Saturday, March 11, 2006

TN under the lens

"ஹைதராபாத்ல பாதீங்கன்னா, மக்கள் தங்கமானவங்க. சென்னைல அப்படி இல்லீங்க. கடவுள் பயம் இல்லை. 'எவன எப்போ ஏமாத்தலாம். எவன் எப்போ ஏமாறுவான்.' இதேதான் எண்ணம். அதனாலதான் த்சுனாமி எல்லாம் வருது."

("Look at people in Hyderabad. Their heart is as good as they are made of gold. That is not the case with Chennai. They don't fear god. All they think about is when and who they can fool next. That is why they are stuck by Tsunami").

-- A heart-broken Tamil co-passenger in Kacheguda express. Born and brought up in Chennai, and settled for the past 8 years in Hyderabad.

"I love people from Tamil Nadu. I was in Chennai for one-and-a-half years. People are very devout and god-fearing there. People who are so god fearing, can never hurt others. I have also lived in Kolkotta. Girls there were modern dresses and try to be very sexy. But girls in Tamil Nadu a beautiful and are well dressed.

-- A colleague who just found out that I am from Chennai, a Hyderabad native.

"I work in Dubai and I have had a lot of Tamil friends there. They are good at learning others' languages. They never admit that they don't know the language. They always pretend like they know it. But they keenly watch when others speak, stutter while trying it and they end up learning the language. Malayalis, on the other hand don't even move with anybody who doesn't speak Malayalam"

-- A Hyderarabadi catholic christian, and co-passenger in Charminar Express. He was going to Chennai to further continue his journey to Velaankanni in Nagappatnam.

"ஹைதராபாத் நல்ல ஊருதான். ஆனால் ந்ம்ம ஊர் மக்களுக்குத் தேவையான பொருள் ரொம்ப கிடைக்காது. இப்போ பாருங்க. எங்க அக்கா பொண்ணுக்குக் கல்யாணம். பட்டு வேட்டி, சேலை எல்லாம் நான் சென்னைல தான் வாங்கறேன். ஹைதராபாத்ல இதெல்லாம் நம்ம விருப்பதுக்குக் கிடைக்காதுங்க."

(Hyderabad is a good city. But the things that our people need are not always available. If you look at my case, my sister's daughter is getting married. I buy all the silk sarees and dhotis from Chennai. Such things are not available to our (Tamils') liking here.)

-- A Tamil Nadu born Hyderabadi co-passenger while on his way back to Hyderabad.

How come you speek Hindi? People from Chennai normally don't know Hindi at all. When I was in Bangaore, there wer 12 (thinking), no 13 people from Chennai. Only one of them understood Hindi. The rest had no idea about Hindi. Even the guy who knew it, can't speak Hindi fluently.

-- A new-employee and colleague, a Haryana on his first day at work and on our first meeting.

"இங்க (மும்பை) மக்கள் எல்லாரும் 'தான் உண்டு, தன் வேலை உண்டு' ன்னு இருப்பாங்க. சென்னைல அப்படி இல்ல. 'இவன் என்ன பண்ணறான், அவன் என்ன பண்ணறான்'. இதுதான் வேலை. அங்க people are narrow-minded"

("Here (Mumbai) people mind their own business. Chennai is not like that. 'What is this guy doing? What is that guy doing?' is all that goes in their mind. There, people are narrow-minded.")

-- My uncle on during my recent visit to Mumbai. Born, brought up and worked for some time in Chennai. Now setttled down for twenty years in Mumbai

"ஹைதராபாத்ல ஹிந்தி தெரிஞா போதும். தெலுங்கு அவசியமே இல்லை. ஆனா "ஹைதராபாத் தாண்டி வெளியில போனா ஹிந்தி உதவாது. சென்னைல இப்போ முன்னைவிட ஹிந்தி நிறய கதுண்டுட்டா"

("In Hyderabad, all you need is Hindi. There is no need for Telugu. But if you go anywhere outside Hyderabad, inside Andhra, Hindi won't help. But in Chennai, nowadays, more people have learned Hindi")

-- My friend's aunt, a Chennai-native, living in Hyderabad for I-don't-know-how-long, during my recent visit to their home for dinner.