It was one week of joining work at the Pune branch of his office…”Enna da Muruga, not even one Tamil speaking EE-Kaka here…What is this Atrocity of the Pune City..Are you hearing me…. What is this ya!” Mahesh was wandering around in Pune Central Mall all alone… The aroma of freshly popped corn mixed with that of sweet sugar candy and various perfumes at the Mall was no match to the smell of Vibhuti mixed with the aroma of Chakara pongal at Kapaleeswarar Koil… Mahesh missed it a lot…. An extrovert that he was, he went to the Emcee who constantly blabbered something in Marathi….. “Hello Pune, I am a newcomer to this City…. Yaaradhu Tamil Pesaravanga inga irukela, Any Tamilian here?” He said in his deep voice…..
“Oye Sandhya, why you smiling re ?” “Tamil.. I just heard someone speak in Tamil….That Emcee must be a Tamilian let’s go and find out…” “Arey Paagal! finish your burger first….” Wrapping up the burger like idly in the newspaper, Sandhya rushed to the first floor of the mall, where Mahesh was talking about his city and its culture…
“Heyy…. Naan inga iruken….” She said as she panted and smiled seeing a fellow Tamilian…
“Looks like one Madrasi found his fellow Madrasi… Mic dijiye Iyer sahab” “Before I hand over this Mic- thanks for giving me this opportunity…I am leaving you for this only reason…Dare not you call any South Indian a Madrasi” 😡
“Sorry Sahab… I know…was just joking… All the best sir ji”
Mahesh cooled down a bit seeing Sandhya grin at him….. (Indha pasanga paavam pa! yaaradhu ponnu light ah ilicha podhume, evalo kovama irundhalum apdiye thalai mela ice vecha madri cool aayiduva 😀 )
“So, Mahesh….Saptela? There is a good restaurant upstairs… Why dont you join me… my friend just left and I think I should have lunch all alone….
“Hmm…. Its just been a week I am here, I somehow miss home food… Nothing like hot rice , a dollop of ghee eaten with sambar, potato fry and appalam… I so miss home today 😦 ”
“If that is the case, there is this restaurant – South Indies just beside the mall, we shall have lunch there”
“Hey, its my treat to a fellow Tamilian today”
“Welcome to Saauth Indies Sir, I hope you enjvoy your weekend lunch with us, sir-madam; that is perfect for a couple to have a romantic lunch”
Sandhya burst out laughing at the manager while Mahesh smiled shyly and walked silently towards their table….
“Evalo perusa yepam vidarel Mahesh neengal?” 😯
“Its been long I had home food… 7 days feels like 7 decades, Sandhya”
“Cool, anytime you feel like having some rasam saadham, please come home… This is my contact number”
“Thank you Sandhya…so kind of you..”
This way, they met, exchanged their numbers…. It was almost a month and Mahesh was held up with work…
Sandhya’s friend worked at Mahesh’s office and everytime Sandhya cooked Sambar or kootu or any fav. dish of Mahesh’s she would send it through her friend to him…. (Sweet no? 😛 )
Margazhi Maasam just began and Sandhya made sure to visit Narayanpur Balaji Temple every morning, to recite Thiruppavai and Vaaranam Aayiram….
It was at around 7:00 am,
“vaaraNam aayiram suuzha valam seidhu
naaraNa nambi nadakinraan enredhir
pooraNa porkudam veithu puramengum
thoraNam naatta kana kanden thozhi naan”
As Sandhya opened here eyes, she saw Mahesh smiling at her….
“Is he the one? 😯 ” She thought…
“Renduperum jodiya nikkarel, enna kalyana naal ah iniki, seri seri gothram sollungo, Archanai pannaren”
“Shandilya gothram” They said together….
Peru sollungo- “Mahesh” she said, “Sandhya” he said….
“My flat is nearby Sandhya, why don’t you come home… Amma is here and she would be delighted to see you, above all, amma has brought lots of coffee powder, she makes the best Kaapi- trust me”
“Hmm…. do I have to come home today? Some other day…please?”
“Sandhya, this bachelor has none to make kaapi for anyone on regular days…Amma is here and she will treat you with some nice kaapi and breakfast…I know you crave for Mom’s food too… so please join in today…”
“Hmm.. Seri…. 🙂 ”
“Bike la yerungo….koocha padadeengo, just sit…it’s alright”
Madaki kattifying his veshti in style, Mahesh started his bike and Sandhya graciously sat behind him adjusting her saree’s pallu….
“Amma..Iva daan Sandhya… My one and only fellow Tambrahm friend in Pune…. My only hope for some kootu, rasam and Sambar here… She sends across these to my office sometimes through her friend who works in the accounts dept in my office….”
