New Year’s Resolutions from an Andhra Bidda

Dear Telugu Thalli,

2013 was a terrible year not only for your Telugu biddas, but your place of residence.

Fittingly, the samachram started off on an ugly note with the pall of the terrible crime heard ’round the world. It was all the worse because the breakdown of law and order due to corrupt government and poor policing was used to tar Indian culture, which you uphold in Andhra. Far from being only a northern phenomenon, even cabs in Hyderabad are no longer safe for ladies after dark.

It only got worse when a certain MLA from Hyderabad insulted the land and its native Dharma in an unprovoked hate speech, showing the true origin of communal violence in India. The uncultured boasts and self-serving lies of this descendant of barbaric razakars show that there are those who still work against India’s interests to restore tyrannical nizami rule. Later in the year, free on bail, the same clan even had the insolence to demand your replacement with urdu as the first language of a proposed Telangana state (which they’ve been quietly supporting for many years).

From there, we conveniently saw the unshelving of the dormant demand to split your very house in two. The specter of the Nizam-Telangana state demand was brought back and continues to loom. Your sons in Telangana have been tricked into distancing themselves from the illustrious Andhra name–many of them have even lost all sense as to praise the very Nizam who oppressed them and impoverished you.

Your Seemandhra and Rayalaseema children are no better. Like drunken fools, they continue to fight amongst themselves, engaging in political oneupsmanship and factionalism in the face of a foreign firangi ruler–and still support her once and likely future satrap. All this while your bangaramaina mallepuvvus prized above all–are being trafficked and sold in great numbers like chattel–frequently to foreigners from the desert and across  sea, and even more frequently by their own ammas and annas…

What’s more, a certain party is using unconstitutional  government programs to bribe people away from Dharma.

Last but not least, farmer suicides continue unabated, both in Andhra and the rest of the country.

In light of all these things, here are some resolutions for all your bangarus and bujammas

 

1. Pay attention

All the antakshari knock off shows and the latest [insert generic telugu hero here] movie can wait. There are serious problems and your MBBS or Computer Science degree alone won’t qualify you to understand them. You need to read up on history, understand your culture, speak/appreciate your language, and follow current events.

Don’t judge your leaders based on rhetoric or fashionability, but action. What have they done? Question everything.

2. Stop being petty, selfish, self-absorbed, and self-important.

You are not that important. Just because you are some supply chain manager, doctor, MP or even crorepati does not make you a king. Your petty ambitions should not be cause for dividing the house, breaking the family, or harming the people.

3. Quit being so damn naive

True, atithi devo bhava, but to receive such honor, the guest must behave like a guest.

Thus, Indians and Andhras alike need to stop being so gullible. This does not mean visitors should not be treated with courtesy and respect. But not every foreigner who claims to help is sincere about helping. The ancient Romans used to consider a true Roman one who was suspicious of foreigners–for good reason…Beware Greeks bearing gifts…

This also applies to your MP’s and MLA’s who promise you the world and deliver nothing. Sloganeering does not make for solutions.

4. Make time to learn and understand our Dharmic culture

Bollywood and Tollywood are not the essence of our culture. Being modern and fashionable does not mean forgetting morality and taste.

Put aside the Shakespeare and pick up the Kalidasa. Set aside Dawkins and pick up the Gita. Turn off the movies and tune in to the Theater.

5. Be respectful

Indians have a tendency to be overly deferential to foreigners and tyrannical to countrymen. I am not arguing the exact reverse, but your own people should not be treated worse than outsiders.

In line with that, Seemandhra and Rayalaseema people should ease up on their Telangana brothers. Yes, it is wrong for them to go along with bifurcation, but years of your mockery did not help to build bonds–in fact, it worked to break them. A little respect goes a long way

6. Mind your manners

Indians both local and diasporic have given themselves a terrible name in etiquette. While hustle and bustle in getting on trains and buses is understandable, cutting in line and making a mess in public is not.

Basic etiquette and manners must be a priority not only for Fresh off the Boaters, but the local mango manishi. Clean up your act, be considerate of others, and stop making a mess of yourself.

7. Stop using fairness creams

God made us the way we are. Take pride in that. Indians are not meant to look like Persians or Europeans. They are meant to look like Indians. In describing the ancient Indian aesthetic, Vatsyayana did not favor light complexion–in fact, he specifically argued against extremes. Draupadi’s actual name was Krishna (which literally means black), yet she herself was considered the most beautiful woman of her era.

By all means, take the time to properly groom yourself and look and be the best version of yourself–just don’t try to be a wannabe, lamer version of someone else.

8. Be a good global citizen by being a good local citizen

It is fashionable these days to say that “patriotism is the last resort of the scoundrel”–but by that token “globalism is the last resort of the fool”.

People will only respect you if you respect yourself and country. It’s one thing to accept criticism (something prickly Indians should learn to do), quite another to wash your dirty laundry in public.

9. Learn when to shut up

Indians are masters of talking til all hours of the morning–with nothing to show for it and nothing resolved. Indians like to debate merely for the pleasure of debating, without understanding its purpose: to ascertain the truth. Indians are also masters of telling their life stories and giving away their vulnerabilities. Andhras are no slouches in any of these departments–hence no action to prevent their state’s division and political oblivion until it’s too late…

So when you meet someone who wants to work with you, when you meet someone who clearly knows more than you do, when you meet someone you don’t know, learn to shut up and listen…and most importantly…DO.

Signed,

An Anxious Andhra Bidda

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