Caramel popcorn

Gotham needs you…Wake up!
Ah! I’d be on top of World’s billionaire’s list, if I’d got a dollar, every time I change his diaper! 😝
How many times will you poop in a day Gowtham? Dadda is fed up! 😷😖
Why don’t you keep a track of it Batman?
Yeah! Your husband and son will enter into World records… Son for shitting maximum times a day and husband for cleaning that shit!
Wow Batty, you are so optimistic today… Billionaire, World records and all!! 😄😉
I can’t win this debate with you… You take Gowtham and put him to sleep… I need to sleep too…. I have a long day ahead tomorrow!
Come closer Batty… I need to Kiss you Good Night! 😘


Every night I change Gowtham’s diaper, I get annoyed to bits! I wonder why I even married her…. Don’t know what magic her good night kisses have…. They make me regret my thoughts a lot… I can do anything for those affectionate, warm cuddles and kisses of hers…..
Not every man would be blessed with a wife like that of mine… I’m more than lucky for that matter…. 😍

Vishak,  you’re coming for the movie ok? I’m booking the tickets…
Next time…. I’ll sleep today please…Hardly any Saturday I get…Let me enjoy this… Please!
How many “next times”? I don’t know… I’m booking the tickets… you are coming with us!
Fine! I’ll come…
My friends dragged me to watch this silly Super hero movie Dawn of Justice!
Who’ll watch all these yaar? I’ll go home…. I can’t take in so much of fantasy… Grow up boys!
Abbey oh Pandit, you grow up!
There’s another half of the movie yaar, maybe you’ll find the other half interesting…
Wait, I’ll get some popcorn for us….
Fine, I’ll sit in your seat and you shift to mine…I’m uncomfortable here….
Ok re, sit wherever you want to! Acha, yours is caramel popcorn and pulpy orange na?
Yeah!
I was thoroughly annoyed all through the movie… There was this girl who was howling all through the movie, cursed the villain and spilled my only solace- my tub of caramel popcorn…. And when we walked out of the theatre, instead of apologizing to me, she and her friend laughed at me….She was uncontrollable… Her cheeks turned red, eyes became teary, she held her tummy and laughed so much!
I got angry and decided to teach her a lesson…. I followed her to the food court and sat opposite to her.
She looked at me and started laughing again.
Hello, why are you laughing? Do I look like a joker to you?
You are no less than one…
Why, why, why?
She brought her hands closer to my face and pulled out the 3D glasses…
You liked these so much, eh? Don’t you know that you have to give them back to the theatre guys?
Oh! Is it so? This is my first ever 3D movie… I’m not a movie buff! I don’t know all these….
Why are you still laughing at me?
I’m sorry, I spilled all your popcorn right?
Not all of them actually, there were some left over!
Well, those leftovers were the ones I picked from the floor and silently put them in your tub and you ate them all! 😂😂😂
Chee! That’s so gross! 😖
I’m sorry!
It is alright…. I’ll just call it another bad day!

Days passed…
On a Wednesday noon, I received a call from my manager to meet my new workmate… I stretched myself and swiftly walked to his cabin.
Vishak, meet Aruna, your counterpart and team mate, who will work with you on the new project.
The lady in cream coloured cotton kurti turned towards me and extended her hand to shake, spilling all the hot coffee on me!
Sorry… I’m very sorry… She said with the gleam of a 10 year old school bully. She did her best to supress her laughter and sport a serious look.
I grit my teeth in anger and she never bothered.
I don’t know how I’m going to work with her. The other day at the theatre she spilled all my popcorn, made fun of me and now she’s here too! God… Do something… please!!!

The next day, Aruna joined me at work.
This lady, I tell you…. She was so peculiar for me… Her laptop had superhero stickers, her bag zips bore cartoon keychains. She put a smiley badge on her ID tag… Her laptop’s wallpaper and screensaver had pictures of cartoons and superheroes. Her phone’s ring tone was “Mickey Mouse” cartoon title song!
In between work, she hardly took any breaks. When she did, she drank black coffee and munched along Snickers. Her bag was filled with chocolates!
Within a fortnight of joining, the office was abuzz with Aruna’s name. She made friends with every employee of every department… During lunch breaks she watched cartoons.
I always had a feeling that she’s a misfit in the corporate scenario….
Days passed, we reached our target for the first quarter, before time. I wanted a break from work, so I took a week’s leave, to go on a road trip.
Vishak, I’ll take care… you enjoy your break…
Are you sure? I am unable to trust you….
Yes I am… But why do you have trust issues with me?
See, you are very childish…. I can’t leave the whole responsibility on you….
There’s more to me than these stickers and keychains.
Ok! Ok! Don’t get offended… I’ll take leave now… bye!
Take care Vishak! Bye!

10 days passed since the second quarter has begun. I was advised complete rest. I met with an accident on a highway, on my way back from the road trip.
How are you Vishak?
I’m fine Aruna… How’s second quarter treating you?
So far so good Vishak….
How’s the client response?
They were satisfied with our performance in the previous quarter, we have got more work this quarter….
How are you managing the team all alone… Believe me, I find it so difficult to do it all alone… It is not a team of normal people… We have psychos, psycho monkeys!
Hahaha! not really… Everything is going on good… Don’t bother too much about work… I’m not here as a team mate today… I’m here as a friend!
Ok Ok! Coffee?
Sure…
But I don’t know how to make black coffee…
That’s alright… I’ll have it with milk…
You need not strain… I can make it… you just accompany me to the kitchen.


