Back by Popular Demand.
I started collecting quotes in school. My English teacher wanted a nice quote at the top of every essay we wrote. He would suggest a few but told us that we’d get extra marks if we found something unique and by a literary master. This was around the time the Internet existed but only in the homes of super rich people.
The rest of us had issues of Reader’s Digest and Wisdom and a few other magazines that we could dip into. So I did read them and wrote them down, I was amused at some of the quotes but they were not enough and were not as unique and witty as I wanted.
So I bought Compiled Quote books. I’d insist we visited atleast one book store and bought at least one quote book when we were visiting Madurai or Madras (Yes, when this city was still Madras). At around this time, it stopped being about marks in my English exams. Marks were never my priority.
The Quote collection became an obsession of its own. I marked the favourite ones, I wrote them down. A set of favourite quote masters formed within my mind. So when the oppurtunity to browse the Web finally came to me, I started to type “Oscar Wilde quotes” and “G.K.Chesterton quotes” on the search engine and had a go at it. The World Wide Web is a miracle. It really is.
Then came the problem of sorting them into categories. Not easy. I used MS Access, MS Excel and even XML to sort them into neat categories. And then life took over and the collection of approximately 5000 quotes lay forgotten for years.
As I go through inspiring quotes on Pinterest these days, I find that so much importance is given to the glittery ink and calligraphy flourishes that lines that don’t have any inherent unique character to them find their way to the feed. So I checked out my collection again and found that I still loved it. Every single bit of it
I was having a random discussion with a man and he told me that he loved to cook. He would have loved to be a homemaker. In fact, it is still not too late. He often encourages his wife who is a stay-at-home mom to take some small job or maybe a business so that he can be a homemaker. “That is nice”, I said. He asked me what I thought about it. I said that there is nothing wrong in a man wanting to be a homemaker. “Neenga oru puratchi pennunga” he said. This, apparently, is not my puratchi. If at all his wife manages to become the bread winner and he manages to live his homemaking dream it is their puratchi, not mine. Not by any stretch of anyone’s imagination.
This went on for some time. He’d ask my opinion on a random topic. I will give my opinion on the said topic and will be labeled puratchi penn. Again and again and again. He got into the habit of calling me “A Penn Barathiyaar”. He showed me a picture of Suhasini with a Barathiyaar mask in “Manathil Uruthi Vendum”. He’d often recite “Kannin Maniyea” song to me in full expectation that I’d swell in pride that I also came across as that type of Puratchi Penn.
For a long time I did not know why I disliked being told this. I absolutely hated it but I did not know why. I requested that he stop doing it. He tried to explain “Kannin maniyea” to me. He seemed to feel I’d start to be proud of this label if I only understood what Vaali had written in that song. But no, I don’t dislike that song. No, I don’t have a secret grudge against Vaali. No secret grudge against KB either. Nope, Barathiyaar is just fine too. No, I do not hate Suhasini. No, the story line is fine. The picturisation is ok too. I did not mind it that Suhasini is a divorcee in that movie. No, I did not misunderstand the lyrics. I don’t want to be told the awesomeness of the lyrics.
It is just that I don’t want anyone to choose my theme song for me.
Puratchi – Revolution