Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Romancing my Hamlet

I am back at my native place. In the last two years I could visit my house only twice. So you can imagine how much I look forward to this one month I am here before I join a company in Bangalore.

After having a refreshing bath (I still feel the wintriness of our well-water in the summer heat), I roved outside my house for a while wearing a pair of half-pants and tees and no sooner did I receive gawks from our neighbors and passerby. For them, humans wearing these kinds of dresses would be a drunkard who had lost his outfits during his endeavors or a psychopath who unknowingly threw it off or else, aliens. I don’t know whether they assumed me to be the first two. Man, my marriage prospects!!! :-( Anyways, never ever in my life I caught this much an attention from people, especially girls! Needless to say, I became world famous in my village in no time!

On my visits to my village during my studies (I know there were only two such) I was often confronted with a question. Though there were several versions of the same, the core is the following.

Any person: “Jithu, heard that you are studying at Ahmedabad for some course.”
Me: “Yes, I am studying for MBA at Ahmedabad.”
Any person: “MBA? Ahmedabad? Kerala University has courses on MBA. You didn’t get an admission for that? You should’ve studied well for getting an admission somewhere here itself.”
Me: “Well, this one is better. It is India’s number one business school.”
Any person: “I guess you have been fooled by someone. And do they give you any job after studying there?”
Me: “Hmm... Yeah I think so.”

While I move ahead finishing that conversation I used to hear murmurs like this where the aforementioned “Any person” tells to someone near him.

Any person: “Poor guy. He is suffering a lot in a foreign land.”

There was this branch manager of Canara Bank who rejected the application for educational loan to a friend of mine saying that he hasn’t heard about an institute called The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and hence it is very unlikely that he will repay the loan.

Coming back to my village, in the evening I took my bike and went for a ride through the village. As far as I’ve explored, nothing has changed here except for a few extra shops in the junction.

Apparently the election heat is more than the summer heat here. Politicians blabber about their achievements and other parties’ mistakes and give promises to make Kerala a heaven. This is the instance where the sentence, ‘crowd has the weakest memory’, comes out with all its relevance. No one remembers, or conveniently forgets, that last time also the promises were the same. After all who said that promises are meant to be put into action?


flutteringeyes said...

love the convo....
I find it very interesting...that people always say their "state" is best....haha and there is no point in going to others...when u get the same degree in a place near by you

it was nice reading ur blog...after a long time

Sreejith Narayanan said...

he he... nice one... i have been the victim of this for the past four years. ppl ask me why i went to chennai for engg. They presume tht i didn't get admission in any kerala colls.

moreover many of them mistake my coll with iti ;)

MS said...

so u went there to show off urself.
and oh btw,it seems that it has escaped ur mind that politicians have tough jobs at the top. :D

sajini said...

Guess I have a lot to look forward to when I go to visit this summer!!! I guess I wont be wearing even my long shorts.. :)

MadV said...

Hey Hey you back home?? Coool! Enjoy Well. You wont get this much holidays in your life time again!

Geo said...

Half pants…
In your village…

Kisko harane keliye…?

Hima said...

Beautiful post !!!!

... reminds me of my village.

MC said...

well it must be sad for them that you went to faraway IIM instead of MGCS MBA college 15 kilometers from your junction :)

nothing has changed here except for a few extra shops in the junction
dont think anyone is left in Kerala to change anything :)but plenty are left to undo any change that could come.

Jiby said...

jithu, so long since i have come here man...i havent checked to see if you have written some great stories or you are continuing to write some great malayalam blogs i resolved to see the latest my fave bloggers have dished out!

well i went to my village with a french beard and gelled the looks ppl gave me were unforgettable and my grandma scolding me for my alavaladi ways!

neways wht took the cake was the canara bank manager who never heard of an iim!

Immigrant in Canada said...

I was called a 'chattakari' by those who don't know my family when we came back from Malaysia to my dad's house in Chengannur, all because i wore a sleeveless dress!!

venus said...

very good one jithu!
The canara bank manager should be sacked for letting business go.
once when I visited my family, we took a road trip, needless to say that I was wearing long utility shorts+sleeveless tank-top, and rest u can imagine- I was getting looks as if I was a planet zion native! I also saw some people laughing at me, I didn't how I could ignore them :-S

silverine said...

@mind curry: That was a good one!!!
@Venus: Someone who saw me in the same oufit called out idhu aanano pennano? And I have long hair lol

@Jithu:'wintriness of our well-water" That was so beautifully expressed. There is something special about our sweet well water. Every year when I get back from Kerala I bring bottles of these water for my friends. Last year we took a 50 litre jerrycan to meet the demand :))Even in my part of Kerala nothing has changed much but I noticed fewer people at the town junction and bus stand.
When I decided to pursue English instead of Engg or Medical it creative giant waves of shock and disbelief among my relations in Kerala :)) People still think that maybe I took English because I didnt get admissions in professional colleges. On the flip side there many cousin sisters rushing to do English when they see my blog rofl
Great post!

Divya said...

