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Romba Pesarey December 23, 2015

Posted by Gomathi Reddy in Culture, Desi Indian, Language.
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Damn civilized living!

We just can’t say or do a few things…and we call it civility. By default the constitution takes away our basic liberty of being nasty in a creative way and then we gloat that the constitution protects our liberties, our freedom of speech blah, blah, blah….The constitution and the system – those damned frameworks that define rules, so that governance can be just as easy as managing herds of bleating sheep!

Take the phrase “Romba Pesarey”

This is a very powerful phrase generally from an uncivilized person, who pretends to have evolved. As for me, there are a few phrases when uttered have helped me assess a person’s nature, without much of a dilemma, and this one tops the list in Tamil.

“Romba Pesaraey” – That’s “you talk too much” or “you say too much” in Tamil.

This could also mean, “you are singing, and hence must be silenced” kind of statement by someone who is feeling threatened by a vulnerable outcast, in a Godfather-like stance.

In the immigrant world of non-existent civility, this can be a subtle threat – a show of supremacy by the one who is threatening; a show of “who do you think I am” kind of arm flexing by a notional superior; someone who believes he has “arrived” and hence has the right to intimidate anyone who is materially weaker; someone who is empty enough to feel intimidated by anyone who threatens their supposed standing in the society.

Interestingly, in all my years of walking on this earth, I’ve heard this phrase at two different phases of my life – One, when I used to jabber-jabber my ears out in my age of innocence, where I had to share all that I read or learnt to anyone and everyone……two when I maintained an intimidating silence in my adult years – I’ve heard it from different sets of people, sharing positions in the opposite spectrum of my people-prism, with a common bottom line  – the deliverers were most definitely nincompoops.

When they say “Romba Pesaraey,” my mouth curls into a wicked, yet suppressed smile, and my eyes twinkle and dance in wry humour, as I watch the nincompoops making a spectacle of themselves with their body language, exposing their wood-heads –  It’s that moment of certainty that reveals the human kind in a funny grey, and it always amazes me to see how frail people can be – that we all need someone weaker than us to feel stronger; that we must exercise such arm-twisting mechanisms once in a while to feel powerful; that the strongest such urges come from deep within, as a way of camouflaging our own vulnerabilities and that we are always on the prowl looking for someone who will give us a chance to flex those indecent muscles that have long lost their power in the name of “civilized living.”

Damn civilized living!

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1. Romba Pesarey | Gomathi Reddy - December 23, 2015

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