Attahaasam of Hyderabadi Tambrahms

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Namaskaram!  Indha post la I am going to tell you about  the new Hyderabadi Tambrahms… Its on a funnier note so chumma padichu sireengo…. Kova pattu Bp Geepi ethikaadhel, odambukku Aagadhu…..

Of recent, naraiya Tambrahms Hyderabad la settle aagirukka… Mostly migrated from Chennai, Coimbatore, Kerala. After a few months of their settlement in Hyderabad, avaal la naraiya changes vandhudum… These people are true followers of this phrase “When you are in Rome, be a Roman” .

Locality : Major Tambrahm hub in Hyderabad are Malkajgiri, Safilguda, PadmaRao nagar, Ameerpet, Begumpet, Madhapur, Kondapur and Manikonda.

 Malkajgiri/Safilguda – The Typical Agraharam : As soon as you enter into Malkajgiri/Safilguda, you can smell Filter kaapi and Sambar from every aam. Aaha…Super aah irukkum… Ella aathulayum Thoranam katti, jaga jaga nu ella street um oru Agraharam look tharum. You can even spot Mamis in Madisar with kondais and pinnals beautifully decorated with mallipoo and Vaira thodu in their ears, riding a cycle or scooty pep and sometimes their aathukaara mama’s activa or TVS scooty.  People living in this area are either more traditional or they belong to Vadhyar’s family.

90% of Hyderabad’s Tamizh Vadhyar’s live in this area. Pppaahhh, dinam indha area la irukara koil and halls la edho oru nalla kainkaryam/satsangham nadandhunde irukkum…. Inga vandha le you can get many positive vibes and one can never escape the anbu thollai of mosquitoes, which are the national birds of Malkajgiri and Safilguda….

PadmaRao Nagar – The senior citizens hub :   Retired Hyderabadi Tambrahm Thatha Paati, whose children are either living abroad or some where else in India, live here. This is a cultural hub. Keyes High school ingerndhu pakkam daan, Kanchi Mutt, Skandagiri Kovil, Samajam ellam ingerndhu pakkam daan. Greenery naraiya irukku and also, very silent and peaceful place, hence, our dear Thatha Paatis choose this area to spend their retired life.

Skandagiri Temple and Kanchi mutt inga daan irukardhunaala, nambal ava inga eppodhum varuvaa…  You can find paati’s and thatha’s telling Murugan Swamy kadhai to their adam pidikara little grand children, hep yet traditional Tambrahm techies,wearing nice pattu veshti with pattai and rudraksha kottai and their aathukaari’s in pattu pudavai getting down from stylish Sedans , holding a poojai basket to the temple. Giri traders vera ingaye vechutaana (ofcourse, their marketing team has to be praised for, for selecting this Tambrahm hub), ellarum inga gumbal gumbala varuva… All over Hyderabad and Secunderabad crowd 4 walls of Giri kulla vandhu anga irukara sales staff ah half-telugu-english-hindi spoken in Tamizh accent la kelvi ketu kaadhu polippa… Skandagiri kovil la bestest of all, after Murugan and the Mutt is their yummy prasadam…Aaha, Evalo ruchi naa…Avalo ruchiya irukkum…. From Panchamrutham-Chakkarai pongal-Sundal-Venn Pongal-Puliyodharai- Dhadhyodhanam…aaha, one can’t just leave the Kovil without licking their fingers (hey! not abachaaram yaa, prasadam waste panna mudiyadhu, not even the vethu stuck to your fingers..you have taps, kai nanna nakkitu wash pannikalaam) .

 Ameerpet,Begumpet,Madhapur,Kondapur,Manikonda – Hep Tambrahms :  I was eagerly waiting to finish writing the other two areas so that I can write about the Tambrahms in my area 😀 😀 😀 . Indha areas la paathel na, mamis and mamas are not totally Tambrahms, they are a mixture of  Punjabis,Marwaris and Tambrahms. Very sophisticated “moondraam page” (Page3) people yaa.  Right from their language, ellam YoYo mamas and mamis.