Hey! Welcome home!
And get well soon....then we can have our get-together.....hows u doin now?!
TC n enjoy,

Anand K said...

That was some anecdote, Sujith! I can almost imagine the "local" lifting his lungi, scratch his thigh and saying "Entharappi, Keralathil onnum ninakku seat kittiyille? Hoyyyy Anthappan chetto, ee Eye Eye Yemm Ammadhabad saadhanam enthu kunthamade?"
I hail from a (not so) rustic hamlet too, but some wisecracks asked me when I came back for my Holiday from the US, "Entha mone, kayyil Bisleri kuppi onnum ille?". Sh1t.... they saw Swadesh?!!! :D

venus said...

u'll have to translate "dhu aanano pennano" for me, I'm zero in malay!

I remember long time ago, I went to a carnival in some interiror village when I had a mashroom cut hairstyle, and I was the only female wearing jeans, boy, I could have started charging people to see "a specimen"- me! I could have made money!

silverine said...

Venus: It means "is 'this' a boy or a girl" :p

Jithu said...

> flutteringeyes
ha ha. that is so true! btw i too follow ur blog bt it's so teenagish for me to relate with and comment on :p. bt yeah i like it. keep it up!

> sreejith
ITI part was awesome! :p sometimes i feel we keralites are like "pottakinattile thavalakal".

> ms
yeah yeah. sarcastically, they hv real tough jobs out there!! btw the scenario in india is totally different compared to iran, if its okay there. :-)

> sajini
ha ha. u sure hv to.
PS: long shorts!!! ufff! this english language!! ;-))

> madv
yes i am back home. hellow, i wont get this much holidays in my life time? hw can u say that to me? :-(

> geo
i dont wear shorts and swimming trunks here as u did in the kingdom of Pala. :p

> hima
thnx yaar! so when r u gonna go there?

> mind curry
hmm. i liked that last sentence of urs! sad bt true! i hv certain plans. if u r in bangalore, lets see whether we can meetup sometime next month. will u?

> jiby
welcome back to our own mallu land man! enjoy ur hols here! yeah in french beard and US hair! ;-)

> immigrant in canada
hmm.. tht'd've been quite an experience for u rt. :-)

> venus
ha ha. yeah i can imagine that. bt i guess things are changing now. mabbe due to the entrance of foreign TV channels which air the attires of western culture and imbibes that into malayalee minds! btw u sure missed a business opportunity there! :-)

> silverine
""idhu aanano pennano?""
forget abt others; even i have a genuine doubt on this :p

> divya
yeah it takes some two more weeks for me to go out in style! we'll meet after that for sure. till then tc too.. :-)

> anand
that was so damn funny! btw i read ur post abt loyola. felt like studied in ur school. i belong to St. Joseph's btw.

W-Bix said...

LOL :) cool post! made me smile and smile till my sister barked, "why are you gawking at the screen" and imitated me in a horrible way/.... ugh!

silverine said...

@Jithu: What a co incidence, I have always had that doubt about you too :p

@Venus: When in Rome....etc. so nowadays I stick to Salwar or Pavada Blouse so that I dont' stick out like a sore thumb :))

venus said...

thank you for translating, I was getting the same line at the carnival with my mashroom cut :((
i also think that I should wear the same kind of outfit, but then, my rebellious mind fights back that why I should wear a specific outfit just because of a few conservatives' attitude? the same people would not ogle at any white skin in the same robe!

venus said...

hmmm.. business.. yeah yeah, I know, you just finished your mba :P

quills said...

Shocking indeed that certain folks in Kerala should wonder what an IIM is especially when these days Malayala Manorama has been talking only about MBAs and the money they make.:)

But jokes apart, I cannot imagine how a bank manager woould fail to recognize the name of the most reputed B-school in India.

@anand: I was under the impression Jithu came from some hamlet far away from tvm..or is my understanding wrong? ;) Then I stand corrected.
All the same that was a very funny narrative. :))..Entha bisleri onnum kudichille? ;)

Anand K said...

@ Quills: Dunno..... just guessing. Only Prawpper Sowwth Thiruvithaankoora Mallus who think the world begins at Kalyikkavila and ends at Cherthala (beyond which there be monsters, BTW) would swear by Kerala University and it's flagship programs. :P
BTW, KU and I have unfinished business............

PS: Owing to my mortal fear of the Goddess of Delhi Belly, she who blesses every weak-stomached outlander in ze capital city, I *LIVE* on Bisleri water onlee.
PPS: Which sylvan vale do you egjjaktly hail from, Jithu? I'm from this little place near Tiruvalla from Mom's side and deepest Varkala from Dad's side.... but I'm one of those insufferable TVMites through and through.

W-Bix said...

@ Anand!
hey i know tht goddess! i was blessed by her and since, her good blessings never left me...

DD Bhai said...

Good one. BTW if I were ur friend in the "Canara Bank" episode, weel.. I went to him with a print out of my offer letter. This time he stood up, offered me a seat and ordered a cooldrink and asked me.. "saare, namukku oru NRE a/c thundagikkoodey?"

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