Saturday, March 8, 2008


Of whatever I can remember of my short life so far , I've always been defending one culture or the other . Sometimes at the cost of another dear one even . It was telugu films , telugu culture while I was in school . Not a week used to pass without an argument over whether telugu heroes were more ridiculous or tamil heroes were more ridiculous . Once I moved to Hyderabad , it was exactly the same argument , only I was arguing for the tamil heroes this time around . I should have been happy with what I had and realized there was worse to come . Now in Kanpur , i have it upon myself to defend both Tamil and Telugu films apart from the occasional argument for Mallu films as well . Whats more , it's not just films anymore . The boundaries have been pushed back to include language , food , dressing styles , religion , marriage and what not . Each and every facet of our way of living has been argued over , always with two sides at the least ,mostly North and South .
Even as I struggle to break out of these societal bindings , I wonder what IS my culture ? What am I ? Chennai-ite? IITian ? Golti ? Indian ? Or should I restrict myself to a South Indian ? Or am I a global citizen ? Decide on one and arguments pop up for the others .
It's not just me either . Most students here are trying to come up with a fixed identity for themselves . And once they do , they start closing their mind for other suggestions , other options and stand steadfast by their identities , irrespective of whether their identities are justified or not . A self-professed fan of SRK is never gonna(mostly) accept that SRK is no better than Rajni , while a strictly Rajni fan might not be able to come to peace with the fact that Rajni is no longer the amazing performer he once was . You might be wondering...is this all part of one's identity ? Do our fave heroes , our food habits form a part of our identity ? Definitely . People fucken die for Rajni man .
Lets get back to the topic . Identity . Can anyone have a fixed identity which isn't ever gonna change ? Say , you have never tasted coffee but strictly believe you won't like it . One day , your girlfriend forces you to drink some coffee she made and you realize you actually like it . Love it infact . More than your girlfriend even . Does this change your identity?? You bet it does . From a dumb , idiotic,ignorant moron , you become a coffee loving,dumb,idiotic,ignorant moron .
Again, so what constitutes an Identity ? Or can we even say X , Y and Z form part of your identity while A,B and C don't ? Heck, first break out of the narrow confines of your mind and come to terms with the fact that a person can't ever have a fixed Identity . Yes, you do have an identity but it keeps changing . Continuously . Perennially .
So, what am I now ? I am just Pavan Madhini . What you make of me is your problem and not mine . I am happy the way I am - a continually changing , confused, confident , cool chap who is a Chennai-ite at heart . As of now .


Tashi said...

I find it hilarious that people are proud of being a Chennaiwallah or whatever. It's not a fucking accomplishment. It just happened. Tis all. It's stupid that people are proud of their state or language or culture. Stop the fucking chest thumpin, y'all!

Pavan said...

@tashi...interesting thoughts there......though I don't see why one shouldn't be proud of his culture or city.....I don't go along with chest-thumping , but it gives a sense of belonging to talk about one's own culture/city.....

Riya said...

Why does something have to be an accomplishment for one to be proud of it?
Pride is generally an emotion associated with your own dignity and perceived importance, and if this stems from the place you call home then so be it. I agree that the chest thumping may be unnecessary, but I don't see why someone would find it funny...
And language and culture- why aren't these an accomplishment?

Mrunal said...

From a dumb , idiotic,ignorant moron , you become a coffee loving,dumb,idiotic,ignorant moron .

totally flipped out on that one!! very funny... :D

i could totally relate to this one... i once wrote something that was similar to this one.

but honestly, this one seems to be a bit incomplete. i mean, while i was reading it, with every sentence i thought u were preparing a background and would soon get to what it is that you want to really say, what idea/funda/thoughts u wanted to put forth... and then when i finished reading it, i thought maybe u just wanted to explore your feelings and not really say anything... but then the text even fails to do that properly..

the concluding paragraph though was totally cool... the whole 'i am me' image was nice...

keep trying! keep experimenting!!