Skip to content

Who am I?

March 30, 2009

After hours and hours of deep introspective thought and cosmic cogitation, I have come to the conclusion that I am 30 % Tamilian, 50 % Malayalee, 10 % Telugu, 5 % Kannada and 5 % Marathi.

Please don’t snigger at the implications guys!!! I am serious and I spent many hours thinking because a dear friend of mine, Mr. ND gave me an ultimatum two days back, “Arre miya, tu pehle decide kar ki tu kidar se hai karke” (Hey bro, please decide as to where you are from).

The problem (as per him) is that, when I meet Tamilians, I ingratiate with them saying that I am a Tamilian, and I do the same with Mallus, Telugus and Kannadigas!!!! When people talk about Chennai, Tirupati, Cochin, Trivandrum, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Bangalore, Mumbai or Vellore, I always end up saying that it is my city, my gaawn and people get confused.

Where or how do I start? My dad is from Chennai, but his ancestors used to live in Tirupati. Most of my paternal family members are in Chennai but those old Telugu connections are always visible even though we speak Tamil at home. My Granddad (May your soul rest in peace) spent his childhood in AP and anything Telugu was dear to him. I remember as a child, I had to suffer multiple TV programs even when I did not understand a word of what they said and my “Official Native place” is a village called “Nagapudi” on the TN-AP border.

My Mom is from Palakkad in Kerala and most of my moms relatives are in Kerala and I have lived a lot of my life in Kerala as well. Similarly, I have also lived “enough” in Bangalore and Mumbai to claim roots!!!

So when I was pondering over this issue, while I was wolfing down a couple of well deserved “Grilled Stuffed Burritos” at “Taco Bell”, I saw this sign:

No, but that was not good enough. Hence, I decided to follow another approach as shown below:

Thinking “Ouside the Pav” gave me the above answer; that I am 30 % Tamilian, 50 % Malayalee, 10 % Telugu, 5 % Kannada, 5 % Marathi.

But if I tell this to ND, he would probably take the next available plane from Mumbai to come here to kill me. So what do I tell him?
Maybe I could tell him that I am nameless, faceless nomad still in search of an identity….


Or Maybe, I could tell him that I am like a blot, some black ink on a white piece of paper, still visualizing things in monochrome, always on the quest!!!

What ever I tell him, ND’s mental processors are going to burn out!!!!!!!! 😛 LOL…. I should probably call him today!!!
PS: If you guys are interesting in knowing, FR is the tall lanky guy on the extreme left, in the first photo….. 🙂 yo
Advertisements
49 Comments leave one →
  1. Bones permalink
    March 30, 2009 4:47 am

    “Who am I” I thought the next line would be “Why am I here” – very existentialist…I think most Indians face your dilemma…I am a full blooded Bengali – my dad is from Kolkata (his ancestors came from a village called Memmari which even my grandfather had never visited)…My mother is from Delhi – her family moved from Lahore to Delhi in 1911…Her great-great grandfather moved from a town called Konnagar in W.B. to Lahore…Due to my father’s work, we moved a lot in India and abroad…So, I don’t know where I am from…I don’t really have roots anywhere…

  2. Quirky Indian permalink
    March 30, 2009 4:49 am

    “I am 30 % Tamilian, 50 % Malayalee, 10 % Telugu, 5 % Kannada and 5 % Marathi.”

    But 100% Indian at the end of the day!

    Cheers,

    Quirky Indian

  3. Anrosh permalink
    March 30, 2009 5:08 am

    as globalisation increases so does amalgamation.

    steel is stronger than iron 🙂

  4. Vinod_Sharma permalink
    March 30, 2009 5:19 am

    Great to hear that you are not “all American” already! Like Bones says, many of us don’t have roots anywhere.
    One thing has never failed to surprise me. Americans have all kinds of roots. They remember them but their main identity is that they are Americans. If Barack Obama, by any chance had been in India, he would certainly have gone bonkers trying to figure out his identity similarly in percentage terms…Indian? 0%!

  5. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 30, 2009 5:21 am

    LOL Bones, your case seems to be more confusing than mine…. 🙂
    Amen!!! no other words…. 🙂

    QI,
    That goes without saying…. 🙂 yes, 101 % Indian…. 🙂

    Anrosh,
    LOL… yes, good line, I liked it…. 🙂 Thanks…..

  6. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 30, 2009 5:22 am

    Vinod Sir,

    Offcourse, I am not “all american”…. 🙂 i mean I am 0 % american…. 🙂

    and LOL about last line…. 🙂
    but I have no doubts…… me desi…. 🙂

  7. kanagu permalink
    March 30, 2009 5:40 am

    Chennai, chennai and chennai… thats what I can talk… but yours is very different and nice. As QI has said we are 100% Indians 🙂

  8. Kislay permalink
    March 30, 2009 5:54 am

    Shat pratishat Bhartiya !

