March 15, 2009
In this modern and fast-Westernising world we are fast losing our traditional moorings.
Our traditions and practices are known to our grandparents, but we have foolishly neglected to learn them as well. My generation no longer knows how to tie the veshti or the dhoti, leading to a huge loss of manliness. The Urdu language’s vocabulary is being decimated as Bollywood lyricists turn from ‘more saajan hain us paar’ to such bastardised creations as ‘you’re my mind blowing mahiya’. Homemade gaajar ka halwa is being replaced by an MTR packet. When ranting thathas rant, they have a point. We have a valuable cultural corpus, and we are losing it.
However, in the specific aspect of Punjabi culture that is toothless old aunties tunelessly singing folk songs at weddings, I think we can all agree that it’s really for the best.
September 1, 2008
My offhand reference to curmudgeonly thathappas in the last post inspired me to actually search for examples of thathappesque rants. Udupendra helped out by suggesting search keyphrases, and now I have a new hobby: collecting examples of this art form, which derives its beauty from its surreal illogic. So far, this letter to the Deccan Herald is a strong contender for best thathappa-rant ever:
The Indian youth are embracing the global culture and have become more endearing to their way of customs by loosing our precious culture which is invaluable in turn getting lured by their materialistic culture of leading lives which are seen normally in western culture by throwing all values of human parameters.
But Gult thaathyas are not far behind:
The Indian youth is getting carried away by the Western culture, values and practices. This has led to a disturbing trend in which the Indian youth are more often visiting discotheques, night clubs and amusement parks. It may give them some excitement but they don’t get that much-needed peace of mind and confidence.
I’m sure Madras thathas aren’t far behind either, but I haven’t started searching sulekha.com just yet. I’m sure it’ll prove to be a goldmine.
On a related note, Neha Vish putted her own attempt at this art form a year and a half ago.