Kaarthala joggers park la pona you can find a gumbal of mamis wearing branded shoes under their “super-sport-athletic” salwar kameez. Some times you can find Mamis wearing  tracks and t-shirt with a kondai on their mandai, Skull candy white coloured earphones plugged into their ears which might be playing the fusion version of Kandha Sashti Kavacham or something like that and a Nike wrist band. These mamis are always found walking hand-in hand with their mamas who walk with a paavam poonai kutty like expression on their face. I actually thought these people make a romantic couple..Aparoma daan terinjudhu yen nu. Mamas ah thaniya vitta naa, walking panname anga corner la irukara Idly-Vada kiosk la poi oru kattu kattitu vandhruvalaam.

These mamas and mamis speak only Hindi or English. They act as if they don’t know Tamizh at all. Naangal Namaskaram mama/mami nu sonna, “Hello Beta, kaise ho?” nu solluva… Illena aragora Tanglish la daan pesuva… for example  I ask “Enna neenga  indha pakkame varalai?” they say “Nahi betaa, I went to US , en Daughter ku baby aayirukku, so konjam months anga irundhutu we came back just one week ago..US la life evalo nanna iruku you know, you should visit once…US maaplai thedi tharen noku.”
While we are struggling to learn our mother tongue, these people are mannu alli kottifying into our struggles by speaking in Hindi and English. Edho ivaa England-o-Delhi lerndho palti adichu vandha maadri.

Inga irukara Tambrahms laam stylish sedans, suv’s la laam daan travel pannuva. Oru 1 km distance la irukara edathuku kooda, ava car la daan poguva… Avalo yen , bus la kooda, andha AC bus la daan travel pannuva….Baaki irukara buses ellathayum naay pidikara vandi ya paakara maadri paarpa.

Kai Karigaai, grocery and other household items laam inga irukara costly super markets la daan vaanguva. Fresh vegges irundha kooda, adha kandukaama packed and canned food daan vaanguva…Enga area la Tambrahms evalo sophisticated na, I came to know through a survey that, many toilet papers were bought by the people having  their second name as”Iyer” or their names ended with “an”. Smart people yaa. Weekends ku hangout panna pona, edho oru salwar potunda mami, in her 50’s wearing a lot of lipstick, scolding her maaplai for not changing her peran/pethi’s diaper will spot you, shout your name , come forward and enquire about your job/studies or your family and will self introduce her to your friends, in aragorai Hindi and will boast about her ponnu, who is a manager or something like that in some Multi National Bank..Sometimes, if your friend is looking out for a job, she will ask you to contact her maplai, who might be a VP or CEO in some organisation (Paavam, andha maaplai, enna velai panninaalum mamiyar nu vandha, poonai ah paathu eli nadunginda maadri nadungi poiduvan).  The mamas are usually spotted eating at McD or such a food outlet, sharing his peran/pethi’s saapadu coz the Thachi mammum prepared at home will become waste.

Spirituality nu vandhutaa, no one can beat enga area oda mamis and saapadu nu vandhutaa, no one can beat enga area oda mamas. Enga area oda mamis are so perfect in every thing yaa. Marwaris conduct pannara weekly Sundara Kaand Parayanam la poitu, after the parayanam, while all the Marwari aunties and uncle kaal la vizhundu seek blessings of their Gurus, Namba mamis Guru ji ta poitu avar parayaname thappa panniyutaa nu eduthu kaatuvaa… Meanwhile, Mamas anga irukara Annakoot / Anna Bhandaar la nanna poori, saag, chana, halwa nu mooku pidichundu sapptundrupa….

Enga area la you can spot mamis dragging their mamas all around the street from the Pani puri vandi, to their house..At times you will hear things like “YenNaa ungalta how many times should I tell, road side la pani puri saapdadheengo nu…ungalukku Gas problem irukku erkanave…neengal paatuku ellam saapduvel, naanga aathula irundhundu ellathayum sagichukanuma? Yen ippadi laam pannarel, adhaan aathula samaichu vechrukene”. Adhuku daan these mamas eat stealthily in some corner, kannula kaanaatha Bhajji kadai, Chaat kadai or Udupi Tiffin center.

Navaratri time la laam, inga chumma jagajaga nu irukkum…Mamas accompany mamis for their share of Sundals. You get to hear Namba aathu bhashai and songs like “Sree Chakra Raja” , “Naan oru vilayaatu bommaiya” etc., only during this time.

Madisar Master chef contest laam kooda appapo nadathuva.

