Sunday, December 28

Yeh hai Junoon......

I still remember the day where the whole family used to huddle together near the idiot box at 9.30 PM in the evenings to watch one show which used to come in DD, which itself was dubbed from Hindi to Tamil, and goes by the name “Pidivatham”- for the less educated people- I am referring to one the earliest inventions by mankind, the legendary, “Junoon”. I still love to render the title track and couple of its infamous dialogues. What was so special, one might wonder, what with the dialogues mismatched, without any grammar above all (if you had watched the tamil version of Titanic, you will understand!). I still remember the times when my PaaTi used to wait for ‘Adikaari Brothers’ to devise some plot or my mom fawning over Kitu Gidwani’s hairdo. Then there was Swabhimaan, Hum Log, Ajnabi, Samay and etc wherein the dubbing would be even worse than Junoon. I sometimes think that these dubbing artists used to have amazing creative skills, in terms of dialogues delivery. can I forget the nail biter Chandrakanta or the vicious Kroor Singh (I used to wonder how they constructed his costume- still wondering!!).

Amidst the pleas of my mom to not sit in front of the TV, Sunday mornings used to start with ‘Ramayan’ and ‘Mahabharata’. I used to keep count of the number of times the songs used to get repeated in the sagas and wonder when the outlined yogi with the planets circling around used to float in air was gonna drop down. It’s the best feeling I tell you… getting up late in the morning…having those weekly oil baths..with sambrani scents in the air… with your PaTTi asking you to increase the volume in the already loud TV…along with your mom’s laments to help her out in the kitchen.. J…Golden times…

Most of all, I miss watching Dekh Bhai Dekh (the insane family show), Zabaan Sambhal ke (though I am quite pleased with the original English version, ‘Mind your Language’), Chitrahaar (Man…the whole family used to wait for it), Superhit Muqabula (where I used to get confused between Manisha Koirala and Madhuri Dixit.. :P ) ….Surabi (the number of times, I used to fill in the postcards to get a free trip to Singapore..Sigh!), Turning point(I remember vaguely only…who hosted the show???), Nonstop Nonsense (aww… who didn’t used to love that bumbling german detective…)

The show I sorely miss even till date, the show which I am praying to God for a repeat telecast, the one am searching for wildly for an online version -Telematch. The Pogo show, Takeshi’s Castle reminds me badly of my childhood!! For all the kind hearted souls, who think they would want to help out a helpless hag, please..please…do guide her…As a thank you..that lucky kozhande will get yummy homemade vatha-kozhambu… :D..Endapa…cheri thaana???

Sunday, October 12


So, the Navarathri season just got over, I really thought I should give you guys a taste of Pettai Golu. So, here goes the looong list…

Golu PaDi Setting: This is one of the starting jobs my dad and mum were supposed to do- Done with a lot of fits and grumbling, they used to set it up anyway. I usually ended up as the one who had to sort out the nails and screws for the paDi joints; my sis and granny would carry it further by covering up the wooden parts with dad’s old veshTis.

Golu Bommai Setting: Cleaning up the loft and the carton boxes which are stuffed with the bommais of I dunno which era; this was one work, me and sister used to love to do. Dad used to get the boxes down, me and sis used to remove the cloth covered bommais as if there were some ancient treasure, commenting non-stop on what should go where- though I should admit that paTTi’s word was always final. My favorite bommais included the Dasavartharam set and the Chettiar-Chettichi set.

Oh and of course, the “Park” setting- getting soil from chitti’s garden, placing it on paper and sprinkling mustard seeds on it. It normally was sis’s job to keep make sure it grew during the 9 days and also clean the small little pond we made by thermocol dabbas.

Visitors and Visiting: Aah..the number of maamis visiting the house, their tales of how-grand-their-marumagal’s-golu and then its comparison with their neighbor’s was the main routine of entertainment!! Also, the goody bags along with the Vethala Paakus were always a point that was bragged about. “Ooh, you know for Golu this time, I bought some make up set; thought it would be nice to give it to the young girls who would come home”- the costlier, the fancier; the fancier, the better to brag about. Anyways, the worst part of this visiting business would be when you have to sing in front of the Golu setup. I and sis would be under pressure to practice songs taught by our paaTu maami, and re-render it in front of the hawk-eyed maamis- you see, feedbacks are usually sent to our paaTi, so we HAD to do the perfect impression of the Briha when we sang Brova-Bharama. Songs couldn’t be repeated for neighboring houses, so we had to do a preliminary shortlist which our paaTi would give a go-ahead for.

When we were younger, we were usually dressed up in costumes and sent off to get Vethala Paakus- Lord Krishna, Japanese lady, Madisaar Maami- the whole package used to so colorful. We used to gear up for these costume parties…well, all we wanted was that packet of sundal Rama maami made. :D

All said and done, I do miss these crazy aspects of Golu; Sitting here, in some corner of India, I really would love a visit, grab a potlam of sunDal and spend time with sis and home. Though, I did catch up with Ram-Leela, I do really miss home. Can’t wait for Diwali… I come!!!

Friday, October 3

Mistake 1: Cajoling my colleagues to make them book tickets for a movie by the name- Drona

Mistake 2: Actually making it to the movie on time in spite of losing one of the tickets at the counter

Mistake 3: Not walking out of the movie during the savior Intermission

A very very measly question to Mr./Ms. Godlie Behl (I am not too sure about the gender of the director, am confused by the name)- When you were making the movie, did you ever think of how people like us are going to stand the agony? I did try my best to get in touch her/him. Since, he/she is being stoned by people in Mumbai; I shall limit my stoning to the maami circle with a telecon

The Venerable PM: Ok.. I’ll put it in simple terms, what is the story all about??

Goldie Behl: Its good fighting over evil!! The Hero saving the world from the Asura

TVPM: What is new about it?? I actually feel like I just watched a movie that has been ripped of from Harry Potter and Mummy

GB: Wathdaa… That’s an outrageous accusation. I’ve used WFX Effects to recreate such phenomenal action sequences… Maybe you watched the movie in a tiruttu DVD…You need an eye to relish such magic

TVPM: If you are talking about the ‘Drona’ being tortured by his aunt till he was grown..sorry boss..people are already bored with Harry Potter. And the sandstorm…er.. sorry to badly need a fresh creative team

GB: Aan.. All you oldies keep complaining!! Never understanding the new generation!!

TVPM: Ok!! that why Jaya Bacchan (As AB’s mommy) is turned into a stone within 10 min of her intro? Any which ways..why do you guys keep giving her a sad song for welcoming her beta. I mean..she needs dialogues too.

GB: Er..Can we move on to another question? I still have other calls waiting.

TVPM: Really?? Fine.. what happened to the other characters in the story… If my memory is correct, AB had 10 dialogues in all, Priyanka Chopra had 5 ( the other 5 were just repetitions of the earlier 5), Kay Kay Menon had 15 (Thank God for that) and of course Jaya Mata having the 2 lines, and that horse of the Drona neighed 8 times… Were you ever planning on introducing someone else…?? Or was it that you ran of money for the rest of the cast??

GB: Allo..Alllo…Can’t hear you maami..No signal here….beep beep beep

TVPM: Shoot… Spineless no..he had the spine to put in money for this loser of a movie!!

