believe me

I am a telugu.

I really am. I wasn’t born there in teluguland but last I checked, I was born to telugu parents and most definitely raised one. I swear. Ask my mom. How about reading my Sankranthi post, or just ask me a question in telugu and I’d reply, in telugu too! Yes, I do know tamil too, and I think it’s a fine language and I can probably cuss in it as well, but no seriously I am a good ol’ telugu woman at heart.
What?
I don’t look like one?
Yeah, I know, I must have been swapped at birth I suppose, I mean, after all I was a chubby baby with fat hanging off my cheeks and equally large round eyes threatening to take over the remaining space. Though I did ask my mother and she insists I am her natural born child, what with the unmistakable dad’s curls and skin color and her almond eyes.
So you must believe me, I may stick out among the telugus, but I surely am one.
I wish I could stay and convince you longer, but I must jump the fence and convince my telugu sisters too, coz they don’t believe me either.

When God was distributing the talent/gift of the ‘comeback’, I was lazing away somewhere under the tree, staring at how pretty sunlight was fading into the night. By the time I realized and sauntered over, there wasn’t any left. That pretty much explains why I am left staring open mouthed when I get faced with thoughtless comments that seem to haunt me everywhere I go. I stand there shocked in complete disbelief at the moment that’s transpired, and after the frozen moment’s passed, beat a hasty retreat.

I read Usha’s post this morning and she had this nice collection of comebacks, slightly chubby, ample, prosperous looking women could use when the stick-thin models grill us. She’d covered all of them one can possibly think of, except that there’s apparently a regional influence onto how the fat cells distribute themselves. I was recently made aware of that and this is how the story goes.

A few weeks ago at Costco.

I was there digging through a pile of ski gloves for the kids, minding my own business. Out of the blue, a lady taps me on my shoulder and goes

“Hii Rads”

I turn around. I can vaguely recollect her from the distant past. Recovering I smile, hoping she wouldn’t quiz me on who she was, her name, gotram and her child’s school. There had to be a child in tow somewhere, I thought. On cue, one brat looking like a miniature version of her, skirted the corner and ran bang into my already crooked knee.*wince.

She goes on “How long it is since I’ve seen you?” Pauses.

“Oh yea, quite a while.” (refusing to quantify the time elapsed) “How much your son’s grown?” (grin stupidly)

“Yeah, I wouldn’t have recognized you at all, until he told me it was Rads’ aunty.”

“Ah, children. Such memory they have.”

I then realize I know her from some friend’s friend Navratri golu thing and we kept bumping into each other all through the evening, more like an acquaintance. More such insane small talk that I am dying to weasel out of, and hoping to escape as with a grace of a waddling rhino.

A svelte expensive figure in a fitted turtleneck and an equally expensive looking jacket turns the corner. Am still gaping at the neat cut, when the face came into view and lo behold it’s another lady from the past. This time, more recent past and a bit more friendlier, one I can actually recall the name and a little more detail. .

New lady exclaims “Omg rads, lovely to see you!”

I exclaim with equal enthusiasm, hoping she’s my last straw out of the whirlpool I was sinking into.

She continues on looking warily and apologetically at the other lady “No Rads, it’s been a crazy year..” lapses into telugu quickly.

We nod and she rushes off.

The lady with the toddler, looks back at me and says “She’s a telugu, and you speak telugu too?”
Before I could explain, the brat managed to skid and fall on his butt and needed some TLC. Thinking this was the perfect time to escape I wait for her to face me, so I could politely leave.

She hauls the fellow up and looks up at me and continues on “These Telugus I tell you, they look so slim and thin trim. It’s us Tamils only who look like this.”

After that statement, my mouth fell open and I refused to stand there anymore and explain to her that

1. I was a telugu alright, just not slim and thin trim.
2. Tamils are a fine lot by themsleves, thank you very much!

29 thoughts on “believe me

  1. LOL!
    Now thats a strange theory your “friend” has.
    All she needs is to see me to change her opinion.

    Slim adn trim telugus indeed!

