Saturday, April 09, 2005

Fat rice, Bad aatta, Worse attitudes

Went to work one Saturday. I am a summer Intern here, so had to oblige. Thin attendance as it's Saturday and most of the guys working here are nursing hangovers, split jaws, black eyes etc. after Friday night's jam sessions at various bachelor pads.

I am 'invited' to sit with a motley bunch who originate from the north of the Vindhyas as I am the only 'bakra' from my dept working today. There are males and females and other persuasions at the lunch table.

The conversation is polite as a Southie like me is 'accommodated' by the gracious hospitality of the northies who have deigned to invite a Dravidian to their august table.

Mr A: "You like rice" arched eyesbrows, disdainful eyes on the humble grains of rice on my plate.
Me: "yes, I am a riceaholic"
Mr J: " Rice is so.....( he fumbles for word) so South Indian. Has no 'bitamins'. Only 'staaarch'.Wheat you know gives energy, good baady..."
Ms C: " you know, I am finding out that the more black the maid , the better she works!" Everyone laughs.

Mr A:" You know my parents came down and my mummyji had such a hard time getting good 'atta'. The 'atta' here is so bad. Back home in 'Dilli' the 'atta' is so good."

Ms C:" Bangalore is such a dull place. It's so boring and you peeple are not at all social!I used to have so much fun in Jhansi."

Me:" There is a lot happening in Bangalore. All you need is a good bunch of friends and the mood to party."
Ms C: ( cups her finger over Mr A's ears and says ) "chee I am not spending my weekend partying with madrasi's."

"Oh, by the way , you don't look at all south Indian.More like a Punjabi." She smiles condescendingly. I have just been made a honorary North Indian!

Mr. J: "Have you tasted the rice these Malayalees eat? God! the grains are so fat! Don't know how these guys eat them. Do you know educated south Indians are now eating chappati's?"

I almost choke on my food. My ears are burning and my hands are twitching to slap the smug faces.

Me(a trifle tightly): "why don't you guys work closer to home...Gurgaon for instance is full of IT companies."
Mr J: "No, no, I live too far from Gurgaon in Lucknow."
Ms C: " And I live in Jhansi almost 100 kilometres from Gurgaon."
I look expectantly at Mr A from 'dilli'.He clears his throat and says smoothly." Oh, I have done XYZ technology and this company is the only one in India where XYZ application is used."

I get up and say "well looks like you guys are well and truly stuck here.But if you are serious about moving North, do let me know. I have a classmate in a placement agency in Delhi who will be happy to oblige you."

There is general consternation.

Them:"Sure, sure we will let you know."
Me(muttering to myself): "Sure when hell freezes over."

Now I don't mean to hurt anybody by this post, but this attitude is humiliating. And then they complain of being marginalised here!

22 comments:

Anoop MohanKumar said...

In total agreement with you.
First:
sounthies don't live on trees.
We do other stuff than plought the fields.

I too have a friend at work, who cannot address anybody without a "Bhiddu" preceding the name. My medicine for him is, speak only in English.You see they give up soon when there is no response for their lingo.

silverine said...

Grateful supplication in front of my southie anscestors for the fortune of working with these superor beings X-(

silverine said...

Here's a reaction to my blog.

http://anidealboy.blogspot.com/

Sinfully Pinstripe said...

True, yes, I will agree. And xenophobic, too. Very.

But...

I am sure you have seen the reverse of this too, haven't you? And haven't you criticised delhiites for their lack of culture? Haven't you raised a hue and cry about them incessently listening to "dardi rabrab kar di" and similarly gross peices of cacophony? And like the northies would consider anyone from the south as madraasis, the southies are equally prone to dismiss everyone from the north of the vindhyas as the vile treacherous speciaes called north-indians, who have come here to pillage our wealth and rape our daughters.

Cannot deny that, can you? Criticisms welcome.

silverine said...

Hi! ginsoaked boy, thanks for your comments.But you have to admit that we southies learnt to criticise after suffering in silence for years. Yes we do all that you say,but it is because we are fed up of being on the other end of the short stick for so long.

Sinfully Pinstripe said...

The Northies will claim the vice versa.