Hyderabad la porandhu valarndha naangale ozhunga Tambrahmised ah iruppom naa, these newly settled people oda attahaasam onnu. Adha Parihaasama naan vera ezhudi vechuten…

Hyderabadi Tambrahm mami/mama, idha padichu enna thedindu varadhel, naan ungalukku kadaikave maaten 😛 .

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All About Kerala Iyers

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I am a Kerala Iyer and it is most certain that I will marry a Kerala Iyer only… Many people say it doesn’t make much difference between a regular TN Iyer and a Kerala Iyer, but it certainly does make a huge difference. Yes, we call our native as Kerala (usually Palakkad) and we speak a hybrid language called Talayalam. Just because we speak Talayalam, don’t think we don’t know to speak proper Tamizh and underestimate us. We speak much better Tamizh than you, we do read Tamizh books and are also linguists who can speak any language and English fluently, unlike you, who say “Chaare” for Chair , Yearth for Earth ,  “Beta” for Bata etc.,.

If you tease us with our food habits and diet, then you totally have a wrong perception about Kerala Iyers. We just add coconut in our diet on a daily basis coz as Keralites, we are proud that our native is rich in Coconuts. Unlike all the Malayalis, we don’t dip Nendram Pazham into tea and have it as a snack and also, we don’t eat nendrangai chips everyday. We do make the high tamarind content Vathal Kozhambu, Thogayal and Milagu Rasam every now and then. Its just that we love our widespread of dishes like Molagootal, Avial, Kaalan,Olan, Erisseri, Puleenji,Pradhaman and Pappadam. And yes, our breakfast is not always “Puttu and Kadalai” but we do eat Idly, Vadai, Sambar.

Not all Kerala Iyer girls or ladies are your so called “Omanas or Paaru Kutties” , and we don’t wear that “onnara” saree like the Malayalis do. Malayali Ladies are not born to expose! Better keep that in your mind and remove that shitty thought out of it!

We do watch Lalettan’s movies but are big fans of Thalaivar Rajnikanth. We do watch Sun TV, Jaya TV and Star Vijay, besides Asianet and  Surya TV.  We love football, unlike you, who die to watch cricket matches.

Our children are and have excelled in various fields other than education and sports. Not all Kerala Iyers are Chamayal kaaras or Catering people. We are conservative and self-centered people, who hate to brag about ourselves. Remember that Kerala’s literacy is higher than that of Tamil Nadu’s and that’s mainly coz of us – Kerala Iyers. We encourage our children not only to study science but also commerce and arts. We leave them to pursue their passion or field of interest, unlike you who compare your child with some pakkathu aathu mami’s nerdy child who just scored a centum in Mathematics. See, we are born Mathematicians and don’t like to brag around about it. We get through IIT and IIM’s entrance in a jiffy .You people envy us and say “Andha malayalathukaara seat kaasu kuduthu vaangiruppa”. We don’t buy seats, we earn them through hard work.

We too are culturally sound. We don’t do Kathakali or Mohiniaattam. We have music exponents like Chembai Sri.Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, Yesudas, Mathur Hari Hara Iyer and modern day singers like Shankar Mahadevan, Naresh Iyer, Malgadi Shubha, Usha Uthup, Ranjani Gayathri, Trichur Brothers etc.. If you think December season is the greatest , please check for “Chembai Music Festival” where we encourage several artists from all over the world!

Kerala Iyers don’t have a bar at home. We neither booze nor smoke. Remember, Tasmac shops are more in your place, not here.

We are more stricter than you, when it comes to following Madi and Aacharams. You must have heard about Keralites taking shower twice a day, even if they live in places like Antarctica. You also very well know about strict temples like Guruvayur and Sabarimala. Yes, we follow every rule and shastram very strictly. It is just that we are a little considerate and don’t show off in front of anyone. You should know that we have Veda Samrakshana Samitis being run all over the Agraharams of Kerala and we produce several Samskrit Scholars every year.

We are not smarty’s like you are and we are very liberal when it comes to Kalyana Cheeru and stuff. We don’t wear Kgs of Gold, unlike you, who expect “Vaira thodu” from their Daughter-in-law or shit loads of Cheeru , every time you come to visit your samandhi. We are not at all Egoists and are extremely reciprocal people, who love to feast and feed any number of mouths who come to our house.