Anyways… I was lost with questions by the end of the movie.. like.. Priyanka Chopra ( the bodyguard of AB) rides a really swanky car..but still fights with a sword?? You actually have some 20 min of action packed car chase in a movie where the hero is running around in search of Amrit? We also spend another 20 min during the Jaya turning into stone sequence..AB thinking all through whether to touch or not touch his mom..YAWN!!!

So..i don’t even have to get to the verdict part. Yes..the effects were aweshum..out of the world..Kay Kay Menon tried his best to justify his character…But, a horse running on top of a train just doesn’t work with me. If you guys do mind listening to this old hag, please give this a miss- Krissshhhhh was much much better!!!!!

I am the Brillante!!!

Before I post my usual rant, let me first thank Swarna kozhande for presenting me the Brilliante Weblog. I was under the impression that this girl was one from the saner lot, but since this award episode, I had to add her to the Maami’s List of Amazingly Insane People! Well, She now qualifies for it by default…sans merci! Anyways, Thanks again. Though I wouldn’t have minded a younger introduction- PM is still young at heart!! :)

Am not too great with this tagging business..Not now..but will surely do this in future. For now, my post shall continue to be an eyesore..Bye!!

Thursday, August 28

The Stupid Six

Very emotional state of mind. Might make sense or not. Means a lot to me.
No annoying comments pl.

Long long ago, in a land far away from civilization, there lived a bunch of little kids who used to run away from their families just to spend time with each other. These kids weren’t all that bright in bringing up great ideas to escape home-boredom; but their parents understood and let them be. You had Hazel-Boy, who was the leader of the pack, very silent, and yet very sweet; never hurts people. And then comes, Giggly-Girl, who was the umpire for the pack and keeps it going. Puny-Boy and Fat-boy compliment each other with stupid jokes and annoying cricket score sthat they keep tab of. Of course, you had Maami-Girl, the ever brilliant, beautiful, energetic…er.. ok..fine.. I'll stop. God! You guys never believe me!. And Last, but not the least, was Sorna- Girl (ripped off from our Dhool movie) who posed as a terror to Maami.

So happy were the Stupid Six that they never once felt worried with what the future held for them. Times were spent by playing book cricket during rainy days, pulling out petrol plugs from vehicles, chasing juju the stray dog by tail, trying to sneak in home with muddy feet, running around the Pettai temple for no reason, maska adichifying Thaatha for his secret locker burfis, sneaking 25 paise coins to try out that stupid, shiny Hero Jet cycle from RDX cycle repair shop, “cleaning up” Chittu’s car by flooding water all over, playing Contra and Mario over and over again, whisking pakathu aathu maami’s souri-mudi and making her curse us loud….

As the years passed away, the Stupid Six had to choose between different career paths to start a whole new chapter in their lives. They now live in the corners of the world and do not even have the time to meet up for a small game of Tetris.

Maami-girl has graduated to Pettai Maami now. What she is now, wouldn’t have been without the rest of the gang. Missing them big time.

Post Dedicated to SH, PP, VRC, BN and Sorna akka SD. Muuah!! Lub ya guys…

Wednesday, August 20

Learning Hindi in 30 days

Have you tried ?? I am yet to try, though circumstances are going to make me go crazy about Hindi right now. Till the eleventh of August ‘08, effectively, I was proud that I can converse in fluent Hindi. After doomsday, I feel like I am in some alien country with a bunch of people talking in some weird language that absolutely make no sense to me.

Before I go any further, let me make some things clear. I know Hindi, had taken it up as my main subject all through schooling and can read, write, and well, thought can speak well too. This, “thought can speak well too” comes from a person who has so far given 4 gaalis along with college kids in Hindi. I know, but those were college days, and we all assumed that we were right in everything, didn’t we?

Anyways, right now, my status is that, I am nowhere near Tamil Nadu, leave alone Chennai. The place where I am staying in is in the middle of India, where, the only way I can get to meet someone speaking in Tamil is through Kalaignar TV -that’s the only Tamil channel that’s here!! Sniff sniff.. I am not even aware of the movies that have released in the past couple of weeks. Left Chennai on the day of Kuselan release. Life is very unfair I say!

The brighter part of everything is Khaana. Food intake now comprises of imli-free-dal-full substances. Realized that Paneer in abundance makes life good. :D . Though have started missing seeramilagu sathamadu, vettha kozhambu and vadam. Other than that, I’m loving this place just for the food.

Language is where I’m struggling. They stare at me as if I’m talking in gibberish. Stares turning into silent glee and laughter. Laughter turning into mockery. Oh! The Misery reaches no bounds. Fact is that this has made me re-think my actual knowledge of Hindi. Thankfully, some people are kind enough to try and help me out. Worst part is that, my job profile also involves teaching people about the garment trade and processes. When I am taking a class consisting of 30 students who can only speak in Hindi, I sometimes feel like am a part of some stand-up comedy. During this process, realized that sign language can also be helpful!! So goes the Hindi story, likely to continue for the almost the whole of next year. I’m sure I would learn the actual words by then. ‘coz, the other day, I was asking for scissors, didn’t know how to explain in Hindi; ended up showing a sign which made the other run off for his dear life!!

Though the overall experience is as such fun, the only thing I am actually missing is the non-existence of Internet. Boo Hoo… No blogs, no social networking. The maximum time I get is only consumed for checking mails. Survival testing it seems. Hopefully shall still be surviving by the end of it. Have no idea about when I would be accessing the net again. So, for all few, but, lovely blog readers, Adiyen, will reply back in due course. Till then, Samathha irungo kozhandela…

Thursday, August 7

Sing in the rain..Im singing in the rain...

Aan aan….for all the kindly souls wondering where I had ran off to, I assure you guys that it certainly wasn’t any sane place. Last month was filled up with ups and downs. The ups being the usual minimal and the downs, dominating the scene (or as my friend describes, it was filled with bumps and lumps!).

So, moving away from the depressing topic, I thought, I would dedicate this post to the one of the lifelines of Chennai. We shall discuss the critical modes of survival using the transport systems of Chennapatnam.

Requirements for getting qualified so as to attempt would be:

1. Patience
2. More Patience and
3. …Did I not mention Patience??? (And yes, it always comes with a capital P)

So, now that you’ve learnt basic mantra, we shall move further on to discuss specific topics. My first suggestion to you guys would be…don’t ever think about trying to ride a four wheeler in Chennai in peace… you would end up cribbing about the insanely bad roads there are or the lovely madras bashai being used by the fellow commuters about the perfectly divine art of driving. Trust me…it is never too late to learn about “Vootla soltu vantiya” type phrases.

Since, I live a bit farther than the actual city; I’ve been blessed with opportunities to try the exotic Suburban trains and the Metropolitan Buses. Though I trust the trains rather than the buses, I would recommend the buses to those who live out of pocket money from the dads. I mean, how else would you be able to travel 25 kms in Chennai with 5rs!! Though it becomes a herculean task to catch one when it is leaning at an angle 60 degrees towards the ground and does not have any safety belt as such. But it’s the one of the best way as long as you can avoid sitting in the driver seat and honking at anything and everything around. Surprisingly, in the recent times, there has been an introduction of news swanky buses to manage the Chennai crowd and I’ve found them rather comfortable and preferable to the suburban trains.

