Identity Crisis?


Today as I was going back home in a rickshaw shared with an elderly lady who was a Tamil brahmin like myself I came across something so unusual.

As soon as I sat in the rickshaw I recognised her to be one of ‘us’ because of her clothing etc. What came as a surprise was this, five minutes into the rickshaw she asked me politely in Hindi not Tamil about the fare for this shared journey. I gave her my reply and was shocked for a bit. Cause then I started to think. Have I really distanced myself that far away from my own culture that ‘my own people’ fail to recognise me?

So do I look that different? Because just few days ago a tamilian vendor recognised me as a tamilain in the train. She smiled as I got earrings from her while, she gossiped away in the language with her mate.

But then what struck me was this. I entered my aunt’s house after the rickshaw ride. I started to realise one very peculiar thing. Across the family of four different households none of us drink water the same way. Yes! Forget everything else. At my aunt’s house they drink water after boiling it on the stove, my other aunt uses a kettle to boil her water, and my oldest aunt uses a water filter to have her water cleansed. We on the other hand have a water purifier.

So if people related to each other by blood don’t function the same manner, in the sense we don’t even fall under the same category when it comes to consuming water, how can you expect the external world to associate with you within seconds?

Maybe there is just lot of identities in the world meshed up together and we can never place ourselves in any one category.

Which is a good thing, some time we fit right just into a place or a social setting and sometime we don’t. And that is fine. It is perfectly fine otherwise there wouldn’t be anything little different or quirky about you that stands out. At the same time if we have the need to consistently stand out then remember if you don’t have something that others can associate with you then there wouldn’t be any connection between you and this world we live in.

So as you go through this tide of life I hope you understand and nurture the fact that you never need to fit in or fit out. You’re not a jigsaw puzzle that is misplaced. You’re a whole jigsaw set of your own. 

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