Sunday, February 26, 2006

... To the Core ...

I was going through some profiles on Orkut the other day, and found some of them describing themselves as "Maharashtrian to the Core" or "Maharashtrian at Heart". This claim of theirs aroused a curiosity to know more about them. I wanted to know why they claim to be "Maharashtrian to the Core". In general, I observed that they listen to a lot of Marathi music, they read Marathi books, they have seen many Marathi movies, and they like Maharashtrian cuisines. I didnt find anything special in that (in fact, many of us have same interests). However, I also observed that they had mostly Maharashtrian friends in their friend's list, their testimonials were mostly in Marathi-English, and so were the scraps (in fact, some even wrote their names in Devanagari). I directly/ indirectly knew some of them in my old days, lost touch in later period, and now Orkut was helping me to know more about their recent past.

Please do not get me wrong: I am not trying to be judgemental here. I also now that Orkut profiles does not completely illustrate a personality, in fact it's sometimes very misguiding. Also, I am not even trying to prove anything write or wrong. Even tough this was just an observation, I did observe a definite trend in these people. I somehow felt that they had a very restrictive personality, and a close-bracketed life, however they were strongly associated to Marathi world.

Next obvious step was introspection: Am I a "Maharashtrian to the Core" ??

I guess I WAS. Not anymore.

Coming from a very simple and well educated Maharashtrian family; and given the fact that I was in a Marathi medium school, and my mother is a teacher; I was introduced to Marathi literature at a very early age. Even though I was never introduced to Marathi movies or songs, I developed a liking for Marathi books when I was in school. My parents also encouraged me to follow and participate in prolific Marathi theatre (believe it or not, I have won couple of awards-n- trophies for acting at inter-school level; and I was also there on All India Radio :) ). My parents always believed in living a simple life, and were never gung-ho about dining out. My taste buds were very much tuned to typical Maharashtrian food. So in every sense, I was very much a Maharashtrian.

It all changed in my engineering days though. Our group was pretty much cosmopolitan: got very good friends who were not Maharashtrians, and I got to learn a lot in those days (especially about their traditions, food, habits, culture, etc.). After 4 years of engineering, and some very significant time in Johnson Controls, I had a few more dimensions to my personality. Couple of years at Clemson introduced a whole new world to me. I actually value Clemson more for the enthralling experience of knowing more about people, their background, their cultural diversity.. actually about everything. Also, having loads of non-Maharashtrian friends helped a lot to realise that this world is full of diversity. Like a kid, I tried to grasp everything that came my way; tried to absorb some of those things in my psyche. I was always a keen observer, and an astute learner. That helped a lot. Most of my present identity is in fact developed at Clemson. And the trend will continue at Cleveland and wherever I go after that. Life is a learning process, no matter how old or experienced you are. At this stage thouh, I dont think I am a Maharashtrian to the Core anymore.

Did I loose anything in the process??

I dont think so. Not at all. May be I lost my Maharashtrian identity, but I would like to consider it as a part of the process.

I have always believed in having multiple traits in life. I get bored of doing same thing for a long time, and also like to try out a few new ones. I, in fact like to experiment (not again !!!) a bit with my daily lifestyle, and I immensely enjoy the whole process. One is bound to change in the journey of life. Changes are inevitable, and the moment one shuns from changes, I guess the whole purpose of life becomes obsolete. I firmly believe that life is all about expanding the horizons, and enjoy the whole experience, and I will stick to them for now.

On a deathbed, I dont want to feel as if I missed experiencing something in life that I always wanted to. I would hate myself if I have that feeling at any moment of life. After all, the destination is not that significant; but the journey definitely is. And I want to enjoy every bit of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent views. I totally agree.