Friday, May 14, 2010

Ugly Duckling?

A few days back, a senior colleague of mine dropped me a very thought provoking mail. I was surprised at the onset but I'm glad the person did so. First, it's been a long time since I've talked/mailed about something like this to anyone. Not that it involved much intellectual stimulation; it is a topic that should come naturally to the affected, but to discuss something that had nothing to do with movies, music, career, marriage or relationships was a welcome change. Second, this becomes my first blog post in a long time :)

I am just pasting here my reply to the statement that the aforementioned colleague of mine made. The statement, in parts, was, "...not rooted anywhere and so do not have a solid idea of ‘self’..."
I beg to differ here. Instead of seeing it as 'not rooted anywhere' I would like to believe that I find my roots in more than one place. Sure it is difficult to come up with a specific place when someone asks me where I am from. My parents are from Kerala. But I am hardly a Malayalee. Then again, I do stand by my culture and customs. I was not born a Mumbaiite but my outlook and thinking are that of a Mumbaikar. And now, influenced by that of a Chennaiite :)
In that respect, I am not fenku. I've had the best of all the worlds :)
[---deleted sentence---]
I believe the idea of self has nothing to with where you are from. It has more to do with what you want yourself to be. Which, in our cases, is easy because we have the choice to be what we want to be- to convince ourselves, if that be necessary, and also to give selective first impressions to the world- who are actually the ones obsessing with communal groupism. Among a South Indian crowd, I am a Malayalee. Among a North Indian crowd, I'm a Mumbaikar. But to myself- I am both. That way, everyone's happy :)
We need not be type casted as the 'typical' crowd. We're the hybrids! Maybe I will agree that we do not have a solid idea of native identity. But that of self, that has nothing to do with where our origins lie.
I am sorry I've ranted on like a wanna-be philosopher. But clearly, one doesn't need to possess profound erudition to talk about such things :)
It's all perception really. One needn't feel like a misfit for too long.
One is brought up a particular way only till she/he chooses to be brought up that way. After which, maturity makes it become free will.
I do not believe that has influenced or hampered, in any way, my idea of self. I just have a problem with the society's idea of myself :P :)

But that is my take, anyone to agree or oppose?

My question is, would it matter to someone if a friend/partner does not completely belong to one place, in every sense of the word, even if the person himself/herself is at peace with it?

pic courtesy:


24yearOldTeEnAgeR said...

No it wouldn't dear. So long he/she is at peace with his identity.
"We need not be type casted as the 'typical' crowd. We're the hybrids! Maybe I will agree that we do not have a solid idea of native identity. But that of self, that has nothing to do with where our origins lie"
That says it all.:-)

яノςんム said...

Frankly, I have never been away from home. So I cant really comment. But this thing has always allured me.. If I could travel, go to different cities, different schools, make friends from different cultures.
Sorry to say, but being a North Indian, I could even differentiate a malyalee from a tamil unless I came into blogging and met ppl across the cultures and geographies.

ur colleague is a foolish person to have said u dont have roots. I think, U have roots spread all over the country and ppl who have roots as they call it, they are immovable and hence stubborn!

Love :)

Divya said...

@ 24yearOldTeEnAgeR
I'm happy to know you agree with me. And even happier to know someone else thinks that it wouldn't matter :)

Divya said...

@ Richa:
I knew you would agree with me :D we agree on basically everything! :P
but I'll have to just say one thing here. It wouldn't be right to call my colleague foolish; far from that actually. I guess my colleague has reasons to say so; being far more experienced than I am. But to generalize would be a mistake. Yes, i might actually be defending the person here :P :D I was intrigued by the statement though. Never had I thought along that lines. I somehow cannot relate 'self to nativity.
And about your last statement, 'like'!

Jack said...


I agree with you. I always say I am an INDIAN, and all other things are secondary. That does not mean that I do not follow our customs but I do not have to get type casted. I love my mother tongue but do not insist to speak in the same even to those who do not understand it. One needs to grow up and NOT BE A FROG IN THE WELL.

Take care

Divya said...

Thanks! However, I am not against ppl talking in their mother tongues so long as they don't overdo it. Or, as the case goes in most places, alienate ppl who do not follow the regional language.

Jack said...


If I stay for long in place other than my own state I need to learn the basics of language spoken there. But if someone visits my city, I do not insist on speaking in my mother tongue if he or she does not understand it.

Take care

Swati said...

this was pending! and what a comeback :)

i like the word you used for people like us-Hybrids! I think the world needs hybrids. thats the only way we can bring in harmony. its only when people look at things objectively, enjoy various cultures, have a flair for different languages that we truly will be able to allow others into our lives and us into theirs. It is then that peace shall prevail :)

Love :)

Divya said...


as a person who has almost always been an outsider to the city she resided in, i wish there were more ppl like you.

Divya said...


spoken true to your style. and i agree.

Mysterious Mia said...

i can relate to what yur saying cos i was born in delhi n then raised in bbay n ever since i moved away from india i find myself becoming like ppl here.....i think its more like...u adapt to the city n the city adopts to u back...

dont bother abt such ppl babes....may be they have never been exposed to different cities or cultures

Sush said...

U want to be who u want to be:) Sc*** the ppl who think otherwise:) Yes growing up in various parts of the country/world does bring different perspectives (i like to look at it as different hues in our already colorful palate:) into our lives!

Btw awesome blog divz! Keep it coming:)