The latest addition to conversation starters among Tambrahm mamas and mamis is “Vaccine Aayaacha?” In fact, this is fast replacing the other popular and seasonal kusalam vicharikara questions like “Enna Soukiyama?” “Verenna Visesham?”, “Jathagam eduthaacha?”, “Maattu ponnukku ethavathu visesham unda?”, “Ganga Snanam aacha?” etc.… which have been ruling the Tambrahm conversations for a long time. But, as of now nothing else matters except the vaccine issue.
If by chance the answer to the “Vaccine aayaacha?” question is a “No”, then it is like the end of the world. “Ennathu… innum oru dose’a eduthukalaya? Naan rendu dosum correcta eduthundaachu.” For the mamas and mamis, the accompanying feeling is akin to getting the Engineering college seat for their kids. If the answer is yes, then the immediate question is of course, “Covishield’a, Covaxin’a?” This is similar to – “Unga pasanga Foreign’la irukaala, India’la irukaala?” question these days!
If the answer is “Covaxin”, then finished. “Covaxin’a? Yen atha potundel? Covaxin’a WHO approve’a pannalayaame innum…” The other person has to hide is disappointment and frustration in facing this question repeatedly these days. “Naanga Pona centre’la Covaxin thaan stock irunthathu. Pottundutten…” And in some consolatory measure will add “Aana paarungo…. Namma Modi’ye Covaxin thaan potundaar.”
“Naan rendu dosum Covishield pottundathanaala, next year ennoda 2nd ponnoda 1st delivery’kku America pogarathukku onnum problem varaathu…” In one sentence, mama has now conveyed more than one point. That he took Covishield. He has taken both the doses. His one of the daughters is in America. That the daughter is in family way. And they will be travelling to America to help the daughter during the delivery! Covaxin mama, now feeling relieved to get a chance to change the topic of conversation, quips in. “Oh, congratulations! Very good, very good. Aachu illiya, kalyanam aagi oru naalu/anju varusham…?” To this the Covishield mama, “Unga kitta mattum thaan cholli irukken. Mathavaa kitta ellam ippo cholla vendaam, kettela.” This is so typical of Tambrahm mamas and mamis. They themselves will let the “family way” news out and will then request not to tell others!
And the vaccine conversation continues. “Enna side effect ethavathu irunthutha? Enakku konjam body pain mattum irunthathu oru naalaikku. Dolo edutha naala fever ellam varalai.” To this question, the Covaxin mama senses an upper hand. He emphasises that “Covishield’a compare panratha Covaxin’la side effect’e illai theriyumo? Enakku oru problem varalai…!”
“Ungaloda rendu dosum aayidutha…?” Now for the Covaxin mama, apart from the frustration of answering questions regarding Covaxin, he also has to deal with the fact that due to shortages in Covaxin, he has taken only his first dose. “Enga..? Athu thaan stock’e illiye… Second dose baaki…” But that lament doesn’t stop the unsolicited advice that comes his way – “Rendu dosum eduthukkara vara jaakarithaiyave irungo”
Then comes the Government Vs Private question. This is similar to “Unga connection BSNL’a, Jio vaa?” “Neenga enga poi potundel? Naan rendu dosum Apollo’la poi than pottunden”. The Covaxin mama feels an advantage here and declares, “Inga Bombay’la BMC centre la thaan naan potunden. Romba convenient’a irunthathu. Tea/Coffee, Biscuits ellam kudutha. Excellent arrangements. Athuvum free. Apollo’ la 1000 Rs mela charge panni irupaane…?” Then he gives a lesser known funda about vaccines. “Eppozhuthume vaccine’na government thaan better. Avaa kitta daily fresh stock irukkum. Polio/BCG vaccine’leye itha pathirukken.”
Now the score is tied at 2-2 between Covishield mama and Covaxin mama. Now the vaccine question extends to the family. “Aathula mami’kku vaccine aayidutha? Naanum wife’um ore samayathula pottukka vendaamnu 1 week gap’la eduthundom”. This is another chance for the Covaxin mama to rub it in. “Covaxin’la thaan side effect onnum kidayaathe… Naanum mamiyum chernthe vaccine eduthundom!
“Innum pasangalakku ellam vaccination aagala… Paiyannukku 1 dose baaki. Maattu ponnukku rendu dosum baaki… Intha Covishield’la rendu dosukkum nadupura gap’a jaasthi panni ore confusion pannitaa. Oru madiri rendu dosum mudinja thaan konjam nimmadhiya irukkum”. Covaxin mama joins the crib, “Vaccine shortage inga. Atha naala ellarum waiting. Namma minnaala summer vacationukku oorukku poga ticket book panrathukku railway counter’la wait pannuvome… Counter open pannina 10 nimishathula… sleeper ellam poyidum. Athu madiri aayaachu. Site open panni 10 second’ la slot ellam poyidarathu… Cowin App’ kku badila “Coloss” app nnu per vechurukalaam. Colossal waste of time, I say! Intha App irukke, full’a OTP thaan. “Only Time Pass”!
For Covishield mami who is also listening to this conversation, this is the time for her to pitch in as well. “Intha madiri problem ellam America’la illave illai. En ponnu cholraale. Anga veetukku veedu vanthu kooptu kooptu vaccine podaraallam. Just intha Corona varathukku minaala December’la thirumbi vanthom. Illana ippo anga thaan irunthiruppom sugama. Ithellam oru vazhiya mudinja thaan, adutha January’la yaavathu America pogalaam. This couple is presently in “Love America” stage in what I call as “Hate-Love-Hate cycle” as far as America is concerned. For more details on this cycle, please do read my earlier article “America poyirunthappo….!”
Now Covaxin mami will not let this go. “America’la vaccine certificate paper’la thaan tharaalaame. Inga romba convenient. Vaccine pottunda odane, phone’leye anupichudaraa. Enna antha Modi photo’va avoid panni irukkalaam”.
Covishield mami of course has the last word or last laugh. “Ennavo pongo. Kali muthiduthu… Ippo Vaccination than romba mukkiyamaana qualification aayaachu. Matrimonial advertisement’la kooda “Wanted Vadamal bride for my son” ‘kku bathila “Wanted Vaccinated bride for my son…” nnu vanthudum polarukku!”
On that note, Ungaloda Vaccine Aayaacha?