A question of identity

A question of identity

Swalpa Connect Maadi...

A question of identity

“Has that little brown stray been giving you a hard time of it?”

“Why does everything have to revolve around my love life?” he asked sulkily. “I have deep existentialist issues here that can tie a dog up in knots.”

“I've yet to see doggie knots that a fat juicy bone cannot unravel.”

“It’s all this Thackeray stuff that has got me confused. I was born in Maharashtra, so am I a ‘Marathi Manoos’?”

“If anything, you will be a ‘Marathi dogoos’. And just being born in Maharashtra does not make you a son of the soil. You have to be a ‘zhunka bhakri’ eating Maratha to qualify.”

“Now I live in Karnataka, so am I a ‘Kannadiga dogoos’?”

“No you are not. Because you do not bark in Kannada and you do not adjust ‘maadi’ with anything.”

“Stop trying to patronise me,” he said trying to look as dignified as his fifty floppy kilos will allow. “I also want to know if I am Indian first and a Kannadiga second.”

“Does it matter?”

“If it matters to Sachin, it matters to me. Also, am I a Binny Cresentian first and Benson Townian second or vice versa?”

“I wish you would stop this intellectualising. You are splitting hairs over something that doesn’t make a bark of a difference to anybody except the media, and that's only as far as a hero like Sachin is concerned.”

“I may not play cricket for the country but I am as important to me as Sachin is to himself. And thanks to those Thackerays, I am going in for a severe bout of schizophrenia. Maybe I need a psychiatrist,” he declared.

“There are no canine psychiatrists in India. Let me try to clear your confusion.”

“If I am not a ‘Marathi dogoos’ or a ‘Kannadiga dogoos’, who am I?”

“You are a fat, lazy, labrador who sleeps when he is not eating and eats when he is not sleeping. And periodically dirties up the doorway.”

“That was an underhand blow, that bit about dirtying up the doorway. As it is, I have all the symptoms of raging  schizophrenia. So am I a Bengalurian first and an Indian second or vice-versa.”


“How can you be so sure about this? Specially when my species is called Labrador?”

“Because you became an Indian by naturalisation years ago. They may not make you a PM someday but you are as Indian as Sonia Gandhi is.”

“You had better figure out who you are too. Are you a Binny Cresentian first and a Benson Townian second? Then again, are you a Benson Townian first and a Bengalurian second? The most critical… are you an Indian first and a  ‘Kannadiga’ second? Are you a human being first and a woman second...?A citizen of the world first and Indian second or vice-versa...”

That night I woke up screaming ‘vice-versa’, ‘vice-versa’.

Then I knew. That I had acquired this dog-sized case of schizophrenia. Now I need a psychiatrist to help work out who I am.

Someone who is a psychiatrist first and a human being second. Or is that vice-versa?