Composite cover pic for this post, with a pic of the Chennai floods on the left and a leopard near a Mumbai residential colony at night on the right, with the text 'Living in Fear... Across Cities'

Ire | A Tale of Two Cities’ Fears

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My new piece on thREAD, The Hindu’s online segment on perspectives, comment and such, on the fear psychosis of sorts in two Indian cities. Curious? Read on. (Though my blog post has slightly additional content.)

This piece on thREAD

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In the recently released Phobia, Mehak, Radhika Apte’s character, an artist, is molested by the driver of the cab she’s returning in late night from her art show. Resulting from that trauma, Mehak develops agoraphobia, a fear of being in perceptibly threatening places. She is panic-stricken and feels paralysed at the thought of just stepping out of the apartment door. Even when her boyfriend moves her out of her home to a rental, he has to drug her to do so. (Mahek is compelled to move out as her sister, who she is living with and is married with a son, begins fearing for how Mahek’s mental state and her resulting actions will affect her child and thus also begins getting exasperated with Mahek.) However, her condition doesn’t necessarily improve in the new place, and she sweats and palpitates like, um, crazy for a simple activity of putting out garbage bags.

Chennaiites seem to be in the grip of a similar fear presently. That of the rains. The moment they feel the drop of a drop (for the past few weeks, the city’s been intermittently receiving off-season, convective showers), images of horror and feelings of misery rush into the collective psyche. Thanks, or rather, no thanks to the floods of last year.

People walking to safer places during the Chennai floods of December 2015However, as someone who’s stayed here only for a few years, my reactions – and I don’t mean to be insensitive in the least bit – seem to be more like those of people around Mahek: puzzled at the mass fear, so to speak. During the rains / floods too, I was baffled first by the amount of rain the city received (a city that I had heard has only one season, hot, or three: hot, hotter, hottest) and then by the reactions of both the city and the people: anguished, broken, crushed. And this isn’t because I stay in a part of the city that seems to have better civic amenities. Or because I wasn’t able to see the effects in the other parts; when the lights came back two days later, on TV, we finally got a sense of the plight all around. So, before you seem baffled in turn by why I was bewildered by the city’s and the citizens’ what-I-initially-considered “magnified” responses, and therefore come across as callous and uncaring, let me share why.

I have stayed in Bombay / Mumbai for the longest time, and before that, in Calcutta / Kolkata or pretty long too. Two coastal cities, just like Chennai, but that receive a lot more rain than Chennai, so much so that in both metros during monsoon, there are occasional floods, or at least regular water-logging.

In Mumbai, people’s reaction to the rains moves along with the months of the monsoon. May end, when people have been burnt to the bone, but sense the first rumbles of the clouds, hearts begin fluttering in anticipation, much like the office-goer’s at Friday 4pm. When the first rains hit (usually around end May or early June; this year, they are set to debut around now), those hearts, and people to who those hearts belong, begin dancing. They rush out, drench in the first rain, on Marine Drive, at Juhu, or just in the compound. Everyone feels like a merry Bollywood couple. Young, old and wet alike, they hum classic rainy songs, brim with poetry, and talk of quaint things like “the redolent petrichor”.

A month later, the mood is, well, May-December. After four weeks of grimacing through slushy streets, wet clothes, wetter shoes, soaked shirts and skirts, sitting or standing next to other soaked shirts and skirts in the local or metro, the Mumbaiite is already begging for a reprieve. And Nature responds in true Nature-ishtyle, by giving them… July. When the rain is at its most belligerent and leads to the breakdown of most civic machinery, especially on one day Made in Hell. This is either mid or late July; 26/7 is another beleaguered date in Mumbai’s long list of such dates, and similar to Chennai’s 1/12.

A local train and people in deep water during the Mumbai floods of 26/7 2005Train services and trees collapse, people are stranded in offices, on roads, at stations. Or take hours to get back home. When they finally do, all they want is a comforting hot bath. Only to find there’s no electricity. By which time, they are cussing the corporation in ways that would do the Delhi Sardarji proud. The next day, of course, everything is considered off: offices, schools, colleges, services. Sounds the same as what happened recently in Chennai, right? (See, I told you I wasn’t being insensitive.) And this occurs year after year, without fail. In fact, if it didn’t, people would think something was wrong with Mumbai, or with Nature. But the next-to-next day, the city, as has become hoary to say by now, “bounces back”. Everything is back to normal, or some semblance of it.

