Tag Archives: Corona Virus humour

Corona kaalathula kacheri season!

It is that time of the year when Carnatic music is in the air usually in Chennai. The end of December is when the season gets to its peak with Tambrahm mamas and mamis trying to schedule their days around the choice of Kacheris on offer. In my earlier article – Innikku Aaru Kacheri?” I had written about the buzz in a Tambrahm households during the season. If you haven’t read it earlier, please read here before proceeding further.  But this year, the “Season” buzz is missing due to the Corona after effects which are still lingering in the air.

I know of many mamas and mamis who make it a point to be in Chennai every December to enjoy the music season. And those who live in Chennai and do their annual or biennial visit to America to be with their sons and daughters usually make it a point to return to India before November. This serves three purposes. One, to escape the summer in India and be there. Two, return by Oct/November so as to escape the harsher winter in the US. Three, to be in Chennai for the music season.  To go a step further, there are mamas and mamis who drop a hint to their NRI sons and daughters to plan the pregnancies in such a way that the delivery will be around March to May time frame. By this, they can be of support to their children for six months during delivery and still come back in time for the margazhi music season!

This year though, the entire season has gone virtual with no live concerts but kacheris are being streamed into our homes. Of course this has left a lot of mamas and mamis utterly disappointed and despondent.  “Ennomo pa, music season la oru kacheri kooda poi kekka mudiyaama poyiduthu!” and accordingly the conversations this year have turned different. Like this:

Mama: Enna thaan virtual streaming naalum, oru live kacheri paatha madiri illai.

Mami: Ithaye ethara vaati chollindu iruppel? Etho intha situation’leyum kacheri kekka mudiyarathe… sandosha padungo! Aathuleye okkandhundu kekka mudiyaratho illiyo?

Mamis are always practical and tend to make do with what is available, you see.

Mama: Athu seri. Aanaalum, kacherila friends’a ellam meet panni, varthamaanam pesi, kacheriya analyse panra madiri varaathu.

Mami: Neenga analyse panrathu sabha canteen menu’nnu nanna theriyum!  Sabha’kku porathe canteenukku thaane. Ennoda friend Bhagiyam chonnale. “Ungaathu Mamava moonu naal sabha canteen la paathen” nu, pona vashe!

Mama: Neeyum thaan en kooda varaai, kacherikku. Oru Kaapi kudikarathoda seri!

Mami: Naan varaatha pothu, enna mezhukellam – bajji, bonda’nnu thinnundu iruppel! Cholesterol report paatha theriyarathe!

Mama: Seri atha vidu. Kacheri nerla kekkarache, raga alapanai pothu ragatha guess panrathula oru rasam. Inga virtual kacheri’ la first’e enna ragam’nnu pottudara…

Mami: (Mind voice) Aamaam, etho Semmangudi’yoda vaarisu madiri pesarathu…

Since it is all virtual, mamas don’t get to meet their friends and discuss about the kacheri etc…  This happens on the phone these days. Sample this:

Mama 1: Enna Ramachandran, neenga kacheri ellam kekkarela?

Mama 2: Virtual kacheri’nna free’ya thaane irukkanum. Ithukkum charge panraale? Aniyaayama irukku…  Nidhi Chala Sukhama’nnu ellarum paadarathoda sari.

Mama 1: Illai, virtual naalum avaalukku selavu irukke… Free’a pannina kattu padi aagathu…

Mama 2: Ticket’na vendaam. Intha varusham season’a skip pannidalaamnu irunthen. Paiyyan season pass pottu kuduthuttaan. “Yours truly Margazhi” la kacheri kettundu irukken.  By mistake avaa site la subscribe pannaama, YouTube la subscribe pannitaan! Nadu nadu vila ads’aa vanthu padutharathu!

Mama 1: Naanum season ticket vaangitten.  Paadaravaalukku minnala audience illaama paadarathu kashtam thaan.

Mama 2: Virtual enna puthusa? Minnadi ellam AIR leyum, Doordarshan leyum ippadi thaane kacheri pannindu irunthaa?

Mama 1: Athu correct thaan. Nethikku Sanjay Subramanyan kacheri kettela? Thodi RTP asathittaan!

Mama 2: Ketten ketten. Asaadhyama irunthathu!

