Friday, October 13, 2006

Identity Crisis

'Nikunjam', to 'C 103' to 'No. 36'
'Kottarakkara' to 'Sector 10' to '17th Main, 14th Cross, 6th Block'

I know, I know. You haven't yet stopped wondering what crap I wrote above right. Well, let me explain it a bit. ' Nikunjam' is the name of my house back at my native and 'C 103' and 'No. 36' are the figures or names (?) that label the flat/house I stayed after I left my native. 'Kottarakkara ' is what we call our native and my later warrens were 'Sector 10' and '17th Main, 14th Cross, 6th Block'.

I can't but be thinking about all these a bit. The word Nikunjam in Malayalam means a house made of climber stalks and bushes. It's a small dream house where one can ease out his/her soul. The word itself is so sweet and thinking about it makes one feel cool and relaxed. It's symbolic to a warm and pleasant home. Where stands C 103 and No. 36? The word ' Kottarakkara' also has a meaning and origin to it, but 'Sector 10' and '17 Main, 14th Cross, 6th Block'?

The numbers are given to houses and places for convenience. Yes, it's quite easy to locate the house numbered 36 in 17th Main, 14 th cross in 6th Block. From the tenderness of yesteryears we moved on to the fastness and ease of use of modernity. I am not saying whether it is good or bad. But am I losing something here? Is it for good?

I am becoming skeptical here. I doubt that I myself would be named after some such number in future. Already it's showing some signs. I have an employee code in my company. I don't know when my boss is going to call me like,

"Hey 14019, why don't you come here for a sec?"

I being the polite subordinate as ever, "Yes Mr. 6788, I am on my way!"

Man, I have an identity and that is my name. But then, so do the house I stay and the place I live. I can voice for my identity, but what will my house do? The place I live do? Do they want to be known through a number? Hold on, where are we heading to in the name of modernity?

Last week I went to buy something for which I had to give my permanent address. The shop guy looked amazed on seeing my address that he asked.

"No Number, No Main, No Cross, Sir?"

All that I could tell him was, "I have a home out there and not a house, buddy!"

I don't know whether he understood the difference between the two. Life just goes on...


venus said...

Peopel get so used to prevailing system, that they become sometimes rigid to think that a different system or no system can also exist!

One has to get used to a new system in the same way, it took me also some(???) time to understand how address / numbering works in Chicago. It took me 2-3 years, I never cared until I started to drive!

the life was so easy- thanks online trip planners, type in the start address and end address, and kaboom! east, west, north, south, exact directions are fed to you with bus/train number, stop, connections and the time!

Anonymous said...

""No Number, No Main, No Cross, Sir?"" you live in the Vidhana Soudha? :|

""Hey 14019, why don't you come here for a sec?"
"Yes Mr. 6788, I am on my way!"
ROFL good one!!! I must remember that :p

hmm reflective post...btw it would be a gal who will make the house a home... ;)

>|' ; '| said...

so true...we are cogs in a system. and each cog has its number.its past too will soon be depicted using numbers.we are losing individuality from the top down.traces of our origins are the only things that remain unnumbered.

quills said...

You have been tagged! At your request I updated my blog with a tag. :)

Anonymous said...

Ah..good One Sujith.
It seems so odd...following dreams...dreams coined outta ego... and losin som which make u happy in life... U mafe me senti Sujith...
Right now am at tvm... working for an IT company at tech park.. Am kinda a "kayaala purathe tenga" deciding if i shud go to blore/abroad or settle down with the peacful happy life I have at my hometown.. for a long time this question is troubling me..but now I am being a victim of my ego.. All my frens are abroad...some lonely and alone ... but still ...aah.. Dunno how this relates to ur blog...but ..

hope and love said...

home is where heart is.. whatever name u give it..

Praveen said...

nice thought, does sound like an identity crisis, one of my cousin's house is called nikunjam, i did not know what it meant till you explained it here

Bombay Dosti said...

Wow!!! thats a very different thought... a different perspective to something that had become so much a part of our lives...

a dropLet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
a dropLet said...

but hjitsu, ur home at kottarakkara may have a t.c number or a panchayat house number, which appears in some record book in that local governing body. the place will have a survey number, in the sub-registrar's book of land records. and definitely kottarakkara has a pin code. our species has grown too much in this planet that numbering has become inevitable. the more planned a city and its streets are, the more the number of crosses and mains. such a city will be different from an unplanned city like trivandrum or 'what the heck is planning' kind of village like kalliyoor.
~dropLet no: 314285714285714285714

Matter of Choice said...

nice post in the same boat for the last 6 years!

flaash said...


I appreciate the feeling that a home should be name and not just numbers. Only thing is, you should be able to choose it all by yourselves

Prashnam enthaanennu vachaa, here in London my address is 92- Middlesex street, near Petticoat lane, Opp: Dirty Dicks Pub :-))

1st cross, 3rd main would have been better, alle?

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