Aruna visited me often… I felt assured of having a good friend in a place away from home.
My fractured hand gradually healed and through the process, Aruna helped me a lot. She managed work so well. The day I joined work, I was warmly welcomed by Aruna and my team. She surprised me with a special chair for me, with a hand-rest.
I heard from the team mates and my manager that Aruna managed it all so well… Though the second quarter was very hectic, Aruna never failed the client’s expectations. In my absence, she did my work also, silently.
Aruna, why didn’t you tell me that you did my work also? Why did you hide from me that you worked late nights?
Nothing like that Vishak! I just worked to meet the target.
You could’ve taken the team’s help as well.
Making the QA reports are confidential, had you been, I’d still have worked late nights.
But you could have contacted me, I’d have done a little at least.
That’s alright Vishak… I just did my duty…
You look so worked up buddy! Take a break….
Break?
Yes buddy! Take a break… You are so worked up… I’ll manage it all… I’m fit now.
Fine, fine… I’ll take a break for a week.


Aruna took a week’s off from work.  It was a much needed break for her, after a whole month’s tiring work. We texted on WhatsApp every day. Not about work, but as any other friends would do…
Why are you not into superheroes, Vishak? It is actually a boy’s thing right? I feel I’m the only girl who loves super heroes.
Aruna, Superheroes are for boys… I am a Man! You get the difference right?
I do!
And Aruna, you are not a woman!
What?
You are a 10 year old over-achiever kid.. A little girl who spills popcorns and laughs innocently at people!
Someone is being nice!!
Haha, not really…I’m just telling the truth….

Together, Aruna and I finished all the 4 quarters and both of us got promoted as Managers. We were sent to London for 6 months for training. Our friendship grew stronger during this period. We returned back and resumed our job as managers of the QA/QC team.
My parents began looking out matches for me. I went to my home town and a few other places, regarding the wedding alliances and nothing seemed to work well.
I discussed about every alliance with Aruna.
One Sunday, when my family was in town, my father wanted to meet his childhood friend Saketaraman, who invited us for lunch.
Hey..Saketharama!
Hey..Madhava!!!
Is he your son?
Yes da….
Where is your daughter da?
She is helping her mother in the kitchen da… Hey… Aruna, get some water…
Aruna burst into laughter looking at me…
Appa, he is my colleague Vishak… We both went to London for training….
Oho… Hey Vishak, you have grown up to be a man! I saw you 23 years ago, as a 5 yr old… You were roaming around without a jetti!
Appa, don’t embarrass him like that…
That’s alright Aruna…. 
It was late in the afternoon, our families were engrossed in their nostalgic talks….
Vishak, wanna come out for a drive in my Batmobile?
Your new car, you mean?
Yeah! hop-on….
Sure….

Aruna and I went for a long drive, it was a very pleasant evening. The sun was now turning bright orange and Aruna stopped at a cliché road side tea stall.
I sat down enjoying the dusk sipping tea from the small matka-cup
Vishak, done with tea?
Yes…you want something else?
I want you!
What?
Yes… I want you, I want to marry you….
Hmm… Shall we leave? It is getting dark…
Fine…
I’ll drive…
Ok…
We went back to the city….
Aruna, one min… I’ll come back…
Fine….
Here, take this caramel popcorn and spill it on me as much as you want to!
What?
Yeah, not just now, but all your life… I love you too Aruna!
Let’s tell this to our parents…


We drove back home in silence…
Amma, Appa, we want to tell you something….
Umm… Before that, we want to tell you something…
What is it?
You tell it first…
No, you tell it first…
Fine… We are elders, we will tell it first…
We were discussing about your marriages and we found the right match for the two of you.
We want you to see the pictures of the bride and groom and then tell us about how to proceed… Here, take it…
Vishak, here’s the bride’s picture, Aruna, here’s the groom’s picture. See properly, discuss and tell us your opinion…


Aruna came out howling in happiness and my eyes were moist… Aruna, she was my Bride! I embraced her tightly… Our parents were very happy when Aruna told them that she proposed to me for marriage….

It is 3 years of our marriage now… Out of her love for Super heroes, Aruna has re-named me as Batty, for Vishak sounds very Indian Super Hero Villian-ish.
8 months ago, she delivered our son. We named him Gowtham, whom she calls Gotham and every night he wakes up and cries, she whispers in my ears “Batman, Gotham needs you” and most of the time I end up cleaning his poop and changing his diapers.

Good that my father visited you when you were 5 and saw you like that, in that attire!
Chee! What are you talking?
No, What I mean is, my father had a forethought of marrying his daughter to you!
Hahaha! Sleep now!
Batty… Batty….
Enna di?
I feel so safe in your arms! 😍😘
Let me hold you tight, you’ll feel more safer….

Some one, whom I hated sharing my work cabin with, when I first met, is now sharing herself with me…. She is my blessing, indeed!
My Wonder Woman that she is!😎 😍 😘

caramel corn 2

 

 

 

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Vaahanam-Aayudha Poojai

My wishes to everyone on the auspicious festival of Vijayadashami.
With the name Vijayadashami is linked Aayudha Pooja or Weapons worship ritual. Well, we are no soldiers or warriors to worship swords and all so we do pooja to the essentials, gadgets, vehicles and all.

From the time of Man’s evolution, his needs has also been growing. Well, I don’t want to bore you with Maslow’s theory now!
Growing up in an upper middle class Brahmin- Tamil Brahmin family, I’ve noticed a lot of things that almost every upper middle class family has been using in common and Flaunting them as well.

