Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
We were having lunch a few years ago at in our office and one of my colleagues had bought curd from the shop. He was saying that my curd was better and enquired as to where had I bought it. I told him that we make curd in our house and that we have never bought curd from a shop. He was genuinely astounded!!
“Thayir veetlaye pannuveengala?”
“Aamaam, apdi dhaan ithana kaalama pannitu irukom. Ennanga ipdi kekareenga?”
“Epdi nga pannuveenga?”
“Paal la konjam thayiro moro viteenga na, next day morning thayir aahidum.”
“Seriousaa ungalukku idhu theriyadha?”
“Theriyadhu nga, enga veetla ellam thayir kadai la dhaan vaanguvom.”
“Seri kadai ku engendhu thayir varudhu?”
“Factory lendhu varudhu.”
“Factory la epdi nga thayir panraanga?”
“I don’t know.”
“Naan sonna method dhaan nga use pannuvaanga. Paal orakoothinaa dhaan thayir varum. Thayira kadanja vennai, vennaya urukkina nei, thayir la konjam thanni vittu kadanja mor. Ennanga idhu theiyadhu ndreenga?”
“Nejama enakku theriyadhu nga.”
I was appalled.
A few weeks later, I was talking to another colleague over lunch. It was raining very hard in Chennai and almost all streets had been flooded, vegetable prices had gone up, the usual. He was wondering loudly how with all this rain, crops won’t grow.
“Ennanga indha mazha peyyudhu, epdi nga velayaama irukkum?”
“Chennai mazha penju prayojanam illa nga, enga payyanumo anga peyyanum, alavaa peyyanum. Delta la dhaan main aa agriculture pannunvaanga, anga mazha penja dhaan use.”
“Adhu epdi nga mazha anga correct aa peyyum?”
Honestly, he had no clue about agriculture.
“Ella edathulayum peyyara mazhai delta ku vandhu serum nga, delta layum mazha peyyum, adhu alavaa penja dhaan crops nalla velayum. Alavukku adhigamaa irundha crops will get damaged.”
“Alavukku adhigama aaga irukka roof potukkalaame nga?”
Now, there was an idea!! More than 50% land in India is agricultural land. He was talking about covering half of India in roofs. Wow, I mean!!
I was appalled.
I was talking with a colleague of mine who recently returned from the US. Before going to America, she had lived in Chennai for 27 years. When I told her that my husband does sandhyavandhanam regularly, she became speechless. I could understand that. When I was telling her about maa velakku maa, she didn’t know what it was. I could understand that. Her mother was from Palakkad. I asked her if she had eaten melagoottal and chakka pradhaman. When she said she didn’t know what those were, I was appalled.
In an MTC, I heard a girl talking on phone. She wanted to know why during election for prime minister, Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha were wasting their time asking for votes. Her question – “Shouldn’t Sonia Gandhi and L K Advani be asking us?” I don’t know what she was doing when the politicians were screaming away to glory about seats and coalitions. And whatever did she do in Civics class!! I could sense her genuine surprise when she said, “Oh, Congress um DMK vum sendhu panraangala?” I was appalled.
I know people who gave some 7 or 8 names when asked “pancha paandavaa yaaru?”. Someone said Dharman, Bheeman, Arjunan, Bharathan, Satrughnan. Another said – Dhraman, Bheeman, Arjunan, Krishnar, Kunti, Balaramar and Draupadi!! Such people aren’t alone. Someone I know very well and was going for an IIM interview asked, “Abdul Kalam thamizhaa?” The nerve of him!! Intellect and ignorance were hand in hand. I understood then that not knowing things has nothing to do with degrees, education or even the company you keep. It is a matter of choice.
With tools to knowledge and information available in every nook and corner of the world today, I feel that ignorance definitely is a choice. People do NOT want to know certain things. They shut their eyes and ears. It is a miracle as well as a pity they aren’t banging off the walls!! Worldly knowledge and common sense are becoming rare commodities. Basic is becoming still more basic, if you know what I mean.
Some people question me as to how I know these things. Sometimes, I get wild. These ‘things’ don’t come in the papers, aren’t shown on television and all. You are supposed to open your eyes and ears and use the senses of vision and hearing to the fullest. But before that, I ought to have told them that they must open their minds.
This is my sincere appeal to anyone who reads this blog:
O, ye people!! Open your minds. Allow information to come into your system. Open your eyes and ears. It would do the world a load of good.