Found this while cleaning an ooooold pen drive 🙂 Written many years ago!
Where are you from?
A simple enough question.
But wait till you hear my answer.
I am from Kerala.
Oh! You are a Malayalee?
Actually, I am a Tamilian settled in Kerala.
Okay. You were born in Tamil Nadu but are now settled in Kerala.
No. I was born in Maharashtra!
Now what does that make me?
A Tamilian or a Malayalee?
You may call it an identity crisis but my association with three different states in India provides me with identities of convenience.
True to the place where I have lived for 23 years of my life and where I propose to settle down sometime in the future, I express complete solidarity with all my Malayalee colleagues in office. There is no other country like ‘God’s Own Country’, I boast as I munch on banana chips and ask the office boy to make me ‘flying kaapi’. There is nothing more satisfying like abusing a fellow-Malayali in his language, which I do quite often.
Till I meet someone like the great musician Dr. L. Subramaniam who also happens to be a Tamililan. Mid-way through the interview I switch onto the Tamil identity mode and to my astonishment, my tongue can spew pure Tamil before you can say Subramania Bharathi. After the awesome conversation a few snatches of which were exchanged in pure Tamil, I am espousing the Tamil cause like no other.
Never mind if at the end of the day, I comfortably switch to Talayalam (a mixture of Tamil and Malalayalam), which for convenience purposes, is for home use only.
Where does the Marathi bit come in, you may ask?
It is the language of the minority at the office who uses it to bitch, gossip and generally spread the secret between themselves right in the midst of eavesdroppers (who fortunately don’t understand the language). This one is strictly for official use.
And there is nothing like talking about others in front of others!