#1 Vaahanams-Automobiles
If someone has witnessed the mama’s duets with their respective mamis, way back in the 80s and 90s, it was this- Chetak. To the Background music of Chetak they would sing! 

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If the mamas were a little sober, then it was a Kinetic Honda, which would later be given to their daughters/ sons.  Today, it is Honda Activa, that’s witnessing most of the duets.

The cool Dudes of the 90s used to impress girls with their Yamaha bikes, which is now replaced with this Royal Enfield.

 

In my childhood days, picnic meant going to the Zoo in the Maruti Omni, in which even a battalion would fit. Nevertheless, Ambassador also served the purpose.
I remember, all of us sitting around a tree and eating Lemon Rice, munching Potato Chips with  occasional sips from the Frooti or Jumpin carton. Today, these are replaced by Innova and other “decent” SUV.    Not just picnics but also, these vehicles served transporting Pooja articles, flowers, decorative items and a whole battalion of relatives to and fro the wedding hall.

There are some mamis who flaunt their mama’s sedans at the public gatherings.
Then, having a Fiat Premier Padmini was a luxury statement, which is now replaced by Swift Dzire.

Basically our mamas and mamis are very educated. They were and are well aware of the We 2 Our’s 1 or 2  thing. Presenting the Planned-comfort-reasonable-affordable Family Vaahanam, in which the family of 3 or 4 would go to outing or long drives (during which a Visit to the temple in that locality is a mandate) on Holidays, these are the vaahanams which have been and are carrying the KattiChothu Mootai or simply the Bag which has Varieties of flavoured Rice.

It was Maruti 800 then. Now it is Maruti WagonR ,


#2 Music Players-

When we visited any relative’s or friend’s place, the first thing they’d show us is their Music system. Our people being connoisseurs of Music, always boasted and flaunted of their Radios, which were replaced by cassette players then walkman, discman, iPod, mp3 players etc.
Sweet Memory:  There has been no day that I have woken up without listening to Suprabhatham on the Phillips Big Bass Music System that played cassettes. There has been no day that I’ve got ready to school without listening to Bhakti Ranjani on All India Radio Hyderabad Channel. During my childhood having a Sony Cassete-Corder cum walkman  or a discman was a big deal. I remember how we would flaunt the recorder in the music class, in front of everyone, record our music teacher sing and show it off later.
Today, somewhere in a corner of my house/ workplace, I sit and listen to the same music in my mobile, all alone. Well, isn’t it the same with others?

#3 Writing Instruments

On the day of Vijaya Dashami, Appa would hold our hand and do the Vidhyaarambham ritual. After that, it was time for new Pencils and Pens. For those of us studying below class 5, were given Natraj Pencils or Camlin Pen Pencils and those in 5th and above classes were given a brand new Hero Pen or Reynolds Ballpoint Pen. That excitement of getting a new pencil/pen-pencil/pen and showing them off to our friends the next day at school was priceless.

 

#4 Beauty Vasthu-Shingaara Essentials

It is not a big deal in decoding the Beauty Secrets of Mamis and Mamas.
No mami comes out of her house without applying Ponds snow, Kuttikoora powder/ Pond’s powder and Shingaar paste on her forehead. The Shingaar paste is given a matte finish with the application of a pinch of kumkum on it.

 

While the shingaari mamis are still using the same old shingaara vasthus, mamas are no less.

Every mama has a shavaram set (Shaving kit), in which he has his Old Spice aftershave lotion, Gokul Santol face powder and secretly uses mami’s pond’s snow.

 

Above all these, is the most important Aayudham in every South Indian Upper Middle Class household, which remains unchanged since the Day 1.

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The Coffee Filter!!!

Well, there is one more special Aayudham for me, to which I did not do poojai, which is my mouth! It is one biggest Aayudham no? Not just for me, but to all of us!!

Untitled

 

Not always a person holding a deadly knife is dangerous. Often, they are good cooks like me.

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My Aayudhams

Here are my Aayudhams to which I performed poojai today.

Let me know if your family too uses the above aayudhams in the comments section.

Cheers,

Meenu Iyer A.k.a Aarya

 

 

My thambi’s blog 

One day, my thambi and I were discussing superheroes. I suddenly got an idea to write about a superhero series in my blog (which is in progress) . My thambi came up with an idea of a funnier Tambrahm superhero. He wrote the first story and sent its draft. The rest is history (his story itseems)… 

Here it is Ambiman by Kicha. Read it and let us know if it left you in splits. 

The 9 Nights Festival

Navaratri is around the corner and I can feel the fragrance of old bommais wrapped in old newspapers. Hah! I don’t want to be an Abhishtu, but I miss the festivities in my house for various reasons! Anyway, all that aside.

While all of us know that Navaratri  is celebrated with pomp all over India, celebrating Mother Goddess and her arrival on the Earth to kill Mahishasura and all that….Let us know more about the 9 nights.