Mama 1: Ippo vara youngsters’um nanna paadaraa… Ritvik Raja’nnu T.M.Krishna madiriye paadaraan.

Mama 2: Avan TMK oda sishyan’aache. Athe style. As expected, TMK oda kacheri Yours truly la illa. Avan thaniya Friends in Concert’nnu arrange panninaan. Oru Kacherikku 2500 Rs charge. Romba jaasthi. Athuvum Corona samayathula.

Mama 1: Naan TMK ‘oda kacheri kekarathaye niruthitten. He should talk less and focus on music. He should let his music do the talking.

Mama 2: I don’t agree with his views. Athanaala avan kacheri kekaratha niruthala. He is an exceptionally gifted singer, you see.

Mama 1: Athu correct… But he should not use his God given talent for insulting his own music fraternity! Ippo namma ethukku avana pathi discuss pannindu…?

Mama 2: Intha virtual kacheri’la oru irritation enna’nna nadu nadu vila link poyidarathu… Connectivity problem…

Mama 1: Enakku antha prachanai illa. Ambani zindabad. Jio connectivity nanna irukku. Innikku Ranjani Gayatri kacheri irukku. Eppadi irukkunu paarpom.  Virtual concert’ukku Voncert’nnu per kuduthirukaa.  Article padichelaa?

Mama 2: Padinoru manikku upload pannitaale… Naan kettuten. Ranjani Gayatri as usual very good. 

Mama 1: Sari – appo naanum kettudaren. Aamaam neenga chinna vayasula violin vaasipele… Ippo vaasikarathu undaa?

Mama 2: Wifu’kku aathula 2nd fiddle vaasikarathoda sari!

At the same time, mamis also have a different set of issues this year as can be inferred from their conversations.

Mami 1: Enna mami, eppadi irukkel? Kacheri ellam kekkarela?

Mami 2: Etho konjam konjam… Intha virtual season naala, namakku thaan vela jaasthi aayiduthu. Eppa paaru kaapi yum norukku theeniyum panni poda vendi irukku.  Anga Ragam Thanam Pallavi poyindu irukaracha inga murukku, thattai’nnu kadichu thinnuttu Ragam Thanam palvali’nnu paattu paadindu irukaar engaathu mama!

Mami 1: Aamamaam. Normal season’nna engaathu mama kaalangaarthaleye kilambi lecture, demonstration, kacheri’nnu ellam mudichuttu raathri thaan varuvaar. Aagaaram ellam sabha canteenleye nadakkum. Intha varusham veetuleye irunthu en pranana vaangaraar.

Mami 2: Etho advertisement varathe… Mylapore fine arts la canteen lenthu swiggy’la home delivery panraalaame… Try panninelaa?

Mami 2: Nethikku thaan try panninom. Tiffan ellam nanna irunthathu…

Mami 1: Appo naanum avar kitta sollideren. Enna venumo order pannikattum…

Mami 2: Nethikku Sudha Raghunathan kacheri ketten… Etho interest’e illaama paadara madiri irunthathu! Nanna thaan paadina…

Mami 1: Inime thaan samayal kattula vela koraiyume… Okkanthu kekkaren.

Mami 2: Ongathula entha site’la kacheri kekkarel?  Intha link, antha linku’nnu ore confusion’aa irukku…

Mami 1: Engathula antha Music Academy season pass eduthirukom. Etho adutha varshamaavathu intha Corona ellam illama direct’a Samajavaragamana kekka mudinja sari!

Mami 2: Correct. But, season’a cancel pannaama kacheri ellam konjam kekka mudinjuthe.

Pic Courtesy: The Hindu

Corona mudinju 1st Kalyanam!

It’s been almost six months now since Corona struck India. This also means that its six months since most of us attended any kalyanam, kaarthi in person. For Tambrahm mamas and mamis, it is a record which they would never like to boast of or want to repeat.  So hearing laments like these are common these days during phone conversations:

“Oru kalyanama? Kaarthiyaa? Corona vanthaalum vanthuthu, aathuleye adanju kidanthindu irukkom!”

“Antha pachai gopura border podavai puthusa vaangi vechen. Use panrathukku chance’e illama poyiduthu!

