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!