All of us know about the Dandiya raas and Garbha that’s performed in Gujarat and is now contagious all over India. Especially in the Southern part…. Even in Carnatic Cultural capital like Chennai. Yes ya!
One of those 9 nights, one of my Ambi friends went Live on FB from a Dandiya place. He wore a Shining Velvet Sherwani, applied a red Tilak on his forehead and tied a bandhani cloth on his hip, holding 2 sticks on his hands. His facial expression looked like he is waiting to hook up some paan-man-saet’s daughter of Sowkarpet (Nothing of such sort really happened, coz his family was also with him).
The orchestra guys sang this Maataji ki Aarthi song and then they played these remixed songs of Falguni Pathak’s garba songs… While everyone danced in their own circles, there was Ambi’s family that was dancing to its own tunes, in its own style- Yes, they did the Kummi Adi dance mixed with Kolaattam with our thambi, Ambi in the center. For one night he felt like Krishnar amidst 50+ yr old Gopigais. “Auntygal konjum Ramanan” he became.
So this is about Dandiya!

Navaratri, all the 10 days and 9 nights are festivities for us South Indians. Especially our Mamis and Mamas coz we keep the Golu- Bommai Golu.

One week before Navaratri begins, mamis make their mamas an All-in-all AzhaguRaja. The mama does multi-tasking.
The mama becomes an acrobatic by climbing the ladder, squiggling himself into the attic and removes all the dolls.
He dusts the dolls, unwraps them, performs the first round of Quality check for the dolls. If he finds any of the Dolls are damaged and based on the doll’s repair ability, he keeps them aside. If they’re repairable, he mends them or buys a new one or does some mix and match of dolls from one set to another (being anyway caught by mami for the thillu-mullu he did). While painting the Dashavatharam set, he himself looks like an Avatharam- with all the paint smeared here and there on his face and body.
The mama may be a CA or a Lawyer or a Doctor or a Scientist… No matter what his profession is, a couple of days before Navaratri, the mama becomes an Engineer. He gets ready with his toolkit, wearing the poonal on his ears, madichu-kattifying the veshti (It literally means lifting the veshti and tying it up. I did not write it this way coz people may think it the other way round), he sits down in Ardha padmaasan, makes a few sketches of setting up the Golu-padi , takes out the spanner, nut, bolt, screw driver and begins his work. Even when mami shouts at him ” Yaenna, what is this Nut-Bolt Golu of yours..You’ve made a mess of this place” he simply turns towards his mami, deeply sips in some filter kaapi, wipes the fog off his spectacles and continues doing his work, with utmost dedication.
Mamas also play the roles of their mami’s drivers , cover and pie (Not a pie, pie is a bag) carrier and above all, they play an important role in being mami’s mobile ATMs.

The mamis have their own special spies-to find out which mami in the neighborhood has kept which doll, what theme they’ve chosen, which cloth they’ve used on the Golu padi, whether it is the mami’s old pattu saree or some cheap quality colour papers or mama’s veshti or is it a Kora cotton cloth or if it is some Bombay dyeing fancy bed sheet. Based on what decorations, kolams the others have made, these mamis, in competition, put their efforts to better each other.
In order to better each other, they even send their spies to the other mami’s house, collect some prasadam, sundal, thamboolam and return gift. They scan the package completely, check the quality of return gifts, taste the prasadam and sundal. Based on the reports, they make their sundal and prasadam more tastier, buy better return gifts etc.,

Well, gone are the days when mamis had the spirit of participation. Now, they’re all thirsty- thirsty for the win… As one mahaan once said, Golu is the Race of Mamis, it should be re-named the Golympics.

You’d be wondering who the mami’s spies are… Well, they are the mami’s mama, children or grand-children. They are like those innocent people, who work for Dons, not knowing the intention or purpose behind it.
Here, the mami sends the mama or her child or her grandchild to the neighbor mami’s house, in the pretext of getting some sugar or cellophane tape… The spies obey mami instantly and come back home with some or the other package and even tell about the golu preparation in that house.. Mami gets her catch, smiles wickedly and goes with executing her Master-plan.

Mamis work on excellence on their work and it is all-round excellence that they work for. They make sure that their Software Engineer son takes pictures of the Golu with his DSLR , edits the pictures by adding the best filters, using the best available software downloaded from File Hippo. Uploads the pictures on FB and competes on the no. of Likes, shares and comments by people. These days, with the facility of putting a picture status on WhatsApp, I’m sure they will count the no. of views. If someone in their contact list forgets to view, they face the wrath of mami… They get no Sundal!

Mamis excellence is not just restricted to Golu, Sundal or Photos. They also compete on who chants how many slokas, no. of hours they sit and do pooja and who chants the Lalitha Sahasranamam and Lalithambal Shobhanam the loudest and of-course, whose daughter/daughter-in-law sings the best.

I hope they even compete on whose mama farts the loudest and whose mama’s farts are the stinkiest

Navaratri isn’t just about the Mami’s competition for Golu but also a joint race of the mama-mami couple. The Kalyanam race to propagate our race. The Kalyani Mamis and their mamas team up, do match making to the un-married Ambis and Ambinis. They do this to enter into the Paanakam Book of World (successful) Marriage Records, to proudly tell that they’ve broken the previous year’s record.
Especially, in today’s scenario,  fixing one marriage itself takes so many efforts, these Kalyani mamis and mamas, with a never give-up attitude, stretch several miles from their comfort zone, go out of their way and somehow do it.

Really ya! This takes guts. Must say, our Kalyani Mamis and mamas are Over-achievers than anyone else.