Before the puzzled Chennaiite wonders how, this isn’t all because Mumbai really has some “never-say-die” spirit (in fact, with all that the city’s endured over the years, Mumbaiites feel that statement is a cruel irony), but also because, due to its location on the country’s west coast, which receives the south-west monsoons, the main rains in India, it has built a largely decent and decently working drainage system, despite the burgeoning population. The lack of which, many admit, did Chennai in during the Rains from Hell. As also the unmindful construction of buildings in low-lying areas and marshlands. And of course, faulty coordination and decision-making when it came to the matter of that dam-water release. All of which have given many a Chennaiite many a horror for many a month at the sound of not many a rumble.

So, does Mumbai have nothing to flinch about then? Nope, many a Mumbaiite has a phobia too.

If Chennai has been witnessing large-scale unauthorised construction due to its emergence as a software and manufacturing hub, its firm position as the South’s film capital, and thus the constant influx into the city, and therefore the need for massive new commercial and residential spaces, Mumbai’s tale has been no different. After it finished reclaiming land from water (the city was built from seven islands and now even has a sea link connecting some of them) and then claiming the air (high-rises), the city, due to similar reasons of being a financial, marketing, and glamour capital and thus having non-stop immigration, has been devouring land, like a super-starved T-Rex. And after eating up most of legit land, it’s been turning its attention to… the forest.

Builders, unscrupulous and unknowing alike, aren’t just building close to forest land, they are also building on it. I myself have stayed in a few such places. One complex, built on official forest property, had a long fence put up by either the builder or the residents, demarcating the “residential space” from the “forest land”, as if to give the complex legitimacy. (After a long-drawn-out proceeding, the owners – mercifully, I was a tenant here – had to pay compensation to prevent their flats from being razed. And this is proving to be more the norm.) Another area, very rapidly developed, where I actually was an owner, has been created by carving a big, long road through what was earlier considered a jungle and enveloping the city’s national park. It still has signposts urging people to watch out for crossing animals. In other areas, buildings and complexes are coming up either on hills or by breaking down hills. At this rate, Mumbai may soon need another mode of transport: ropeways.

Now, when you build on land that was earlier the animals’ and thus enter what was their terrain, the animals, devoid of an exclusive territory, are (apart from many dying as a result) forced to enter what is now “your terrain”. And I’m not talking wild pig, snake or fox here, but… big cat.

A leopard photographed at dusk, with the lights of a Mumbai suburb in the backgroundSo, if every year, the whole of Mumbai has to bear the brunt of brutal rains for one day, every two-three years, for a month or so, the people living in these encroached areas are seized by big-cat fear. One day, someone spots a leopard, or worse, claims a leopard attacked and killed a child or small-sized adult, and everyone, obviously, begins panicking. Wildlife authorities are called in, people are warned not to go out alone in the dark, residents are advised to keep their surroundings clean (the big cat comes for street dogs, who are found near dumps, as its food source is getting rapidly depleted in the rapidly disappearing jungle), banners with messages on reaction and action points are put up. When the fear reaches crippling levels, typically with numerous sightings (though many of these might be unfounded), there is pressure on the officials to “do something”. What they typically do is set a live-animal trap for the cat. If it works, they go release the animal into deep jungle or a distant forest area. (This typically doesn’t work; there have been cases of leopards that have made their way back 100+ kms, as they are known to be the smartest of the big cats and, like all beings, prefer their own territory.) The people seem satisfied though.

During that month or so, though, people are understandably super-paranoid. A former colleague who lived close to my place told me she would jump on seeing a branch shake at night. In the same area, when returning late through a 750-m straight, dark stretch with buildings on one side and forest on the other, I would be nervous myself, not knowing if the two lights in the distance are a small car’s or a big cat’s. And so I would take the auto right up to the building entrance, asking the autowaala to wait until I had gone in. In this other area, when I had visited an animal shelter during the period of a “big-cat strike”, the director told me a leopard had come a couple of nights (smelling potential prey), walked up and down the boundary wall, but had gone away, as the shelter had made sure all the small animals were locked inside. And when leaving my building for work one morning, I heard a clutch of young mothers exchanging fearful notes (at that time, two leopards, a male and a female, had “struck terror”, something like The Ghost and The Darkness), with one lady exasperating, Yeh kahaan se aaye hain??” (Where have they come from??) The animal lover (and somewhat expert) in me retorted, in my mind, ‘The animals could be saying the same thing about you…’

One city afraid of water from above. Another of cats from around. What they really need to fear – in case it isn’t clear already – is rapid, rabid, unthinking, unplanned growth. Mull over that while I go check whether that slow, gaining sound outside is a growing drizzle or a growling feline.