We too are Tambrahms and we do celebrate Pongal and Karthikai Deepam along with Onam and Vishu.

Please don’t compare us with the Kameshwaran from Michael Madan Kamaraj or Ramji from Nala Damayanthi. We speak far better language and don’t say “aeyey” every now and then. We address our parents as “Amma” and “Appa” and not “Amme and Achan” . Borthers are Anna and Thambi and Sisters are Akka and Thangais.

We don’t do strikes and are not communists. We love to discuss politics but we don’t torture the innocent “Hindu” newspaper everyday.

We don’t wear much of Pattu saree or Pattu Madisar, but instead, we love our cotton sarees and cotton onbadhu gajam podavai. We are weather conscious people. We dress according to the occasion and weather of the place, appropriately and usually don’t like to harm the innocent “silk moths”.

We are proud of being Kerala Iyers and are much more advanced than you think. It is because we are linguists and our  liberal food habits that we can adjust anywhere in this world (Yes, we are 100% Vegetarians – for more details, check out the info about the wide spread of chain of Brahmin restaurants in Palakkad). We like being self centered and conservative, but we do have enough exposure.

We are a happy group of people who have migrated all over the world, from the South Western region of India.

(Oh Please! we are not the 90% of Malayalakaara, settled in Gulf).

Naangalum Tambrahms daan, engala yen odhukarel?

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Raman in Rome

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NNTB- Non Native TamBrahms.

Non Native TamBrahm, yeah, I am referring about myself and people like me, who are TamBrahms born and brought up in other places and pay half-yearly or yearly visits to their Native place – Be it a village in Tamizh Nadu or Kerala. It is about our Avasthai of living in an ooru outside our ooru.

What is your name?

Kanniparambil UnniKrishnan PremShankar Meenakshi Ammal – School la ivalo periya per irundha note book la peru ezhudhardhullaye pages aayidum nu appa simple ah “Meenakshi PremShankar Iyer” nu vechutaa…  Indha peru paarthu daan I got a seat in LKG at Chinmaya Vidyalaya – Hyderabad coz my school’s Principal was a Tambrahm 😀 😀 😀 . Idhu daan Name value nu Amma and Appa nanaichufied aana andha peru vechundu naanga patta paadu engalukku daan teriyum.

Firstly they pronounce your name wrong.

For example, en peru Meenakshi naa they pronounce it as “Minakshi PremSenker Aaiyar” .
(Peru koopada kashtama iruku nu they started calling me as “Miss. Iyer” and slowly, “Iyer” became a brand name in school, that is how the name “Meenu Iyer”).

What is your mother tongue? Madrasi no?
Tamizh is my mother tongue and I am not a Madrasi.
Most common wrong perception of people here. Inga irukaravaal ellam Tamizhian nu keta udane, Madrasi tag kuduthruva and if they come to know that you are a brahmin, they say “Iyer”ji, irrespective of you being Iyer or Iyengar. Andha samayathula you make them sit and explain ; “see, we are Tamizh Brahmins, I am an Iyer and he is an Iyengar.
Iyer means the one who wears a “Thripundra” on his forehead and Iyers pray to both Lord Shiva and Vishnu, whereas, Iyengars (you correct them in between ‘not iyencar yaar, its iyengar’ ) wear an “Oordhvapundra” on their forehead and pray to Vishnu… Iyers mei we have subsects- Brahacharanam , Vadama, Vaathima, Ashtasahasramam, etc… I am a Vadama yaar. Iyengars mei bhi you have subsects- Vadakalai, Thenkalai. While you seriously explain about Vadama & Vadakalai, your friend imagines them to be the different flavours of  the Vada-Payasam he had at your place for breakfast on your brother’s poonal.  Paavam avan inime ungala Madrasi nu sollave maataan. As and When you tell Iyer or Iyengar, he only remembers those 2 Vadas and says “Arey haan haan, pata hai, tum Vada hai na”… and you are like “Vadama nu sonna Enna Vadai aakiyutiye da Abhishtoo”.