 

Enga aathu Kolu in 2012

P.S. Navaratri isn’t just about Golu, Mamis or Kalyanam, but also a festival to celebrate the Divine Feminine.  The steps signify stages of life’s evolution.
First, the Marapachi couple or the Red-sanders dolls are placed- signifying the Divine Masculine and Feminine forces.
The Kalasam is then placed – which signifies a womb with placenta, into which the Goddess is invoked. Which is believed to signify a carrier of life.
Ganapathi (In a Smartha’s place) and Vishwaksena (In a Sri Vaishnavite’s place) are placed, to help ward off any obstacles or negativities.
The bottom part of the steps have dolls of plants, trees, insects,  animals and other smaller to larger life forms- made out of clay, mud, POP etc,.
The middle part of the steps have dolls of Human beings, Mythological stories, Heroes and along with them are placed the dolls of Chettiar-Chettichi or the traders, with whom are small bags or toy-vessels which have rice, cereals, pulses, toy-fruits and other essentials- signifying that food is our medium of survival.
The top-most of the steps have Gods, signifying that God is above all.
Poojas, Paarayanams and cultural programs are conducted on these 10 days.

In olden days, where women were more conservative, were allotted 10 days of the year, to bring out their talents, socialize and have fun.

Of-course, these days things have changed, it is more of Social-networking than socializing.
Despite of all the hectic work schedule, our people are still making time and efforts to hold-on to our traditions. Not just mamis but even mamas are bonding with each other over coffee and sundal.
Feels Good!

Happy Navaratri 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Ammaaa please – take 2 

Few years ago I wrote my first post Ammaa Please………

Here is the season 2 of the same 😉

Dedicated to those girls who are aged 25 and 25+ and are still SINGLE also to those who are above 25, married and have not planned their family yet!  Naanum avasthai patundruken di ma!

My 25th Birthday, I tell you…. With some wonderful wishes from the near and dear ones and some really amazing gifts, I  thought it’d indeed be a Silver Jubilee Birthday 🎂🎉🎊🎁 to me… Least did I expect that from that day onward people would start treating me like a silver-haired  👵person….
Yes ya! they started treating me like I am some lady who just celebrated her Sashtiabdhapoorthy! 👵

1. Socializing
First of all, you stop attending functions, because most of them would be weddings of your younger cousins or even worse, their kozhandei’s Thottil Ceremony or even more worse, the kozhandei’s Aandu Niraivu function!!!
I recently severed ties with one of my friends coz she got angry on me that I did not attend her second child’s first birthday… 😥
Even worse, one of my younger cousins, on my birthday sent me a picture greeting of her kid on which was written “Happy Birthday Meenu Periamma”… Neku anniki vandhithu paarungo aathram! 😡😠

If at all you attend a function, you are no more an eye-candy but a material of sympathy and a topic of discussion among people coz you are not married yet! They look at you with constipated expression filled with fake sympathy…. 😩😭

2. What they discuss about you
Mami1: Do you see that girl, paavam… past 3 years they are seeing matches for her….pch nothing is fixing! May be some Dosham in her jadagam….
And these ara-loosu people will take your Jadagam and show it to some ara-mandai Josiyar, who will see to it that you shell out all your earnings on stuff like Pariharams and Poojais!
Trust me, more than Sri Rama’s jadagam, I think 25+ year old’s jadagam is only in people’s houses! Avalo Circulation na paarungolen! 😂😂😂

3. Advises
These people no, I tell you… They are this jobless lot only! If you are a girl who’s 25 yr old, earning decently and doing P.hD or atleast are an aspirant, you get to hear stuff like;
Enna ambition oh enavo di… Oru nalla Ambi ya paathu kalyanam pannikardhu daan unnoda ambition ah irukanum….idha vittutu P.hD adhu idhu nu….
Sorry naan laam ungala madri Cindrella 👸illenga, porandha odane Kalyanam pannikanum kalyanam pannikanum nu labho-dhibho nu gudhikka! Enaku nu sila aspirations iruku… It is out of reach for makkugal like you!

These nasty buggers won’t leave it at that, they will roam around spreading rumors about you that you have decided to do 60aam Kalyanam only directly!

4. Pests Trouble
At once la, everyone around you turns out to be a pest…. Everyone you meet will pester you to get married…every one wants to eat your Kalyana saapadu only…. Those who tell me stuff like “Get married, we are waiting to eat your Wedding food” remind me of those jobless mob who sit for “Vivaha Nir-aahara Deeksha or Fast-unto-your marriage strike”…..  I swear, I’ll ask the cook to add some Herbolax into my wedding food and serve these people… nanna bedhi aagattum! ✌💩💩💩 😾😾

Arey! every time these people take out the topic of your wedding only…. Even in funerals! I’ll tell you an incident…. Recently, in the month of May, my 85 yr old Peripa passed away…. they were all consoling my Perima and Anna-Manni and all… Suddenly I gave entry and everyone started telling “If someone elderly dies, it is called as Kalyana Shaavu…Looks like your wedding is on cards next… It is an auspicious death….”
Apdi laam I don’t want a kalyanam pa! What if the dead person’s aavi 👻👻👻 haunts my aathukar or me! Aiyo…aala vidunga da saami! 😰😫😖😖

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Hey, not just 25 yr old singles ya, even the married ones are facing… As per the survey and discussions I constantly keep having with those my age, I got to know what all they’re facing… Here it goes….

Awkward Questions from Aundies


If you’re recently married and a mami crosses your path, the first thing they ask you is;
Enna ma, how was your trip 😉 Enjoyed ah? Is your Aathukar keeping you happy and all?  😜😉😉😉


Yeah, you weren’t there…so the trip was obviously good….
My aathukar gets me lot of food 🍕🍲🍔🍟… he knows what makes me happy…

If you’re married for a year you face questions like;
Hey, are you still bathing? Kulichundrukiya maasa maasam?

