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  1. This sure was a wonderful piece of humour although you might not have meant it to be. Ha, warding off marriage proposals. I’ve been doing that for the past 3 years and now my mom has decided that giving me the silent treatment may work. We can have an arrangement though to keep both parents happy :D! Kidding!
    But of all what you’ve said, its so much prevalent in other states too. I never stayed or grew up in Bengal so many a times I find some of the things they do so ridiculous. But at the end of it all, its our roots which do give us an identity. What we should continue doing is assimilating others too, like u’ve done staying in Mumbai. & ofcourse, food is never to be missed 🙂

  2. @ ‘nonnymus: What’s this…the ‘playing hard-to-get’ on the blogsphere game? Plizz to comment as often and as freely as you like…in case you haven’t guessed, bloggers lurrrrrve comments! Also, I didn’t grow up in Delhi (NOOOOO!!!!!), I was only born there and immediately whisked off to Mumbai (thank goodness!). Yup, the stereotypes sure are funny when seen in that light, it’s when they become de rigeur for life that its painful.

  3. Lol… Ok… I’ve gone on a reading binge it looks like.. and a commenting binge too!!
    To b honest, seeing the number of my consecutive comments, I refrained myself from commenting again too soon… but what the heck.
    Funny aint it? You grew up in Delhi and I grew up in Chennai!! And I damned love it(Chennai I mean)… cant stop laughing at ‘typicalism’.. It sounds kind o incredulous dosent it?? Civilization itself? When we see how rigid, dogmatic and conventional humans can be?

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  6. I am a person who has never ever been outside tamil nadu except say for a few days in all these 29 yrs…

    You can imagine better if i say my hindi vocabulary starts with “kya?” and ends with”Mein Hindi nai maalum”

    like it or not, we a have stereotypes in one way or the other…

    and let me not get started on my girl searching which looks likely to go on till India wins World cup soccer (not in another 30 yrs for sure :D)

  7. as a card bearing tam myself must admit was a bit miffed at some of your comments … a tam trait – don’t really wnt to acknowledge what’s true! but was very pleased towards the end! also may i add – mani ratnam over yash chopra/kamal and rajini over any khan and thayir sadam over any food ever made 😀 there i’m done

  8. Hey did you know that the Tamil race has over 5000 years worth of heritage. That’s much older than your average aryan clan.

  9. Lovely post. I completely identify with the feelings about Tamilian software professionals!

    Nice blog, am here for the first time! Will be back……

  10. btw… AWESOME the way you remember all the saree-descriptions… (unless you wrote this WHILE you were at the wedding !!)


  11. btw… AWESOME the way you remember all the saree-descriptions… (unless you wrote this WHILE you were at the wedding !!)


  12. So I’m in Iyer-land for a while.. (2 weeks.. ) and I made friends with my course instructor who’s a Mumbai-born-brought-up-Tamilian married to a Punjabi-dude-from-Delhi who feels more at home in Chennai than she does…

    I’d show her your post.. but she jus left for home (apparently her “bachcha” at home…is crying for “Mamma” !!)

    She had a lot to say about life in Chennai.. stuff that you have already mentioned in your blog…
    But the things that have troubled her most of all in CHennai are (that):
    – She has to be conscious of what she’s wearing to work/to the market.. unless she wants to be the “Talk of the Town”
    – She has practically NO social circle, just not as easy to make friends as it was in Mumbai..
    – Most women at work chat only about “SUN TV” or gossip about other women..
    – If she spends too much with time with the “guys at work” then she’s again abt becoming the “talk of the town” or that they might get the “wrong impression” about her..

    I don think this is something you can experience until you actually LIVE here for an extended period..

    Ok.. Im writing all this..coz I have lots of free time.. M waiting for my cab to take me back to my Hotel.


  13. Tht ws really fun to read…cant believe getting ur kid married to the “right” boy is still such a big deal. I’m not tamilian but wud u believe I’m close friends with about 10…most of them are mixes tho as in tam/srilankan, tam/malaysian and even tho they’ve been outside/never been to their country..they tell me they are prepared for an arranged marriage (somewhat)…its v weird..but i guess its culture.