To rest people’s minds a bit, let me resort to the words of several wildlife campaigners in these “leopard-infested” areas in Mumbai, who now rather than aiming to remove the big cat from its territory are attempting to educate residents that it’s possible to “live with leopards”. They say, “If you’ve seen a leopard once, it’s seen you 20 times by then. And yet, it chooses not to do anything (to you).” I can’t resist adding, who really is the better species here?

Check out this link: Living with Leopards in Mumbai

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Composite image of stills from 'Mother India' and 'Wake Up Sid' with the Mother India image having a sepia feel

Irficionado | Movies | Parents: Missing in (Lights, Camera,) Action

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Had sent this piece to thREAD, The Hindu’s online segment. The article came out today! With some edits, text and visual. The link is below and the original piece below that.

This piece on thREAD

I had been waiting for the DVD of Tamasha to come out for two reasons. One, to enjoy my favourite movie of last year all over again. Two, to check whether Deepika Padukone’s character, Tara, had parents in the movie. For we just see a glimpse of her kin in one song, Heer toh badi sad hai, and then too, it’s not clear if they are her parents and family or rather guardians and their family.

I watched the song a few times to verify, and the most I could discern was that there is a senior male figure in her life, but going by the displayed behaviour between them, he seems to be a caring uncle at best. In contrast, Dev’s (Ranbir Kapoor’s character) parents are well established, as a key part of the movie involves them.

And then I started thinking of other romantic movies (aren’t all our movies around that warm, fuzzy feeling?) in the recent past with a young urban setting or story, to check a developing theory.

In Wake Up Sid, my favourite movie of a few years ago, Ayesha’s (Konkona Sen’s character) parents find mention only in a wall photo of her Mumbai rental and in a late-night call to her mom back in Kolkata. This movie too pivots partly on Ranbir Kapoor’s (Sid) parents, but the core (love) story takes off when Sid moves into Ayesha’s apartment.

Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sen-Sharma in the latter's room in 'Luck By Chance'In Luck By Chance, my favourite movie of all time, the parents of both the principal characters (Vikram, played by Farhan Akhtar, and Sona, again Konkona) live in cities away from the city in which the characters have come to pursue their Bollywood dreams.

Nithya Menen and Dulquer Salmaan in a scene from 'O Kadhal Kanmani'The roster continues… Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwani: screen time of three minutes max for Deepika’s mom and none for Kalki Koechlin and Aditya Roy Kapur’s parents; I Hate Luv Storys: Sonam Kapoor’s parents appear for around six minutes overall and Imran Khan’s mom appears for five minutes in the second half; and looking at Kollywood – and from the limited Tamil movies I watch and understand – in last year’s O Kadhal Kanmani (OKK): no parents again for the girl, Tara (Nithya Menen), and an elder brother and his family at the most for Adi (Dulquer Salmaan).

My theory, or rather, query was ripe: Where are the parents in today’s movies? Or better put, why are they missing? Contrast this with the time when movies were all about Mother India and her mamta and which bhai ke paas maa hai.

Poster of 'Deewar' (1975) with the mother, Nirupa Roy, holding centre-stage

The reasons, it would seem, are both reel and real.

Reel first. The dynamics of both movie-making and watching in India have changed. Movies are no longer three-hour-plus backside-burners but of a more palatable two or two-and-a-half-hour duration, leaving little room for elaborate back or side family stories. Going to the movies now is also less of a family affair and more a hangout with friends or a significant other, and since these happen more in multiplexes, these folks don’t want to see movies with the “baggage” of, well, folks – the people they have left outside those multiplexes. Also, a majority of Bollywood and many Kollywood movies are now being shot abroad – to cater to aspiring Indians and gloss-habituated NRIs – and the economics and mechanics of doing this doesn’t leave any room in the script and in the plane for the mummies and daddies.

But the real reasons appear to be the real ones.

