Thursday, June 9, 2011

At Home With Two Identities

There are supposedly 233 million South Indians living in our mind boggling nation. As a qualified Armchair Theorist from the Indian Institute of Mumbo Jumbo (not to be confused with IIPM), I dare to wager that this piece of statistic is utter bunkum.

Because every Quickgun Murugan in Dosaland knows that every CSK, RCB and KTK supporter is born as TWO people and NOT one. So logically the population of South India should be doubled to 466 million!

Before you snigger at my mathematical jiggery-pokery, just look within you. Ask yourself one profound question: Are you one person or two people cohabiting one body? If you’re even half as honest as the minister-who-stole-a-telephone-exchange, you’ll wholeheartedly agree with me that there is a Jekyll and Haider inside all of us.

Let’s delve deeper with an example. Baby X is born in Chennai. Parents bestow him with two names – a home name and an official name. The home name in all likelihood will be a commonplace 2 or 3-syllable mythological like Krishna that can be conveniently zipped into a pet name like Kicchu. The official name will be a serious-sounding, burdensome legacy the baby has to bear all his life.

The length of the official name is usually proportional to the sadistic streak of the dad in question. If your hapless father was saddled with a Chakravarthi Melpakkam Thathachari in his childhood, chances are he will christen you as Desikacharya Melpakkam Kalyana Sundaram. But then, if he were a nice bloke, it would just be DMK Sundaram.

So to summarise, Baby X will have two identities – Krishna to his folks and DMK Sundaram to his friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Krishna allows the scope for a playful, outgoing, chaotic, creative guy to bloom. While DMK Sundaram lets the same man be - an organised, smart, nerdy, and unpleasant control-freak.

Two polar opposites residing in one normal person. Almost like the left brain and the right brain operating in perfect synchrony inside the cranium. That’s the beautiful by-product of the South Indian nomenclature. And may be that’s why we are twice as productive as the Santas and Bantas in the cow belt!