Recently, we gave our juniors a ‘Fresher’s Nite’ in college. The southie gang put up a ‘Simbly South’ program, which was ‘zimbly supurb’. But, I got into an argument with a friend as to what constitutes a true southie, so to say.
Does speaking the lingo regularly make u one? Or is it because u eat Southie food every day? Or craving for simple curd rice with maanga orugai in this age of Punj-dominated garam masala peppered cuisine? Or wearing a ‘veshti’ or ‘lungi’ at home?
Or is it because every time someone says something derogatory about ‘engal thalaivar Superstar’, u stand up and defend him as u wud defend a family member? Or when people dismiss Tam heroines as fat, obese etc. you silently curse their lack of taste in women? Or preferring to listen to Tam songs over the Bollywood crap? Or going bonkers watching old heroes and fat heroines in loud dishoom dishoom movies and thinking that AR Rahman is the greatest Indian ever?
Or following the politics in TN, where Kalaignars and Thalaivis use the official government machinery to get back at each other? Or getting fired up after listening to a Vaiko’s speech? Or dreaming of the day when Dravidians would rule India, and Tamil would become the official language of India? Or looking for political hidden meanings in Vijaykanth films which ignorant northies dismiss as masala? (For the uninitiated, Vijaykanth kicks the sun in a movie... only people familiar with Tam politics understand the hidden subtleties)
Or thinking of Ooty (rather than Mauritius) every time you hear the word ‘honeymoon’? Or claiming that the Thanjavur temple is the greatest architectural wonder in the world because its shadow never touches the ground?
Or is it because when normal people shudder at what they see in ‘Ripley’s Believe it or not’, you chuckle because this is child’s play as compared to what you saw in the Mariamman temple worship rituals? That people walking on fire seems like an everyday event? That standing in the way of a raging bull is not suicide, but a famous Tamil sport? That you believe Kabbadi, and not Cricket or football should be the national game of India?
Do you think of ‘Veecharuval’ whenever you hear the term WMDs? Do you see a riot weapon a la Molotov cocktail where others see a cola bottle?
Do you believe Kris Srikkanth is the greatest Indian cricketer, after namma CK Nayudu of course, who brought in ‘pinch hitting’, much before the Jayasurias and Afridis of the world? Do you follow Chess and motorsports only b’coz of Vishy Anand and Narain Karthikeyan?
Do you think that ‘Tirunelveli halwa’ and ‘Malli-poo’ are the most romantic gifts? Do you think that Kancheevaram sarees and not diamonds are a girl’s best friend? Does wearing 5 kg of gold ornaments sound normal to you?
What makes one a Southie? Does it have to be any of the above? Me thinks, if you are proud to be from TN (or Kerala, Karnataka or AP for tht matter), and stick to your eccentricities in the face of ignorant taunts, that alone is enough to certify you as a true blooded southie.
Vazhga Tamizh, Vazhga Tamizhagam ;)