Thursday, November 13, 2008


"Unity in diversity", Nehru once said exemplifying the then 20 odd states under one nation. We have added more to the diversity side of it with 28 states and a few UTs. Recent events in Maharashtra and Bihar have only emphasized on that half of the spirit. But, again it's no fun in non-diversified India and I would definitely like it to be the way it is, minus the politics part of it.

Every state in India share a unique relationship with each of its neighboring states. The legendary being the two Souths. The TAMilians and the KannaDIGAs. Though they are collectively called as Madrasis by the CHOMs (CHOM = CHapati Oriented Menu : A collective name for North India, the CHOMland), now even the North Indians recognize the uniqueness in the two breeds of people.
Probably, even a German and a French would share better camaraderie than a TAM and a DIGA. They are like two people who can't live without the other and wouldn't stand too, for the fact that it's the same water stream that connects the two states.

So, how similar or how different are these people?

What does one say to a brown stranger he meets in Berlin?
Tam: Hi, Tamil thereemaa??
Diga: "Sind Sie Indisches??" (Are you an Indian?)

Tam: Actors turned politicians.
Diga: Politicians turned actors.

Tam: 5 yrs Karunanidhi, 5 years Jayalalitha alternating.
Diga: Hanging coalition till the opposition party buys two from ruling, and time for elections. Story remains same, parties only exchange roles.

Tam: Serve Jayalalitha/Karunanidhi for 5 years, get transferred or suspended in the next 5 years. Also cause some discomfort among public by some moral policing.
Diga: Serve every politician, serve themselves in the meantime, till the next Lokayukta raid.

Tam: Carnatic, AR Rehman.
Diga: Karnatic, Hindustani, Rock, Jazz, Western classical, bollywood to name a few.

Tam: Rajni, Kamal, future Rajnis and future Kamals.
Diga: Remake of Tam movies.

Tam and Diga: 10th grade --> IIT tutions + 12th --> IIT attempt 1 --> Med / IIT attempt 2 --> Engineering /Med --> MS in US
CHOM: 10th grade --> 12th grade --> Engineering in Bangalore --> Dad's business.

How do the guys of Tam-land refer to a girl wearing jeans?
Answer: "The girl in jeans".

How does a Diga explain the name change from Bangalore to Bengaluru?
Answer: "See, we feel our capital is a free and cosmopolitan city. The name Ban-galore did not go with the spirit. There shouldn't be anything 'Ban'ned here and the name suggested just the opposite. Then they decided to get rid of the Ban and make it "Ben". It became Bengal-ore. Then a soul in Vidhan Sabha suggested that this name is too risky and controversial and we do not want Bengalis to stake claim on every metal found in the city. So they decided to get rid of the "ore" part and make it "uru". That's how it became Bengaluru."

How do they vote?
Tam: Remembers whom he voted last time, votes for Karunanidhi if it was Jayalalita and vice versa.
Diga: Sees the names of the candidates for the first time, checks for any Gowda, Reddy, Patil, etc and votes the person belonging to his caste.

Favourite pastime:
Tam: The Hindu Crossword, watching Sivaji / Chandramukhi.
Diga: Deve Gowda bashing, talking about how IT spoiled Bangalore.

Their idea of Hollywood:
Tam: White people talking Tamil.
Diga: White people.

How do you know its a Diga in Berlin?
Answer: Ask a question in Kannada, he will answer in German.

Auto driver:
Diga: Swindles you if you dont know the place.
Tam: Swindles you.

Tam and Diga: People who fast during Kaveri water issue.

What do they do when a heroine gets overweight?
Tam: Build a temple.
Diga: Make her a police inspector.

I am sure if you ask any Tam or a Diga, he would have more to add to the list. I might as well add them sometime later. But as of now, I can only get this far.

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