Sunday, January 07, 2007

venkatesh-parvati-investment banking, or there's something the matter with TamBrams

I like to think of myself as a non-bigot, someone who doesn't subscribe to ethnic-racial-religious-regional stereotypes - but there's something the matter with Tam Brams. (Tamilian Brahmins for the uninitiated. This site tells you everything you need to know. And let it be known, some of my best friends are Tam Brams - the wrong kind, of course.) And this has nothing to do with their love for bhindi. And everything to do with their plan of world domination.

World domination? Meek, bespectacled, vegetarian Tam Brams planning to take over the world? It might sound hard to believe, but consider my moment of revelation -

It's past 2.30am on the 1st of January, Houston Street is full of inebriated people celebrating the New Year, friends and I have just come out of an overpriced club after listening to some avant garde music and loads of unspeakable salsa - and then suddenly this bespectacled man with female companion passes us, declaiming earnestly, and the words we catch are 'Venkatesh, Parvati, Investment Banking'. At 3 in the morning, on New Year's Day, when the rest of the city, and the rest of the world was busy celebrating,and trying to get laid, this guy was earnestly talking business to the woman walking with him. And the most horrifying thing of all - he sounded stone cold SOBER. Scary, huh? We stopped dead in our tracks and didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. AA kept complaining that the man had ruined his pleasant sleepy buzz for the rest of the evening. We went and had some tea to recover from the experience. it goes without saying -the guy could only be a Tam Bram.

And then, I saw THIS on Youtube. Some three year old kid in Sunnyvale, CA who has learnt the names of all the US state capitals. All fifty of them. (And this, I am told, is a fairly widespread phenomenon; sprung on unsuspecting foreigners on South Indian trains. Proud Tam Bram parents making their children do the US state capitals performing monkey trick.) Not only that, this kid has been taught standard Spanish phrases as well, and the days of the week. And the spelling bee, where's he's learnt to spell 'GOOGLE'. Jesus Christ!

There are historical reasons for all of this of course. The Anti-Brahmin movement in Tamil Nadu has made it harder for Tam Brams to get jobs within TN. (And after watching the videos, you realize why there's an anti-Brahmin movement!) And hence they have become this globalized elite egghead diaspora,making their children learn languages and formulas of power and privilege wherever they go. BPO is the new Vedas. And since they can't have TN, the Tam Brams are just planning to take over the world. The Tam Bram version of the Leonard Cohen song would be, First we take Silicon Valley...

A Tam Bram preschooler is already being groomed to take over America. One of several thousand. Udupi is going to be the new McDonalds. It probably beats the world having to deal with a Texas village idiot, but it's still a scary thought.
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