I have spent a significant portion of my growing years in North India – Jamshedpur, Delhi, and Jalandhar to be precise. Just that this time around, I am not under the shadows of my parents. Believe me…life is really different and difficult when your parents are not around to protect you.
Life here in Gurgaon is a lot different from the life I was living in Chennai. For starters, I can`t crack my favorite Sardarji jokes as I so often used to in Chennai.
The other day I started off: “By the way, did you hear that Sardarji joke about ….”
Before I could reach the subject, Dia had pinched me in the forearm, and Sunandini had stamped my toes. I didn`t take the hint.
“Come on guys…have you heard that Sardarji joke or not?” I inquired.
This time I noticed Sashwat making faces – I couldn`t understand what he was trying to convey. But there was a certain amount of urgency….he seemed so much in pain that I asked him again: “What is the matter? Why are you nodding your head so vigorously?”
He didn`t answer…and excused himself. In the next 3 seconds or was it 4…everybody fled from the scene. Just then, a six and a half footer sardarji got up from his cubicle and asked: “So, you were saying?”
I don`t know why…but my trousers felt warm. I stood there for a while…and after the carpet had soaked up the discharge I walked back to my cubicle.
On advice from Uma, I have now re-phrased the first line of my sardarji jokes to: “By the way, have you heard that joke about a Madrasi …”
Aryans vs Dravidians
Whenever my history teacher told me that the North Indians were Aryans and the South Indians Dravidians, I didn`t trust her. Probably because she was a North Indian….but now I trust her completely.
On my first day here, the guest house keeper gave me chapattis and mango pickle. When I asked him if I will get any Sambar, he just looked at me as if I was asking him about Polonium. Not one to take it lying down, I asked the guest house keeper for some variety the next day. So, on day two…it was Chapatti with curd.
I have been here for a week now, and every day in the morning, afternoon and dinner there is chapatti and nothing else.
I think this is the right time to apologize to the ace film-maker Manmohan Desai. I didn`t believe him when his 1977 film titled Dharam Veer started with a scene wherein Daram Singh (Dharmendra) and Veer Singh (Jeetendra) are on their white horses (isn`t white supposed symbolize good?) and their mother throws a freshly made roti at them. The two brothers catch the hot chappati, tear it and stuff it into their respective mouths and then ride away into the jungle. I now completely trust Manmohan Desai`s film making abilities – if the movie had been shot any other way, people wouldn`t have been able to associate with it.
Another thing I have noticed is that, here everybody has “Balle…Balle” songs as caller tunes. When I was back in Chennai, some had carnatic music…some had Hindustani…and some had English songs as their caller tunes…but here everybody has “Balle…Balle” songs. Wonder why.
Don`t trust me? Call 09971996581…and find out. That`s my Gurgaon number!
PS: If you are a North Indian, and want to issue a fatwa against me (Do North Indians issue fatwas?) please spend a week in Chennai before you sign the orders. Please.