Of late, thanks to my unlimited internet download plan, I’ve been able to get my hands on a lot of history based documentaries (that was not code for porn) and find myself especially fascinated with the origins of people. Stuff like how the Indian civilization came to be and how a lot of our Hindu religion is very similar to old pagan religions from where we originated. Many of these programs actually trace the gene pool of folks living in towns to ancient records to find some pretty whacky connections. For example, I was watching this documentary on the origins of the English and there was this one fellow who ran some small scale business in some blah-blah-shire town whose DNA code traces back to one of the old Viking knights who was part of the first wave of the Viking invasion of Great Britain and the fellow was of certain royal lineage.
Naturally, I being my ever curious self, did a lot of reading up on the possible origins of where I come from and I must say, from early records….not too bad. The area of Tanjore in the olden days was a center of learning. We were apparently always knowledge seekers, and not in the sense that we did it so that we could make a business out of it. Apparently, we were always the ‘ I know a lot of stuff….none of which helps me make money’ types. We boasted of great libraries which hold ancient books on philosophy, literature, poetry, math and grammar (take that Wren and Martin…we beat your English butts). We are also one of the early Indian cultures to chronicle our own history with genealogy, land grants, the works. Through all this, the present king of the Tanjore, and I mean this with the most humble heart your majesty, has the most pathetic display of the English language and looks like all he does is sits and watches TV all day long. Please don’t string me up for treason against the empire, your majesty.
In fact, the oldest recorded library in India was from our district. The king of the old age was apparently fascinated with science and mathematics, and had even imported books on numbers from outside India. I guess this is where the fascination with accounting began for my people. Note to you blokes: We should have learnt investment banking instead…or at least how to cook kababs. Accounting does NOT impress the chicks. Anyway, I must say that I was kind of pleased with the whole ‘ center of learning and knowledge’ bit.
It’s also so cool that we still worship the same temples built in the 10th century and the rituals followed then are followed even today. I’m especially glad about this part because it gives me some cool stuff to pass on to the next generation. History shows that not only did we hold grip over the entire south of India; we even got hold of Indonesia and stuff. We were into ‘outsourcing’ even before you knew it. This is clear that many of our temples depict the gods as warriors. The erstwhile LTTE apparently modeled their oaths on the same lines of the great armies of our King, Raja Raja Chozhan ! It was the great king who brought about the system of Bureaucracy …and maybe with it ‘the great Indian bribe’. Sorry present day folks for unleashing that upon you.
But through all that, we did have some pretty neat stuff. We made some killer temples and were even labeled the Athenians of India. So ladies, get this….according to history (or at least the BBC) we are the Greek gods of your world. See…see!!! From today, you shall call me ‘Achillesothirunathan’ or ‘Herculesoswamy’. Hum kaale hain tho kya hua dilwale hain !!!
I could go on for pages about how cool it is to be a part of such a great civilization, and one that has been undermined by the Moguls and their tandoori chicken and Taj Mahal. But we’ve never been the ‘marketing’ types…loud and boisterous. We’re still the silent accounting types. On a personal note, I really want to personally trace back my lineage and see if some great great grandfather was chief accountant at the king’s court….or that the first trace of our people is when some warrior from Greece settled down in Tanjore and married our local pavadai wearing Pocahontas. That would explain my awesome good looks and appreciation for the arts. Who knows, Leonidas could be my great great great great grandfather. Or worse, we came from some African country like Somalia in a little boat and have been farmers ever since. While I wont be too surprised by the latter, since my family (on my father’s side) leads a very simple life….lot’s of food on the table and roof above our heads. Sounds very similar to the needs of many refuges in Somalia. Maslow is probably pointing at me and guffawing in his grave !
Anyway, I’m now oozing with pride thanks to the rich history of my people. It’s a good thing too, because when I do marry that Greek Goddess, I can tell our kids how their mom’s people had all the beauty, and their dad’s people had all the brains! My kids will be good-looking accountants….a unique phenomenon among my people!