“Bank locker la irukara pandam ellam use panni maasangal aagarathu”

 “Oru vaaikku rujiyaa saddhi chappttu etthara kaalam aayaachu…?” (This of course is mama’s mind voice)

For most mamas and mamis who are retired and are now in the senior citizen bracket and mostly living alone, aathu functions are the only avenue to socialise, meet people and re-charge!  That joy has been deprived now, thanks to Corona.

In the meantime, some of them did get the experience of attending Kalyanams, Seemandhams Aandu niravus etc On line through live streaming/Zoom… I had written about the same in my earlier post – “Aathu vishesham over Zoom!” If you have not read it, please do read the same hereEppadi mute panrathu, eppo video’va cut panrathu, entha angle’ la phone vekarathu, Eppadi correct’a camera’va paathu atchathai podarathu… ippadi elllam athu padi.

“Enna thaan live streaming aanaalum, nera attend panni, ellarayum meet panni, vambu pesindu, nalla saddhiyum chapattu vantha madiri varuma?” All mamas and mamis are desperate to attend a family function in person once the corona is dead and gone.

So, what will happen post Corona and life gets back to normal (whenever that is), in all Tambrahm families when the 1stkalyanam happens? This post is a chinna karpanai about that.

First of all, the 1st kalyanam in the family post corona will have a huge attendance as everyone will use the opportunity to attend that wedding. Aachanukku peechaan, madanikku udapiranthaannu ellarum varuvaa to bless the couple.  Caterer kitta oru 25 -30% number normal’a vida yethi chollanam. Return gift ellam konjam jaasthi vaangi vechukanam. Hall’e konjam perisaa paakanam.  Overall budget konjam jaasthi plan pannikanum!

And some of the scenes and conversations at the venue (say in Cochin) be like:

Mama 1: Vaango vaango! Ippo thaan corona ellam illiye. Katti pidichundu welcome pannalaam. Vaango! Nera appadiye poi kaapi kazhinchudungo!

Mama2: Aamamaam. Namma Kochi Mani yoda, kaapi kudichu etthara naal aachu. Athukapparam thaan ellam!

 Mami1: Vaango Vaango Mami. Mask’oda vanthirukkel. Ethukku ippo mask ellam? Athu thaan Corona ellam aayache?

Mami2: Illa irukkara podavaikku ellaam matching’a blouse oda, mask ayum thechu vechundiruken. Use pannalaamennu thaan! Apparam innamum konjam jaakrathaiya irukarathu nallathu thaane. Naan kayila oru sanitiser bottle’um vechundu irukken!

Mami1: Minna ellam, intha America returned aal kaara thaan kayila sanitiser bottle vechuppa India varathha. Ippo intha Corona naale namma ellarum vechukum padiya aayidithu!

Mama1: 10 maasam kazhinju oru kalyanam attend panrathu ennakku record aakkum.

Mama2: Naan ennoda marumaan’oda pullai’yoda kalyanam attend panninen. Corona samayathileye panneutta.  Naanga oru 50 per mattum irunthom.

Mama1: Entrance’la panneerukku bathilaa sanitiser thelichurupaale? (Laughs to his own joke)

Mama2: Ellarukkum kaiyila oru bottle sanitiser kuduthutta. Ennakku Veshti Thundukku bathila Vashti, Mask kadachuthu! Hall’a normal’a starters serve panrathukku 10 per chuthindu iruppaale… athu madiri sanitiser vechindu oru 5 per hall’a chutthi chutthi vanthindu irunthaa! 

Mama1: Enna Rajamani? Innikku kalyanathoda live streaming unda??

Mama2: Athu thaan. Ellarum nera varalaame. Apparaum ethukku antha chelavu?

Mama1: Illa, Coronakku apparum athu oru fashion. Kozhanthaikku kaapu katarathuna kooda, FB Live, Live streaming’nnu aayiduthu! 

Mama1: Unakku therinjutho lliyo. Namma Kolankarai Ramachan paavam Corona’vila poyittaan.

Mama2: News Kidachuthu. Avanakku matha complaint ethavathu irunthutho?

Mama1: Avanukku vayasu 50 thaan. Namma ellam thapichom. Antha Guruvurappan thaan kaapathinaan.

Mama1: Apparam ennikku palakkadukku return? Innikevaa?