Who are your Gods? What are your festivals?
Yov! We pray to the same Gods yaa!! Your God, My God, his God all same only yaa!!
We say Vinayagar to Ganesh, Perumal to Vishnu and Murugan to Karthikeya,no much difference. We also celebrate all the festivals like you do. How did you forget the “Channa” Sundal you ate during Navratri “Doll” function at my place? You do Garbha, Dandiya and we do the auspicious Kummi Dance to Devi.  Diwali we make Mixture, you make Chiwda. We make Gunjaa Laadoo, you make Mothichoor laddoo.

Why are you all darker in complexion?
Hello, we are not crows. Rascal! Ask this question again, Pallu thatti kaila tharuven! Panni maadri pink aah irundhundu evalo thimiru, colour kekaran colour! Dei, moonji la irukara powder appinda apdi daan da vellaiya iruppel!”  Apdi nu you feel like telling them, but you simply smile and say “ Arey yaar, that is coz the equator passes through Chennai, hence most of the South Indians are like that”.

What is your Native Place in Tamil Nadu? Chennai?
Lucky are those whose native is TN. It is a very big problem for Kerala Iyers like me.Romba Kashtam paa… Ivaaluku thalaila etharthukulla Porum Porum nu aagidum. “No yaar, my native is not in Tamil Nadu, it is at Kerala “. 

What? Kerala? You speak Tamil no?
Haan re, my native is Kerala” . Sonnadhu ozhunga ketu vaayla Kozhakattai vechunda maadri irukardhu daane nu one feel comes aana avaa paavam face paathu you sit along with India’s map in your hand and conduct Social studies classes. It is very difficult to explain about our ancestral origin and native, how and why we have settled here, rather than living in our native.

Seri, idhellam vidungo, Nambaloda Native ku poracha, You try your maximum to speak namma bhaashai properly. Namba seriyadaan pesuvom aana most of the time you end up being teased by our NRTB – Native la Residing Tambrahm cousins , who tease you as a “Hindi kaaran/kaari” or “Telungan/Telungachi”.

For everything  you do, right from the clothes you wear. You wear a Kurta above your Veshti or A normal Pudavai(ladies ok!) and if you find it a little difficult tying your veshti or pudavai, you will be teased.
Even if you eat Idly with Sambar or Puttu with Kadalai in your native, your cousins tease you with your Roti eating habits.

Sigh! Yendaa vandhom nu oru feeling varum.

Back in hometown, You try to be a Roman in Rome  but end up being a Raman in Rome.

Inga ippidi kekara, anga appidi kalaikara nu vertuthu poidum. Nammal ku nu oru proper oore illiya nu sila pala questions laam arise aagum. Aathuku vandhu, raatri full ah indha questions laam ketu ketu, thookam Keduthundu, next day office ku late ah ponaa, “Miss Iyer, welcome back, gaon mei idly saambar acha tha kya? Kerela gaye they naa, banana chips laaye kya? ” nu kelvi kepaa…

Andha Time la ask your friend to repeat a simple sentence ; “VazhaPazha Thol la Vazhiki Vizhundhanam Kezhavan” . Avalo daan, Roman vaay valikka idhaye sollindruppan.

Anga irukomo, Inga irukomo, ‘When you are in Rome be a Roman’ nu illama,  Lets be a Roman Raman , wherever we live, we are TamBrahms.

Non Native oh Native oh, Namba kalacharatha, saapada,namma vittukudukaame , namma next.gen ku idhellam solli kuduthundu, we are keeping it alive. Adhunaala, yaaro ennamo sollikatum Kalaachikattum,

NNTB FTW! TamBrahms FTW!  

Navarathri Doll Function
Navarathri Doll Function
Poori Chana
Poori Chana
Vada-Payasam
Vada-Payasam
Vada-Payasam
Vada-Payasam

Thatha Paati- I miss you

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Pecchuthatha&Pecchammai are among those people whom I miss the most. It has been several years of both my grand parents passing away.  At several situations of life, I crave for the need of a grand parent to whom I can pour out many feelings of mine. Be it happy or sad feelings.

