Have you ever faced this question, “aap kahan ke rahne waale ho?” or as we say in English, “you belong to which place?”
I have faced it many a times and in fact even I have a habit of putting up this question. Not that I have a bias towards a place but it is my curiosity which makes me put up this question plus I have this habit of guessing the home state of the person based on the language or tone he/ she speaks. Thanks to this habit of mine I have made several friends. Let me tell you how.
When you come to Mumbai you will realise that the vegetable/ milk/ newspaper vendors, golgappa wallahs, autowallahs etc are mostly from U.P.
The place where we used to previously stay had people mostly from Allahabad & Banaras areas. I had struck friendship with them with the logic that I am also from U.P and we have stayed in Banaras (my Dad was stationed there for 3 years and the time that I have spent there would total to max to max 1 month but nobody goes into finer details you see ;-)).
The place that we have shifted now is also full of vendors from U.P. with the only difference being that people are mostly from Gorakhpur & nearby areas. As I came to know of this fact I was quiet happy because I was born in Gorakhpur. The result of the knowledge is that I have a very healthy friendship with the nearby vegetable waali mausi and she gives me freshest vegetables at a price which is much less than the market price. In fact couple of weeks back when I was getting mehndi applied on my palms I had a very healthy discussion on the politics of UP because the boy who was applying Mehndi was from U.P. and I was a customer who was ready to listen to him. Even the golgappe Wallah who stands under our building is a friend. What delicious golgappa’ s he makes (RM reason for you to visit us).
The fun begins when I am at the answering end of the question “you belong to which place?” Let me tell you why.
From my birth till date I have stayed in Uttar Pradesh (was born there and we are basically from U.P), Orissa (Dad’s job took him there), Rajasthan (I studied there), Uttaranchal (I did my MBA there), Gujarat (twin connection, my Dad worked there & I began my career there. Have spent 5 years there), Madhya Pradesh (Hubby belongs to the state), Maharashtra (presently staying here) and by the sheer logic that you belong to the state where your parents are staying I can also add Tamil Nadu to the list as my Dad is currently working there.
Now tell me which State do I belong to?
How would you answer the question if you are in my place?
I use my husband’s logic. My answer changes depending on whom I am talking to.
Here I must share how my husband uses my multi-state connection. He uses it as per his convenience and as per the need of the hour.
A case in example is this incident. He came home one day & said, “Remember that Gujarati colleague of mine? He was under the impression that you are a Gujju”.
When I asked him how did that happen, he tells me, “Oh I was having this conversation with him when he told me that he was from Ahmedabad then I had told him that even my wife was from Ahmedabad and rest as they say is history.” he further tells me that post that incident that guy had been extra friendly with him and always enquired about me.
Even when we shifted to this new place he met the supervisor of the building. Information was exchanged and it came to his knowledge that the guy was from Banaras, pat my hubby says, even my wife is from Banaras. This got the Sup very excited and he prodded further, Banaras main kahan se hain madam? Needless to say my hubby has no answer to that in fact leave him, even I don’t know the exact details because it is 3 years that my parents have moved from there.
So his approach is simple, when he meets a Gujarati I am from Gujarat, if he meets someone from UP I am from there, same stands true for Chennai and other places that I have mentioned above. Smart no?
Tell me have you ever reaped benefit as I have?
Have you ever felt that the guy who is usually indifferent to you starts seeing you in a different light when they realise that there is a connection between the two of you?
I have seen changes in behaviour after this kind of disclosure. Though I want to believe that the change comes because of the connection but I know things are not as simple. Their behaviour changes because not everybody bothers to talk them. Not everybody gives them a chance beyond haggling or bargaining. Sometimes I have seen people talking to the vendors in very rudely and if not that they speak to them as if they are the lowest in the ladder of prosperity. The fact that I give them a smile, talk to them properly and give to know about them breaks the ice. Add to the fact that we belong to the same place and it becomes a win-win situation. And no I don’t do the talking because I have an ulterior motive in my mind. It is just that I am this way. I want to break ice & be friendly with people who build a wall around them or people whom nobody usually speaks to and if I manage to break the ice (my success rate is 98%) I feel like I have achieved something great.
So after all the ranting’s let me put up the qustion here, where are you from? And how was your weekend? Bolo Bolo Tel Tell….and ya do you agree with what I blabbered here?