Friday, January 05, 2007

thanks to the gujjus!

i'm going to try my best to not be my patently rude self and to try be as nice as possible in this post :-)

have you ever tried to imagine the world without the 'gujjus' in it? (a gujju is the shorter version of gujarati who is a person who hails from the state of gujarat in india) i tried, and i suffered something close to a panic attack! imagine a world without gujju food!

it is said that mallus (malayalees, people from the state of kerala) are spread all around the globe, but i think gujjus beat them hollow. there's a joke which says that if you land on the moon you would most probably find a mallu tea-shop. but what they don't tell you is that it is a gujju who rented out the space to the mallu, lent him the money to set up the shop and also sold him the tea bought from another mallu's tea estate!

here are my top 10 contributions by gujjus to society at large :
1. gandhiji (mahatma gandhi; or 'bapu' of gandhigiri fame, for those of you who might have forgotten!)
2. the ambanis
3. gujju food - undiyo, shrikhand, chhundo, dhokla, thepla, etc. (have you ever met a gujju on a journey without packed food? their food parcel is usually the biggest piece of luggage they would be carrying!)
4. dimple kapadia
5. the stock brokers in mumbai
6. creating a huge demand for vegetarian food in most parts of the country especially at most of the popular tourist places! (i would credit them for the the 'only veggie' pizza hut in mumbai too!)
7. dandiya nights
8. amul (the mallus might protest and say that it was kurien who was instrumental in the amul movement! but do you think he could have managed anything close to this in kerala?)
9. backless cholis.
10. freddie mercury of queen fame(his parents were parsis from gujarat)

do you have any additions to this list? i'm sure the others would like to know.


nani said...

Holi - played all year round. their sense of direction & control over force is fantastic. do a survey & we will realise how amazingly low the 'strike rate' is despite the ubiquitousness of the streams of the blood red fluid spurting out of trains, from double-decker buses, from speeding scooters. how many times have our worst fears come true and even a drop of blushing-red juice diverged from the jet to leave a love-bite on your Arrow white? to date, i ve only had my right foot baptised once. not a bad performance at all. so what if a red carpet has never been spread for my entry, the red walls have been sprayed.

Design - those 'mera shirt bhi sexy' patterns. only those allow your eye to unmovingly concentrate only on the backless choli walking alongside & nothing else.

bindu said...

Gujjus truly have put forth an example of spirit and tolerance
-they have faced worst of situations of flood, earthquake, disease outbrake and many more
-The pioneer Dhirubhai Ambani also not to be forgotten

Reema said...

I would credit them with the gujjuization of other cuisines - the indian hybrid mexican food, chinese bhel!!!(has to be of gujju origin) idli chilli dry - the shiv sagar menu is full of such delights!!

Also i don't think Mc donalds would have come up with a fairly decent vegetarian spread if it weren't for this breed who are known to eat out so frequently. The literally brought the Big Mac to their knees when they first entered India.

Anonymous said...

A few things I can enumerate:

The Gujju cult -
1. Anyone (guys, especially...) who is seen playing pool inside a dimly lit UV pool parlour, wearing an oakley's dark goggles, Orange coloured Old Navy sweat-shirt, Sea-blue faded Diesel denims & brown leather belt with a Bull-shaped-buckle, Nike trainers in orange and blue, 'Just FCUK it!' - branded cap in dark blue, a Tissot watch, chewing an original Wrigley's Double Mint is most probably a brand ambassador 'Gujju'

2. Seedhe palle ki saree is a traditional Gujju way of wearing it where the 'palla' is brought forward over the right shoulder (in usual cases, unless one is a lefty) and the 'pallav' / palla can be showcased in the best possible manner

3. Himesh Reshamiya: We all love to hate him but can we ignore him???

4. The MSU of Baroda: My alma mater. Had it not been for this famous institution, we would not have seen legends like Shri Aurobindo Ghosh, our present President APJ Abdul Kalam (who is an alumni of my department - Physics) and International models like Nethra Raghuraman (Dept. of Psychology)

5. Narendra Modi: He's been superb as far as promoting Gujarat and its welfare is concerned

6. The people of Surat: Got plagued, then woke up to make it the cleanest city

7. Dry but not high: For being the only state where you can't get high on alcohol...legally!

8. The-perpetually-irritating-yet-so-easy-to-understand-and-learn-language

9. The sexy & intelligent Nandita Das, the daughter of the famous Oriya painter and an intellectual Gujurati lady

10. Indian movies which thrive on Gujju family, lifestyle, culture and heritage: Kal ho na ho, Dollar Dreams, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, to name a few. Not to forget our daily soaps on TV

11. Calling even one's spouse as "Bhai" or "Ben"

12. Majority of kirana / departmental shop owners are Gujjus and 72% of Mumbai-ites are Gujjus

13. WHile they are notorious for their sweet food, one must try their kathiawadi cuisine - hot & sweet... it's different and I love it!

I would call this section: "Romancing the Gujju!". Truly they are the EVERYDAY PEOPLE!


subir said...

intriguing comment "Gujjus truly have put forth an example of spirit and tolerance".

Spirit, yes. I am told that in spite of inhibition, McDowell sells more spirits (no beer please) in Gujarat than other states.

Tolerance!!!! can we have a break?