So I've been exploring a lot of Marathi Culture in Pune which actually gives you a better oppurtunity of doing so, rather than its cosmopolitan big brother Bombay.But of course this post is not some sort of social commentary on either of the cities.
Its more about how things that we see as alien to one another are actually quite alike. I am what you would call a Madrasi . I probably fit the colloquial definition of a Madrasi as told to me by one of my Bombay-bred friends apart from the Lungi wearing part. A Madrasi is technically anyone south of Maharasthra, he may also be referred to as Anna. But most Telugus, Kannadigas & Malayalis are often quick to react upon the use of this term to correct the user that they are actually from a different state. But I for one am comfortable with the term, born in Mylapore, bred in Ameerpet (till I finished my Engineering), then spending early days of manhood in Powai, before finally moving to Nigdi to make something of myself, its been quite a ride.
But what it has done is, it has made me culturally sensitive. Having parents who were strictly grounded to their roots made sure that I was well versed with Tamil Culture. The friends I have from Hyderabad, made sure that a Telugu gentleman was also bred in me. The folks at Pune are now watching the Maratha in me bloom.
Proof of this is the fact that I have started listening to loads of Marathi music from the late 80s (I love that era fyi). I am in love with Misal Pav & I have added Archana Joglekar to the ideal partner list after - Shobana ,Revathi ,Gayatri Joshi & Amala.
So the next time you find me making racist jokes, you know its because of my love for the plethora of peoples in our country rather than my contempt for them. Maharashtra boasts of great theatre scene due to their tamasha traditions, apart from boasting of great singers like the Mangeshkar family and Suresh Wadkar. Of course, they could do without all the "armies" that they have, but if you looked at it from the eyes of an optimist, you could tell that some of them really think that their culture would get diluted and cease to exist, beats me, but I'd like to think that I'm a puritan in some ways too(I hated it that the IPL had better ratings than test cricket & I also hate that single screens are disappearing one per day). Despite my love for Bombay, I hate the crowds and the insanity of the inter city travel. Sometimes I like to imagine what it would have been to live in the Bombay of the 70s or 80s before the multitudes were here.
Now playing - Kevha Tari Pahate from Nivdung