Why is it that we are so regionalistic? I've been brought up in A'bad, studied here and still studying in Gandhinagar. In my colony or school, people always started yapping with me in Gujarati and I replied back in pretty fluent Gujarati. But when they suddenly ask me, "Hey what's your surname?" And I say "Iyer". Their immediate reaction is "South Indian!" And they start stammering in broken English or accented Hindi. I mean, all this time they were comfortable with me talking in Gujarati, but when they found out I'm a Southie, psychologically they felt that my Gujarati sucked! Did this hurt me? This angered me!!
Whenever I go to Chennai, people are rude to me since it seems I don't look like a Tamilian. But yeah, when they find out I'm a Tamilian, they are all nice to me!!
There! I blame my own people also for this.
At my internship, my boss shoots questions like...
1) You Iyer or Iyengar? (I think I said my name is Madhuri Iyer)
2) You follow Tamil customs?(Err..WHAT?)
3) You understand Telugu?(Nope.)
4) Why don't you understand Telugu?(blank stare)
5) You should learn Telugu. (But Sir, I know Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi, English. And a bit of German. Enough of being multi lingual, don't you think?)
I also hate it when people talk in their regional language in front of an outsider. At my PG, this Marathi brigade yapped away in Marathi, the Telugu troope chepu-ed away in Telugu and I'm staring at the tasteless roti and raw karela curry wondering whether I should hold my nose and swallow the food to make it taste better. At my workplace, my bosses communicated in Telugu and even sometimes instructed us in Telugu. We were 4 internees who were non Hyderabadis and hence we could only gape at them.
Honestly, it's the same all over India. Being a South Indian, I would be the last person to blame our part of the country- but this is the problem. We ain't North Indians or South Indians. We are Indians and to conclude, woud like to quote what I read in a number of articles- If we call Australia racists then what are we?
P.S- My college best friend is a Telugu, and my school best friend is a Gujarati. So I don't discriminate because of whatever incidents I have faced till now- and I do not want anyone to take offence because of this post.