Unity in diversity.
That's what I've grown up learning since I was a kid carrying social studies books. I was told that we are a proud nation of diverse cultures and castes that, while accepting our uniqueness as states, is proud of our nation as one.
Ya, well, that's as much a fairy tale as me getting Genelia and Asin to have a catfight over me now, isn't it ?
I mean, sure, we have innumerable variations as we head fom Kashmir to Kanyakumari via my hometown, the other famous 'K' ( Kannur, dudes !! Upcoming metro of India ... it's just a well kept secret ), but the fact is these diversities have never unified us. Whether it be language, creed, religion or even the fact that your great great great grandpapa was a coconut climber and not a kshatriya... it does affect us. Because everyday, in a million places around us, we are stereotyped and made fun of by our fellow Indians whether it be the saala idli-eating madrasi, the untrustworthy Bihari, the vest-and-lungi wearing Malayalee, the dumb Punjabi, the son-of-the-soil Maratha or the lewd Delhi dude. Talk all you want but the fact is we will remain a nation that, as a Mallu movie rightly pointed out, comes together as Indians only twice a year - during attacks on the nation... and during cricket matches.
Insult me if you want. You see, Hollywood has taught me that USA has 50 states. My childhood taught me that UAE has 7 states. But I needed a map to count the states and union territories of my own country. What do you expect ? In the decade since I learned geography, the nation has further split it's states into smaller bits and pieces... today's map of India isn't the same one I've studied. And every election, another vote seeking party will talk of 'forming a separate state' if he/she/they get elected for people of his caste or language or something.
This is unity in diversity ?
Anyway, I'm not gonna go all morbid on this topic. We're always gonna stereotype the rest of the states. It's who we are. If you can avoid stereotyping people in your head ( and I mean, all the people around you, not just those you're "close to and know personally" ), then good for you. We could use more people like you around. For the rest who can't, I'm just suggesting we choose a nicer way to do it, one which incorporates our various heritages and pasts while avoiding the more painful stereotypes. I'm dividing my nation based on this map here ( click for clearer image ) from now on.
The way to my heart has always been through my stomach. Hopefully, it will be yours too after checking out this cool map of our heritage.
After all, isn't it better to think of Tandoori chickens and Shrikhands rather than perverts and regional fanatics when you see a fellow Indian.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I spotted some hot Goan and Rajasthani girls. I'm sorry, some hot Vindaloo and daal baati churmaa chiknis. Oi hoi !!! Aaja aaja .. come to Malabar Parota daddy !!
Hey... we're dealing with unity in diversity here, not sexism and my perverted mentality , remember !!!
Happy Diwali everyone.