  14. GArfy: Come one over .. I will make the Dosas for you without the fattening 😀
    Smity: the offer of carnatic music, Kaapi , hot sambar and not-so-eligible bachelor , not-really-a-software professional still holds 😀

  15. Right on about the fattening bit. Everytime I visit my best friend’s house (shes a Tam), her mom just has to get me to eat something and then she worries about me not eating enough, not eating frequently enough, not having enough fruits… but you know what? I just love her mom for that! I havent seen anyone as persistent and active enough to make dosas for me in under 5 minutes just cos she knows I love southie food!


  16. I agree with Ava, idea, a very revealing post. It’s the same in Italy, Italians are the most prejudice people against other Italians that you will ever find in one nation.

    The southern Italians are “ignorant dirt farmers”, the northern are “stuck up, rich Germans” etc. And the ones in central Italy, well we just keep to ourselves, and judge them all. lol

  17. Upon reading this discussion about a tamilian and his idiosyncrasies, I am tempted to mention about this sign board I read while driving on NH enroute to Bangalore. It read…
    “Long Live Classical Tamil” 🙂

  18. smithy! I tried that same trick too- 11 years ago saying that i did NOT want any jaatakam of a guy residing in America, but guess what- I have been here for over 11 years… whom u marry- when u chose to- well, it is not ENTIRELY in ur hands!

  19. Wow, though being that u r a tamilian, it sounds like ur lineage breadths from the north to the south. 😉 I am a mallu and mine stretch from the west to the south; lesser compared to u geographically, but believe me, disposition- or culture- or any other quirks- wise, we fall in the same ballpark. Whoo wee, it sucks…the hypocrisy and the mediocrity in the society sure does suck.

    Ah well, who am I kidding? I am in it too. sheesh.

    good one.

  20. This post has been long in the making hasn’t it 🙂

    What did the poor lads in software do to ruffle your feathers so. Or perhaps its some abtract freudian need to shun compensatory influences…hmm…

    Now, tell us how you really feel 🙂

    I wonder if any venerable quaint “maami” would chance upon this post and give you an earful about how post-modernist influences have shaped their thinking.

    Ahh what would we crib about if there weren’t any stereotypes….

  21. OMG… now i am a stranger… after 10 odd comments and reading almost every post… and wishing on your budday (though i still dont know the date)… i am a stranger…

    apoo: howz ur prep goin ? i can help with u kaapi though… cant say much abt my aptitude…

    on second thoughts, there is madame mahima out here who doesnt mind software professionals… lets gate crash that blog 😉

  22. very nice post smithy!
    i’m from karnataka but its crazy how many things our cultures have common..i found myself chuckling and going ‘too right!’ while reading your post
    hahaha poor software professionals out there..oh well theres always me =D i dont mind getting married young!

  23. Not love being chased by wise souls??? No no no… u got it wrong. Wise souls dont chase me (hence the name – Wise Souls). I love any soul chasing me!

    And Iyer… No. No give up. I am giving my GMAT, getting another degree, changing my profession and learning how to make kaapi.

  24. This was very enlightening Smithy. As much as I enjoy the posts in your blogs, I particularly loved this one because it’s so revealing, and it give us a small piece of knowledge about a fascinating culture which (I have to admit) I am almost completely ignorant about.

  25. :)) i am still laughing. if this was a profile you would be the most in-demand girl by now – very well written

    P.S. you cant be that tech unsavy – you blog woman!!

  26. Sen.. I feel your pain. I’ve been through the same frustrations you mentioned, just from a different region.
    IS.. Wouldn’t dare fight through the throng already vying for your attention, should have guessed being a heretic would not stop you from sticking me in a pigeonhole!

  27. Dey-aam….

    Rumplestilskin, it didn’t take Holmes to figure out which part of the world an ‘Iyer’ comes from! And since u guys ain’t reading my blog anymore, I don’t know you….strangers aren’t invited over for Pongal u know…

    Anonymous: People usually speak the language of the place they grow up in. I speak Hindi and Marathi much better than Tamil. I also know several Tams (outside TN) who speak other languages.

    Anonymous 2: (if this is a different person) Its no big secret…I believe I’ve mentioned my roots before.

  28. It seems u want a tamilian bachelor thats why u opened the secret of ur tamilian roots….:-))


  29. This was kind of informative…I didnt know tamilians can/want to speak any other language other than tamil or english..I had 2-3 frds who never tried to speak any other language except mentioned above…..based on my experiences i thought tamilians are also very conservative….but u seem pretty open….Gd…

  30. funny, how did u know i was tam, my name sounds so very “russian”… in any case… there is another solution, now that you have rejected the offer… you can invite me for diwali and pongal and all other festivals / ocassions where payasam is made… and i get you rid of your trouble… its a kinda good “win-win” situation… (mr stephen covey… are you listening?)

    apoo: lets try some other blog 😉


  31. Lol lol lol…..I’m sure my family will be thrilled to pieces (not to mention relieved!) that the useless spewing I do on this blog is yielding some tangible results (matrimonial proposals). I shall stoutly deny that it was ever my intention, however!!!!!!

