Madraasi By All Means by Aparna

Blog post by Aparna Swaminathan                                                                    


Honestly, being a Tamilan is nothing extraordinary to that of being a South Indian because, in North of India every South Indian is a Madraasi. Irrespective of whether you are a native of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala or Andhra Pradesh, you are tagged as Madraasi (and strangely remain one till date) let along being a TAMBRAHM. I wish to express my disbelief every single time to explain Tamil Nadu, formerly Madras, is where Madraasi’s are from and in the end I get to hear a typical Punjabi phrase ” Ki farak painda hai yaar! Mumbai nu aage sab Madraasi honde hai. And I just rest my case with due respect (mannichindungo ivvale) and sheer sorry feel to the other Southern Indian states 😉  :p




Having a Tambrahm name is quite scandalizing for the Northies. The name you put on Social Networking site and the one you call it as the official name are most of the time never the same. Thanks to our beloved Thatha and/or Paati who ensured our names are nothing less than a foot long that it also refuses to get printed on passport.

The questions that follows next :
1. “Why is there an initial in your name and no Surname”

2. “What !!!! your last name is your fathers name, but why? ”

3. “You said you are a Brahmin. What is “Iyer” then?”

Believe me a Northie can make we Tambrahm sound very CONTROVERSIAL   :p


As a Tambrahm, its quite a task to explain what is supposed to be a starter and a main course dish in the plantain spread to a Northie. Just in time you hear “Hey dude! I thought you guys will be serving IDLI, DHOSSA (literal pronunciation for DOSAI for Northies) and VADA (or say BADA as per preference and mood for calling out MEDU VADAI by Northies) for the occasion”. A sheer disappointed look on their face until they see SAAMBAR and share a sigh of relief. RASAM ideally for them is an appetizer and they literally fail to understand, how the hell it is supposed to be had in the second course when ideally it is supposed to be served in the beginning that too in a glass. The best is yet to come – using one hand to eat the food without any cutlery help … LOL … just the time a Northie feel punished for all the crime committed till date. The timing is just perfect when an elderly from the family cross them and say – “Khozandai! Rendu kaiyala yaarana sapduvala Raghava!” The look on their clueless face is just priceless!!

These are some of the many hilarious experiences I have had, being born and raised in Delhi. These are from a bunch of Northie friends I am grown up with and proudly call them “Semi Madraasi’s” as they simply love being in a Tambrahm company and I say WE MADRAASI’S AFTER ALL ARE IRRESISTABLE!



37 thoughts on “Madraasi By All Means by Aparna

  1. Interesting discussion. It is only North, West, and East Indian Hindus and Sikhs who use the word Madrasi. In Urdu the word used for South Indians is Dakhan (Deccan), Given that Hyderabad under the Nizam was one of the most important Muslim Rulers the term Dakhan does not have the same negative connotations as Madrasi

    Levels of ignorance and prejudice can be quite deep. In prepartition Kolkata all outsiders were classified as using either Howrah or Sealdah stations. The former were from the west and latter of the east. Many people including Hindus from current Bangladesh then East Bengal faced this discrimination.

    In Kashmir many people consider any non Kashmiri a Punjabi. Also many people in the North East consider anyone else to the a Bengali.


  2. Very nice and likeable post Aparna. Can relate to this as I have all my life been outside Madras. However I used a slightly different method to alert my friends and colleagues – I called all North Indians as Haryanvi, anyone from East as Bihari/ Assamese, West as Goan. Post that the geography got locked well and I never was called a Madrasi. They said yeh Dakshin BHARATH se hai. It is clearly a method to goad you to accept their inability to think beyond Madras – which in any case does not even exist today having become Chennai!


  3. Totally relate to the post Aparna . Have a lot of northies n maharashtrian friends who till date refer to us as Madraasis – sometimes .
    I have a great memory with dates n phone numbers and when they ask me in disbelief – ” Arrey tujhe kaise yaad rehta hai yaar ” I proudly say – Madraasi hoon na – isiliye 😃😜


  4. Well i was born and Brought up in Delhi and can relate to this post very well. Me and my Best Punjabi Friend had names for each other. He used to call me Madraasi Dhossa and i used to call him Punjabi Parantha…. We were famous by these names in the colony we grew up…. Fun were those days when you mingled with all those north indians and failed everytime you tried to explain something about our culture…


  5. It is similar to the point where all South Indians call people above them as North Indians. There are lot of funny moments in these conversations .i am a Goan Konkani speaking , born and raised in Bombay. But all my friends from south ( not from Bombay) call me North Indians


  6. Hi Aparna,

    Could related to the entire blog you have written,experiencing the same everyday with a new “kissa” every other day 😊,keep it coming !!👍


  7. I love the posts. Actually, I look forward to the blog post every morning. They are so funny and brings back my childhood memories.


  8. This article reminds me of two states! The most irritating thing actually is when they look at us and say,”yeh madarsi to nahi ho sakte , itne Goren Jo hai!”.


  9. hhahaha…too good and so very very true..I remember my growing up days in Mumbai and have had similar experiences too…I remember a Northies dialogue during lunch, ” How can u guys have a 3 course Rice meal? How is it even possible?” and many many more such instances…Awesome memories..


  10. I remember a Punjabi lady had somehow got the ‘ddhose ki pitthi’ (dosa maavu) and didn’t have the dosa chattukam or dosa thiruppi. She borrowed my dosa chattukam and couldn’t make a dosa. In addition to this she had kept ready boiled and mashed potatoes with masala in it to be stuffed and made as masala dosa. Ultimately she called me, tu Zara dekh, ye ddhosa kyon nahi theek se banta. I went with my dosakkallu and made as per their need and she was surprised how nicely in our kallu the dosai was being made.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cool…mind you, they are thorough food lovers and appreciate every bit of our efforts…atleast that is what my experience till date been……


  11. Years back, I was shocked out of my wits when a Punjabi friend called a maharashtrian as Madrasi ! I used to say jokingly to my friend in Delhi that, for them, anybody from south of faridabad is a Madrasi!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Please! Please learn punctuation. ‘S’ after an apostrophe denotes possession and not plural. And I thought madrasi people were good at grammar.


      1. But a Madrasi needs to know the difference between a noun and a verb. Advise is the latter.

        – Mediolanum.
        P.S: This isn’t worldly. This is your free grammar check. And I didn’t bother pointing the other mistakes out. Find them on your own.


  13. In North, there’s a saying “mooh ki baath cheen li “. You have summed up for all of us the experience of our life in North. No cribs whatsoever.These experiences only make up the interesting life , we all had over the years and allowing us to recall with a smile. It was just the same in IAF too. oh , i am enjoying the posts in this group.


    1. Thank you sir. I have a close association with the olive-green and I can relate to your experience 🙂 .. I second your thought on such interesting experiences, specially when it comes out of friends for life. The sheer joy of re-iterating this to the loved ones is beyond extraordinary..Lol Lol 😀 .. I am glad you liked the post and could get nostalgic…



  14. Haha. Aparna, that’s so so true! One famous experience which I remember is a Gujju guy introduced me to his Telugu friend and said, “Venkat bhai, ye Rao tumhaara gaon wala hai.” Both Rao and I were tired of explaining to him how we were from different ‘gaon’s and how we were both not Madraasi! 🙂


    1. Well, you could in turn have called that Gujju guy a Punjabi & said that anyone north of Mumbai is a Punjabi & seen how he would have reacted😊😊



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