“Vaa Sandhya… Nice to see you today.. Everytime he told me that he had home food, I thought he cooked for himself or bought them from some South Indian restaurant…”
” 😀 I have none to experiment these dishes on, except myself… Glad that I met Mahesh…. I now have a company to taste and tell me about the dishes I make”
“Hahaha, that sounds nice, come let’s have tiffin and kaapi”
Mahesh’s amma served soft idlies with molagapodi, ghee, sambar and sweet coconut chutney… there was some kesari and ofcourse, it wasn’t complete without a steaming hot cup of filter coffee…
Every time Sandhya took a sip of coffee and smiled at Mahesh, his heart skipped a beat…
“Sandhya, are they seeing matches for you? ”
“It has been 1 year, mama and I are searching matches for Mahesh…. some or the other reason, we are not finding the right one for him… Give me your parent’s number… I will take your horoscope and see its match with that of Mahesh’s”
Mahesh grinned shyly and so did Sandhya….
15 days passed…. They spoke the same way…hoping for the news of their horoscope’s matching.
“That manager at South Indies thought we are a couple..do we really look like made-for-each-other? Thought Mahesh…
Meanwhile, Sandhya even dreamt of “Kameshwaran-Thiruppu” sequence from Michael Madana Kamarajan movie one day….
Several months passed… Their wedding cards were printed….
The wedding was at Chennai… At Raghavendra Kalyana Madapam…. Which had 4 floors and 2 mandapams….
“Mahesh weds Nithya” – “Sandhya weds Guru” read the boards…
SHOCKED- Aren’t you? 😉
Few months ago, Sandhya received a call from her amma….
“Adiye Sandhya…Andha Mahesh paiyana Lovvu givvu pannariya di, you fell in love with him ah??”
“Yen ma, suddenly you are asking me this question?”
“Aiyo he…. he”
“What ma? He is what?” *Several thoughts crept into Sandhya’s mind regarding Mahesh….* “Aiyo I hope he is not some gay..Narayana..I dreamt as if being Aandaal and all..” she spoke to herself…
“Hey He belongs to our gothram di….Shandilya gothram… But there is a better person…he belongs to Shrivatsa gothram…He is from Pune only…He said he will meet you this weekend…”
*Sandhya rushed to meet Mahesh who was on leave that day*
“Hi Sandhya… Come in…” said Mahesh’s Amma with a surprised expression….
There was a girl with her parents on the couch, with orange juice glasses in their hands….
“She is Sandhya…Mahesh odu friend….She cooks very well..Nalla ponnu”
Sandhya understood that Mahesh knew the gothram matter and sat silent till the guests left….
“Hey, How is she, Nithya, Mahesh ku paatha ponnu…”
“She is nice mami… looks perfect for him… ”
“Sandhya, I am sorry… It was all of a sudden…Amma-Appa arrived this morning and asked Nithya and her parents to come today…. I had to put a sick leave….I actually thought of meeting you this evening on the way back from office…It turned up this way…”
“It’s alright Mahesh… Well, this Sunday some one is going to meet me regarding marriage… if possible could you please accompany me to Central Mall?”
“Sure… I will bring Amma-Appa also and after you guys meet, we shall go out for a long drive…”
*On Sunday @ Pune Central Mall- Shivaji Nagar*
Sandhya along with Mahesh and family arrived and waited at Cafe Eataly on table no.6
“Mahesh, look there, Nithya is here with her family…they are coming towards us”
“Hi Sandhya, I am Guru… She is my cousin Nithya and they are my Chittappa and Chitti”
“Hi Guru… That is Mahesh and they are his parents…”
“Oh yes, I know him… My athimber that he is 😉 ”
This is how their matches were made… And yes, in Sandhya’s dream sequence of Aandal, she visualised some one like Guru and not Mahesh…. Also, after Kameshwaran-Thiruppu dream sequence, Sandhya was greatly disturbed coz in that also, Guru came as Kameshwaran and not Mahesh… She was greatly confused but then, that day, at Narayanpur temple, she did open her eyes to find Mahesh smiling at her after reciting Vaaranam Aayiram, but then, she saw a tall man in veshti and khadi kurta, who patiently listened to her recital and smiled at her when she finished it…
Mahesh and Nithya tied the knot and so did Sandhya and Guru in the muhurtham that was 10 min before Mahesh’s muhurtham….
The newly weds arrived to the ground floor to see Arundhati after rituals, as a mark of completion of the wedding….
“Mahesh Anna…. Coming Karthikai Pournami, I want My Nathanar Seeru from you!”
“Done, Sandhya..We will all celebrate the festival together”
_The Beautiful Beginning of 4 new lives_
So…Children, What is the Moral of the Story?
The Moral of This Story is “Always ask for the person’s Gothram before you ask their name 😛 ” 😆