Maasa maasam yen, daily 2 times Kulikaren 🚿… Paarungolen, appapo aathukararum kooda kulippar… Illa, neenga paakavendam!🙈😝

 

Suppose you’re married for a longer time, they give you all sort of advises on starting a family…. They feel off like fertility connoisseurs when they tell you that dialogue Your biological clock ⏰ is ticking off… Have a child ASAP! 

Hello, there are people who have had kids at 40 too! So neenga moodalam! 🙊

There is yet again the Soru-Theeni-Pandaram group that kuri vechufyingly roams around you for food… After the Kalyanam Food, they ask you for Sreemantham food! Sigh!

Yei! Bakasuri 👹Kalyana soru potadhu patthadhu nu unaku soru poda naanga kozhandeiya 👶pethukanuma! Po ma! Vera aala paaru!!!


And then when you finally have your child, they ask you to start planning for the second one… If it is a boy, they’ll ask you for a girl and vice versa!

Naanga enna pullai pethukara machine 🏧 ah!!! Pongal-Deepawali nu ovvonnu release pannarthuku! As such all these are between purushan pondatty… Why you poke your mooku 👺 into all these? 😝

 

So, this is what happens at 25, Kalyanam aagalena onnu, aachu na onnu, kozhandei aagalena onnu, aachu na innonnu! Why is this society so troublesome, making marriage and having babies the one and only goal! It is not that we don’t want to get married or don’t want to have babies… We are born to re-produce and to legally re-produce one has to get married and we are very well aware of all these… You need not specify and tell it to us each and every time… Everything has a time and if it has to happen it will happen…. Don’t simply pester us and make us lose interest in marriage!
But then, how much ever we ask you not to do, you still will…. 

These people are like Buffaloes 🐃 standing in the centre of a concert… How much ever you play violin 🎻 in their ears 👂👂they just don’t move!!!

Ammaa…Pleaseee…save us from this So(Sigh)ty!! 😖😖😖😖😫😫😫

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Malayamarutam and monsoon morning…. 

It was 4 o clock in the morning, still dark and it rained cats and dogs… Veera woke up to him practicing music every morning…. 

Uttering a short prayer, she woke up… Blurry eyed, she walked into the hall where the electronic Tanpura played “SA PA SA” octaves of Carnatic music. 

Abhi must have gone for a coffee break… Let me go to the kitchen and ask him to make a cup of coffee for me also…. 

 Abhiram wasn’t there in the kitchen…  Veera looked for him all over the house… She took the stairs from their sitting room, that lead to his study room, which was his personal space, that was on their terrace…  

It rained very heavily, the loud patter of rain, the red sky, the ghostly looking guava tree and it’s scarily swishing branch, the continuous lightning, the flying white curtains of the constantly battling window panes and the lizard trying to catch its prey, scared Veera a lot….. Taking all courage, she closed the window and prepared to run down… 

Thuderbolt struck her, when she read a note that was addressed to her…. 

We need to talk, Veera… 

with Abhiram’s signature….. 

She came downstairs holding the note… She picked up her phone and found that there were 12 missed calls, all from Abhiram’s number… There was a WhatsApp text for her, which read 

We have to talk Veera, this is serious

Veera dialled Abhiram’s number , only to find that his mobile phone was switched off…. Various thoughts engulfed her mind already… Abhiram, being a private and reserved person, hardly had any friends.. he also, was not in touch with any of his relatives…. Veera called up all his friends and a few close cousins one after the other, only to find that he wasn’t in any of their house…. 

She walked to the dining table to drink some water… On the table, was a sealed envelope…. She tore it open and found a printed paper, which was a bus ticket from Bangalore to Mangalore, on which was written “Mr. Abhiram- male 32 yrs +1, Female 28 yrs” .  To the ticket was pinned a letter which read as 

“Hi Veera, I am going away with her to Mangalore… I know I was supposed to tell this to you, but I never got a chance… Ok bye” 

-Abhiram

Veera’s eyes were red, tears flowed on her cheek…. The sound of the electronic tanpura was now irritating to her… She rushed to the room to switch it off… 

She sat on the floor cross legged, with her head bent… She cried aloud…. Not knowing what was happening with her all of a sudden…  She sat down wondering what went wrong between the 2 of them from day 1, that he went away with another woman…. 

2 years ago..  Hyderabad… 1 pm

It was a lunch party hosted by Veera’s friends, at Dialogue in the dark restaurant…. She, along with her friends, was guided to take a seat, by the waiter…. As goes the speciality of the restaurant, it was pitch dark and the girls talked an giggled…. On the same table, opposite to them were a few men who silently had lunch and talked nothing much…. As a part of their conversation, Veera’s friends asked her to sing a song…. The guy sitting opposite to Veera also joined her in singing the Carnatic number…. His voice sounded very familiar to her…. 

Abhiram Kaushik isn’t it? 

Yes mam… 

Wow! Abhiram I am your fan… I’ve attended many of your concerts and I also have your CDs…. Infact this song is also from your album “Shwethambara”…. I am sorry, I have spoilt the song by signing it… Can you please sing this song for me .. 

Sure mam…. I shall…

Veera could not believe that she met her favourite musician, YouTube’s sensation , yet a very humble person and could talk to him for 2 hours and listen to her favourite songs from him…. 

As they came out of the restaurant, she realised that she had actually caught Abhiram’s hand tight…. 

