Its tough being a teenager I know, but its tougher being a teenager trapped inside a full grown adult. All my advocacies about remaining a child inside and so on seem to have taken a toll on me. On retrospection I was struck by the strange fact that I don’t seem to have grown, err I mean mentally in the last six years, which has recently lighted a strange fear in me - would I stay so for many more years to come. And this fear was stoked by a recent visit to a movie hall.
[Movies, babes and pure gawking]……It was a hot day’s afternoon and I was left with nothing much to do after having completed the work for the day. Summer training was really living up to its name. The only training I seemed to be getting was in handling the north Indian summer. I and my project partner, more like partner in crime I should say, decided to hit PVR Saket, which for the information of non Delhiites is an up market hangout place in south Delhi, and more precisely a babe haven. Well a visit to the worth is always worth the money spent on the auto for a teenager or pseudo teenagers who seems to be pathetically hanging on to those lost days even after so many years. In fact it is this breed of human beings that seemed to be hanging out there a lot than pure bred teenagers. Maybe an effort to hang on to those lost days. But then again the Indian definition of teenage should extent well past nineteen I say, at least twenty five. But I, even for that definition, am tragically almost over the line. But that we shall come to later. This is for all you guys out there. Have you ever had that Santoor ad happen to you. You are almost sure that you are ready to pluck out your heart and hand it over to a lady and then all of a sudden a child runs up to her calling her with a “mummmyyyy” call? I had that happen to me. But not one child, this lady was there with atleast six of them. She looked European maybe even Brazilian. I don’t know, recently I seem to assume that all perfect girls that I spot on the streets must be Brazilian, until I overhear a typically Hinglish conversation or that overemphasized “yaaaaarrr”. But it’s the girls who are doing this. They do invent strange styles and are always too eager to show off that new way of speaking a word that they just learned after watching “friends” which every middle class Indian girl worth her salt just has to have on her list of favorite shows. Why are we such a nation of wannabees?
[Wannabees !!!]……A south Indian wanting to be a north Indian, a north Indian swearing proudly that he is so fair that some people think that he is Spanish, a Punjabi who swears that lassi is too fattening, a mallu who swears by aloo parantha, a Delhi girl showing off her newly practiced and perfected American accent. I’ve seen a lot of such things in my three years out of Kerala. Mallu’s, odd exceptions aside are generally a contented lot. So in all my years in Kerala I didn’t see such discontent in people over their current status. In fact the predominant behavior was to be proud, often excessively, and show off all they had. You know the housewife showing off the new sari, the Roman/Syrian Catholic so proud of his two thousand year old heritage and the neighbor who would keep his new car in front of the house just so that everyone can take a good look. My experiences of the people in the northern part of the country, (I have almost started hating this north Indian and south Indian usages as it is never used for anything good) is that they are much more ambitious. This discontent with their current state of existence is, I believe the primary reason for this. Well whatever be the reason ambition is not bad. But what is bad is when it spills over to lead to an urge for blind copying of anything and everything that comes with a higher state of social existence. And this ladder of social hierarchy is also well defined. Created over centuries of division and quarrels, this ladder now extents beyond national boundaries. Above the highest Indian order would be the Europeans and Americans and god knows who else. Its not a regional phenomenon at all as I found out on keen observation. For example, there is a small breed of mallus who swear by this.
[The mallu evolution]…. The English medium educated teenage/pseudo teenage girl. You can spot her easily by the casually slipped in English phrase in between a nice conversation on simple, good old Malayalam. We guys, proud as we are off our malayali roots still let it go and stick to the beautiful language. Then again she’ll drop in a few phrases here and there. Listen to this conversation that I had with someone.
Girl: Hey da, what are you doing these days?
Me: aye onnum illa..inganeyokke.
Girl: kore naalayallo, many many years alle..hahahaha(vashyamanoharamaazha kolachiri)
Me: athe oru naalanju varsham. Iyaalu evide okke aayirunnu??
Girl: oh you know, paris, London, Singapore.
Me (manasil): podi avidunnu nee koiylandikkapparam polum poyittillennu enikkariyille. Maximum gulfil poyi kaanum. (gulf or the middle east as non mallus would call it, as far as mallus are concerned is like the fifteenth district somewhere within Kerala)
Now this language is a new development, not more than six or seven years since its birth. And of these I have been out of the state for most of the time and had very little chances of interaction with mallu girls, who are the protagonists of this language. So maybe I haven’t evolved into this yet. But the guys who were constantly exposed to this abuse have developed their own adaptations. For example the use of “dear” “darling” which till a few years ago would have been a sure short way to get a slap on your cheek is freely used now by the evolved mallu male. Now call me conventional. But whenever I see an uncalled use of these words I feel like holding my mouth shut with my hands and running to the toilet, or I might puke there.
[Yaaaar…I swear!!!]….Now this is not an isolated phenomenon in malluland. Its spread all over the country. The metro society is the worst affected. The worst off being Delhi and Bangalore. Thankfully I haven’t seen it so much in Calcutta. Calcuttans are really good with their English. The middle class educated girl more often than not speaks beautiful unpretentious English and rarely any Hinglish and never would you see that overemphasized effort for Americanization of each and every word. You still can’t escape the ubiquitous “Yaaar” in any part of the country, not even in hindi hating Chennai.
[Chennai blues]….Chennai..I love Chennai…yea, as much as I love Cochin or Kochi or Ernakulam. Why would they have three names for the same stinky place? So far in my life I haven’t found a non tamilian say that Chennai is any good. Believe me I don’t have anything against tamilians, but they are really myopic in their views. I have two good friends who are tamilians. If you dare say anything good about any other city, they would jump in with their bit of information by which Chennai is by far better in that aspect too. You know, like when somebody said that Delhi’s roads are damn good, chennaite1 would say that’s nothing they are building India’s best flyover in Chennai or when someone said that Bangalore has all the superb IT companies, chennaite2 would say “Chennai has the largest technopark or that its growing faster than any other”. So this one day we were discussing about prostitutes in Calcutta. Pat came a comment from my Chennai friend – “hmm..that is nothing, you should see the prostitutes in Chennai”. Well, errr no thank you.
[Sex and mobiles]…Talking about prostitution, you know what they should really do? Legalize prostitution in India. India probably has the largest number of sex workers, and showing a blind eye to this fact would just accelerate the spread of diseases like AIDS. Our attitude has given such a dirty hue to sex that Indians have a sense of guilt which goes together with sex. But you know who is making the most out of the current state of affairs. Our over obsession with it has worked in favor of mobile companies. What with the huge number of ‘mms’es floating around the telecom spectrum. At around five rupees an mms the telcos are raking in the moolah.
I and my friend were talking about ways in which we can buy at least a Honda accord in two years time. Even an optimistic assumption of the salary that I might get after I pass out of IIFT would barely let me splurge twenty lacks like that. And with the trade tariffs all coming down with liberalization there’s not much future in the smuggling business either. With the god given talent of the gab and a never before seen bullshitting capacity the best thing I could do would be consultancy. What better way to lie and still be called a prophet. It will be like having a reattach able hymen.
Now that’s a million dollar idea. With all the news about premarital, adolescent etc etc sex and the Indian male’s obsessiveness with marrying a virgin (now that’s some topic on which you can write pages about isn’t it?) a stick on hymen would be a huge hit.
Well thoughts are a plenty, but work beckons. So long.