Mama2: Illai. Naan ingirunthu Mankombukku poi, ellaraiyum paathuttu, kovilla nerchai ellam mudichuttu 4 nalaikku apparam thaan return. Ernakulam varaikum vanthathukku, ellathayum cover pannalaam illiya. Neenga eppo return Bangalore’ukku?

Mama1: US lenthu en periya payyan family’oda vanthirukkaan. Avaalukku Kumarakom paakanumaam. Resort yetho book panni irukka. Anga oru 2 night irunthuttu apparam return.

Mama2: Kumarakom ippo world famous aayaachu! Namma kutti kaalathula antha vazhiyaa ethhara thonai poyirukkom chumma? Ippo ennadanna…

Mama1: Antha Arundathi Roy oda book vanthathilirunthu Kumarakom famous aayiduthu.

Mama2: Yei.. Aval oru verum naxal’aakkum. Vajpayee vanthu ponapparum thaan Kumarakom famous aachu. Namma naatukku BJP thaan laayakku. Ippo Modiya paarungo. Corona vukku apparum Chinese Apps’ukkellam Aapadichu vechirukkaar.

Mama1: Correct. Modi panninathu thaan correct. Naan Made in China vaangaratheye niruthuetten.

Mama2: Intha lockdown samayuthula, aatha perukka oru Vacuum Cleaner vaanganama irunthathu. Made in India vaa illattiyum Made in China’va vaangalaye! 

Because of the lockdown and all, Tambrahm Mamas didn’t get the opportunity to discuss about politics in the last so many months. So it is natural that when they got the chance, the discussions would veer around Indian politics.

Of course Mamas whose sons and or daughters lived in the US and who were lucky to return just before Covid, were happy to discuss about Trump re-election and of course namma Kamala (Harris)

Mama1: Naan Madras’la irukarathha, Besant Nagar la Kamalavoda thatha Gopalanai naan paathirukken. Naanga ore kadaila thaan maligai saamaan ellam vaanguvom.  Apparam naanga ore Sabha la member. Kacheri la ellam paathirukken.

Mama2: Avaa amma oru Hari’yaa paathu kalyanam panni iruntha, Kamala Hari’nnu peru vanthirukkum. But ava Non-Veg aakkum.

Mama1: Joe Biden jayichuttaana, oru vela, Besant Nagar’ukku avanai kootindu vanthaalum varuvaa! 

Mama1: Nadaswaram aaru? Nanna vaasikiraan.

Mama2: Local party thaan. Intha kriti enna ragam? Corona thaane? I mean Atana thaane?

Mama1: Enna oi? Corona nyabagam’aave irukkel? 

Mama1: Vadhyaar Palakkad lenthu vanthirukaarame? Train la vanthaara illa Helicopter’leya?

Mama2: Athu Corona samayathula naala. Enakku antha payyanoda family’a theriyum. Athuvum Suhas Vaadhyar chumma pose thaan kuduthaar helicopter minnala ninnundu.

Mama1: Chumma oru jokukaga ketten.

Mama2: But aana, US la namma oru vaadhyar Chopper service vechu nadathindu irukkaarnnu Whatsup la padichen. 

Can Mamis be left behind in the conversations and they be like:

Mami1: Enna Saratha? Mattuponukku ethavathu good news unda?

Mami2: Intha lockdown samayathula ethavathu good news varumnnu ethir patthen. Onnum varalai. Intha varshamnnu Josiyar cholli irukkaar. Paakalaam.

Mami1: Ambalapuzhaikku mudinja kootindu po rendu peraiyum. 

Mami1: Enna, ponnoda Jathakam eduthachaame? Ponnu avale yaaraiyum choose pannalaya?

Mami2: Panni iruntha thevalaye. Neengale paarungonnu cholluetta. Ithu oru periya thala vali. Romba conditions vera. Ithu vendam, athu vendamnnu!

Ethavathu nalla varan iruntha chollungo.

Mami1: Local’aa illa America vaa paakarela?

Mami1: Ava ippo Detroit la irukka. Americannu thaan solluetta.

Mami2: Seri, ethavathu varan kidacha chollaren.  Avasarama irunthaa Elite Matrimony la pottu paarungo.