Talking about the trains, there are in total three routes that can be taken to reach various parts of Chennai. The best one and the oldest one is the route that covers south Chennai to the central part of the city- it’s the best one coz Her Highness uses it :P !! Anyways, these trains aren’t like the Mumbai ones, crowd- wise. They are such a pleasure to travel with good entertainment around; what with the hawkers selling yummy one-rupee-samosas, hankies, hairclips etc, and office going women and men singing old movie songs aloud to pass the time, tussles breaking between women as to who gets the window –seat, you get the picture. :). I have spent almost 6 yrs travelling in these trains, and have had some of the best times of my life. This is the best optionsif you want to avoid traffic in Chennai.

After all the above said, I really shouldn’t miss out the life and soul of Chennai- the autowalas. They are such gifted people who have learned the book “How To Drive And Survive On Pot-holed Roads”. The book apparently also offers a supplement which throws light on “Gonna Getcha Manni”! Still, it is worth a try to have an adventure on an auto through the traffic in Chennai, especially, in T.Nagar. But try bargaining in Tamil, else, forget your Manni. Anyways, As the saying goes, there are more Autos in Chennai than its actual population, you are never bound to miss one. And after 8PM, when the moon goes high, so will their targets be. So, beware of hearing the most ludicrous prices that can ever be quoted.

So, now that you kids are well fed with food full of fluff, Please..Please..grace the lovely city of Chennai soon. This information is not provided or sponsored Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation or by the Umbrella in the Logo. Come come…Besant beach ish waiting….

For those who were wondering the link between the title and Post, Go Crack NUTS!!

Saturday, July 5

Filter Kapi

What is the connection between tam- brahms and the above mentioned beverage?? Is it some kind of unexplainable link that we are born with? A curse…no no…it can never be a curse…a divine blessing, I presume. The exhilarating feeling it gives when we have one Davara full of filter kapi along with Hindu newspaper is out of the world! A day never goes perfectly without the above combination

The aroma of the coffee powder drifting from the Raja Coffee house in C.Pettai main road itself gives me a high! My paaTi had a huge selection procedure when it comes to buying it from any coffee shop. No..not those fancy CCDs or Baristas where they give you froth laden, creamy, water with coffee powder sprinklers, but those where you get coffee beans and powders for daily usage. C.Pettai has 3 main coffee shops and a couple of other smaller ones which don’t even get short listed by my paaTi.

Coffee Day- it was a pioneer launching, actually one of the first fancy shops that opened up in C.Pettai. All the vinyl board on the shop’s headboard impressed paaTi (compared to the hand painted Raja Coffee, where we used to buy) and we soon joined in the queue to get our ½ kilo kapi poDi along with its freebies- variants included plastic mug, one stainless karandi and of course, a davara-tumbler. I still remember my paaTi saving the coupons for increasing her pointless-saving-stainless steel-davara tumblers account. It took a while for her to realize that there is no point in getting those davaras when the coffee decoction is watery!! So, we went back to Raja Coffee which also had started the freebie business (Competition boss!!) to get back their old customers. I think raja coffee was established somewhere in the 1800s, this coming from the oily look of the half deaf coffee mama. But since we had changed patrons, oily mama started giving us scorching looks and more chicory in the kapi poDi. PaaTi started complaining again about oily mama not treating her as a venerable customer. So, we again had to shift to the newly opened Narasu’s coffee- ‘Bhesh bhesh!! Remba naNNa irukku’, right opposite to Raja Coffee. Though business never picked up well, oily mama moved to Narasu’s for no particular reason. Narasu’s also had a business strategy, giving away free packets of chicory or parrys’ sugar. But the business started soaring when they decided to start giving home deliveries. Now, all my paaTi has to do is dial their number, make sure her instructions are clearly spelt back by half deaf oily mama “Kaal A Kaal B, No chicory” (These lines were god’s lines- never to be forgotten at any given point of time- by the oily mama/me/dad) And very soon, oily mama’s son used to drop in the packets of ½ kg every now and then. Thankfully, we haven’t changed our coffee shop for the past couple of years.

I still savor the first batch of decoction prepared everyday morning by paati (no..i haven’t tried making it; tried once, was a huge fiasco) along with sudoku in the Hindu and Vishnu Sahasranamam on Jaya TV. Aah! What will I ever do without filter kapi daily morning????

Thursday, June 26

Ishkool Matters

Lots of fun filled memories would come to everybody’s mind at the mention of the word “School”. But to me…I wouldn’t say it was bad...i would rather say it as the worst part of my life. Not that I detest the learning part considering it was the only reason I actually went to the school. I just hate the rest of it. Now, let me begin with a light introduction of what my school is…d intro mainly due to the fact that it was no normal school.

Yr 1998: A group of weirdly dressed girls with long ponytails and huge books were boarding the train during one of my monthly trips to T.Nagar for shopping. I asked my sister, “Akka, yaarukka ivalellam?? En red colorla ellarum half-sari potruka?? Naan poi izhuthutu varatta?”(Sis! Who are these red color clad half-sari girls?? Shall I go pull them??). “You better not!” my sister advised, “These girls are a part of train bandits! Haven’t you heard about them??” I got scared with this reply and continued ogling at them from a distance. I promised my sister that I would never leave her side and be a good girl. My sister smiled smugly.

Yr.2000: I was in my 10th class when this topic came up. Dad and sister were debating on which group I should be taking up for my higher secondary. Not that they didn’t listen to my pleas of studying something related to fashion, my dad wanted me to attend the best school there is and get better marks than anyone in my family. Well…what a long lost hope! Here was I, struggling to get past my phobia for subjects and my dad has started to look in for the best! When I tried to point out this to my dad, all he said was to listen to him and work hard. Well, I did work hard, more in terms of watching movies and enjoying my school life. By the end of the year, my dad told me that he had had me shifted to another school in the locality. I didn’t bother much about and continued to e-ottify my life. Little did I know that life had a different plan!

Yr 2001: Results were out and I surprised myself by passing all the subjects excluding a slight dent in my Hindi numbers. Since, the main subjects were cleared with decent scores, my family celebrated with much gusto. After all the merriment got over, my sister called me over separately to our room. I presumed it had to be something about me spilling ink over her books and hence, went grudgingly. I automatically started jabbering an apology when she plainly held her hand and asked me 2 shut my mouth. I was a little taken aback as she would never miss such a golden opportunity to get bashings from my mum. Though a bit relieved, I never expected that she would start on to tell me that I would be shifting schools to complete my higher studies.

I know its not a big deal..shifting to SAMOHSS. But it would be a big deal when you go to a school with a cropped hair and wearing a half sari(don’t forget the specs).. Sniff Sniff!! I was the center of all the stupid jokes. The younger kids in the school used to come and gape at me as if I was some animal in a zoo.. Boo Hoo.. Sigh! This school is situated in T.Nagar and is famous for its students getting the top ranks in the final exams. I used to travel in the suburban train as C.Pettai was quite far away from it. All the students in the school were big time paDipps and I hated it from the start. All these guys could chat was only about Chemistry formulae and Physics theories. Guys (had to wear VeshTis) were not allowed to interact with girls which itself was very annoying, considering half my friends in the earlier school were only guys! Teachers used to teach in Tamil, even though it was English Medium School. Half my knowledge of swear words in Tamil were learnt from the teachers themselves. It became usual for the teachers to say “Pannada! Paradesi! Ecchakala Naaye!! Anga enatha pudingitruka!!!”(Swear words on Tamil that I do not wish to translate). Classrooms were typically a dungeon. No fan (doesn’t work even if it is there!), no light, the only ventilation used to come from the so called windows (no windows either, just paraphet walls with grills). It wouldn’t have been that difficult if not for the fact that almost 150 students were dumped in one single classroom which can hold only 75 in the first place!! Girls who didn’t wear Bindis were given punishments. All Fridays, we were supposed to sit and listen to Upanyasams. When a Jeeyer (Did I not mention it was an Iyengar School??) ever comes to Chennai, they would undoubtedly make a visit to the school without fail. Everyday evening after 4PM, all the girls would be sent off to learn Divya Prabhandams, and the guys would be sent off to learn Vedas. This doesn’t matter if you are interested or not. It was school rule. The teachers themselves came in VeshTis and Panjakajams. Sanskrit was a compulsory subject to be taken up. Even the Shlokas had to be deciphered and explained in Sanskrit. The Sanskrit teacher used to come to the class with her kids. The Blackboards actually were the wall on it was painted black. And wait, the most bizarre part is that the school fee was 700 rs!!!!