I remember my childhood days, when Pecchammai – my paternal grandma (Paati – which name she hates to be called as) , used to see me off to school , when I used to get into Nagesh’s auto. Pecchammai used to give me 2/- and say “Pefsee vaangikyo kitiya kondhey” , referring to the pepsi cola packets…. How I miss those days when I used to take tea to Pecchammai and we used to eat “uppu biscuit – salted cookies” or sometimes it was “Pulla Reddy Mixture”.. Pecchammai had no teeth so she used to pick all the cashews and groundnuts and gave them to me… At times when I used to go out to play , Pecchammai used to call me “Pachai Kozhandai inga vaadi…naan noku oru saadhinam tharen” and I used to run to Pecchammai, who used to treat me with  cashews and groundnuts . I happily ate them and I used to sit beside Pecchammai and tell all that happened at school that day.  During festivals like Gokulashtami or Diwali, we used to get our share of sweets and yummy snacks, that everybody brought to Pecchammai, when they came to seek her blessings. Though Pecchammai was diabetic, she used to enjoy “Orange Babbrumuttu” or Orange candies . “Kondhey andha orange babbrumuttu vaangindu vaadi” and I used to go to “Raju kadai”, bring 2 candies, 1 for Pecchammai and 1 for me.

Everytime Amma brought new clothes for akka and me, we used to run downstairs to Pecchammai and show it to her. Pecchammai used to apply  a little turmeric on the new dresses and asked us to wear them. When we wear and show it to her, Pecchammai used to say “Haaai, ethra shoukaa irukku dii…romba azhaga irukkai” and we used to hug Pecchammai and Pecchammai in return used to kiss on our cheeks.  I grew up watching my Pecchammai sing “Bhavayami Raghuramam” for us, do Tulasi poojai , fed a million mouths all her life time, who wore that cotton madisar saree, with white hair, no teeth , cute wrinkled skin that stretched wide when Pecchammai smiled.  Pecchammai always shook her head in a very cute manner when she used to watch or listen to a musical concert. She was that great woman, who fed Sri. Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, with meals every day, when he struck in poverty.

Pecchu Thatha – My inspiration, that man who created a revolution in the Tambrahm society at Hyderabad, a top Business man, My hero, A man with a Golden heart, who was highly respected by people like Sarojini Naidu, Nizam , Govt. Officials and many top officers and personalities of India as “Iyer Saahib” and was lovingly called as “Anna” by his family members.  The only person who played with him, dined with him with all guts, playfully played on his pot belly was his Pachai Kozhandai i.e., none other than me. Thatha used to lift me and make me sit in my “Dabba rekshaaw” or the box shaped tricycle and used to see me off to school. He used to laugh aloud seeing me playing and used to enjoy all the mischief I did as a child. He loved the naughty gleam in my face and always pampered me as I was his youngest and most favorite grandchild.  I ve heard Amma tell me that Thatha once scolded Appa coz he admitted me in school at the age of 2, coz it was hard for Amma to manage me and also, once When I cried to eat “Bhajji”, Thatha ordered our cook to make Bhajji for his Pachai Kondhai and relished the same with me.

Pecchu thatha passed away when I was 3 years old.

It has been several years now, though I haven’t lived for many years with Pecchu Thatha, I miss him when I achieve some thing coz I ve heard Appa saying that “Anna” always loved those who struggled or fought for their  success…. Thatha always wanted his grand daughters to be brave and smart. He loved to read and always wanted his grand children to be witty and humorous. He wanted his Pachai Kozhandai to be an all rounder. Today I miss my dear Pecchu Thatha, to whom I could playfully complaint about Appa’s scolding me, with whom I could walk on the stage to collect my awards….

I miss Pecchammai… If Pecchu was alive today, I would have had a soft madisar clad lap on which I could lay and would have had a loving hand that would caress my hair and an old voice that would sing “bhavayami raghuramam” to make me sleep. That assuring toothless smile, a voice that always guided me while cooking and a heart that praised my cookery skills.  I wish I could play M.S. Paati’s , D.K. Pattammal’s and Chembai’s songs to Pecchammai on youtube. I would have clicked Pecchu’s pictures (Pecchammai loved her pictures being clicked).

I write this post with a very heavy heart and wiping tears off my eyes very often while typing. I know my Pecchu and Thatha are somewhere around blessing me and especially thatha, smiling with his tiny elephant-like eyes, looking at his dear Pachai Kozhandai cry like this…. Pecchu Thatha you live in my memories… I love you loadsss!!! I wanna re-live all these memories just once!!!!

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