When I was in school I used to think being a North Indian is cool. I used to think North Indians were very "forward" thinking. My N.Indian friends' moms wore salwars and had lipstick on most of the time. That was my idea of being "forward" at that age. When I saw my neighbour aunty cover her head with her "ghoonghat" everytime she went past her mother-in-law, I thought they were not as cool as I had assumed. But the girls from N.Indian families never had bindi/pottu and sang "Ek do teen" songs, which was way too cool. My impression of them wavered between cool and uncool. And yes, eventually I realized that the enthusiasm for dressing up isn't in anyway related to "progressiveness".
The cousins or friends visiting from N.India too acted like North Indians. They sang hindi songs, girls never donned pottu, used "accha" frequently (I am thinking of Sowcar Janaki from Iru kodugal now) and definitely seemed cool. Being able to talk in hindi gave them some sort of a superiority complex I guess. And whenever I could, I tried to prove that my spoken hindi was good. So I am one up - I thought. Chaste Chennai tamil and good "shuddh" hindi. But heart of hearts, over the years, I have developed intolerance for one group of people - non-hindi speaking ones settled in North India, who assume knowing hindi is as important as knowing the letters of the alphabet. Run for life if you come across such characters. Its easy to identify them in a group.
- They keep saying, even if its out of context, that their tamil or telugu is not that good. They have a proud smile if you point it out to them.
- Even though they had lived in some South Indian city for a few years, they disown it with a vengeance.
- They talk proudly about how all their friends are hindi-speaking ones. They claim they listen only to hindi songs and talk only in hindi at home (so unlike N.Indians settled in the south. They dont disown their mother-tongue definitely.)
No matter how much of a hindi-peter they pretend to be, they will always be classified as "Madrasis" by their peers.
Disclaimer - A rule can be prroved only if there are exceptions. And I've seen enough exceptions. Some of them are my close friends too. But people, you know I dont include you in that group, dont you?