  2. Cool. Good to know I now have my state & language orientation to blame those extra pounds on :) Am amazed everytime I meet such characters!

  3. That lady’s stmt is logic-less on so many levels – my head is still spinning.

    Don’t worry Rads, you have company. My standard comeback (when it is *most* needed) is to either a)gape stupidly or b) grin weakly. The comeback which would have made the other party squirm comes to me approximately 2 weeks after the event (if at all) :-(. Sigh.

  4. On the comeback handicap, I think I was with you when God was distributing them.
    Aha so that is the thing – I am a Tamil too – Now I have a Valid reason to look like “this only’.
    During a recent trip to Chennai I was quite amused with a film song which describes the distinguishing characteristic of women from every region of India. Do you know THAT one?

  5. “These Telugus I tell you, they look so slim and thin. It’s us Tamils only who look like this.”

    ROTFL…must be why theres a temple for Khushboo… must show this to the wife.. a card carrying kolti (kannadiga bought up in Andhra)

  6. Vijay: Please do, the cross-state women need all the support we can get. :)

    Usha: hehe, yeah! :) Nope, what song is this? *really bad at staying current with songs*

    CW: I’ll pay you by the hour. Please, enroll me as your first student.

    Archana: OMG, we are soul sisters I tell you! That’s exactly what happens to me too :\

    Laksh: It feels good when someone breaks down a puzzle so simply no? :)

    Sands: hehe, no, that’s okay. Thank God for suchc characters, I get blog material :-)

    Jyothy: Well, some people live in denial. Whattodo? :)

  7. stitha: yeayea, thin, trim – all same difference :p

    sachita: lol, absolutely! My mom used to worry a whoel lot. She would still say “please learn from these ladies around your neighborhood” and I’d nod.

  8. errr .. i knw few telugu girls who’ve let thmselves go aftr their weddng/kids & and ther r a cpl of tamil women who’ve bounced bck aftr kids & look hot!!!

  9. shyam: O please, the lady was rambling. Typecasting indeed! We know better don’t we? :)

    mlc: lol, exactly. It’s convenient to group folks together, but in all reality, we come in all varieties. :)

  10. Look what you did—you’ve got all of us “halthy(Punju pronunciation!) Telugu ladies” out of the woodwork!I dropped by to tell you that you’ve been awarded, please to see my blog. Only thing is, have not been able to put up the logo!

  11. Ha! Why on earth was I wasting time trying to catch some words & accents to tell Tamil from Telugu? This is so much easier…now I know I have two Tamil neighbors and there’s one Telugu at the busstop.

    That woman I met at the gym used to be Tamil, now she’s Telugu!

    -g

  12. Lak: Yeah :)
    I left you a comment. You need to download the log and save as a jpeg. Then load it onto your post on blogger. Hope that helped. :)

    Thanks for the award. That makes it a grand total 4. I am freezing to death here :-D

    gauri: lol, yep, life’s very simple :)

    Adithya: heh, glad to have helped. :)
    yes, neither here nor there she’d brand me, which I am anyways!

  13. Vimal: LOL. Yesyes, Pramadama sowkyam me doing. :D

    Max: rofl! Yes, the catch being there are very few eligible single ones around right? :p

    deitadi: Red bus ekki vostaru :P
    Yes yes, since the wit doesn’t work, I hope brawn would. *sigh.

  14. rads:

    somewhat in defense of “that woman” (this is my mccain moment of the day), i want to say that only those folks should comment who have not stereotyped anyone themselves. {ugghh, this effectively means that i should not comment too!}

    – s.b.

  15. sb: ah, you appear only to say you have nothing to say? :)

    Nandini: Girl, after the woman’s declaration, I am not sure if I should be touting my telugu roots at all. :\

  16. I transcend the boundaries nations and states. My choices in women are either exotic or mutts – and they make for, umm, interesting body types.

    Evolution for the win! May the best genes mix, match and win.

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