Monday, January 4, 2010

Kuup Manduuk

I am blogging today about the frog in the well syndrome.Yes, that is what the title means.A frog believes that the well is the only world as it resides there.It has no idea whatsoever of anything that lies outside the well.

There are quite a few persons who do not feel the need to interact socially.This leads to varying situations.Some get jittery when & if they attend a social function like a wedding,a get together etal.Others may try small talk but realise that they are not updated about anybody there & so withdraw.Moreover,they are unable to make anybody agree to their point of view on any topic.Some also keep to themselves as they would like to believe that they are the best & know everything.Still others refuse to interact except with  their own kith & kin & maybe from their own caste etal .This is because they are under an impression that their caste or sect is the chosen one & interacting with lesser mortals is below their dignity.

Yes,in these times also,there are such people -existing & very real ! But they will be overtaken at all places if they do not acquire socail skills.They will end up depressed even if they are rolling in money.If a person is highly skilled at his job but a zero at social newtworking,then for some time ,his skills may manage to keep all others quiet but later,all will joke about the lack of his emotional quotient.

I have observed that brahmins are particularly prone to this social insensitivity.I can speak for brahmins as I am one of  them. It is said that change has to come from within, instead of being imposed from outside.

Many brahmins though very ahead in many fields refuse to leave behind their caste affiliations.They carry it around as a medallion.They will shun all others however talented the others may be.Moreover,they have this superiority complex  erroneously carried forward from the ancient texts.The fact, that God took various births in different castes ( the Dashvatar)  has not yet percolated  down to their senses.As a Hindi film song goes,"Is lok ko hi apna na sake,us lok mein bhi pchataoge..." meaning "unable  to adapt to this world,you will repent in the next world as well..."

Some places also seem to encourage such orthodoxy & casteism .I feel that in Chennai, all brahmins try to outdo each other in orthodoxy.As to their actual faith in all that they do is quite questionable,at least at  pretention,the Chennai brahmins are immensly adept.

My relatives who stay in Chennai are a living proof of all that I have said.They want their food prepared in the Chennai way- haldi added to cabbage bhaji is a big No.They will just not eat it.They can only eat one sweet-that is payasam ( kheer) Anything else like gajar halwa has them in fits ! They relish beans,cabbage,bhindi,white pumpkin,aloos,etal but all cooked in the manner it is cooked there.Any thing prepared innovatively & in a different way means that they will just leave it on their plates-all wasted.They detest cauiliflower,drumsticks,onions,garlic etc.Even red pumkin was left untouched as it is gassy ! I do read a lot on health & foods but I have yet to come across this bit of  ( mis)information .My nephew is forbidden to eat onions as it will make his tongue thick & be an impediment in reciting shlokas.Just goes to show that for their version of dharma,they are committing gross adharma .Telling lies is an adharma -oniuons provide minerals.Telling such lies to wean a child away from a vegetable will have greater ramifications.The child will learn later that it was a lie & then may refuse to believe even other real truths .It will ultimately lead to rebellion which may flabbergast all .

My niece has  got so used to the sholkas being recited by her brother at Sandhyavandanam,that she  also recites them at times.Her brother chides her,"You should not be reciting."I scolded my nephew & informed him,"Look,there is nothing like girls cannot recite-in early days in ancient India,even girls had thread ceremonies performed for them.Later,some male chauvinists forbid such practice & this continued."Of course,he is skeptical about my remarks but atleast,he will think about it.It is very difficult to extricate him from all lies he has been fed about, male  brahmin superiority .

My niece wants to cut a birthday cake on her birthday like all kids of her age.But this is disallowed, though her cousins ( boys ) cut cakes .The reason,"It is not in our culture to cut cakes & blow out candles."Her father has offered to prepare mysore pak which she can cut like a cake ! Though,I find the idea quite ridiculous,I am pained that even a simple wish of a child is unfulfilled as her dad & uncles want to be the vanguard of culture.Culture ,as per their understanding is singing shlokas,bhajans,satsang etal-it does not include any books other than scriptures,& school textbooks,no drawing ,no dance,no drama,no music, except in praise of God,no films,etc.So which culture or whose culture is sought to be protected is unclear to me.I am  very much be in favour of Culture being unprotected rather be protected by such narrow minds.Culture is a very dyanamic entity-it has to progress imbibing modern thinking & values.If it remains stagnant,it shackles us all.But the same fellows gamble their hard earned money by investing in shares. Does this gamble figure in their  brand of culture? Maybe it does-akin to Pandavas who gambled  away their dear wife who was  then  rescued by Krishna,the Yadava.  So much for protection & preservation of tradition !