And the group photo session be like:

Photographer: Ellarum konjam close’aa nillungo. Ippo Corona’kku ellam bayapada vendiyathu illai.

Mama1: Enna Ganapathy, photokku varaama ippadi 6 adi thalli ninna eppadi? Social distancing’aa? 

Aren’t you also eager and desperate to attend that 1st kalyanam in the family?

Aathu Visesham over Zoom!

This Corona Virus has turned the whole world upside down. Things we thought would never function this way have now become a daily routine. No, I am not talking about all of us being engaged in BJP (Bartan, Jhadu, Pocha) activities at home for more than 2 months now. For so many years, some conference calls in offices would happen over Zoom. Ippo, olagame, Zoom la thaan odindu irukku!

These days, from business meetings (which is understandable) to school sessions to college lectures to Violin classes to Yoga sessions to cookery classes to Bharatnatyam classes and finally even gym sessions are all happening over Zoom! Will aathu functions that are time bound which cannot be postponed for obvious reasons be left behind? So, functions like Seemandham, Thottil/Peridal, Aandu niravu… have already started happening over Zoom.  I haven’t still attended any visesham over Zoom yet. I was thinking what if a function like Aandu Niravu happened over Zoom and this piece is a result of that karpanai!

Few days before the function which is happening somewhere in Chennai:

Wife: Intha lockdown naala even ennoda appa, amma, anna, thangai ellam functionukku vara mudiyaathu.

Husband: En side lenthum thaan yaarum vara porathu illa.

Wife: Ellarukkum Zoom invite anupichacha? Oru rendu naalaiku appuram, oru reminder anupichudu!

Husband: First intha, WhatsApp list ukku ellam anupichachu. Appuram, naalaikulla E mail list ukkum anupichuduven.

Wife: Zoom callukku, oru password pottudu. Ippo ellam Zoom la lot of security concerns’nnu cholra.

Husband: Yes. Yes. Rohit.Anduniravu@123 nnu password create pannitten.

Wife: Namma cousins ellam o.k. But periyavaalluku, Zoom la eppadi log in panrathu and other steps – oru chinna note create panni WhatsApp la pottudu.

Husband: Ippo ellarum Zoom’ la expert. Unga Appa/Ammakku venna puthusa irukalaam. Anyway suggestion taken. I will make a note.

Wife: Namma Vadhyaaroda confirmation vanthudutha? He is coming no?

Husband: Yes. But oru Junior vaadhyaar paiyana thaan anupuvennu sollitaar. He doesn’t want to take risk with Senior Vadhyaars it seems.

Wife: Yaarai aavathu anupicha seri. Marakaama society la permission vaangidu, Vaadhyaarukku.

Husband: I am waiting for the name of the Vadhyaar and Aadhar number. Adhu vantha odane, societykku e-mail anupichuduven.

Wife: Ethukkum, oru onnarai litre sanitiser, 10 extra mask, 10 set gloves ellam innikku Amazon la order pannidu.

Husband: Ethukku? Iruka porathu namma 3 moonu perum, vaadhyaarum. Ethukku extra Sanitiser?

(Wife followed the usual SOP for functions of ordering extra milk – just that the milk got replaced by Sanitiser)

Now over to the day of the Aandu niravu:

Wife: Zoom’a ON panniyaacha?

Husband: Vaadhyaar varattum, panren.

One very young junior vaadhyar comes.

Husband: Vaadhyaar, vaango vaango. First time varrel. Veedu kandu pidikarathukku onnum problem illiye.

Vaadhyaar: Onnum prachinai illai. Lockdown aanaalum google map work panrathe. Onga society thaan romba strict’a irukaale.

Husband: Yen, enna aachu?

Vaadhyaar: Phone la Aarogya Setu App iruntha thaan ulla viduvennu security sollitaan. Nalla valai. Rendu naa munaadi thaan, namma Modi solraar’nnu download panni vechen. Athula ‘Safe” nnu kaamichapparam thaan ullaye vittaan!

Husband: Sari, aarambipoma? Ellarum kaathundu iruppa.

Vaadhyaar: Enna manusha ellam Zoom la varaala? Ippo ella functionnum appadi thaan nadakarathu. Zoom aarambikarathukku munnaadi ungalakuu panjagachatha katti vitudaren. Atha ellarum paakka vendaame!

