Monday, March 20, 2006

Introduction to Indian Caste Systems

Do you guys remember when you were introduced to the Indian Caste System for the first time in your life? Well, in this post I'm gonna write about my experience about how I got introduced to the Indian Caste System. I can very well remember that incident; I was studying in 3rd standard then. I did my schooling in Vasavi Vidyalam in Tirupur.It's a typical govt tamil medium school.There were 2 temples(Easwaran,Perumal kovil) near my school.Both temples are only 2 mins walking distance from my school. Me and my friend Ganapathi Subramaniam (he was my best friend) used to have lunch together those days.Some times we used to have lunch in one of those temples.

One fine day I was getting ready for school,i asked my amma what did she packed in my lunch box.She said fish kozhambu with smile on her face.At that time i wanted to ask her why she packed fish kozhambu coz she never used to give me any non-veg for lunch but as i was in a hurry to get ready to school, i forgot the whole conversation and went to school.In the afternoon, me and my friend Ganapathy went to Easwaran kovil to have our lunch. When ever we go there,the priest in that temple used to enquire Ganapathy about his family and what lunch we brought in that day and stuff.He was his relative.He did the same on that day as well and i said fish kozhambu calmly .He turned back angrily towards Ganapathy and he was looking so nervous(I really had no clue what's going on between them).

Priest then asked him exactly this,"intha mathire pasangaloda ellam en sera?"(why do u have friendship with these guys?)Ganapathy was going like, "Mama illa mama ivan antha mathire aagaram ellam konduvara mattan" and blah blah blah.(No uncle he won't bring that kind of food usually).Then the priest said to him not to have lunch with me that day and turned back and said to me if you bring mamisam then you shouldn't come to temple .I simply nodded at him.We both went to our usual place in that temple to have lunch.Ganapathy sat 20 m away from me.

To tell u guys honestly, i had no clue what so ever at that time about what's happening.I opened my lunch box and found Tomato Kozhambu instead of fish kozhambu.I found the reason for my mum's smile when she said fish kozhambu in the morning (my mum's tomato kozhamu tastes like fish curry).I was so happy to see tomato kozhambu .I stood up and said "dei Ganapathi enga amma thakali kozhamba chummanachuku meen kozhambunu solirukangada" by saying that i went near him.He started running with his lunch box and i was chasing and shouting at him like "dei ithu thakali kozhambu da Ganapathy".he went to that same priest .

I went to that priest and explained him the whole story.He laughed and said "inimel nee mamisam sapidaratha iruntha Ganapathy koda sera kudathu".I said ok.Later when i went home, i explained everything to my mum,the whole family was there.when i finished my story everyone had best laugh of their life. I had no clue for their laugh.My dad said," Ganapathy Iyer veetu paiyan da avan curry ellam sapida matan".I asked him y?he said something.I couldn't understand his explanation that stage.

When I think back now,I guess it wasn't a bad experience.Which priest on earth would allow you to have fish kozhambu inside the temple?Someone else in his place could have easily created hatred in mind about Iyers.Luckly that wasn't the case in my experience.


Ggraph said...

Each day I try to read an interesting blog. Today I read yours. I liked your stories. The one on thr caste system was informative and makes you think about the relationships we have with others.

The story of "Hero" was very touching and makes us think about what's important in life.

Good luck in your new position at work.

ambi said...

Hhhhm, being iyer, i too have many non veg frnz. fooding habits differ from not only to caste to caste also from regional wise.
say for ex, bengali and orissa brahmins eat fish.
but i never look partiality in my frnz group. also i used to follow my tradition (pure veg) even when i used to sit with them even in 5 star hotels.
another good post... thanx for visiting mine, and U r always welcome.

Gopalan Ramasubbu said...

@Mark:Thanks for your visit,comments and wishes.

@Ambi:Thanks for your vist .Intention of my post was to describe the situation when i was introduced to the caste system for the first time.I don't believe in any caste and groups.
One small favour Ambi,epadi enoda blog viewersa increase panrathu?Nan intha bloging ku konjam puthusu,ungala mathire seniors advice konjam thevai he he he.

வேதா said...

well, that really brought back my school memories, i am a strict veg, a tamil iyengar, but i used to sit with my friends even when they bring non-veg, usually i share with all of my friends,except the day they bring non-veg. sometimes, when they bring nv,they jus maintain a distance from me, thinking that i will be uncomfortable, i will jus say,hi comeon why are shying away, its ur lunch, u carry on yaar. so it all depends upon the mind. of course there were friends who could even stand the sight of the nv dishes,but that does not mean they are discriminating. they are used to it ,thats all.

unknown said...

nalla post...naan etho titlela partu romba ethir parthen..meen kozhambunnu sonnavudane nakkula saliva...seri vidunga..but u know frdship has no caste difference..
i too have many frds who never tasted NV..
appuram unka photove chinnatha irukku anga poi naan eppadi unga photo kandupidikarathu enlarge and post will try to trace you..seria..
by the by first time here..keep posting more about melbourne

ambi said...

Hi gops,

i'll tell u many ways to increase the blog visitors in a sep post of mine.last nite i too thinking of the same. if time permits, pls go thru my prev posts.
i used to narrate an anectode and stops at critical stage to raise the anxiousness of viewer.
mix some humour in ur post, that will work out.
and for ur info, i started blogging only from feb 20 th 2006 itself..

Gopalan Ramasubbu said...

@Veda:Thanks for your visits and comments.Adikadi vanga nan recipe ellam ketu ungalai kasta padutha maten:)

@Ammu:First time vanthurukenga,romba nandri.Thanks for your comments.Pic la oru click panunga ,seperate window open akum,u can see bigger pic with good resolution.I'l post about Melb soon.Thanks again.

@Ambi:athu epadinganna Gops nu correcta sonenga?u know intha vellaikara boys enoda pera kolai pani(like this Goplan,golapalan,gogo,etc)kadaiseya Gops la settle aairukanga.Thanks for u r tips.I'll read all your blog when i go to office tomorrow:).

வேதா said...

enna thaniya oru course aramchitiya, paathu mr.gops unga kita fees vaangituvar ivar:)

Usha said...

hey, c'mon, adhu caste system-ku introduction probably was a lesson to communal harmony :)) J/k, aana adhu pazhakka vazhakkam dhane solli koduthadhu?

Gopalan Ramasubbu said...

@Veda:Cha cha Ambi ya pathi thapa solathenga. avar romba nallavar,vallavar fees ellam vanga matar:)

@Usha:Thanks for your visits and comments.adikadi vanga.



It brought so many wonderful childhood memories.

Thank you