Graphic of a Do Not Disturb door sign with text talking about the need to have spaceThe growing urban clamour among Indians first since liberalization and then globalization has seen people steadily moving from smaller cities, towns and villages to the metros and super-metros for better opportunities and hopefully a better life. And sometimes, like in Wake Up Sid, individuals move within the same city (out of their parents’ nest into their own), for space and privacy. In both cases, parents can become estranged (as Sona’s parents in Luck By Chance, who don’t like her decision to go to big, bad Bollywood, and Sid’s parents when he moves out after a war of words with his dad). Where’s the space for your progenitors when you’re busy pursuing your dreams and aspirations and fierce about your individuality and privacy? But also, as millennials would ask, where’s their need? After all, aren’t they just a WhatsApp message or Skype call away?

A bigger factor than the urban dream, though, seems to be inner conflict. Today’s tussles are no longer Parents vs You, Family vs Lover, Society vs Status: “You’ve got to take up your dad’s business.” “What will relatives and society say?” “You can’t marry him, he’s outside our class/caste/fill-in-the-blank.” Today’s parents know these hoary dialogues won’t budge with today’s youth, and today’s youth have scant headspace for the same. Not having a big outside demon to fight, the individual’s struggles now have all gone internal. Now vs Sometime in the Future, Commitment vs Independence, My Ideology/Dreams/Fill-in-the-blank vs Yours: “Now’s not the time – not because we’ve been seeing each other for just six months, but because I’m due for director at the firm.” “We’re somehow not compatible – I think I’m looking for something else.” “What about my dreams?” Ambitions and aspirations have become the new antagonizing amma and appa. And even where this is love, there is still conflict, because now we look at turns and shades of love. “I love you, but I’m not in love with you (or vice versa).” “I like you… as a friend; you are great to hang out with, but beyond that, I’m not so sure.” “I love you, but… (and any variety of reasons here).”

Imtiaz Ali wearing a T-shirt of 'Jab We Met'

Imtiaz Ali, Tamasha’s director, is perhaps the flagbearer of the urban-setting, inner-turmoil romantic movie. His career graph reflects this evolving graph of Bollywood – and the case of the MIA parents. In his first film, Socha Na Tha (2005), the boy rejects the girl in an arranged-marriage rendezvous, leading to parents and family on both sides turning into epic warlords. Cut to the movies after that – Jab We Met (2007), Love Aaj Kal (2009) and now Tamasha – and you see how protagonists are inflicting enough torture upon themselves (with all their goals and wants) to not need the earlier lava of parents. In Tamasha, Ved subjects himself and Tara to enough heartache and heartbreak by not being able to be true to himself and his passion. In Love Aaj Kal, both Saif Ali Khan and Deepika’s characters give each other enough anguish and agony by not being sure of each other and wanting to pursue their individual dreams – in different continents and with different partners; not surprisingly, the movie doesn’t even bother featuring each other’s parents. In 2012’s Cocktail (only produced by Imtiaz), featuring Saif and Deepika again, Imtiaz makes up somewhat by bestowing parents on Saif, but still nothing for Deepika. (Hmm, no folks for Deeps in most of her movies. Is that why… she had gone into depression?)

Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham pretending to be a gay couple in 'Dostana' (2008)And then, there’s the last type of movie, or movie setting. Where the story is deemed too radical for audiences so that the milieu is changed to far away from where the protagonists hail. Dostana in Bollywood and OKK in Kollywood. Indian audiences would not accept a gay couple in even big, bad Mumbai where apparently anything goes (so what if the guys were only pretending to be lovers for the sake of an apartment?), and so Karan Johar decided to set it in Miami, far far away from both guys’ parents. In OKK, Mani Ratnam felt Tamil audiences would incant “Aiyyo, Kadavulai” on seeing a couple living in sin in even rapidly-become-cosmopolitan Chennai and so decided to set it in, no surprise, Mumbai, again far away from each other’s parents. And maybe for good reason. For we remember all the invocations (to God and godmen) Abhishek Bachchan’s mom, Kirron Kher, makes when she comes visiting, and the frayed looks Dulquer’s sister-in-law gives him when she discovers women’s stuff in his room.