Abhiram was a 6 footer, average built man with deep eyes, clean shaven face, that revealed his dimple on the right cheek every time he smiled… He wore a white t-shirt , teamed up with a beige coloured cotton shorts… He wore a pair of  black leathery flip-flops…. Veera scanned him from top to bottom and could not take her eyes off, nor could she leave his hand… 

Madam, we are out already, may I go? 

You may, but before that share with me your phone number…. We shall keep in touch…. 

I am sorry mam, I am a private person… I cannot share my details to any stranger… But to you, I will… Only with a condition that you would continue playing violin and never leave it…. 

Ofcourse… Anything for you….  Veera noted down his number and saved it with his name…. 

All through the day, she proudly showed off to everyone on Facebook and WhatsApp and all the social media, the selfies that she had taken with her favourite singer earlier that day…. 

Everyday, she’d type a long text message to Abhiram and end up saving it in draft, rather than sending them to him…

One day, she received a message from Abhiram stating about his concert in Hyderabad…. she excitedly replied to him that she’d attend it for sure…. 

She eagerly awaited for the concert…. More than the concert, it was to take him to her place, as per the promise she had taken from him…. 

On July 25th, at Hari Hara gana sabha was held his concert…. Veera, along with her father, patiently waited for the crowd to leave…. She then waved to Abhiram, excitedly…. 

Please join us for dinner, Abhiram

Yes yes, you have promised to me…. Come home no…. 

Accompanied by Veera and her father, Abhiram went to Veera’s place…. After dinner, Veera took him to her room…. She picked up her violin and played a tune… Shuddha  Saveri he said…. Very good…. Now sing along as I play the raga….  “Paripalayamam… Sree Padmanabha murare”  he sang, as she played Reethigowla raga on her violin…. 

You play the Violin so well, Veera… You must be a professional violin player…. 

Yes, that she is… All these trophies and certificates are hers, Abhiram…. 

That’s so great Veera…. You must pursue this is what I feel…. 

Sure Abhiram…. 

They spoke for a very long time and as Abhiram started to leave, Will you marry my daughter? I think the two of you make a great couple….

Well, sir, please talk to my parents…. 

The talks were taken further, Abhiram’s voice was complemented with Veera’s violin…. At their wedding, they did a concert themselves…. Since that day, every concert that Abhiram sang in, Veera was his violinist…. They were not just musicians but also, Abhiram was a scientist and Veera was a lawyer…. Abhiram was placed at  Bangalore IIScT and Veera joined a firm and practiced her profession there….  

They had a happy marriage and lead a very harmonious life, with a few small fights which were solved easily… They were a matured couple…. 

Few months ago, a 28 yr old woman joined as a junior research scholar, under Abhiram…. She was a violinist too…. She grew closer to Abhiram and would visit their place on a regular basis…. They often went on short research trips to the nearby villages to collect some specimen…. 

Oh My God! I totally forgot… Abhiram has a concert the day after tomorrow, at Mangalore…. May be he took her for that…  But I did not agree to play violin for him because I have some filing and compliance work and they are just not letting me take a leave…  

May be that is why he took this as an advantage and is taking her along with him to Mangalore… 

Scenes of Abhiram and his junior cuddling and singing romantic songs played in front of Veera’s eyes…. She was thoroughly irritated… 

She saw the ticket, which had a boarding time of 6:50 am…. She saw the watch and it was 5:45 already…. She freshened up and sped her car to the bus depot….. There was no much traffic so she sped as fast as she could….. It took her almost 45 min to reach the bus depot…. She parked the car carelessly, enquiring about the buses to Mangalore, she ran as fast as she could…. 

Veera…. Ohhhh Veera…..I am here…. Abhiram was sitting with his luggage at the window seat , in the Airavat bus…. She climbed in and slapped Abhiram…. 

Why are you doing this to me? 

Here, drink water… Listen carefully…. We shall talk about it…. 

The bus started moving….. 

Where is she, your junior? 

She is there at Mangalore already…. Anyway, her ticket was not cancelled…. You are traveling in it now…. I am glad, my money isn’t being wasted…. 

How can you do this to me? 

Sshh, people are watching… Veera got up in a rage and swapped her seat with an old man… He sat beside Abhiram and Veera sat in the man’s seat, looking out of the window, she began crying silently….. 

Abhiram slept…. 

They reached Mangalore by evening…. Abhiram and Veera got down… There was a man waving at them, to pick them up… 

Where are we going? 

To the guest house… 

She must be waiting for you there…. 

Abhiram smiled and struck up a conversation with the driver…. They passed through some mountains and ghat roads.. it was almost 9 pm by the time they reached the guest house…. 

Sir, your honeymoon suite is ready…. 

You booked a honeymoon suite? This is the limit Abhiram…. I need a separate room… You enjoy with her…. I never expected you’d ditch me this way…. It was all my fault…. Sorry sir, I will leave tomorrow morning… You spend as many days you want, with her… But be ready for the notice that I’ll be serving you soon… GOOD NIGHT! 

The next morning Veera heard someone knock her room’s door… She woke up tired and sleepy eyed… She had nothing in mind about the previous day’s happenings… As per her routine, she went and sat beside Abhiram and leaned on his shoulder… Abhiram smiled and cuddled her…. Happy birthday to you…  He sang for her…. She hugged him back, still not in complete consciousness…. 