We all love the feel of getting victimised and thus cribbing. I could cry foul for the rest of my life, because I am neither a northie nor a southie, and could assume a dagger on my back all the while.

Jagan said...

fat rice , bad atta ...cant agree more :-) . u kno mes a sowrastrian ( i kno u never wud believe me ) . so i am the odd man out when i hand out with ppl from chennai/bangalore etc bcos am northie ..and the northies think am madrasi ..

silverine said...

@jagan: You are more of a southie than a northie. And thats why you identify with this post :)

Deppe said...

Nice post. Reminds me of the time I was told by a northy that I have a "berry punny accent"

silverine said...

@deppe: Thats cos he went to iskool while u and me went to school! lol

akshay said...

just shoot the motherfuckers. ask them to take a visa app for s india...complete with an icse english test and a verbal interview. please set up IT in gurgaon or whichever gaon so that they fuck off. or learn to respect the local culture.

ever wonder why the southies struggle in hindi while the northies refrain from kannada?

silverine...i don't think that idealboy idiot has mastered the art of formatting...or using the latin script for english...

ps. my dad's north indian. he hates them too. i think he wishes he were 'madrasi'

silverine said...

@Akshay: Thanks for dropping in :) Things are better now, specially since the Internet has highlighted the divide and the reason, plus us bloggers have blogged about it. The feeling has sunk in that we don't like their attitude. Three cheers to bloggers.

revati said...

its just really interesting to see how us south indians manage to adapt and without much complaining where ever we go, for whatever reasons. but they come here for better jobs, better life that their backward 'cities' and town can offer, and then have the balls to sit and complain.

there should be a law, with certain unattainable prerequisites for a northy to be allowed to move to the south.

silverine said...

@Revati: Exactly, we learnt Hindi when we had to go to the North to work, learnt to make chapathi's and channa and were richer by the exp. But alas the reverse never happened, we are still the untouchable, dark lowlife. And what is worse is that they are settling here enmasse.

Rodent said...

Thanks for dropping by :)

Its not usually we(southie) who begin the northie southie divide. Most of the time we try to be accomodating. But these northies are very rude when it comes to accomodating a single southie into their groups.

I've visited almost all the states in India and I should say that south indian streets and trains are way cleaner and friendlier. I think that by itself reflects how civilized we southies are?

In north if you don't know hindi they will just look down upon you. While in south you dont know the local language we try to communicate in hindi.

Northies somehow believe that they are more superior to all us southie, but I think thats totally DUMB! There is a limit to where hospitality can be flexed beyond which it breaks.

incaRed said...

This attitude is so irritating. Instead of trying to clear their misconceptions, I just give them a shot of their own medicine. Helps them understand better. :-)

v1p3r, nice to see you here. :-)

claytonia vices said...

Racists! >:-(

MaYtH!! said...

Just bumped into this blog.... coincidentally I'd just finished ranting about this in mine.

Alameen said...

Initially i had this problem when team meetings used to be in Hindi.. End of the meeting i used to demand for a minutes of meeting just to understand what happened in the meeting.. :)

It was difficult initially..and it took 2 years for me to start speaking hindi..

Even now when i speak malayalam to a fellow malayali, some ppl complain without realizing that I speak Hindi to them...

ATTITUDE...

shrek said...

When in rome, speak as the romans do they say. Studying in mumbai, southies were taunted for not knowing "proper hindi". In Bangalore, they complain about not getting north indian food. Oh, and otherwise they are very nice people. Inherent racism I guess.
Ah well, books have been/can be written about this.

PS: Hilarious blog, just that a random post I felt like commenting on

M@mma Mi@ said...

True…true…and absolutely true..the northies treat the southies as if they are some aadivasis...having been living in the middle of northy culture for some years…man o’ man..they find fault with the big fat rice,the bad aatta,coconut oil,lack of metropolitan culture etc.etc.…and believe me or not,even for darker skin. One of the comments from my northy friend after watching the movie,”Wake up Sid” :’ the heroine is really dark…she looks southie…” what should I say…?

aborrowedbackpack.com said...

Oh my God! What a horrid bunch! I am feeling ashamed of being a Northie now.
I just hope all of us rise above northie and southie debate and live happily ever after. :)