But before you begin relishing (or bemoaning) the absence of parents in present-day films, remember what they say about the movies? Cinema reflects reality. If you look around, you’ll notice a new trend, especially with bugle sounds of Make In India, the growing number of start-ups in the country, and thus, a reverse brain drain: people coming back to India (after going abroad for studies and a few years of work ex), getting back to their hometowns and setting up companies there (Rashmi Bansal’s recent book on entrepreneurs, Take Me Home, showcases several such stories), and consequently… coming back to stay with or near their parents. Will these then begin getting reflected in tomorrow’s movies? Will movie Ma’s and Pa’s then make a grand comeback? Will Imtiaz Ali then make a Love Kal Aaj aur Kal? And will Son-mani’s parents be OK with he living in with his Kanmani? We shall wait and watch.

Rainbow flag with the text 'Voices Against 377'

Ire | 377

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377 ways to hound the LGBT,

377 ways to harass them,

377 ways to scorn the queer community,

377 ways to suppress them;

Its definitions seem so old and antiquated,

Feels it was written 377 years ago, or earlier,

And so pervasively, perversely is it implemented,

Forget an article, it feels like the entire anti-gay grammar.

Article 377 in the Indian Constitution criminalizes sex “against the order of nature”. By definition, that also includes oral and anal sex, but is routinely used by the police, other institutions and many people to discriminate against the queer/LGBT community. However, there is now talk – again – of “reading it down”, to decriminalize “unnatural/queer/LGBT sex/relationships”.

A duckling looking at a duckie (squeegee) curiously

Ire | Authentic, Oh!

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A few days ago, one of my best friends had come down from Mumbai, just before the first great deluge came down upon Chennai. It was a last-minute trip. He had decided to take off for the longer Diwali holiday they get in non-South India (he has his own set-up, so he could take that call at the last minute), but didn’t want to spend it in Mumbai. We got onto fervent discussions on the phone, but after much volleying of ideas (“let’s go to Pondy”, “at least Mahabs”, “Crocodile Bank at the very least”), we decided to spend it in Chennai: it was his first time in the city, there’s much to take in here itself, and in providence, the rain didn’t let us go beyond either.

'Authentic' stampWhile finalizing the plan, he gave me his wish-list: places he wanted to go, things he wanted to do and foods he wanted to eat. I heard him out, told him what’s doable (we had only three full days, plus the rain), and included a few of my suggestions. He assented. And added, actually, kept on emphasizing one thing, “I want to do, experience, eat, take in everything AUTHENTIC.” He said this quite a few times, ensuring I got it. I did. Or thought I did.

For after landing here, the number of times I heard him mention that word, and the number of times he stopped wherever he spotted that word (authentic Chettinad cuisine, authentic Malabar restaurant, authentic Ayurvedic massage – apparently, no one is offering anything else), was more than all the drops of water the city received since then. Plus, before and after touring the city with me, he would research all the tourism sites and ask all his friends and acquaintances here, there and in-between for recommendations and then keep tossing them in my direction.

Aiming to be the good host, I would help him check off the ones we could (we went to a popular Tamil restaurant for ‘authentic Tamil sappadu’, and he was beaming), educate him on the ones he was informed incorrectly about (‘Life of Pi’ and Alia Bhatt’s house in ‘Two States’ were shot in Pondy, even though the latter mentioned Chennai), find a balance for the ones we didn’t agree on (we decided to go to a mass-appeal multiplex rather than a single-screen for Kamal’s latest movie, as I was fairly confident neither he nor me would be able to handle the fan frenzy – or hear the dialogues – in a ‘thara local’ single-screen theatre, where he actually wanted to go for “authentic Kollywood megastar mania”), and after discussion, struck off the ones we just wouldn’t be able to do (“that cultural centre is too far from here; we won’t be able to do anything else today if we go there”).

Poster of ABC TV series, Quantico, featuring Priyanka Chopra handcuffedBy the middle of the second day though, realizing the extent of his zealousness for the authentic experience, I was beginning to feel exasperated. (That’s why I’ve titled this piece after ‘Quantico’ – I was beginning to feel as constrained as Priyanka Chopra in the series’ poster.) Plus, I seem to have made a woeful discovery: ‘researchie’ is the new ‘selfie’. That is, researching on a place and what to do, eat, wear, buy there is the new vacationing scourge, after the annoying and now-thankfully-getting-banned-in-many-places selfie. People seem to be leaving nothing to discovery, chance and serendipity anymore. There are sites and apps springing up by the minute, offering all this info, and of course, all those discounts – and the attitude seems to be: “I don’t want to miss a thing.” He kept on telling me of a particular street-side tiffin centre he had read about, of which visitors had been “raving and ranting”. After clarifying that you can’t both rave and rant about a place, at least the same person can’t, I told him but no one here does (rave, that is). But he insisted. And we went. And mercifully, it was closed due to the rains, Diwali or both. Else, my friend would then have ranted and ranted.

