We’re like this only

Among the many groups and races, we Tamils are unique and special, especially when you take into consideration the fact that we are the only ones who have knocked on the doors of the court to find out as to when exactly our New Year falls. We are taking the help of Constitution for things that lesser people make do with calendar. That’s how impressive we are.

But this is not alone, we Tamils are the most accommodating too despite open aggression from many sources, but none more sinister and horrendous than when Udit Narayan attempts to sing a Tamil song. I think we need to take back the Oscars from A R Rahman just as a simple punishment for unleashing Udit Narayan on us for perpetuity. Karunanidhi should call all the top stars of the Tamil film industry, who I think generally spend their time by waiting outside his door, and take this matter with them urgently. One more Tamil song from Udit Narayan, I can assure you, will trigger acute global warming crisis over Tamilnadu alone.

Tamil has no equals also because that a good majority of its people, including its top poets and super icons, cannot even manage the right pronunciation of Thamizh.

Ok, we are all Tamils, but how much we know about ourselves? And not all Tamils are the same. Somebody like MGR or Rajni, who were not born here, are more Tamil than any of us ever can be. Why?

Well, that’s the beauty of all us Tamils. To understand who we are and fathom our overall knowledge of Tamil issues, let us all take this multiple-choice test. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers in this. But your choice will tell you who you are, which you can cross verify by looking into a mirror.   

1) We start with history, ancient Tamilnadu was primarily divided into three zones, comprising Chozha Nadu, Chera Nadu and ______. What is the third entity in the list?

A) Nam Nadu, and that is why MGR made a movie with that title, which was also the name of a subsequent movie starring Sarath Kumar that was not leaked on the internet because even the pirate merchants weren’t interested in that.

B) Kodanadu

C) San Jose & Sunny Valley

D) Pandia Nadu primarily covering the areas in and around Madurai, the place that is Constitutionally required to be part of all the Tamil movies. Madurai is generally the place that is the headquarters for sickles. It is also known for the use of language that is liberally laced with swear words, which the rest of the State thinks to be cute.

2) Talking of language, how many letters make up Tamil?

A) Don’t know. But Maniratnam made a movie under the title Ayudha Ezhuthu, even though nobody has a clue as to why he named it so.

B) Whatever number it is, Periyar improved them all. Don’t ask why Periyar changed the existing letters with which nobody had any problem. The overall feeling is Periyar had a lot of free time on his hand, and Tamil language was also lying free.   

C) 26 English letters, and Google transliteration device takes care of the rest.     

D) Whatever the number, remove one from it. Because Ayudha Ezhuthu is in the Tamil lexicon only to make up the numbers. Frankly, it is impossible to use, and even write, in every-day language. At best, it can work as an emoticon conveying confusion. There are only two words that  is technically possible to write with that letter. So why have it? If you answer this question I will answer your question.

3) Valluvar is the virtual father of Tamil. What do you know about him?

A) He is the one atop the globe that revolves at the start of every K Balachander movie. His other name is Ayyan, which is not to be mistaken with the Suriya movie, which is Ayan.

B) He is the one who stands as a statue on the sea at Kanyakumari at 1330-feet so that Karunanidhi can lay claim to that as a feat as he ordered the construction of it. The greatness of that statue, however, lies in the fact that crows have to fly really high to leave their mark on it.

C) Valluvar is the anagram of Valvular, which the dictionary describes as  ‘relating to or operating by means of valves’. Valluvar is known for writing verses for the Twitter.

D) Valluvar is the man whose birthday is celebrated on 16 January every year. We will not take into account the fact that, forget the year, nobody is really sure as to in which era he was born in. He may have born in the times when there was no calendar. But when calendars were born, it was clear that he should have been born on 16 January.

4) What is the problem with Mullaiperiyar?

A) Kerala has been wanting to raise the height of a dam so that Tamil movies are not seen in Kerala.

B) Keralites are creating trouble by introducing a thorn (mullu) in Periyar’s name. Keralites always think Mallu (are) Periyar, taller than any dam.

C) Mullaiperiyar is the anagram for Purely Airmail. Airmail, even in these times of email, is good for communication from abroad.

D) Mullaperiyar or Mullaiperiyar is the issue.

5) What about Cauvery issue?

A) Cauvery was a promising actress who couldn’t live up to the early expectations and went into small screen. Her marriage was on the rocks, and it’s not clear whether she had issues through her marriage or not.

B) Cauvery flows from Karnataka. Jayalalithaa comes from Karnataka. She doesn’t have any issues as she is unmarried, but has been trying to make Cauvery into an issue here.

C) Cauvery is a nice name for a mineral water brand, But there may be some copyrights issue here.

Cauvery is a river that has its origins in Karnataka. The Kannadigas are rightly upset that all the rain-bearing clouds over the river, drift across to the neighbouring Tamilnadu, and pour out all the water there. Karnataka has been rightly claiming that the Cauvery river that flows across Karnataka is dry, but upon entering TN it is suffused with the precious liquid. The Supreme Court, understanding the urgency of the issue as it involves the all important agriculture in the area, has been quickly hearing the case for the last three decades. The final verdict should be out any moment within the next millennium.

Those who have picked ‘A’ for their answers obviously see life through a cinema projector. There’s a distinct possibility of you making it big in politics, unless of course if you aren’t already the Chief Minister of the State.

Those who ticked ‘B’ for their answers surely are political animals, apt to see politics even when they are sleeping. Most likely you are in the film industry, which is the branch office of Tamilnadu politics.

If your choice has been ‘C’ you are a true Tamilian with all the real Tamil values and the Tamil spirit and a strict adherence to all the Tamil traditions of those living in America.

Now come the ‘D’  class. You are the ones right after my heart, with no normal thinking left in your brain. You are the true reader of Crank’s Corner, always seeing the useless and dorky in everything. And it’s only apt that I wish you: Happy Pongal. Okay make it, Happy Pongal & chutney.