Alright, this is not something I left behind! But since we were on the topic of people and attitudes, I had no choice but to pen this one piece that I have wanted to write about for a very very long time.
The manner in which people carry themselves, as a function of their cultural mores. Ok. This is not a general gyaan session. Its just that I have had a rather large dose of 'gyaan' and so my text may appear gnarled and rambling, much along those lines!
Ok, so getting to the point. I am a Southie, but since I hail from Mumbai, I have had the chance to see people of different cultures thrown together into one huge melting pot called Mumbai. And here are some observations. Two rather, since I want to restrict my gyaan to only two points today. (Psst. I am taking the comments exhorting me to adopt brevity on my posts rather seriously).
So, one - as a community, Gujjus know how to live life king size. And that is something I truly admire. They believe in comfort and an optimal use of their resources to afford enough zing in their lifestyle. That is something Southies have no clue about, in general. The mentality is more like - who cares who sees how I live. So there are seldom any spur-of-the-moment movie outings, or simple 'going out on a drive' events. A coffee event is a coffee at a nearby Udipi place, as against perhaps a Barista or a CCD. Not that I am for indiscriminate expenditure, but the 'stylish' manner of operation in any event is missing amongst Southies to a very great extent.
Second, the dressing sense. Oh man! Trust a Gujju, a Sindhi or a Punjabi to look dapper at all times. Be it a visit to the post office, a doctor's office or even a party. Not a hair out of place, clothes in perfect shape, and a dressing sense that matches them and actually makes them look attractive. Take Southies in contrast. The Kya farak padta hai attitude literally drips into their clothing. Matchless match clothes, over sized long t-shirts not tucked into trousers, perhaps even a soiled dhoti at times. Women with long plaited wavy hair, that hangs in an unruly manner, as if the lady has done the hair a favor by keeping the strands on her head! Sorry to be so blunt, and all I can say to all those Southies who take offence is that I am a Southie as well, although I have had the opportunity to interact and move around the dapper junta, and so, my 'cultural sensibilities' seem to have been influenced a lot more by them, than by my natural community.
That's when I got to thinking why! Why are Southies seldom ever conscious of their societal mannerisms. I chose to believe that their spending attitudes are influenced by a history of poverty. Current generation middle aged people have risen from the dust and made something out of their lives. And so, the inherent nature to save every penny and categorize the supposed good life as frivolous. Secondly, the sloppy dressing. I have seen Israelis who care a jot about their dressing as well, and given the fact that Israelis form the smartest section of the world population, I got to thinking whether the proverbial South Indian arrogance associated with their supposed 'superior big brains' was responsible for their attitude towards their appearance, assuming a parallel between Southies and Israelis could be made. If this indeed is the case, I guess I'd say its time we got off the high horse, since no one likes seeing a sloppily dressed, stingy jockey!