My friend started sensing my brimming annoyance. Also, I had cast a very subtle (according to me) comment in his direction when we were getting a ‘quick authentic bite’. “You know, visiting Delhi (which I did last year) and going to a multiplex there is also an authentic Delhi experience, because that’s a Delhi multiplex, filled with Delhi people, and offering Delhi eats.” As we headed to T Nagar for saree- and dhoti-shopping (the ultimate authentic Chennai shopping experience) for his parents, by bus (the authentic Chennai commuting experience), after foregoing the autokarans (ah, we missed the authentic Chennai bargaining experience), he made a conciliatory effort, “I think I know what you mean. When people come to Bombay, they ask for SRK’s bungalow, where is Ambani’s building, where are the film shoots… and it’s not like every Bombayite knows (or cares), or that film shoots are happening in every gully.”

I seized the opportunity. “Exactly! When you go to Punjab, you don’t expect to see people doing bhangra outside the station. Just like you can’t expect women to be doing bharatnatyam at the airport here. In Gujarat, no one plays dandiya all the time, and in Kolkata, they don’t have rossogolla every minute.”

I continued, “You saw Kamal’s house in the movie, right? It was a regular modern house rather than those traditional houses with an open courtyard you see in movies made by outsiders, or set in rural areas. And Kamal and his son were having bread, omelette and soy milk for breakfast rather than dosa, idly and vada…”

Alia Bhatt in her Tamil-style house in a shot from 'Two States'

And my final… rant, “Tell me, how is having popcorn bathed in butter and accompanied by caramelized cold coffee in the city’s home-grown and numero-uno multiplex (which also makes that mannaesque cold coffee) not an authentic city experience? How is spending two hours chatting in a cozy city-only coffee shop chain any less a Chennai experience than having it at the roadside kadai? How is going for a dark (read: blind) exhibition tour that ends up opening your mind (after it’s rid the sleep out of you) not authentic since it is presently only in two other cities in India? And most importantly, which site or visitor will tell you about these?”

As the last-mentioned experience – the tour – proved to be his best experience here, he finally started seeing things differently. I was a bit worried I had been a bit too forceful with him, but he didn’t seem to mind. We’ve been friends for a long time, have had our share of arguments (and break-offs and patch-ups), and must confess, is more chilled-out than me.

Composite image of my friend and I at a couple of Chennai places during his recent holiday here

In the end, we did a bit of the site suggestions (V House, where we even did some meditation), a bit of my suggestions (that dark tour, and a rejuvenating reflexology session), a bit of spontaneous stuff (St Thomas Basilica and then a late-evening walk on the beach), and let go of several (saying you need to leave some stuff for next time). Just the way a great holiday always goes. Besides, holidays are always better with friends who are… authentic.

 

Poster of movie, Two States, featuring the in-love couple and their parents

Ire: Southie / Northie

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Everyone from the four southern states is Madrasi,

Making no distinction between Tamilian, Telugu, Kannadiga or Malayali,

Everyone dresses in a dhoti, no, only a dhoti,

Baring the chest for everyone to see,

They all have idly-dosa with sambar-chutney,

And wash it down with mor, “what’s that, oh, salted lassi,”

They also can’t live without filter kaapi,

Along with that other staple, naariyal paani,

You wish for once they’d see things differently,

Beginning with how now Telangana is also an entity.

/

But the South behaves no differently,

Viewing everyone outside the five states as Northie,

There’s no West – the Marathi or the Gujarati,

“All Bombay, filmy, money-money,”

No East – Bengali, Odia, Jharkandi,

“We know Bengal, but what are the others, some festivity?”

No North-East: “Chinky!”

No North-West: “Same as Delhi?”

So, forget the real North, and Bihar, UP, MP,

“We already said – Northie!”

/

But all agree about Goa, which lies around Karnataka’s belly,

“Videshi… Pardesi… Now, let’s get there and party!”

 /

And what about Lakshadweep and Andamans in the sea?

“Wait, didn’t they get submerged by the tsunami?”