    Apoorva, how come my comments on other people’s blogs spark arguments while no one ever seems to get riled about anything I write on mine???? Besides, I thought you didn’t want to be chased by wise souls.

    Sen, my bachcha…jeeyo mere lal….keep promoting the dilution of the regions….that way we all get to eat roshogullas and idlis! U can forget all about the line of female admirers that queue up for any authentic ‘Bongali babu’, though!

    Rumpelstilskin, thanks for the offer but you don’t count…you’re a TAM!!!!!!Also, I hate payasams (yeeeeccccchhhhh….before I can recover from Pongal, Deepavali’s already here…!)

    Brad, will consider….if you promise to make the kaapi…this Tam girl hates cooking!

    Arunima, I don’t have anything against software professionals, except the fact that so many of them are ‘Eligible bachelors’!!! Its hazardous to my singledom…

  32. thats a nice post… speaks a lot about a southie from mumbai… but the last few lines… of your likes and dislikes… hmmm…. are you using up this space for matrimonials? of course without the “jaatakam” (janam kundli) though…

    and please dont say anything bad about payasam (kheer) *sob*… its the only thing in southie preparations that has a lot of variety… and primarily because i love it… you can give any amount of gaalis to kootu…(some form of curry)…

    if you need someone with more degrees and less money… you are free to email me at any given point in time 🙂

  33. After a lot of soul seraching, i realised I don’t want to die a spinster. so, I acknowledge software engineers. It must be a cool profession (there is a gun on my head)

  34. And seeing the size of my comment i guess i forgot i had my own blog too …. perhaps the effects of having a headache…. causing others to have it too 🙁

  35. Yea…. right. Actually you do get to see some dislikable and unseen portions of the world when you get to see it from the outside instead of living in it.Guess that is the case with people like us, born and brought up somewhere else.
    Though there ain’t no Bengali-Software-Utopia that I have to handle, but still one thing that pisses people like me is the astounding amount of regionalism.The biggest reason being most part of the hordes of PG students that throng here and elsewhere, who’ve stayed in WB till graduation.Would you believe that the first thing most of them do on coming here is find out all WBites and pester the PG warden (poor prof!) to place all of them in the same block…all rooms one after the one else to be seen there!Not to mention , they hardly talk to anyone else and even if there are 15 other colleagues hanging out with even just two them, those two bongs will still talk in bengali to each other relentlessly.He He…. the best part is when they start attending classes and on discovering the instructor is a bong himself, actually try to raise questions and speak out answers in bengali (OMFG!!) while there are about 45 other non-bongs sitting there…. yes, until the prof tells them to shut up or start communicating in something that is acceptable 😀 But yea, there are some exceptions there … and i’m glad they don’t act strange in a cosmopolitan atmosphere…Thankfully , such is not the case with UG’s here…guess they are too not-so-old to forego the opportunity to meet out with people not speaking their language.
    Btw, do you know the current PG hostel is almost divided into a “Bengali Block”, “Telugu Block”,”Tamilian Block”,”Mallu Block” and “Bihari Block” !!The “Oriya Block” fell short in numbers.Pity.
    Okay needed to rant this somewhere 🙁 I’ve tried umpteen times to make some of them see reason, but then supposedly “I say so ” cuz I’m not a “pure” bong since i didn’t live in WB.My ass!
    I’m happy living with my UG wing of mallu’s,reddy’s , punjabi’s , bihari’s , MPites and UPites.I enjoy the sarson da saag of punjab and the sojje-voodey n arisae of andhra as much as rossogolla.And no, I never felt the need to push my head into a “pure” bong PG cluster :/
    Thanks for granting me space to scream out….. and sorry for the eyebrows i might have raised.Sometimes I’m really mad at somethings , you see.

  36. :)Good post.

    I am yet to come to terms with the Great South-Indian Software Dream too…Hope i wake up soon in India 🙂

    I love the fact that i have so much to rant about being Tamilian 🙂