All said and done, this school had something that I couldn’t understand. No matter what, it could make even the dumbest of the kids (read me) to score really good marks. This certainly was surprising to me, just because of the fact that I had never put efforts to study; nor did the other kids who were like me. I also am grateful to the school for having taught me Prabhandams and Shlokas. But the reason why I hate the school was for the reason that it made me lose my confidence to socialize with people. I could not bring up the courage to speak to guys after I left the school. And I had started swearing a lot. When I started thinking about, I realized that the whole environment had been so narrow-minded about life, and things around it. I don’t even have to explain how it would have been when I told them about Instituto Scenology! Well…Life has its own way to explain itself. I guess I should be happy of the way it has shaped me in the process. SAMOHSS and IS…whattaa combination…!!!

Saturday, June 14

The Dog's Umbrella

The plan was set. The time decided. The venue was some newly opened restaurant in T-Nagar. The gang was the usual- my best friends which included the sardonic TJA and the goofy LAS. The more we hung out together, the more we found out our potential to hog. We took an oath to try out all the restaurants that has ever been printed on the daily supplement of The Hindu, “Metroplus”. Food in whatever form or shape, when presented in front of us had the tendency to disappear within seconds. Even though maami was a strict veggie, she used to join the rest of the gang without hesitation.

Till her higher secondary, maami never used to go near non-aacharam foods; for that matter, not even a veg-non-veg combined restaurant. Enter TJA and LAS…not only did they introduce me to the delicacies of the world, they introduced me to the world’s yummiest food item…the Mushroom. Now, the entry scene of the exotic mushroom in my life is much earlier. It was around circa 1996, if I remember right. My dad had just come back from one of his tour trips and was bugging my mom to try out some new food item (of course!!) he had had earlier. Though mom was a bit hesitant, she finally agreed onto it. So, one glorious day, he bought a whole packet of button mushrooms and kept it in the fridge. A whole 5 minutes had passed when I heard a blood curling scream from the kitchen. I and my sister ran to the source, to find my paati heaving about the new weird bulb-like that had been kept in the fridge. Our explanations were to no avail and my paati had already decided on its penalty. Thus, by the next day morning, it was sent off with the garbage. The whole episode was kept quiet from dad so that he wouldn’t get upset.

More mosquito coils…soin soin soin…..circa 1990. As grandpa’s place had a huge garden attached to it, this turned out to be the ideal place for mushrooms to grow during rainy seasons and that’s where I had my first class on the subject when I accidentally plucked one.

Lesson 1: Mushrooms are not be touched; they are supposedly toxic!

Lesson 2: it’s a non-veg food item

Lesson 3: Its called “Naai kodai” (translated as Dog’s Umbrella)

Well, of all the above lessons, the last chapter intrigued me. My paati being my venerable tutor, I asked what that term meant. She frowned at me for even asking about that. Then, she told me a tale which gave a gist of something that would make me not go near that thing- that it’s a plant which grows when dogs pee on it!!!!! And this is the same reason she gives me even to date.

After a couple of months of joining college, I used to cringe at the thought of my friends having it as a delicacy. Not because, I didn’t know what it was, but from the thought of my paati’s explanation would make me feel sick. I tasted it first when I had my first pizza- and fell in love with it!!! Have become a great drooling fan of mushrooms and always make it a point to order at least something with it. I still do not clearly understand why my paati had to give such an explanation for it, but I do respect her (and her weird theories) and don’t mention about the food items I had had with Naai kodais!!! As to how we spent our hard earned money at that ridiculously expensive restaurant in T-Nagar- that would become a separate post altogether. Till then…d goodbyes……

Saturday, June 7

Satyavaan V/s Daya

Atlast I got to catch up “Anjaade” in DVD last week. I had been waiting to watch it ever since I heard “Kathaazha Kannala” on radio mirchi and by chance, in sun music. And oh! While we are at it, what is it with those so called dressing sense of those nasal voiced veejays. Am I the one who finds it really stupid and made up??!! Anyways.. back to the topic… the song, I would say was kinda alluring. It wasn’t yet another item number, and the sari that lady wore made a sexy, yet simple statement. The reviews of the movie were raving and I wanted to find out the magic of Mysskin- the director.

Well..the best part of the movie was the cinematography and the lighting. I fell in love with the fact that trailer tracks were used in most of the scenes and yet, made the camera angles look so cool. Apparently an action movie, but I never got disgusted with any gore or violence. The fight scenes were dealt in such intricate camera work, mind you, this was a low budget movie. And not in one scene did I feel so!

Next, comes the story line. The plot was neither old nor too new. It was just right. Circumstances were life like and any common man might face those. Though I did not get to become a great fan of Narain( as Satya), I did fall on for the guy who played “kiruba”. Prasanna( as Daya) was cool and his eyes spoke everything. It would have been even more perfect if he had actually grown his hair for the part, the wig was quite hideous. I wouldn’t do justice if I did not mention the memorable role played by Ponvannan as the cop. The supporting casts were refreshing and meaningful. Dialogues, short and crisp. One couldn’t really predict the way the movie was going. One refreshing police-based movie after a long time. Glad that the movie had only a few songs and did not hamper the tension it created. When the plot gets crude, the director chooses wisely to not show off but to subtly put it off as a dialogue.

The background score was enticing and moving, and was an apt contrast. Though, I am yet to research on the name of the music director, I would make sure I shall update the same here. The movie had violins and pianos crafting those scenes where you would normally expect a “dandanakka” noise in the background. The percussions helped in maintaining the seriousness of the scenes and made your heart heavy at the right times

Well, I would watch the movie again and again just for it camera nuances, lighting and the cinematography. It teaches you that the old school of cinema hasn’t died, but has re- modeled itself to perfection. Waiting for the next movie by Mysskin….

PS: Planning to watch Dasavatharam. Though a crazy fan of Kamal, I keep feeling that its gonna bomb big time… wish it doesn’t.. till then..tataas from the PM…

Thursday, May 29

Koozhu Time...!!!

“Kozhande….. Inge vandu enaku help panuda (Kiddo..Come help me dear)”, screamed my mom. I was in my usual deep slumber and mumbled back a no to her. “Di..unga amma koopdra..po! Somberi kada!(Oye! Your mother is calling…run)”..that was my granny expecting me to go help. Ha! Sleep is more important.“Vethhal podrendi…seekram vaa(Am making Vethhal..come fast!)”. Magical words that woke me up!

