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It too Desi Yaar! – Digging a little deeper into our words…

I have to say, this one might be bit of a venting out session, and I probably should have saved it for my therapist. But guess what?! I’m practically broke and you’re either free or really like me to be here right now and reading my blog! So welcome to your new job as my personal therapist. The pay is crappy and all I can offer is my deepest gratitude!

Now quickly jumping on to the venting part because I’m afraid you might start charging by the hour! So here goes.

I was sitting in a quaint little cafe, that is usually my go to place to write. It is a cozy place with books and is known for its tea collection and a very authentic Indian way of presentation. Sitting there, admiring the ambience and vibe of the place, I saw a person come in with their friend, look around for a moment, then turn back and say “let’s go, let’s go. It’s too Desi man”. They left after that. Ironically, this was January 26th— our Republic day. Now, what caught my attention wasn’t that the place I clearly loved wasn’t up to their liking (yes, I can be a little possessive of my favourite cafes, however the end of the day, its a personal choice), but rather their choice of adjective to describe their dislike.

“It’s too Desi”.

I know that we’ve all used this term to express our disapproval at one point or another and maybe I did too when I was very young. But now that I think back on it, I find myself wondering- what does this even mean?

It’s too Desi.

My inner self critic told me that maybe I’m being too judgmental and should double check my facts before going all bazooka at a stranger’s misdemeanor in my place of quiet musings. Therefore I did what millennials do best. I googled it and this is what I found.

Well, here comes the critic sanctioned bazooka! This miracle of a technology tells me that the word Desi can be used in two ways as an adjective. “Local or Indigenous”, and “Pure or Unadulterated”. While, the former adjectives are descriptive at best and the latter seem to be pure and unadulterated compliments (see what I did there?).

Which makes me think yet again, what’s so wrong or unlikable about being desi? Especially if you’re desi in a country as diverse and culturally rich as India! Let’s get real, not only is this a land of insanely beautiful places, but also some of the most mesmerizing art forms I’ve ever come across. Known for spices globally (recall the sudden rage for turmeric latte which we’ve always known as Haldi Doodh or turmeric milk?), one of the largest producers of movies, innumerable languages and, let’s be real, some really cool fashion derived from their respective cultures.

It’s too Desi.

Forgive me, but I still fail to see the source of disdain. So all I can narrow it down to, is that we’ve either become too privileged and have started thinking of ourselves as above the luxuries that our land provides for us, or it’s just one of those instances where we use a word to express a negative emotion, without realizing the deeper ramifications it may have on the impressionable minds. Because let’s be honest, the non impressionable ones don’t seem to be setting a very good example either.

I heard somewhere that a person is not foolish if they believe something wrong. They are foolish when they refuse to change their beliefs when presented with new evidence. So maybe now it’s time that we correct ourselves and realize that Desi is beautiful and, more than anything else, it connects us to our roots. Because drinking organic teas and lattes from the very land you disapprove just makes you a hypocrite.

I am Desi, and so very proud! What about you?

And that’s all the time we had together! Thank You for listening and as always, I’ll see you soon in another session!

Till then, keep your wits sharp and your soul Desi!

The Millennial Cult

1 thought on “It too Desi Yaar! – Digging a little deeper into our words…”

  1. Beautiful write up. Perhaps another ramification of 200+ years of English rule.. they instilled in us inferiority. Anything western superior to ‘local’ (read desi), English superior to Indian languages, foreigners are better, fair skin is greater.. sigh!

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