Scurmo, scuppie or heidi: Which of these are you?

Once upon a time there was the hippie…then came the yuppie and the preppie. And just when you thought it was the end of the whacky acronym phenomenon, they’re making a return.

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Scurmo, scuppie or heidi: Which of these are you?

Highly educated independent woman? Love your Gucci as well as teaching underprivileged children? Single and unmarried man over thirty? There is a name for your type. Aastha Atray Banan reports

Once upon a time there was the hippie…then came the yuppie and the preppie. And just when you thought it was the end of the whacky acronym phenomenon, they’re making a return. We got a whiff of them and thought they were too incredibly delightful to ignore. They excite for one other reason: If you were one who never ‘fit in’, you are going to be surprised to see that there are many more of you out there. Curious enough? Let’s get started.

The Scuppie: A Socially Conscious Upwardly Mobile Person
A term coined by the self-confessed American scuppie Chuck Failla who said, “I’m a professional. I’m ambitious, I like nice things. I want security and a degree of wealth. But I don’t like to go after those goals in anything other than a socially conscious way.” Word is that he has even written The Scuppie Handbook, due to hit the shelves later this year, which shows others how to live the scuppie way. Well, there are many who don’t need a book to know they are scuppies. Shrayragi Israni and Anu Tandon Vieira, who run a textile design company called Anuragi, are proud scuppies. They spend their hard-earned money on keeping their homes and themselves natty. But that’s not all. Whereas child education and the Dalit issue are top of Shrayragi’s list, Anu likes to work with the kids living in her housing society and has even started a circulating library in the premises. They may have different ways of showing it, but their concern for the planet is evident. “I want to help and there are many organisations that help me do that. So a big chunk of my money goes in donations,” says Shrayragi. Anu agrees with her and adds, “Sometimes it’s all done very informally too. There might be a person needing an urgent bypass surgery and we give him the money.” Failla will be proud of these two. They seem to be living the scuppie life to the hilt.

The Spurmo: Single, Proud, Unmarried Men Over 30
As you log on to, a note by the Chairman (yes, there is no name…it’s a very James Bondish thing) urges the spurmos of the world “to be appreciated”. He also says, “Without Spurmos, entire industries would crumble: Luxury car and watch manufacturers, champagne makers, high end electronics, overpriced romantic restaurants, hair growth research and development, etc. How sad and lacking the world would be without such luminary historical spurmos as Voltaire, Beethoven and the Wright brothers.”
When we sent him an email, the reply was prompt. “Our strength is in togetherness. Spurmos need to know that, although their numbers are being decimated, they are not alone. The protection of the Indian spurmo is every bit as urgent as the others.” Thirty-two-year-old Richard Peters, who works as a producer at Channel V, at first found it “pretty weird” to find out that he was a spurmo, but soon embraced the idea. “It’s quite a fun acronym and I have a feeling I am going to be a spurmo for a bit,” he laughs. When quizzed about his plans, he says, “I don’t think I will be getting married any time soon. No offence to anybody, but even if today’s woman is so independent, they still come with a lot of baggage.”
He also expresses approval at the world’s ultimate spurmo, George Clooney. There are many more too: Hugh Grant, Matt Dillon, Jack Nicholson and the incorrigible Hugh Hefner. In the words of the chairman, “It is time to stand up and be counted... then probably sit down again, maybe have a drink and possibly take a nap.”

The Heidi: The Highly Educated, Independent Degree Carrying Individual
She’s the one woman all the men in the office must be cringing at, but secretly respecting. Educated and living life at her own terms makes an ideal Heidi. Vrinda Walavalkar, 45, is one such individual. A double Masters in Chemistry, Vrinda now is vice-president, corporate communications for First Source, a BPO company. She lives alone in Bandra, the hip spot of Mumbai, and finds single life in India extremely attractive. “I was in the United States for a long time as I did one of my masters from the University of Virginia. It’s very lonely there. In India, you are surrounded by people all the time.” She finds herself an ideal candidate for being a Heidi. “It’s a word coined for me. Thank you!” she gushes.

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