  9. Aathira permalink
    March 30, 2009 6:11 am

    Outside the Pav ! Ha ha !

    I am 100% malayalee!

  10. Happy Kitten permalink
    March 30, 2009 7:48 am

    and you are a living proof that amalgamation can be great!

    you endear to the hearts of all Indians irrespective of their states….

    Jai Ho!

  11. Winnie the poohi permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:17 am

    Ahh you are multi grounded persona 😀 😀

    Like me 😀 😀

    My moms kannadiga with roots in AP ( Anananthapur district)
    My dads tamil..

    We lived in Mumbai for 22 years.. Am more comfy in hindi marathi and gujrati then I cud ever be in kannada or tamil 😀

    I dunno what to claim.. My moms family is well conversant in telegu as well as Kannada..

    Phew!

    *same pinch*

  12. Rakesh Vanamali permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:27 am

    You should be damn proud to be so cosmopolitan!

  13. hitch writer permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:42 am

    ditto with rakesh !

  14. Smitha permalink
    March 30, 2009 10:45 am

    Ajit, This is so very true to a lot of us Indians.. Most of us do not have an ‘official native’ any more 🙂 But we are lucky to have such a diverse cultural experince aren’t we? Where else in the world would most people speak , at the very least 3 languages?

    One of my British colleagues used to be amazed how easily we shift between languages, even merge 2 totally different languages:)

    As so many others have already commented – its wonderful to be 100% Indian!

    ‘Outside the Pav’ – loved it!!

  15. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 30, 2009 12:30 pm

    🙂 KAnagu, Cheers… 🙂

    Absolutely agree Kislay!!!! 🙂

    🙂 Aathira… 🙂

    Thanks Happy Kittens… 🙂 JAi ho to you as well… 🙂

    LOL Winnie… 🙂 same pinch… 🙂
    complicated is what it is… 🙂

    Thanks Rakesh!!!

    Yo Dhiru Bhai, Thanks….

    Hey Smitha,
    Yes, we are fortunate indeed to have a multi cultural background… 🙂
    LOL at your British collegues… 🙂 and yes Thanks!!

  16. Indyeah permalink
    March 30, 2009 12:40 pm

    LOL@outside the pav!:D only OG can look at a taco bell sign and come up with one of his own lines:D

    ”I have come to the conclusion that I am 30 % Tamilian, 50 % Malayalee, 10 % Telugu, 5 % Kannada and 5 % Marathi.”

    wah! what a calculation!:D
    I am still trying to figure out mine:D

    but yes like another commentor said you are lucky and should be proud to have so many places and so no one can claim you as their own and neither can you :PP

    great na!?:D
    so you belong to India and India belongs to you:)))

    I also have no native place as such left..I merely mention the last place our family was ‘seen’ in :D:D

    we are nomads now as everyone else here I suppose…

    and as QI says 100% Indian and nothing else…which is why we are not going to be the inherotors of any one place but of India and maybe the world:))

    great pics BTW after I almost went blind trying to figure it out:PP

    the great FR is revealed:D
    and of you we know only the back of a head:D

    lol! and now that graph like pic:P
    thats yours right?:D

  17. Indyeah permalink
    March 30, 2009 12:41 pm

    my comment deserves to be in the guiness book btw…:PP
    so darn detailed:P

  18. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 30, 2009 12:44 pm

    LOL indyeah…..:)

    yeah, your comments do need to be preserved
    till posterity…. 🙂 😛 😛

    LOL at taco bell… 🙂
    ——–
    so you belong to India and India belongs to you:)))
    ——–
    🙂 yes, I agree……

    Yes, the great FR is revealed… so am I…. 🙂
    I am the second from left guy on that pic…. and I am definitely the guy in the second pic…. 🙂

    My experiments with Gimp software….:)

  19. Indian Home Maker permalink
    March 30, 2009 2:06 pm

    Loved this post!! This is my dilemma too 🙂

    And my kids are worse, they will never be able to relate to or agree to having roots from all the places they genetically hail in India 🙂 We taught them to say they are Indians as kids (because we are always being asked this question in India)

    Even in my blogger profile I have written India, India, India.

    So good to see there are others in similar quandary!

  20. J P Joshi permalink
    March 30, 2009 4:27 pm

    Enjoyed reading the post but have some questions though. How did you come to these percentages is what is intriguing me? “I am serious and I spent many hours thinking”. What algorithm??, is that what you software guys call it, did you use.

    This seems like the white colour combination – VIBGYOR, so many colours to make 100% white. So, in your case, “30 % Tamilian, 50 % Malayalee, 10 % Telugu, 5 % Kannada and 5 % Marathi” ALL this to make 100% Indian.