Come, let me show you something…  Abhiram lifted his wife and took her into his room, locked the door, opened the blinds of his window and embraced her warmly from behind…. Veera, isnt the view so beautiful?  He sang a song for her in malayamarutham raga, as the cool breeze carrying tiny droplets of rain fell on their face….. Do you know what, we are in deep forest covered with thick greenery… We are on the mighty western ghat mountains… We are in Agumbe forests… 

You said you wanted to talk something to me? 

Oh yes… I want to talk to you, spend time with you and celebrate your special day with you, in a place that you wished to be…. We have been busy for the past 2 years of our marriage, with our work and concerts around… We never got time to spend with each other…. In order to give you a mini stroke, I planned this risky surprise…. Just like malayamarutham ragam, i wanted it to haunt you at the start and make you feel loved at the end…. I am sorry about the tension you had taken for me… 

It’s alright Abhiram… As long as she doesn’t come in our life, I am happy… 

She has finished her dissertation..  she left to Goa , her native long back…. I knew you doubted her and me a lot…. Honestly speaking, she is more of a sister to me… She is married and has a kid too…. 

Abhiram, don’t you think we need to have a baby too?



The Mangalore concert has just begun 😉


 

The villain of my life 


Appa you are the villain in my life. If not for you, I wouldn’t have emerged as a hero(ine) today… If not for your scolding, I’d be a brat pa! If not for your Tamil movie villain like looks, some guy would have tried bullying us… If not for your lessons and habit of writing the day’s accounts, I’d have spent a fortune leaving all of us in rags… You may have looked a villain to me all these years pa, but you are the true hero…
If amma has been up all night when I was ill, you bore my pee stench, when I peed on you as a kid… You bore it all silently, sacrificing your sleep, by letting me sleep peacefully and helping amma clean the whole mess that I’d make at night….
Your story telling skills are unbeatable pa… You have put me to sleep for several years with your stories… Your Bheeman stories have impacted on me so much that today, I have grown up to be a Kaliyuga Hidimbi- Tall, Strong, Heavy and Sharp…

When amma was not allowed into the kitchen on those days of the month, you made the yummiest idlies with molaga podi, naei and chakkarai for breakfast.. You introduced me to fusion food like Vadai sandwich, burgers and all the available junk food on earth! You are one amazing partner in crime for akka and me, in eating tasty junk food. How I love eating chaat and Ice cream with you, in Sindhi colony.

Whenever I came home after a fight with some classmate or schoolmate of mine, you have encouraged me to fight them back… You raised me fearless pa… So much that you yourself feared that I’d beat up someone black and blue someday (you know it did happen with the auto guy who charged me more money)

You never bothered about akka or me scoring top ranks, you just wanted us to do justice to your efforts of paying our education fees, by passing the examinations. Alas, all our degrees, certificates and trophies are yours coz your name is our second name and we will never let any other man’s name take over yours… Appa, I still remember that day, when I learnt that I failed for the 4th time in accounts exam and I cried holding your shirt… Seeing me from your Activa’s mirror, you coolly took me for a kulfi… The day I graduated as a MBA, you proudly boasted to everyone that your daughter fulfilled your dream…

You never let me feel low anyday, after a failed interview… I’ve wasted too much of your money on useless interviews which gave me false hopes of a job, yet you have been my ATM pa… You always said the company is unlucky not to have a talented person like my daughter…

You trust us , your daughters more than anyone else…You have silently paid our mobile bills and never asked a question on whom we are talking to.. you have never touched our mobiles or even laptop coz you respect our privacy so much…  You let us mingle with everyone, from all walks of life… You gave us all the freedom to hang out with friends, you discussed everything with us and made us aware of this world… You raised us confident pa… You know your daughters more than anyone else and you have never fallen for anyone’s talks… You have our back all the time, against someone who rubbishes about us. Appa, coz of the trust you have on us, we have never ever lied to you on anything… I still remember the day I  did hookah during college and told it to you… You never scolded me and instead, you just asked me not to do it again… Till day I stick on to it pa…

Appa, though you have given us enough freedom to choose our life partner (with all the applied conditions of yours), despite knowing that we are incapable of finding one. Appa, you very well know our choices and know what’s the best for us… I know it is a very tiring process for you, but still… We will be happy with the guy you choose for us pa… We are little girls after all…

All those cuss words from all the south indian , North Indian and English languages , I learnt from you pa… My sense of humour is always inspired from you and your wit… All those management lessons you give us, the people management skills have been learnt from you pa… You have not only taught me how to work in an office but also​ have taught me how to manage our business, by asking me to help you in our coffee shop…

Appa, I am sorry to have swept the floor to irritate you as soon as you come after bath, in madi , to perform sandhyavandhanam. I am sorry to have passed racist comments on your colour whenever you called me fat….

I know you feel proud that you have raised a fearless girl, everytime I stand up for somethings against you… But I feel sad for hurting you with my tone and words… I hate arguing with you pa! I feel guilty about it…

How I love to teach you to use the gadgets and make you tech savvy… I love the enthusiasm of a 10 yr old eccentric kid that you show in learning new technology… I enjoy reading all those long forwards you send on WhatsApp, though some of them are irritating…

Appa, you have never expressed your feelings to us but I know how you will feel the day we get married and go… Appa, I don’t want you to shed a tear that day when you see me off to my in-laws place… I can’t wipe my leaking nose and spoil my bridal make up that day! Better be a good boy ok?

Appa, you always are standing   for your name Prem, which means Love. So many struggles, so many sacrifices you are making for us, your children, to grow and emerge successful and lead a happy life… Premu, Happy Appa’s day Da!

Yours,

Your Kunju Kondhei , your little brat 🙂