Much has been written about how Deepavali was observed and celebrated in Tambrahm households a few decades ago. For Mamas and Mamis in their 40’s and above, nostalgia overflows when any discussion happens around this topic. “Antha Kaalathila naanga eppadi Deepavali ellaruma chernthu kondaaduvom theriyumo?” nnu Mamas break into Ragam, Thanam, Pallavi etc, etc on this very popular topic!
– how 1 month before, the entire family will go for buying pudhu thuni for Deepavali
– how Kaadar master will paduthufy by not giving the stitched clothes till the Deepavali eve
– how the Mami at home will systematically start preparing the Deepavali batchanams 3 / 4 days before
– how the Mama and sons will go shopping for Deepavali pattaasu in the last night before Deepavali to get a good bargain
– how the entire family will get up as early as 3’0 clock on Deepavali day
– how there would be a fierce competition between neighbourhood kids on who fired the 1st pattaasu and who fires more pattaasu and whose house has got more pattaasu kuppai!
– on the entire family taking oil bath with hot water from an appliance called “boiler” one by one!
– how the Mama will hand over the new clothes after bath to the kids one by one from Swamy ullu
– on how one avoids batchanam from some Mamis houses and gorge on few others based on reputation of quality and taste from previous years
– On ordering the ‘Ananda Vikatan – Deepavali Malar’ and reading the same till the next DeepavalI! and so on!
So let me dwell into the Deepavali (or is it Diwali these days?) at the house holds of young Tambrahm Mamas and Mamis who are in their 30’s and 40’s empowered and liberated by the IT revolution in the last 2 decades!
Diwali fever these days sets in just about 3 or 4 days before the D-Day! And conversations in households go something like this:
Mami: “Innum 3 / 4 naal thaan irukku, Diwali kku! Shopping ellam panna vendaama??”
Mama: “Independence Day sale la vaangina oru pudhu shirt onnu, rendu irukku. Namma Bala kalyanathukku kadacha veshti irukku, poraatha? Ennoda Diwali shopping aachu!”
Mami: “Ungalakku enna! Pudhu thuni ellam pooti, pooti venchundu iruppel. Anyway I will order today in Myntra. 2 days la vanthurum! Rohitukku mattum oru dress innikki poi vaangidalaam. What about batchanam?”
Mama: “Pona varusham, intha Rajamani caterer kitta order panninathu onnum sariye illa! So this year, let us look at other options. Ramani mama kitta order pannidalaama? Enna Sweet order pannattum?
Mami: “You decide!”
Mami: “Eppa paaru oru Baadusha! Itha vitta vera sweete kadayaatha? Naanum namma marriage aanathu lenthu paakaren!”
Mama: “Baadusha engaathu aasthana sweetu! Athu illaama Diwaliye kadayaathu engathula!”
Mami: “Lets order Jaangiri and Laddu. Apparam naan aathula sasthirathukku Thengai barfi pannaren!”
Mama: “Intha varushamum Thenga Barfiyaa???”
Mami: “Last 4 / 5 years atha panni oru madiri perfect aayuiduthu! So I will make the same!”
Mama: (Manasukkulla) “I thought you asked me to decide???” “O.K, athu kooda murukku and kaara sev order pannidaren!”
Mami: “No, no, order mixture and ribbon pakoda. Engaathula athu must for Diwali!!”
Mama: (Manasukulla) “Ithu mattum ellaa varshamum o.k vaa??? Intha ulagathula ellaa wivesum book ezhuthinaa, they can all use the same title as Raghuram Rajan’s book – I do What I do!!!”
Mami: “You said something?”
Mama: “Illiye!” (Manasukkulla) “Eppadi thaan manasukkulla sollikarathu kooda intha ladies kku kekaratho???”
And the Diwali day comes.
After getting up earlier than usual at 6.30 AM, the first half an hour or so goes in selecting some new GIF for Diwali greeting and broadcasting among the myriad WhatsApp groups, the Mama is part of.
Mami: “Diwali athuvuma kaalankaarthala oru phonoda okkanthaacha?? Why don’t you wake up Rohit, get him ready and you also take bath?”
Mama: “Itho vanthutten! Elllarum WA la wish pannindu irukka. Nee kulichuttaya?
Mami: “I am going for bath now. Enga antha nethikku vaangindu vantha arappu podi? Engamma specifica sonna atha thalaila pottu kulikka!”
Mama: “Athu Arappu podi illa. Seeyakkai podi!” Arappu podi paathirathukku podarathu!”
Mami: “Yetho oru podi! By the time I come back from bath, just get Rohit ready! Papera vechundu okaandhudaathel!”
Mama: “You first take bath and come! Diwaliye mudinjudum polarukku!”
After some time, the Mama, Mami and the kid all take bath and get ready.
Mami: “Did you taste my Thengai Barfi yesterday? Antha table mela vechuirunthene? You didn’t say anything?”
Mama: “No. Naan taste pannala!”
Mami: “Ungamma panni vechuruntha, intha samayathukku oru 5 piece ulla poyirukkum!”
Mama: “O.K, O.K. Let me taste this.”
Mami: “Wait, wait. Don’t take this full piece. Taste this odanja piece. Nalla shapela vantha piece ellam vachu, I have to take a pic and post it on FB and on WhatsApp. You also post in your friends groups. Your friends should not think that you have got an “Obi” wife! Make sure you mention ‘Home made” o.k??”
For a Mama if there are 2 questions which he would like to avoid at all costs in life, they are
1. “Naan intha dress la eppadi irukken? Do I look fat?”
2. “Eppadi irukku taste? Nanna vanthurukka?”
So usually for both these questions, Mamas give standard replies and you know what they are!!! Mama: “Thenga barfi super!” (Manasukkulla) “Thenga Barfi nna konjam sweet thookala irukkanum.
Ippadi blanda panninaa yaaru saapiduvaa? Engamma pannuvaa paaru. Thenga Barfikku ISI Standard athu thaan!
Mami: “Aanaalum ungamma panra madiri irukaathe???”
Mama: “No, No. This time it is really come out well! O.K, Let us get ready and go to your parents’ house. Anga thaane saapadu?
Mami: We will leave exactly at 12.00. That Myntra fellow said he will deliver the dress at 11.00. Intha meantime, take Rohit down and sasthrathukku oru mathaappu koluthittu vanthudungo!
Mama: “I bought some pattaasu yesterday. Athayum koluthittu varom!”
Mami: “Why did you buy pattaasu and all? Already there is so much pollution in the air. Chumma Sasthrathukku kambi mathaappu mattum porum. Rohit school la kooda stricta cholli irukka. No crackers nnu. Antha vediyellathaiyum, security kitta kuduthudungo!”
Mama: (Manasukkulla) “Security vedicha pollution aagaatha?” And finally as they got ready to leave,
Mami: “Eppadi irukku intha dress? Am I looking fat???”
Mama follows the SOP prescribed for the situation and mouths the right lines!
Mami: Oru photo edungo paakalaam. And send to me. DP update pannanum!
And as they stepped out of the flat, Pakkathu flat Mama:
“Enna Saar, Ganga Snanam ellam aacha? Happy Diwali!” Mama: “Tanker water Snanam thaan aachu!