Sunday, September 4, 2011

Busting the Myths

So when I decided to write a post busting the myths about Gujarat and Gujaratis, I had a few points in mind which I had decided to take up. But out of curiosity, I googled up "myths gujarat" and to my disappointment, most of those results were about the 2002 riots.

Sigh, there is hardly I can do to change that. Most people have formed their opinions based on the opinions given on news channels, which are otherwise not taken seriously. It's sad indeed. If you'd like to get any clarifications, you know where you can reach me.

In the meantime, I shall bust some of the lesser controversial myths.

Myth: Gujarati food is sweet.

Truth: Okay, so we like to add little bit of jaggery or sugar in some of the food, but that does not mean our food is sugar-syrupy. It's like assuming every Punjabi's staple diet is paneer. Oh, wait, that's a fact. :P Anyway, just to make things clear, we also put in other spices, like salt, chilli powder, et al. Try eating Kathiawadi food or food from Surat (trust me, you don't want to miss out on surti food - it's awesome) and you'll agree with me. In fact, the food served in restaurants which serve Gujarati thali is the culprit for such myths floating around. Do not judge gujarati food by the food eaten in such restaurants. If you come to ahmedabad, let me know, i'll tell you which places to eat at. ok?

Myth: Gujaratis do not drink alcohol.

Truth: Why not? Who says you have to be born in a certain city to consume alcohol? Let me clarify. Sale and consumption of alcohol is legally banned in the state of Gujarat. That does not mean people here cannot or do not drink. I do not want to comment on the illegally obtained daaru in the city. At the same time, please note that we do not go berserk on first sight of alcohol when we go out of Gujarat. Well, at least most of us don't. So, let's just stop complaining about unavailability of legal daaru in the state. Can we focus on other things, please?

Myth: Gujaratis do not eat non vegetarian food.

Truth: Well, a lot of us don't. I am a vegetarian. But at the same time, there is this lane, right in the heart of the city, where you get perhaps the best roadside non vegetarian food. :D

In case you don't know, there is a fairly large population of Jains in Ahmedabad. Some followers of Jainism do not even eat in a restaurant where they serve non vegetarian food. The lane I just told you about, is in the old city, which is also a, to put it diplomatically, communally sensitive area. Also, a large pocket for Jains. And they all live happily there. If only people could move beyond 2002 riots. I digress.

Myth: Every household has an Baa, high on amrit.

Truth: It happens only in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Also, this was a joke. We all have Baa, just that they're as mortals as you and me.

Myth: Gujaratis break into Garba at every opportune moment.

Truth: Well, we do break into Garba on festivals, like, Navratri, Sharad Purnima and happy occasions like shaadi, but just because we get any happy news, we do not break into garbas. Also, it is called GARBA, and not DANDIYA. Garba is the one where you go clap-jump-clap and dandiya is the one you dance with the sticks in your hand. Also, the dance form is called Raas, because the sticks are called Dandiya. (daandi - stick)

Myth: Gujaratis only eat dhokla, khaman and khakhra.

Truth: Seriously, agar aapko lagta hai ki gujaratis sirf dhokla, khaman aur khakhra khaate hai, toh Gandhiji bhi aapko kahenge, #aapchutiyehai

You know, while I write this post, I got kind of distracted and wondered why do I feel so strongly about this place? Surely everyone feels so much love for the place they were born at, and while I say Gujarat, I do include the whole of India. There is so much about the country that I am proud of. And since I know Gujarat better than any other part of the country, I can say things about the place with authority.

So what is it about the place? Perhaps, I need to write another post for this.. :-)

In the meantime, tell me, what all do you think about Gujarat, and if its a myth, I'll tell you the truth about it! :p

Also, I've kept Narendra Modi and politics out of this, at least I've tried to, so I'll appreciate if it is kept out of comments space too :-)


Shiv said...

Good read. Many myths busted. Getting ready to visit Gujrat soon.

Bubblegum.... said...

I DO AGREE!!!!!!!BEING AN AMDAVADI WE KNOW GUJARAT BETTER!!!!! Though i dont like so called Statism but obviously we cant ignore the development going on in amdavad! :)

Nalin Mehra said...

"gandhiji kahenge #aapchu**ye hai" ha ha ha.... gujjus rock 70% of my buddies r gujjus