Vethhals are actually papads in Tambram version; made out of this gooey stuff called Koozhu and is a basically a composition of mashed rice and something that makes it heavenly. Now, I would’ve given you the recipe, but am totally clueless about what happens in a kitchen and hence, I wouldn’t be helping you.

This is one of the many compulsory phases that would happen in most of the tambram families during summer. During the month of mar-apr, it would be MaavuDu/ MaagaLi mania. My granny would start being more active in the house, waiting for the sound of the hawker on the road to scream MaavuDu. There used to be a pressure between my granny and her sisters as to who would make MaavuDu pickle first. The first one who to do so, makes it a point to distribute one jaaDi to all the relatives just to show off her maavuDu making prowess. After the maavuDu saga gets over, it would be time for MaagaLi(Sarsaparilla Root). Another variety of pickle, it’s actually a plants root and has a very disgusting stench. I made a mistake of once offering to help my granny to cut those roots, only to end up with an unbearable stench around myself. Even after that pickle is made, it doesn’t drop its scent. I still remember my classmates running away from me whenever I used to bring it for lunch.

Coming back to koozhu, the whole process of it getting transformed into vethal itself is an art. I just love it when my granny takes it out when it is hot from the cooker, and gives it to me in a kiNNi. Yumm. The men of the house have just one task- to transport the koozhu utensils to the moTTa maaDi. The kids of the house have to keep the leering crows away from the koozhu; also at times, would be armed with a hand fan to drive away possible terrors like “e’s”. But, mostly they would end up sharing their loot with the crows, which would be followed with a “Endi en pranana vaangara??!!” session with the moms. The transformation in itself normally takes up to a week until it dries to becomes a vethhal. Again, this also has a good time frame competition between maamis; but, this would be based on how many actually survived from our lootings!

Just the one thought of having a meal with all the three sends me to bliss. Maybe I should try learning the recipes. Paati…Here I Come!!

Thursday, May 22

Maami Times

Dedicated to

People who were perplexed by the weird sounding words in the blog

Maami- A matriarchal figure, noticed most importantly in TamBram functions waiting for minuscule opportunities to hatch up thayir sadam looking boys with the opposite sex. Normally seen with a list of jadagams which have candidates in categories for Thengalai, Vadagalai, US- Return, BE-MS, Ph D etc,.

Pettai- Suffix used after names of the different areas in Chennai. For eg: Saidapettai, Korukupettai.

Thayir saadam- A reference generally used for kids in TamBram families. Derived from the fact that it consists a large percentage of kids who excelled in studies and are not compatible for socialized flirting and dating. They are also found to be more family oriented and generally are very innocent and naïve.

Oppuku chapaani- Refers to those who are the one of the last to get picked up for a game- either because of their incompetencies or just for the heck of it

Erumamaadus- Representing a major portion of wildlife of C.Pettai. Are referred to in English as Buffalos. Notably found at swampy and marshy areas and are known to move in herds of 50. Major achievement- Have successfully formed a choir group called “Pettai Raps”. Concerts have been held all across C.Pettai and the band is quite famous around Chennai. Concerts are normally held in the middle of the roads and much to the delight of its fan following, has a free entry.

Veera Sagasangal- loosely translates to “The Amazing Brave Adventures”

TamBram- A clan that I think originated from the kavery delta and one which brags about being the most intelligent of all human kind. Fellow TamBrams include the confused kid from Blore and the Creator of Darth Vaadiyar.

Porikkis- The handsome guys of the city of Chennai who believe themselves to have mastered the art of flirting and imagine themselves to be drop dead gorgeous. Fact has its own version and hence, we shall leave it at that.

Aambalakamaakashi- Usually refers to women, who chose to wear trousers instead of half- sarees, did not believe in oiling the hair and most importantly, did not bother to learn cooking.

Thengalai, vadakalai- Outgrowth from TamBram. Though it isn't all, the heirarchy shall be explained at a later stage

Jadagams- That sheet of paper which decides the fate of a thayir saadam kid; to, which, whom, where, he/she shall be married off to.

Adakkam, Odukkam and Naanam- The three main ingredients required for manufacturing a perfect maami; refers to just one meaning though- a silent, petite and innocent girl

Somberi Kada- Word that is used to compare me with a sloth. Not only confined to me. Can be referred to any Tambram who wakes up after 7 AM.

Vethhal- Tambram version of Papad/ Indian Crackers

MaavuDu- Small mangoes; used for making pickles. You get them during the start of the Mango season

MaagaLi- Sarsaparilla Root; Hardly made nowadays mainly due to lovable stench that could drive away our neighbor mad

MoTTa MaaDi- Terrace; don't ask why is it called MoTTa!!

E- A venerable companion of our C.pettai erumamaadus; are minuscule and tend to be very annoying. They are referred as the “Fly”. PS: A friend of mine pointed out that when a ‘E’ sits on you, it shits; Don’t know how far this is true…!!

Paati- The main terror of our household a.k.a my granny. To write about her would drive me mad. But, ah, she will always be my darling!

JaaDi- That porcelain dish used for storing Pickles

PS: Will be updated on a regular basis on further posts.

Tuesday, May 20

Maami Saagasangal Part II

Hmm…Considering people could stand that tripe…I might as well continue to the next part!!

After a couple of similar disasters, my dad had gotten fed up of paying to the rants of RDX’s owner and got me my first bike. This was around the time I had learnt cycling better and I was glad that my dad hadn’t gotten me those stupid, girly LadyBird bikes. Maybe he had intuitions that I would be the future rebel of the family, he got me a “streetkat”. Now, this bike came with a conditional warranty that it should never be ridden by girls who could fall into the categories of adakkam, odukkam and naanam and conveniently, I’ve never bothered to even get near those terms!! The only glaring part was the stupid basket in front of it. “Schoolku lunch box eduthu ponumilada…adaan poda chonnen!” explained my mom. But the maximum work tat basket ever did was to transfer maangais and thengais between the neighbourhood houses. Very soon, everybody in C.pettai used to recognize that it was my bike in the street due to weird sounds my brakes used to hmake and most importantly, the way I used to pedal. Yes…I used to monkey pedal which also helped in me getting a huge following of maamis in my gossiping about how I will never be getting married in the future. But what they never understood was that the bike was very heavy and you needed to put your full energy to ride it. I never used to bother about the gossips until the news reached my parents. My dad was all for it “You ride however you want da kanna”. That didn’t stop from getting myself branded as “Aambalakaamakshi” by my granny, or the publicity that she made out of it. News traveled far and wide, and soon my perippa and perima called me up from Hyderabad to enquire about it!! Gradually, my granny gave up on me and I continued riding around the streets of C.Pettai. I used to make sure that I ignored the street behind the Pettai temple as I was still scared that the erumamaadu episode might repeat.

Years trickled by, I grew older; grew, more in terms of girth rather than height. I never even bothered about it until the day came when I stared weighing more than my cycle. Ironically, I also joined a new school for my higher secondary which had a very traditional uniform that made me look like a clown when I rode the bike. Soon, my cycle was starting to get neglected and it attained its old age. I couldn’t bear to see it dying, so, I asked my dad to sell it off. When I finished my school and got into college, my dad thought it was right time to buy a two-wheeler. “Why?”, I asked “I could still get back my cycle and use it”. He didn’t want to point out my bloated status, and just replied back saying that he is getting me a bike so that it would be convenient for travel. So, the next week, my house welcomed the “Scooty”. My sister was doing her higher studies out of town, so, I missed the chances of fighting over it with her. But, my adventures were endless.

