March 9, 2009

Almost lost and almost recovered - Chapter 4

A mere issue of
or Racism
with a difference ?


It had been 9 years since Malar had seen her mother go dumbfounded upon an inquiry regarding their native. Agilan, a distant relative had answered all her questions in relation with their native when Shyama made Malar visit the refugee camp, her birthplace at Rameshwaram, a few years later. Malar had never once troubled Shyama with that issue ever since. 

Malar and Maanu had stepped into grade eleven and they had to decide between Computer science and Biology groups. Maanu desired to be an Astrobiologist and had no issues in taking up Biology. On the other hand Shyama forced Malar, a Fashion designing aspirant to take up biology in an attempt to fulfill Mathivanan's dreams. Grade eleven was split into two during the major subject classes when biology students left to the biology lab which served as a classroom as well since there were only a handful of students. The twelve of them were separated into six pairs. Maanu shared her lab desk with a local boy called Muthu while Malar was to be Pavithra's partner. Neither Muthu nor Pavithra had any particular liking for their partners and cold wars were a common phenomenon at both the desks.

Grade twelve was well under way and it was mandatory for the students to learn food testing along with their regular biological experiments. Unfortunately for Malar and Maanu, each table was given only one set of apparatus for the experiments and they were supposed to combine and complete it. Muthu couldn't resist Maanu hurrying up for the submission. He turned to Karthick who was sitting behind and stated,

"All these Goltis* are alike!", throwing a nasty look at Maanu who was busy adding iodine to the starch solution and observing the graceful change of colour from white to mild lavender and finally blue-black.

"I am not a Golti ! ", Maanu replied while thronging her pipette which accidentally escaped her hold and went crashing on the floor. 

Pavithra joined Muthu in the conversation by teasing Malar for her unusual Tamil accent. Maanu and Malar sympathized one another with looks while their partners were still not tired of finding out faults with the girls' ethnicity in whispers. Mr. George, their biology teacher made Maanu pick up the scattered pieces of glass and pay a fine of twenty rupees for the broken pipette. Maanu had always wanted to be a part of the Tamil students' society at school but they would not accept her for the indifferent Telugu cuisines she brought for lunch and her flair for Hindi which was considered a cardinal sin amongst them. Neither would they accept Malar for her abnormal Tamil accent. 

Maanu stood staring at the jar inside which a certain Mr. Rana hexadactyla* was floating in formalin. The label on the jar read
Phylum   : Chordata                      
Class     : Amphibia                      
Genus   : Rana                          
Species : hexadactyla                   

Maanu tried to write down her classification.

Nation : India                     
State   : ????                               
Family : Reddy
Name  : Maanu

She realized that Malar's situation was still worse since the first row of her classification table would bear question marks as well.


Golti : Informal term for Telugu speaking population in certain parts of Tamilnadu. 

P.S. This part is purely fictional. I love all my school buddies especially the biology students :).


  1. Taking it slow and steady ehh... ALAR... even the shortened name has a meaning in tamil i guess, panic i suppose.. ;)

    good continuation, guess your making the plot stronger than before, nice characterisation, hope ur story deals with the plight faced by many and hope people down south can relate to it very well. Gr8 work for throwing light on such issues, hope it just gets better with conviction regarding such issues ;)

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  3. Kings
    :):) Thankya u are always good to me :)

  4. nice.. waiting for more..

    really gettin intresting must say.. :)

  5. Hii Golti..!! hehe

    nice.... though i would like to see you take the story forward..!!

    waiting for more.. :)


  6. waoh word ......"Interesting" :P

  7. this is so touching .. we aee such discrimination everyday around us .. and thats one reason i hate people who refer to whole caste/state/country/sect to pass comments .. lovely going Nan !!

  8. i am in love with these series.. bring more Nan :)

  9. Thax kajal ;)
    and sure thing :P i ll bring more

  10. And i guess the comments section dinnot open yet again for Sandeep :( :( :(

  11. phew...finally...finally...let me savour this moment...finally able to comment after nth attempt since yesterday!!

    *wipes away the sweat from his brow*

    what characterisation nan!! you have established the characters so well that with every part you get that feeling that you know these guys...they are one of us...establishing your characters is the toughest thing to do in fiction...once that is done, the story always is a big hit. You start laughing and crying with the protagonists...and you are doing this beautifully here..way to go nan! way to go! the fears were very well explained here...

    one thing is slightly troubling me...accents are influenced by the people around you and your surroundigs...given that malar was born in rameshwaram n has done most of her schooling in coimbatore, i cant understand why she still has a sri lankan tamil accent. Children of NRI's get that american accent because of their daily interactions with their peers, and even if the parents talk to them in their native language back at home that accent stays. Because malar was born in india and apart from her mom, has no one around for her to develop that accent that part of her foreign accent is a bit odd. Correct me if i am wrong.

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  13. I wuz awaiting this. To find out the aspect where am letting the story down.

    Because malar was born in india and apart from her mom, has no one around for her to develop that accent that part of her foreign accent is a bit odd.

    Yeah well that wuz the reason i brought Sister Divine inside ;)
    The gals study at a Christian missionary school so the only medium of communication inside the school is English and that Malar was always looked upon as a poor refugee's daughter in the posh neighborhood the kids were not allowed to play with her when she wuz a child. Malar had no choice but to spend all the time with her mom and as a result she still has a Srilankan accent.She grew into a reserved person and hence dinnot make many friends even at high school.So the accent stays.

    And now I know that I ve made a mistake by not emphasizing these points in the story. :(


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