inane ideas about the different sects of people who habit these myriad bits. I was never a believer of these- but some of the outrageous/hilarious/commonplace ones, I would share.
Hand-me-down thoughts and the influence they have on the way we think and act these days!
Coming from Chennai, I would start with this. Tamil boys are the most decent of all men out there. Chennai girls cannot speak English and cannot leave home without their malli-poos. Bengalis are dirty, smelly folks who love their fish and cannot eat/sleep/live without them. Delhi boys are to be shunned by decent south Indian girls because they all think about is ‘only one thing’. People from Bihar are uncultured brutes who you can never trust with anything. Malayalee girls, are always ready, anytime, anywhere, for ‘it’. Maharashtrians are rude, snobbish people who would never give a thought about anybody except folks who speak Marathi. Oh, and don’t get me started on the Sardarji jokes.
Now, where on earth did these notions come from?
I definitely did not make them up- these are views put forth by friends of mine- and I can boast of a big circle of them, from all over the country. And it is very saddening/ heartening to say that- every-single-one of these I could negate. My opinions are the result of a very miniscule sample population, and would be insignificant as well. But nevertheless I simply HAVE to say that- Gaurav from Kolkata is one of the smartest men I know, who comes up with the best one liners I have heard till date. He is one of the best dressed people at work, and his nails are always clean. Delhi boys might, on paper, do anything for ‘it’, but all the Delhi-Punjabi boys I have known, have always been sensitive to what their women want and don’t want, and have never, not once, manipulated/influenced/thrust their wants on them. Gaurav, from Bihar, is the one person we would never, ever, plan any trip without- simply because he is the one man we all feel safest with. He is patient, sensible, and knows when the party has to wrap up. He is like the mother hen of our gang- or, Daddy ..Hen? Ok I will stop the poultry talk here. I know 3 girls from Kerala, and not one of them remotely resembles Shakila, in thought, manner or bearing. Enough said. And I have the second highest number of friends in Pune, after Chennai, and every single time I land there, I am welcomed and showered with so much love- by, sometimes the very same Kokanastha Brahmins who every non-resident calls the bane of Maharashtra.
In the end, it is not as much the perceptions that are the issue. It runs deeper than that. To the extent that, such repelling ideas would dictate the way we behave with these – normal people- who we have no knowledge about, except that his or her second name is- say, Joshi or Sharma or Bannerjee or Balan. This- again- is no cock-n-bull story that I have made up. The moment a fellow Indian, from another state sets foot into Chennai, he is given the look, scrutinized, branded, and left to his own resources. I know that I get the same treatment too, the moment I leave the Delhi or Mumbai airport- but isn’t that what we need to change? Be the change!
By the way, I deliberately did not use certain words, because of outrageous stats that feedjit has been giving me, like this.