There was this phase when I started eyeing my dad’s antique bike, a TVS Suzuki. I used to wait for dad to get back from office and flick his keys as he used to love his vehicle a lot. Though, all I could do was just kick-start the bike, oblivious to the fact that it had a gear. My dad noticed my futile attempts and offered me to teach his bike. This included a lot more gaalis from my grandmom and her saga of how badly I have ruined her name and reputation in the neighborhood. Thus started the hopelessly bad teaching sessions by my dad, which was culminated into “burn tending sessions” by my mom. But I didn’t give up. There have been a couple of times when I had sneaked out with the bike. Those times, I used to practice behind the pettai temple, for I was sure that my dad woundn’t bother searching there (I stationed look-outs for tentative erumamaadu runnings). During one of these occasions, I did some mess up with the clutch and the bike stopped. I didn’t know what the issue was with it, and so, started pushing the bike all along. I reached home after a 3 km trek, only to find my dad fuming about my in-competency in handling the bike and that I broke it down. Apparently, one out of my innumerable cousins had pottu kuduthufyed to my dad. That was the last time my dad ever let me go near the vehicle.

Sigh!! I had gotten used to my Scooty by this time and did not feel let down about the restriction. Not that the relationship with my scooty improved. Once, I and my dad had gotten to the market to get the usual kaikari for mom. I happened to lose control of bike and fall down. Little did I know that my dad had reserved his vengeance for repairing his bike. The moment I fell down with bike, the sweetheart that he is, he didn’t bother picking me up, but chose to look and laugh at me! I grumbled and somehow steadied myself. Back home, he gave the wonderful explanation that since, I was a girl, anybody would’ve helped me out and that it wouldn’t have been so if he had fell down. And worse, I ended up suffering from a huge boil as the stupid silencer had fell rite on my leg. Sniff! I have never seen my dad much happier. So much for ruining his bike….I still have the marks!!!!

No no…it doesn’t end here. There shall be another torturous session on my Car driving…he he…till then…d byes….

PS: Will soon start a glossary for the weird tamil words.

Sunday, May 18


Time: 1.30 PM

Venue: Office Cafeteria

Lunch was the time when we used to get the chance to watch TV. The elections results were about to be announced that day and we were glued to our seats. Beep..Intermission. We took a break discussing who might get elected when the Ad started running.

Simple Steps to learn Tamil

Vaango means Welcome
Okkarungo means Sit
Pongo means Leave

Try Bingo, No Confusion, Great Combination…Boinggg!!!

That was the first time I happened to see that advertisement and was not expecting the sniggers from my colleagues. The concept of the product was a hit but so was not the case with me. The next couple of days, my hellos and good mornings were replied with helpings of vaango, pongo and Okarungo followed by meaningless guffaws.

And this wasn’t new to me. Whenever I get myself introduced as a Chennaiite, I would see a sly grin flashing for a micro-second. By the time I get acquainted, I would be barged with irrelevant question about Chennai and Tamilnadu.

What made me write this post….Just to make my point clear, I, personally do not hate people from the other states of India, but its just that their tendencies towards people from Chennai is…set which I wanted to clear out. The pre assumptions which are made before actually knowing the city are very much bizarre. Here’s a set of help manual I’ve tried consolidating over the years of tiresome explanations to my collegemates and colleagues.

Food: No, our cuisines don’t stop with Idly, Sambhar and Rice. We also consume roti, dal and all the other Indian cuisines. Here's an insight on Tamil cuisine- Our Chettinad and Thanjavur food varieties are amazingly yummy and I would suggest it to everybody. Yes, it does have a lot of rice, but then…isn’t it the staple food… J And a request, please try avoiding pronouncing Sambhar as Sambherrr.

Film: Yes, We worship Rajini. We also watch movies “First day, first show”. Movie isn’t just entertainment for us…its more of a cult religion which is a daily part of our lives. As to the forwards which we usually get (e.g.: the hero deflecting the bullet from the gun), it’s not always true that our movies defy logic. It just adds to the masala content to pep up the mass. Movies like Nayagan and Kannathil Muthamittal are exemplary pictures which need no explanations.

Language and Culture: I guess this topic might take a long time. There are many wrong facts that have floated around which I thought needs to be cleared out. Chennaiites, for a fact, also are aware of other languages and give as much respect. I also defer to statements like “Chennai is very difficult for people from other states”. It is all in people’s mindset to accept or not to accept a different culture. If it helps, Chennai has a large settlement of people settled from Kerala, Rajasthan, and Gujarat etc. There’s an area called Sowcarpet where you can find a huge chain of Gujarati settlement. And Nungambakkam has an equally huge settlement of Rajasthanis. The state itself is conservative in terms of fashion and glamour. Yet again, its not that there isn’t any night life. It’s just that people here prefer to take an early nightcap than what you normally expect. Autowalas in Chennai are notoriously expensive which is something that I would agree on. But otherwise, I’ve known people from other states and countries who have learned to love this state for what it is and aren’t willing to part.

Climate: Well…this is one thing that people keep complaining about and something which turns me off. Yes, it is hot. And yes..very much humid. But that’s how it is…. almost all through the year. I would suggest people to stop commenting on that and rather make an effort to put up with it and start enjoying it.

I am not trying to say Chennai is the best, but trying to point out that Chennai is not as bad as people presume. Every city has its own glories and misgivings. It is up to us to accept or not accept to the changes around us and make it a better place to live in. Hope I’ve made my point without being too mean… Will meet with the next post…till then its…VANGO PONGO OKKARUNGO…he he…

Thursday, April 17

Instituto Scenology

When someone comes up and asks me which college I had graduated from…the reply’s reaction would come to the consensus that I studied at Instituto Scenology. Situated at one of the most developed part of the Chennapatnam, the institute specializes in driving people mad for no accord, converting thair sadam girls to gossiping bitches and transforming porikki pakkiris to hunks. To make it simple, I studied in one of the most premier institutions, for fashion in Chennai, which, teaches illiterates to learn, ape and emerge into a fashionista.

The first reaction I got from my anna when I had said that I got into IS, was “So..a tailor in the family..huh??”. I felt like bashing him up. When news spread around that a family member was going against principles of taking up engineering/ CA/ MS, people started getting concerned if I will ever get a job with at least some pay. During one of the family functions, this uncle of mine walked up to me and started his interrogation.

Unc: Is that how you get into modeling??
Me: (considering watermelons look much thinner than me!) Er..No…

Unc: Oh…do you work for FTV then??
Me: (Trying not to look embarrassed and mentally cursing the maniac who had bought FTV to India) Err…No

Unc: Iliya?? Then what do you actually study? Oh…designinga?? You designing from handkerchiefs for the skinny models then??
Me: (Irritation and a persistent rage and a negative patience never helps!) Ile uncle.. its more to do with production of garments.. Blah blah..

By this time, the uncle who was inquisitive himself felt bored and buzzed off to bug another cousin about his US visa, thus bringing any further explanations to an end!