    All of us will have different combinations but would yet reach the 100% Indian result…this is awesome….betters the law of nature!!!

  21. Mannu permalink
    March 30, 2009 4:37 pm

    Ah, at the one with a very clear knowledge of his natives!
    i m 100% benarasi, from my parental background. and, myself little mobile due to job, i still continue to be 100% hindi speaking, north indian, with no gene-doping.
    Genetically speaking, i believe, it’s not good that way. gene need to be challenged by another to keep themselves fit, strong and going.
    Your case comforms with the suggestions of modern genetics.:-)

  22. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 30, 2009 5:13 pm

    Thanks IHM… 🙂 and yes, teaching children to say that they are Indian is the best…. 🙂 and LOL about last line!!!

    JPJ Sir,
    No Sir, I did not need any software or algorithm for that… 😛 just some normal cultural calculations…. 🙂 LOL
    yeah, They make up to be 100 % Indian… and that is what is important….. 🙂

    Mannu, 🙂 Thanks…
    Genetically speaking, I would not fit that pattern…. 🙂 but yes, India is in our blood…. 🙂

  23. Solilo permalink
    March 30, 2009 5:52 pm

    This is my dilemma too and have been hearing it my whole life living a life of a nomad.

    I sometimes fit into a crowd because I grew up in the place they belong to but my mother tongue is different. So many people take offense that I am trying to be something else. It gets confusing and more so for my daughter who is an American by birth and I know in India she is always going to be questioned and scrutinized for her accent, for her expertise on her mother tongue. You know the whole judgmental way of looking at things.

    I really don’t care. I am an Indian and proud of it but I don’t mind adapting to various culture and also adopting goodness from all, Indians and Americans as well.

    So may be I am a global citizen.

  24. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 30, 2009 5:55 pm

    Solilo, you are Indian to the core… 🙂 from what I know…. i.e. since you have lived in all parts of our country…. 🙂

    but Yes, as you rightly pointed out, your daughters accent is going to under scrutiny and her Indianess will be under question… it happens all the time…. 😦 I have seen it…

    you wanted to see a photo of mine and I have posted it…. 🙂 though morphed….. 🙂 LOL

  25. Ajith permalink
    March 30, 2009 6:57 pm

    Who am I?? Even Buddha and Sankara searched for the same question’s answer.
    Mohan lal in Aram Thampuran 🙂

    I think I am 101% malayalee even though 1/3 rd of my life outside the state .

  26. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 30, 2009 7:28 pm

    LOL regarding Mohanlal…. 😛

    yes, aliya, all of us are in the search…. 🙂

  27. Solilo permalink
    March 30, 2009 8:45 pm

    Oh yeah photo! Sundarakuttappan in monochrome. Ha..ha.ha..

    BTW Ajith (the other one), was Mohanlal’s quest in Aaram Tampuran or Aham? I loved Aham.

  28. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 30, 2009 8:48 pm

    Ayyoo Solilo…. 🙂 you just crack me up with your kidilam malayalam skills…. 🙂

    😛 LOL

  29. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 30, 2009 8:51 pm

    i have not seen aham, but lalettan is on a search in aaram thanpuran…. 🙂 for his tharavadu identity….. 🙂

  30. Renu permalink
    March 31, 2009 4:03 am

    Though we dont have roots like that but since we have lived almost 5yrs each in Bihar, WB, MP ,south ,Maharashtra, we thoroughly cosmo people and pride ourselves on being Indian first. My H truely takes the benefit of this by ingratiating with people from any of these states saying..ham bhi wahin se hain:)

    and thats why I was very shocked and hurt to read somewhere that they hate Hindi and hindi people.

  31. Ajith permalink
    March 31, 2009 4:31 am

    @solio – I was referring to a dialogue in Aram thampuran . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLQh-3IVZFo
    and yes Aham is also a very gud movie, especially the song ‘nandi arodu njan chollendu’ 🙂

  32. Shalom permalink
    March 31, 2009 4:58 am

    An old school friend also had parents & grandparents who were from different states / religions and she would describe herself as a cocktail 🙂

    And that's totally fine, coz we're all Indian. I don't understand why people are so picky about pinning you down to one particular state.

    And you wrote about pav…..its been sooooo long since I had pav, since I had pav bhaji 😦 That reminds me I should get the recipe from my mom!

  33. Solilo permalink
    March 31, 2009 5:08 am

    Thanks Ajith (the other one). I actually thought you were talking about the spiritual quest as in ‘Aham’.

    I have Aaram Tampuran CD. I will watch it this weekend.

  34. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 31, 2009 5:47 am

    LOL Renu,
    I use the same dialog as your H…. 🙂 yes it hurts when they consider you an outsider….

    Aliyaaaa Ajith,
    classic scene aliyaaa. thanks!!!

