Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Trishanku's heaven"

Yesterday was Onam. I put on a little of the kalabham from Guruvayoor Temple on my forhead, it being a festival day. My friend wondered aloud how come I was behaving like a malayalee suddenly. Then came the second instance. There was a freshers party for students from Tamil Nadu and my friends were going for it. On being told that as I was not a tamilian, or rather that I was so non-tamilian, I may not have been invited, put me a little off. Yes, even though I am not a tamilian by birth, I am more of a tamilian by place I have lived, thought and values. To be told that I am not a tamilian somehow felt strange. And then, both of these incidences happened on the same day. So, that got me thinking. Where do I belong ?

Even though I was born in Kerala, I have lived my entire life in Tamil Nadu. Kerala has been vacation trips during school days, usually, a month long and then later, just a few days. Being a malayalee, Onam, Vishu and Thiruvathira are the only festivals as malayalees we celebrate at home. Pongal, Deepavali, Vinayagar Chathurthi and Pooja are festivals we celebrate due to the legacy we got out of living in Tamil Nadu. We have I believe, in the process, imbibed the best of both cultures, malayali and tamil. Yet yesterday, that remark got me thinking - actually a little hurt. Do I look so unlike a malayali. Of course, I do not flaunt my being a malayali. I speak in English most of the time, a little in malayalam, tamil and hindi too. I do not walk around with wet hair(I have very little hair unlike most malayali's) and yes, do not look much like a malayali too. Neither do I look totally tamilian. I have never given much thought to these issues personally. Yes, we did have instances when our neighbours wondered why as outsiders we were interested in the uplift of the neighbourhood or when we commented on state policy. We used to tell these people that we are more tamilians than most tamilians, for it is tamil soil that we feel close with.

So, where am I? Where do I belong ? I am totally confused ? Is there a need to belong to some community, culture or language to be part of something ? Or is it only by birth that one becomes something ? For that matter, is it necessary at all that I should belong somewhere ? Why should I choose left or right ? Why can't I just be, happy in the knowledge that I am both, one by birth and another by time.

Yesterday, I felt like Trishanku who neither belongs in the heavens nor on earth. But then, Trishanku lives in his own heaven. So, there was the answer. My heaven needs no one to tell me to choose. My heaven has enough place for all things I choose to be, because I like the best. Where they come from do not matter. For, I am richer by it rather than poorer.

2 comments:

Kam said...

No Inclusion.
No Exclusion.
No Conclusion.
Yes, It's a big episode of confusion in culture and community.

I see this issue sometimes with few of my friends from tamilnadu who stay in tirupati.

I desperately see No need to determine 'where I belong' or 'Who I Am' they are unless one wants to know one's own extremes.

Kam

Viruvelil Hormise Thomas said...

As you grow older you may feel like going back to where you spend your childhood,the place which moulded you into what you are