This is a ‘minority report’ I would like to share with the concerned citizenry, seeking suitable redress on the issue of me being a minority and would like adequate reservations under whatsoever category deemed fit. If the Patels are going to get it, if the Gujjars have got a ‘minority’ of their demands met, if the OBCs have had it, then I think I truly deserve a minority status under so many categories, as you will notice in the following instances.
This whole business of reservation for minority communities hit me like a thunderbolt, the other morning when I was reading an article on the Patels’ agitation in Gujarat. Sipping on my coffee, handmade by me only, it occurred to me that I too belong to a minority community in many, many ways and I could do with some help. For example, I must belong to a minority of men who like their filter coffee in a prescribed format; strength, colour, sweetness, flavour, blend, the roast etc., etc., all have to be of a certain specification, which, for a majority of people seems like a variable constant. Hence, they refuse to entertain the thought of preparing coffee for me. Hence, again, it has become my job to prepare my own coffee. This penchant for a peculiar coffee specification has also put me in another uniquely minority list; of being the only human to be addressed by a thousand and eight choicest gaalis! Dear Lord Vishnu, it is very lonely up here no?
I grew up with three older sisters. So you see, I began life as a minority. I had no say whatsoever because the little one was always the’ joker’. Ask the collective conscience, and you will know the ‘joker’ is never to be taken seriously. I would be woken early in the morning and sent off on a mission to buy something as innocuous as dhaniya. And guess why? Right, because, the majority older folks forgot to stock up the previous evening. What’s worse, as a minority in the household, what you ate was a factor of what others wanted to eat! And believe me, years later nothing has changed!
I still get woken early in the morning, only this time, to get some gluten free oats! Along with the wife, a daughter and a bitch, sorry Leia, life has come a full karmic circle with me relegated pretty much to monosyllables for answers and an old rickety chair which I can proudly call my own. Wifey, I can say that right? It doesn’t stop there, with two female domestic help, a female cook the karmic circle is looking pretty strong with no signs of weakness or fissures coming their way anytime soon. Ever tried eggplant with peas? Badnekayi saar?
Even though, born in a South Indian Brahmin household; (No sir, for the record, I am not a ‘TamBrahm’. See, here too, I am a minority!) I belonged to the minority of thinkers, in a family that largely consisted of engineers, doctors, IT pros, double doctorates and what not. I could barely read and write to save my life. When people announced their seven digit salaries, I was counting a few thousands. While they spoke about their jaunts, I negotiated the truck and pothole infested Mysore Road, with aplomb though, I must say! I somehow managed to get into advertising. And guess what, I was the second, in the whole, big “not-the-Sopranos” family to have entered the profession. The first was some accountant types who joined some small typesetting setup, which doubled up as “the advertising agency” for local traders! Such an illustrious club I had come to belong to! So, amongst the bunch of engineers doing some cutting edge work on parallel processing, chip design, robotics and amongst the doctors who had dedicated their lives to life-changing research in the fields of paediatric cancer and climate change, here I was a minority who was trying to build castles in the air, selling dreams to consumers, wooing them into buying stuff they hardly needed.
I still remember, my conversation with my then could be father-in-law, who normally is a man of few words, a few million I mean. But that day, it appeared as if he had suffered some sort of a palsy; the strange twitching of a left eyebrow, the involuntary flaring of the nostrils, an uncharacteristic colouration of an unusual nature on his face and also there was a desperate attempt to hold his right hand with his left, much against its wish as I could see. He was at a complete loss for words, looking at me. To him I didn’t look like a Brahmin boy from any angle and to top it, I had no PF! Provident Fund saar! He would always say, I truly belonged to a select class, a minority who was not a Vadama Brahmin, not from Chennai, not from the valley, not earning in dollars and who had no PF! Wonder what his daughter saw in me? A niggling suspicion that’s lurking in a small crevice in the right hemisphere of my limited cranium, suggests that she somehow enjoyed a sadistic pleasure of seeing me relegated to rickety, nondescript chair. But I shall refrain from doing so because I don’t want to be a part of yet another minority club that is dubbed as being unfair to the fairer sex!
Coming back to my profession, I soon moved into social media as it was the “in thing”. There I was completely sucked into interesting concepts like the “Internet of Things” and social analytics. Guess what, here too, I belonged to a select club of a few lunatics who wanted their microwaves and refrigerators to talk to their smartphones! A Maami, a distant relative of my wife while visiting us, put it succulently when she said “there are enough fools walking with walkies in their hands waiting for things to happen, inside a campus in Katpadi”. I think she was referring to a mental asylum there!
Since, I have the dubious distinction of being a part of so many minority groups, I wonder what should be the appropriate way to protest for my reservation? I can’t go on a hunger strike, as a majority of them would do that. It fashionable these days you see. I can’t sit on a dharna, again because a majority of them do it. I can’t take out a protest march. Guess why? Because that’s what majority of the minority groups do anyways! Hmm… how about your appreciation for this. The more people appreciate this, the more it will be a testimony to the fact that there many, many minorities out there who feel they are a part of a larger cause called India and want keep the system functioning. And that too, without any reservations.