    Hey Shalom,
    Your friend==> cocktail, I call myself a cultural hybrid… 🙂
    yeah, take the recipe for pav bhaji…. 🙂 LOL

    Solilo,
    you can refer to "The other Ajith" as plain "Ajith"…….

    I am "Ajit" without the 'h"…. 🙂 LOL

  35. Chirag permalink
    March 31, 2009 8:27 am

    @After hours and hours of deep introspective thought and cosmic cogitation, I have come to the conclusion that I am 30 % Tamilian, 50 % Malayalee, 10 % Telugu, 5 % Kannada and 5 % Marathi.
    Dude the fractions are awesome 😉 and brilliant.

    @The problem (as per him) is that, when I meet Tamilians, I ingratiate with them saying that I am a Tamilian, and I do the same with Mallus, Telugus and Kannadigas!!!! When people talk about Chennai, Tirupati, Cochin, Trivandrum, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Bangalore, Mumbai or Vellore, I always end up saying that it is my city, my gaawn and people get confused.
    hey mee too, and just add to the list Nort Indian and we are the same 😉 h ahah ha, I have dome my engineering in Chennai, Job Bangalore, 12th Hyderabad, Shared room with Mallus……and my parents are from north India. So here you go, so I am able to gel with all the groups.

    As, QI said, But 100% Indian at the end of the day!

  36. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 31, 2009 4:25 pm

    Chirag,
    Thanks!!

    yours is even complicated…. 🙂
    add north indian to that … LOL….. 🙂
    yes dude, 100 % indian…. 🙂

    • Chirag Chamoli permalink
      April 8, 2009 1:12 pm

      🙂 Throw in this now, my hindi sucks and north indian think I am south indian and vice versa, so I am in no man’s land.

  37. Indyeah permalink
    March 31, 2009 6:32 pm

    arre so it was your photu!!:D
    I thought so:D

    wah!Swami Ajit ke darshan:D
    hum dhanya ho gaye:PPP

  38. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 31, 2009 7:00 pm

    🙂 ayushman bava Indyeah…. 😛

  39. vimmuuu permalink
    March 31, 2009 8:25 pm

    thaan aaranennu thanikku ariyamelangil thaan ennodu chodikku thaan aarennennu, appol njaan parayum thaan aarennunnum njaan aarenennum….phew ! I hope I got it right, taken from my memory archive of old malayalam movies (dialogue by pappu in thenmavin kombathu)

  40. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 31, 2009 8:28 pm

    🙂 vimmu, classic machu… 🙂

  41. Ashwathy permalink
    April 1, 2009 5:41 am

    30 % Tamilian, 50 % Malayalee, 10 % Telugu, 5 % Kannada, 5 % Marathi.

    wow! dude, u bring a whole new meaning/dimension to the word ‘hybrid’!! LOL

    no offence 🙂
    be proud of ur multiple…er.. ancestry. a little bit of everything… thats what makes u truly indian, isnt it? 🙂

  42. Smitha permalink
    April 1, 2009 10:10 am

    @Ajit, I just saw your snap 🙂 Wish you had not tried your experiment and was a wee bit clearer 🙂

    And all you guys – how do you remember dialogues from movies so well??? Impressive!!!!!

  43. Ordinary Guy permalink
    April 1, 2009 2:09 pm

    yes Aswathy…. 🙂 true words… 🙂

    Smitha,
    That was the entire point…. 🙂 to not be clear….. 🙂 LOL….

    Solilo, is the expert on film dialogs…. 🙂 not me

  44. Smitha permalink
    April 1, 2009 2:19 pm

    Yes, I know – which is why I said ‘ You guys’!! Solilo, Vimmuuu, the other Ajith, this Ajit 🙂 Can’t believe it 🙂

  45. Ordinary Guy permalink
    April 1, 2009 2:20 pm

    🙂 lol

  46. Reflections permalink
    April 2, 2009 6:46 am

    Thought provoking really…..but the conclusion is in no doubt ie 101% percent Indian.

    @Shalom, I made pav bhaji 2 days back & it was yummilicious;-D

    p.s: so ur dad's tamilian or malayalee…I ask coz he cd be malayalee in chennai, right

    p.p.s: U r really getting good at putting up pictures which dont tell us anything;-S

  47. Ordinary Guy permalink
    April 2, 2009 7:08 am

    Hey Reflections,

    My dad is a tamilian from chennai, and my mom is also a tamilian from Kerala….. 🙂

    and yes, Thanks regarding foto… 🙂 LOL….

  48. Solilo permalink
    April 2, 2009 9:09 pm

    Hello Mr. Extraordinary! everyone moved to wordpress. Hello..mic testing..

    :D:D:D

    BTW I didn’t get that Suresh Gopi’s dialogue. Mind it! :))

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: