Couple of off-guard comments and questions last week and I have been thinking who am I? Its not a brain raking thought; just on a lighter side.
Two questions; just two. Those made me realize the perceptions people carry around. Oh! is that the way they've been thinking all the while? And on the serious side, maybe that's how I portray myself!
Is your home town really Bangalore? You've lived all your life here?
My trainer at the gym asked me with shock one day when we talking casually. I nodded, yeah and added, in fact my mom's parents and grand parents are from Bangalore too. My husband's parents both were employed at Indian Air Force. Knowing this, he kinda chuckled and followed with a comment that went something like - I thought you were from some village in Tamil Nadu. Ungala patha pattikaadu matiri irukku. Its a slang to refer a naive and foolish person who has just arrived from village. Tamil folks, correct me if not. Actually, its a more derogatory remark.
I didn't react. I thought for few seconds, I don't look like a freshly immigrated pattikaadu from any village, I do wear well fitted sports wear to the gym, I look in place perfectly, not out of place! I just asked why; the trainer said that my body language does not show any pride of a Bangalorean. Now folks, I don't know how to show the "I am a Bangalorean" pride. I have spent all my life here; I don't go around wearing a Bangalorean badge on my sleeve the way people who arrived a couple of years ago do. Anyway, as the chat continued; his next question was "Weekend plans ma'am? Party?" I said that I don't attend parties or any such activities since I don't like crowd. He was baffled; a Bangalore local not liking parties...Ummm...Perception!
The second incident occurred yesterday when a friend and his wife and her sister came home. This girl is chatty, comments on everything and anything and talks on topics that I would generally blush to talk! Kids nowadays! Sigh! Enough said. We went out and I was thinking to exchange all my read books. I took her with me to the book store while others went to a nearby mall. Now me, I get lost in books; she waited for me to pick up the books and leave, it took me 30 minutes or so (which is quick! I was aware I was not alone and hence cant take forever)
She kept prodding me about how I read all these, when do I get time, don't I find it boring? She picked a couple of books and asked me "From where will you start reading?" That was weird, of course I wont be reading First printed at...., acknowledgements and all that. She found a couple of words and wanted to know its meaning. "Splendid" and 'frigid". OK! I am not a master in English but this girl is doing her Journalism. Pity her employers and pity her readers.
I was finding it unusual really, I hope my feelings were not exaggerated. I also had to explain why some words in a book were italicized while others were not and later to make her understand what I was meaning by explaining what is italicization. Finally, the big question came
Were you a nerd from the beginning?
Well, I didn't know what to say. Why am I branded a nerd? Just because I read books? I don't wear any spectacles. I don't dress like one; I mean the way they show nerds in movies. I am chic, smart and savvy. Does that warrant for a nerd? Ummmphh! Perceptions!
Or are these my identities? :-|