Kindly picture yourself as an Alien and describe your imagination.
Duhhh…. Who said Alien means ET and from Mars and scary but sweet and helpful and all that., It also means a foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalized citizen of the country where he or she is living. And, that was me when I ended up on a team with all English and Arab peers, if English was familiar, Arabic was a “Woaaahhh, that sounds very very different”. But, that was fine, people understand, they help, you find they are all nice… west or east people have similar thoughts but different living styles/ backgrounds/ beliefs. Hence, let me quote down a couple of situations I had with them.
It is a moment when everyone from all the departments meet. It Is indeed a great platform as they all share their thoughts, informative conversations (technical / analytical), people who get both fascinated or argumentative as per their mood or platform or whatever. But, that’s definitely not the challenge I meant. It is the ‘Food’. For lunch we have varieties of Soup, Chicken wings and French fries, Pasta and shrimps (differing Continental Cuisine), Biriyani (Lamp or Camel and Beef), kebab, Fish, Chicken and in veg White rice, mostly dal (least consumed) and green salad. The moment we enter this great place of wisdom and social interaction the smell gets you disappointed and heartbroken considering how hungry you are. For people, who are reading this and who are not familiar with my background, I am a Tambrahm, an elite class of Palakkad Iyer, descendant from a much respected class of vadhyar (priests), Herbivorous (the mere thought of any other food would have normally made a tambrahm go insane), with a cultural background which you find very hard to explain to people of same country let alone people of west/ middle east. With that intro, the questions and statements that are thrown upon me includes
- “hey, are you a veg or a vegan!!! “
- “Why do you not eat non-veg”
- “It must be very hard for you not to eat these amazing stuff”
- “Its sad that your culture forbids you from these”
- “Oh you poor thing”
And, you have to reply with a casual that’s Alright when in fact you are adjusting a lot trying to eat with all the plates around you that have nothing but meat (and I see animated meat which are rather raw).
I have to declare my heart felt gratitude to the Cochin biennale here. Though I have not been to this or have no idea what it is, people around the globe do. And, that had been my reference ever since. It goes like this
Them – where are you from
Me – India
Them – Which part of India
Me – South (I assume they don’t know any further but I am wrong)
Them – Where in South
Me – Kerala
Them – Have you been to the Cochin Biennele
Me – That’s where I am from (Since, I have not been to, I don’t want to say No but this is my answer)
One of them – Kerala is Where Adam or Eve was send, who exactly was send
Another of Them – I think Thomas was also send
Me – Smile and nod!!!
Arundhathi and Dhruva Nakshathram Vs Fashion Statement
I love this place as it taught me East or West women like to notice and complement each other. I used to be complimented on the ‘Mettis’ or toe ring I wore saying it looks amazing and they want to get one too when I always end up saying ‘That is a part of our tradition to wear it’ and they reply ‘That’s an amazing one’. To People who really want to know
After Saptapadi (Seven steps around the fire that confirms the marriage); the grooms sister gently slips silver rings or “Mettis” on brides toes. The couple is then shown the Dhruva Nakshatra or Pole Star, the one who attained immortality through single-minded devotion and perseverance and also the “Arundhathi Nakshatra”, as the ideal wife – the embodiment of charity and virtue. This is symbolic of the fact that such virtues are to be emulated throughout marital life. Something, which is practically not possible to explain to people around you.
My story and happenings continue but I cut short my post.