“You Madrasi’s are clever”


It was a warm January afternoon in Colaba, Mumbai in 2012. I had to catch a flight back home and waved at a taxi which was a yellow/black rickety model of Premier Padmini. I fixed the fare beforehand so that I take my mind off the Taxi Meter and enjoy the ride. I was relishing the sights and sounds of a noisy Mumbai when the driver broke into my opera. “Sir! Which flight?” he asked in Hindi. I told him its to Bangalore to which he remarked “Madrasi?” (colonial reference to a person from South India) and I chuckled that the jargon ‘Madrasi’ is still in existence.

He said that he too had once taken a flight to Lucknow during a family emergency. Slowly the conversation started flowing into a torrent of topics like village v/s city, education, traffic, ‘secular’ politics in UP(it was still ‘secular’ politics back in 2012). The conversation torrent in contrast to the traffic snarling outside the car window. He also mentioned that he had stopped studying after high school and started driving cars. But after being in Mumbai for past 15 years he is making sure that both his kids get a good English education in a private school. Living in Mumbai, it had dawned upon him that education is what matters most to get ahead in life and he made sure that his kids don’t miss out like he did. 

Then he made the comment “You Madrasi’s are clever sir!”. I was stumped at the same time curious about his remark. I asked him “Why do you say so?”. To which he answered “20-30 years ago your parents realized the importance of education and that’s the reason you are sitting at the back and my parents didn’t hence I am in the front“.

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One response to ““You Madrasi’s are clever””

  1. Akshatha says :

    Very nice….

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