Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Victim of Chauvinism

Some of my views have been extremely chauvinistic. I typecast people sometimes based on where they come from or what language they speak. There is this easy generalization about how one will behave just because where he comes from or what language he talks. I had my turn today. But contrary to curing my chauvinism, it has only accentuated it.

I was stuck for about 4 days with an egghead called driver. This joker obviously is driving cars for tourists because he is good for nothing else in life or never had the drive ( pun intended ) to do anything else in life. He, despite his flagrant lack of brains was oozing with attitude and I wasn’t able to figure out why he was so. He was everything that I would loathe in someone who works for me, but having come on a tour spending almost a lakh, I was more than willing to put up with him to have a peaceful holiday, because for me all it mattered was some role which is not chasing people and leaving instructions about right and wrong. So, I was almost like I left my attitude back at the security check in the airport ( I was traveling to the north of the country you see !! and attitude was their preserve with or without actual cause )

This SOB was maybe God’s messenger in a different way. To test how much I can tolerate snooty fools !!! Anyway, to cut the story short, I did put up with this pawn chewing, beedi smoking lowlife. And then today happened. We had an 8-hour trip and we were to start pretty early. He contrived to make us accept that we can start only by 8 am. And we were down there sharp at 8, waking kids up and our friend was still hunting breakfast. Or so he said. And then took some more time to start the car with all kinds of excuses and we left by 8.30.

After an hour’s drive we wanted to play some Tamizh songs. He flatly refused. I insisted and I inserted the CD. After the first song, suddenly music stopped and I realized that this lowlife has put that off. I asked him and his explanation was really something out of the world. He said that the Tamizh songs disturb his concentration to drive in the hilly areas. He was ok with English music when all he could even talk about English is that the alphabet starts with A. To quote him ‘ Mera dimagh karaab hoyega’ !!! If he listens to Tamizh music… ( Even in between all this, I could not help but appreciate his vision and fantasy. Where is Dimagh with him ??!!! Bt he stills visualizes it, so one should surely appreciate that ) And in the earlier occasion, we played AR Rehman’s album of Bombay, which is also in Hindi. What it is if not chauvinism that would refuse to listen to music that is also a huge hit in Hindi but now being played with Tamizh lyrics ??!! I was flabbergasted and it ensued in a fight between, not because I was holding the Tamizh flag high ( though I would do it any time ) but because he just stopped the car in the middle of the highway and refused to go further. And the ganging up of others with him, looking down upon us as Madarasis!!

Anyway, I had the power of money with me. I could afford to hire another cab, or simply rape my travel agent on phone, or rediscover my own attitude. I simply refused to give up and changed the car and driver. But what bugs me is another thing. This chauvinism about Hindi is perplexing to me. I had a Boss for a short time who can’t speak a decent word in English and was stationed at Chennai, expecting all of us to speak in Hindi. Amazing conceit. For a language that has no history and simply bastardized!!! And there was absolutely no difference between this lowlife and the so-called executive who really is postgraduate diploma holder.

As it is, I strongly feel that this is country is all about pseudo-equality and it might soon turn a die-hard patriot like me into a separatist. I suddenly feel that this whole place is all about a few MP seats and that comes maximum from Uttar Pradesh and all the other states would be slaves in a decent way.

I am tempted to make a big issue of this in the place I belong, because I simply don’t know whether it is the arrogance of this brainless character or just a symptom of a deep-rooted malady in the North of this country. In a way, I feel that if I don’t I would do injustice to this great country that I love and let it somehow disintegrate because of a few fools who can’t think beyond their chicken brain.

But I am more than willing to believe that the issue is because of this crackpot, because I had a totally different experience with a youngster at Kufri who herded our horses up the hill. He was extremely charming and vivacious. Had very good attitude, had picked a few words in Tamizh ( Kaal Pinnadi, Body Munnadi ) and was singing all the way while finding foothold in the slush. Seeing him, I believe I can stay optimistic about the country. Or is he still not been corrupted yet ????

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