And that hadn’t been just one uncle. I’ve lost count of people shooting weird glances at me whenever I am enquired about my college. Getting into this fashion school isn’t as easy as it might sound. It needs a strong mixture of over-confidence, hope and a mighty bit of logic. The faculties who teach here are are actually the alumni of IS swayam. Subjects would range from Fashion appreciation (that’s when you get to how Gucci is actually pronounced like!!), Pattern Making (the art where you learn that bell pins aren’t as friendly as they look), garment construction (yeah!! A sophisticated way of me admitting that am a good tailor), and more importantly, textiles, fibers, fabrics, dyes(not hair dye) and every little thing that you would want to know about how the damn shirt you are wearing right came into existence. This added with a couple of management subjects (read as time pass).

As a well bred maami, I initially used to find it very uncomfortable in the college. There were certain unwritten rules ranging from ‘Compulsory boyfriend for six months’, ‘dress code= low denims + even shorter tops’, ‘college slang’s starts with the WTF’ and etc,. Ragging part was even worse. Proposing to the college faculty was just a start! But being a part of the fashion College would give you a sense of freedom. Every now and then, a fad would begin. Suddenly you would see people wearing pink tops; this would include the guys also!! Then, another day, you would bump into a gang of girls with colored hair and bam!! Another fad… exchanging boyfriends would become a weekly thing. There was this certain peer pressure on me to get a boyfriend; but how much ever I tried, I could never find another spoilt thayir sadam for me. Sigh! Coming to academics, practical classes were the best. You could turn on the music, and sing along with it, compare dress patterns with your pals and still get off with decent marks. Bogus submissions would vary from getting caught for sewing clothes by giving it to a tailor outside by forgetting to remove the tailor shop’s label! And there were no books…at all!! You just had one library which would have been taken kutthagai by the padipps of the class. The back benchers were left to ‘study’ photocopies of class notes which were lost and cajoling the padipps to help out during the exams. Copying in exams was a usual activity and we used technology to the best. Students would actually activate GPRS, and fish the internet for answers, sms the answers to the rest of the class. The answer papers would look very similar, worse, even with the same wordings, but still, there would be compulsorily a minimum of 3 guys who would have failed the exam for no reason. Industry visits would be fun and Tirupur would always end up being the destination. The industrial visit would be scrapped for a day and plans would be made to visit Ooty/ Coimbatore. Also, Tirupur, being a haven for shopping- You could get a Kappa/ Gap t-shirt for as low as 30 bucks!

When it comes to learning, rather than academics, I must admit how much I’ve learnt to deal with people in the real world. This is the place where I learnt to gossip, to understand relationships, to never to trust people too soon, and that, life is never fair. Hard to admit, but I do miss my college life. The craziest college, but the best!! Adios IS!!!

PS: Credits to veniceranger for reminding me the crazier aspects of IS and making my days better there..

Sunday, March 30

Bollywood Shollywood

Well well…this is not yet another post about the way Jodha wooed Akbar. This post is more on the line of the existing scenarios in Hindi movies where Jodha tried wooing Akbar and in sides, site adichifies Birbal and does matter with her ex-jaipuri boyfriend. That, in short is the current quality of movies we get to see nowadays in Bollywood.

Indian movie industry is about a hundred years old, evolving itself from the art of theatre. Though the glamour of the big screen has stolen the magic of dramas and theatres, they are yet to reach the standards of the latter. I, personally have become tired of watching movies which makes me hit myself against a wall by the end of it.

After a prolonged review of the movies that were released recently, the following list has been made for ambitious directors, who are in the process of wanting to make it big in Bollywood. I am sure the list is true to the best of my knowledge and has been certified by Abbas and Mustan who were one of the pioneers of initiating mind blowing trends like “Ajnabee” and the latest lackluster hit “Race

Pre Requisites of Movies that you think will get the producer his box office earnings:

  • No story, whatsoever- If at all the director starts thinking of a story, it should contain a minimum of one extra marital affair with the hero’s best friend or the even better, the hero’s driver
  • The movie must have a minimum of 3 heroes, no matter how many heroines. The exception being Aamir khan and Sharukh Khan, though even they’ve initiated their own line of side kicks
  • One sound track has to be remixed and must compulsorily also have a remixed video. Doesn’t matter if the song does not refer anything related to the actual screenplay
  • An item number goes without saying. Skimpily clad girls running around the heroes while we sit squirming before the TV. The more firangi they look, the more we get to see
  • If it’s going to be an action movie, the hero would ride the latest model Hayabusa or a Ferrari. This is irrespective of the fact that the hero is a mere police officer/porikki whose monthly income wouldn’t even fetch a maruti!!
  • If the plan is to direct a family movie, the plot would start with a bungalow (remember…Bollywood families are never poor) having a huge Khandhan and preferably somewhere in a foreign location. Also, the heroine needs to be a 'Pati-vrata'. That would just about add to the family content of the movie!!
  • The worst case scenario is the so called family entertainers/ comedy movies. I really wonder where the directors get their script writers from. Invariably, we end up beating our head with the finest of our chappals rather than laughing. The former activity is directly related to the effort of paying for a ticket to watch a pointless, idiotic and cheap movie.
  • Brownie points if the movie has an English title.

The interest in me going to a theater has been so bad that it’s been 7 years since I’ve been to one and that too, to watch a Hindi movie. If I were to make a list of movies for which I actually took an effort to rent a DVD, it would be just 3 movies for the last year.

  • Johnny Gaddar – Awesome screenplay. Never took my eyes off the screen for even a second. Kudos to Neil Mukesh for a shana performance
  • Bheja Fry- Though it didn’t have much of a storyline, the script made us forget it. Loved Vinay Pathak’s characterisation
  • Taare Zameen Parr- Creativity at its best. One of those rare heartfelt movies that has been ever made.

What has happened to the quality entertainers we used to see!! Though I couldn’t bear to see another ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’, but at least the songs were worth listening. Wish I could get back the good old movies where the songs were crafted for the story and characters were portrayed with the essence still intact. The movie lover in me still waits for the good old days. Is it worth waiting??? Though this trend hasn’t yet traveled to the rest of the Indian movie scenario, I am sure the day is not too far off.

Signing off,

One crazy movie buff

Maami from C.Pettai

Wednesday, March 19

Maami Saagasangal Part I

Growing up was a lot of fun for me. Summers remind of the times we used to have school annual holidays and all our cousins used to meet up at our granpa’s place in a town famous for its leather tanneries. Well…its hardly hygienic, still, our granpa’s house used to have the most huge mango trees in the locality. As all the cousins houses were situated quite nearby, and once the exams got over, we would all rush to his place and have fun. We were six, and in decreasing order of age. Me, being the youngest of the six, used to left out of most of the games. Reasons varying from “You are a kid” “You are too clumsy” “We don’t want a cry baby” etc were normally given and hence, resultant would be that I was left out as a Oppuku chappani’…Sigh! Not that I felt bad, but I always felt it safe to watch gory games like seven stones from a distance. Even with that, I somehow used to be the most injured by the end of the day. Note- The following incidents are purely non-fictional.

When the eldest of my cousin reached 10 yrs of age, he was taught how to cycle and the tradition continued for every summer after that, though the task was taken up further for the next five years by the first cousin who had passed. We used to hire a hero jet cycle from the nearby cycle shop called RDX (Believe me! It is true!!) for 2 Rs per day.

The first time I was let near a cycle was around the time when each of cousins got bored of the tradition. So, after many kenjals and konjals, I dragged my sister to teach me the humble art of cycling. She said yes only after her session with my mom on how to be a role model for sisters!! It so happened that we couldn’t hire the cycle from RDX and hence, she had to lend a “Captain” cycle from one of our relatives. That cycle was comparatively heavier than hero jet, but I was still adamant to learn. The instant I started pedaling, I felt as if I was in heaven. Brimming with confidence, and screaming my heart out, I sped up and went straight to..err..a large upturned stone. Though I escaped unscathed, I do not wish to reveal the status of the cycle. It shall Rest in Peace.