The thread ceremony of males is actually a masquerade to showcase male chauvinism.A male who wears the sacred thread will not eat leftover food.In these days of high food prices,the women of the house will eat all leftovers as men post thread ceremony will not eat them.I chided my nephew & told him that as he was wearing the sacred thread,it meant that he was man now.Hence,he should quit calling his mom every now & then for toothpaste,soap,socks,uniform,books,school bag,so & so forth.But then,I recalled that all males in boyhood scream for their moms to dance  attendance  on them & after marriage,the mom's job is taken over  by their wives.After all,it is a question of male convenience & comfort,nothing else -with or without the sacred thread .

One more thing -all this orthodoxy needs a lot of water for practicing it.On second thoughts,the water crisis in Chennai is brahmin made ! They should think of switching  to  the hand sanitiser as water levels are dwindling more than ever before now.

My nephew & neices are all fearful of everything-even a simple task like locking the toilet door scares them .This is because they have been indoctrinated to dread  the wrath of the Almighty if they ate onions,cut a cake,saw films,visited any place other a pilgrim centre etc.Obviously,the mind is conditioned by fear to do things which otherwise,would be questioned.I dread to  imagine how all this will shape up as they grow up & search for jobs or choose a profession.They would like to stay with their parents only as they have fear of moving out of Chennai.So,they may lose better oppurtunities .Even marriage may become a burden as a wife is only meant to be an  unpaid servant.Clinging to such forsaken ideas will continue to make them remain the frog in the well.

Coming to think of it,girls are not kuup manduuks as they generally leave their homes at marraige to go & stay with husbands,inlaws etal.So the men are the kuup manduuks.

I have heard that Trichy ,Comibatore are ways ahead of Chennai in terms of being bound by tradition .I have yet to confirm that.I will have to look for a more satirical title for that .Any ideas ?


vacha said...

Namskaram. Read your "Kuup Manduuk" with lot of interst and open mind. Though it may look outword as a bold comment from a brahmin lady who is intersted in the welfare of her community, the truth sadly lies somewhare. I too as a guy lived in Bombay for 20 years before shifting to Nama Chennai agree some of your out burst. But belive me Chennai has changed a lot. you should agree some people known to you and seen by you on vacation do not make a mark of our community. The girls and boys of chennai iyers included are more modren than sion Matunga Ambis and Angachies in more than one way.
keeping certain habits whether right or wrong is the basic compulsion and requirement for any spices to keep its identity and form. As long as there is no clash with any body and claims of false allegations every body is bound to adhere certain norms of their clan and community. pl visit to some of the issues of brahmintoday of which i happen to be the reply

Secured People to People lending - P2P Lending said...

Many of the Brahmin rites ,rituals and habits are followed owing to the jobs that a "brahmin" has to do. He has to be the teacher or the guide of the people and has to maintain the sattwa guna in himself. So he is required to do whatever he needs to do to condition himself/herself for that By this i dont mean that a person by birth is a brahmin , anybody by virtue of his conduct is a brahmin.Daily prayer and such act is but a symbol which is a constatnt reminder of the main purpose of life. e.g lighting a diya -akin to a soul which has to rise above and spread light selflessly, breaking a coconut - doing away with the superflous ego and revealing the "Self".All this meant that the "brahmins" dedicate themselves to be more satvic .Most of the habits have a scientific base and then out of practice they are followed and eventually vitiated by people as the years go by. But i do agree that people out of ignorance consider a particular clan high or so. Each caste is as good as the other !In that case all are a Kuup Manduuk - only the well is biiger or smaller but there is a boundary to all!!!

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