September 10, 2006
How to tell me by my caste
My mother tells me "we" are Konkanastha Brahmins - or "KoBras" for short, or "Chitpavans" by another name.
How to tell if someone is a member of the caste, from Wikipedia's Maharashtrian Konkanastha Brahmins entry:
A typical Chitpavan is usually fair of complexion, has a sharp nose and steel-grey eyes. He can be called handsome. Nanasaheb Peshwa (18th century), from a portrait that is available may be called best specimen of Chitpavan manhood. Nanasaheb's son Vilasrao, when 18, was killed in the Third Battle of Panipat (1761). Kashiraj has described him as the most handsome among the Marathas; even in death he looked so handsome that Ahmedshah Abdali ordered his dead body to be brought before him - in order to have a look at his handsome person. The Chitpavans cannot be classed among the well-built communities of Maharashtra. Chitpavan girls possess good physical features but tend to took pale. A few historians and anthropologists are of the view that the Chitpavans came to India from Egypt, while others say they came from Greece. The Chitpavans are generally extremists, hence their behaviour is full of contradiction. A Chitpavan may sacrifice his life for his country but he will not easily part with his purse. That is why perhaps the Chitpavan community has produced a number of fiery patriots but not a single saint. Chitpavan's are generally assumed to be tidy, clean and industrious. Typical Chitpavan surnames are Abhyankar, Bapat, Phadke Ranade, Tilak, Gokhale, Ketkar, Paranjpe, Karve and ChitalePosted by amol at September 10, 2006 01:13 PM