Sunday, May 21, 2006

What's Your Caste?

A couple of years ago, a friend had thrown a small party at his flat in Chennai, where I met a very attractive girl from Kerala. As luck would have it, I found myself alone in her company quite a few times during the evening. Since I had been to the state quite a few times, I sought to impress her with whatever little knowledge I had then about God's Own Country. Luck seemed to be going in my favour till I made a terrible faux pas. I happened to ask her, “Are you a Nair or a Nambiar or a…?” She cut me short, penetrating my eyes with hers, “In this day and age, how can you ask someone's caste?!” I wished I could bury myself in the concrete floor. Read more

3 comments:

Deepa said...

There are really complex issues involved here. What really gets to me is the way even rich people get away with paying peanuts in case of school fees when the economically backward from upper castes have to struggle to make ends meet. Reservation, if at all, should be the economically backward. But then, the way things work in India, everyone would get fake low income cerficates done and claim concessions.

It is sick the way talking about caste and reservation is almost taboo, especially if you are from the upper caste.

Kavya said...

When i came to chennai frm delhi,i was just in 7th grade,the first question ppl asked me at school was," Are you a brahmin? if so iyer or iyengar?". It is outright arrogance i say. i didnt know the answer to their questions.very funny situation though and shockingly this happended almost a decade back.
and reservations on economic standards is also not going to work in our country.our prople will fake to any extent.merit shouold be the only criterion.

shakri said...

In an attempt to break the ice it looks you broke her heart a little. Nothing you can do now will ever make it go away but you can sure as daylight be a bit more cautious the next time around. Better luck with the C-Factor next time brother.

It happens.