My second experience was an improvement, I should say. This time, I didn’t have just one, but three tutors (cousins again!) with me. All the three had a good track record with 2, 3 and 7 months of prior experience, that being the reason I had selected them for my training. I was confident this time as I even had the hero jet cycle hired for my sole learning. We also had zeroed in on an all empty field which would help me in cycling advanced levels. The weather was fine, the cycle was in perfect condition, and I had the perfect tutors. What could wrong?? Well, the training session got disrupted initially when the owner of field wasn’t happy with our antics. My father asked us to decide on another place to continue my training. We already had a backup option, which was the road behind the pettai temple. What brilliance, I say!! The training went progressively smoother after that and by noon, I had gotten the hang of how to balance the cycle.

At one particular instance, it so happened that I was cycling in the middle of the road with my cousins balancing on either sides, we heard a low rumbling noise. We ignored it and continued the session. Suddenly, down the road, I saw a huge amount of dusty wind advancing. The hard worker that I am, I continued to practise with determination. The dust soon turned out a huge crowd of erumamaadus trundling towards us. The next second, I see my partners in crime fleeing away from the scene leaving me alone. I couldn’t run away as the hired cycle was still with me. Trembling with fear, I was left to save the cycle from the evil vicious erumamaadus. They kept gaining and the distance between me and the maadus kept closing. The tiger in me came out and I started running along with the the opposite direction!!! Thus, the cycle and the rider escaped from the villainous erumamaadus of C.Pettai. Maami shall not further brag about the aftermath of the incident which includes a couple of crying scenes and a street fight between the cousins. Having returned the cycle safely to RDX, I returned back home having lost all interest in cycling. That doesn’t mean I’d given up. Remaining veera saagasangal shall be explained later. Bye for now!!

Tuesday, March 4

Sleepless In Seat-tilt-le

A couple of months ago, I had shifted to the Garden city for work. Being the ardent Chennaiite that I am, I used to book almost all weekends in trains to get back to my hometown. Now, that wasn’t an easy task either. I used to plan all my trips well in advance, get to that ever chaotic Majestic, only to find myself in waiting list no. 453. I mean what the hell!! So much for trying to get home. Sniff! Anyways, there was this time when all the trains were full and I had to book myself in a bus to get home. So, my brilliant friend (yeah, she’s brilliant ‘coz she might be reading this blog and I really don’t want her getting nasty!!) and me got tickets for a sleeper Volvo. She got the tickets booked, so I assumed it would have been well over 400 Rs. Now now, am not too calculative, but I was still running on my first month salary and I wasn’t very good at savings. So, there was me, catching an auto at Indira nagar to get to Bommanahalli and mind you, the autowalas in Bengalooru are the sweetest. They are so good at that maths that even if the cool meter touches 53 rs, it’s rounded off to 60 rs. Grr. After a very good fight with the ever-ranting traffic, I at last reached my destination. Found my friend amongst a huge crowd of, well, tamilians. Apparently, the whole place was filled with all the tourist buses. You name it, Sheik Travels (Sheik?? I mean, the Arabs haven’t invaded India, rite??), the ever sexy Parbeen Travels (reminds me of the times in Chennai as almost all the software companies used to hire Parbeen for its conveyance), Blue Star( So they say!) and of course, the elite, KPN Travels- ella modelgalilum, ella oorukkum, ella vasadiyudan ungalin sevagan!!

Our bus was scheduled for 11.30 PM, and hence, we waited…waited…waited…Damn, was I hungry. The idiot that I am, had finished my dinner at 7.30. Boo hoo… To pass the time, we started our usual gossip news (with occasional groans from my stomach) and had our fun (the better part that day). I also happened to enquire about the ticket fare to her, and got a reply that literally broke my heart. Why would I wanna pay 790 bucks for a BUS ride when I might have been happy with the 150 Rs cockroaches encroached sleeper class in Chennai mail. Sigh. I prayed God not to send a bus with a leaking roof. It had better be good. I wasn’t let down. There came an enormous bus, well after the scheduled 11.30 and only a handful of people boarded the bus. Man, was the bus huge! Well worth the money, I thought then. In we got, and I see this really large seaters. It was a looker all along, as I’ve never traveled in any other bus than our omnipresent MTC. With huge grins, me and my friend made ourselves comfortable in the luxury seater. The bus was air conditioned and I felt even more excited.

This was just the beginning. After requesting the driver anna to drop me down at the outskirts of the city, I started to pull out my scarf from my bulging bag. And eventually, my sweater, shawl and my blanket(I was taking it home for its monthly bath!) also came out. Yeah, it was little bit cold initially, and became worse further. We could hear our teeth chattering and our stomachs rumbling. Well, I admit it is a bit exaggerated, but hey, its was pretty cold! The trauma traveled to my bladder too, heard it complaining that it was full. Well, a couple of doses of ‘Anna, Please anna, edachum petrol bunkla niruthunga’ helped and the grumpy conductor anna took pity at my plight and stopped the bus at a dingy looking bunk. Again, the journey started and we wondering if we should settle down and sleep. That was the tricky part. One bump and we would slide down till the edge of the damn seat. You couldn’t sleep ‘coz there wasn’t a proper seat, just a slide. Even when you doze off, you couldn’t get to shift to any of the sides. We kept falling down. Thud! My bags fell down. Thud! Now I fell down. Thud, the aunty behind my seat fell down. Couldn’t find a place to keep my legs either; which ended up in cramps. Wondering which genius had designed these seats, I gave him my quota of gaalis that included sweet and lovely words like ‘P******! P*******! Kandupidichaan paru oru seat! Okkara mudila, paduka mudila, summa soinsoinnu pogudhu! K*****!!!!!’

I couldn’t even open my mouth about this to my friend. I tried to be polite as she had been nice and had booked the tickets. But it was just getting out of control. Just as I opened my mouth regarding it, the great driver anna banged on the brakes. Well, what can you imagine. Our brilliant and patient pettai maami was thrown out of the seat to the aisle way along with her bag!! After getting back to the goddamned seat, I tried to stop complaining and get some sleep. Just when I was about to fall asleep, we passed through a sign board saying ‘Poonamallee-10kms’. Boo hoo…So much for coming home for a loving weekend; So much a 790 Rs ride!

Lesson No. 1- Never book yourself in ‘luxury seater’ buses for a meager 6 hour ride!

Lesson No. 2- Never leave home too early without proper dinner or with a full bladder

Lesson No. 3- Never complain about your friends.

Lesson No. 4- Indian Railways Rock!!!

P.S- After the Poonamallee sign, I had actually dozed off and missed my bus stop. Had to get off at the main bus terminus and catch another Bus (Sigh!) to get back home.

Monday, March 3


d Allos, d vanakkams, d hi's and d Bye's.

Adiyen maami has started a blog, hoping to increase confusion in the already chaotic blogosphere.
Resident of one of the many pettais in Chennai, maami shall try her best to limit her ranting and shall present you some of her experiences added with a dash of milagu podi.

Readers shall further continue at their own risk!!

ps: Maami is relatively new to blogging. Any stones to be thrown are most welcome in the comments section