Husband: Ella Vadhyaar madiriyum romba tamasha pesarel. Sari, katti vittudungo.

When everything is set:

Vaadhyaar: Mama, Naazhi aayindurukku. Zoom’a start pannidungo. Namma 40 nimishathula ellathayum mudichu aaganum. Illa nna, call’a cut panniduvaan.

Husband: Cut aayiduthunna, ellarayum thirumba log in panna cholli irukken.

The Zoom call for the function starts:

From different parts of the world, in different time zones, birthday paiyanoda Thatha- Thathis/Paattis, Mama-Mamis, Athai-Athimbars, Chitti-Chittappas, Perimma-Periappas, many cousins and even one Kollu paatti have now logged in for the Aandu niravu.

The next few minutes,  a cacophony ensues:

Hi Amma, hello mama, namaskaram athimbar, Hi Cheenu etc etc

Naan pesarathu kekarathaa ungalukku?

Appa, neenga video’va ON pannungo, Blank’a irukku

Raghu, nee mute la irukka. Onnum kekka mattengarathu.

Cheenu, anga konjam light bright’aa aakku. Paatikku onnum theriyalennu cholraa!

Oru vazhiyaa, ellam settle aagarathukku oru 15 minutes aayiduthu.

Finally Vaadhyaar takes charge and starts.

Vaadhyaar: Appo Aarambikalama?  Naan pesarathu ellarukkum kekaratho illiyo? Ellarum ippo WFH’nnu Work From Home la irukkel. Ithu AFH – Attend From Home. Ithukku sila vidhi murai ellam irukku. Ellarum mute la irungo. Naan cholarathai gavanama kettu seiyungo. Chat’la pesindu irukapadathu.

Mami neenga vanthu ippadi vilakka yethungo.

Appadiye camera’va paathu rendu perum oru namaskaram pannidungo.  Camera East facing thaane?? Avaa avaa iruntha padiye, ivaalukku aasirvaadham pannidungo.

Thatha: Intha chinnavaal ellam settha antha pakkama nillungo. Namaskaaram panratha kurukka vara padathu!

While the function is going on in the Chennai house, others are in mute for now and having their own animated conversations.

Wife’s mother: Namma Cheenu voda Appa (Referring to the Sambandi) Veshti kattindu irukalamonno? Innikkum oru ara korai, shorts pottundu nikkaraare?

Wife’s father: Athukenna ippo. Zoom call thaane. Naanum oru shorts pottundu comfortable’a irukalamnnu thaan yosichen. Apparam, namma paatti paathanna kathuvaannu veduppa veshtiya kattindu irukken!

Kollu Paatti: Enna ithu, namma Raghu voda ponnu rendu perum oru pottu kooda ittu kaama, viseshathukku vanthu irukka?

Yarathu? Naalum kizhamaiyuma karuppu poo potta nightie’la? (Kollu paatti at this age has sharp eyes to identify all this, that too on the computer screen)

Mama: Avaalukku US’la ippo thoongara neram. Rendu ponnum chamathu ponnugal aakkum.

Athimbar: (Un-muting himself) – Vaadhyar, sankalpathula mandiratha maranthuttel. Konjam thirupi chollungo. (Muting himself)  Intha chinna pasangale ippadi thaan. Mandirangalai poora padikarathu kidaayaathu. Appo appo muzhunga vendiyathu!

In the meantime, younger cousins are chatting on the Zoom chat window!

In between, exactly after 40 minutes, Zoom cuts off the call and everyone had to re-join. Once again, audio kekaratha, video correcta irukka followed and the function resumed.

As part of the Aandu niravu function, the aayush homam starts.

Mama from Palakkad: Zoom la oru advantage. Homam aarambicha oda vendiyathu illa. Enakku pogai naale allergy!

Finally, the Vaadhyaar announces the Aashirvadham part.

Vaadhyaar: Periyavaa ellarum kaiyila konjam atchadaiya eduthukongo. Naan chollum pothu, phone camera meleyo, computer camera meleyo, atchadaiya pottu aasirvadham pannungo. Rendu atchadai porum. Alli pottu camerava damage panna vendaam.

After that is over:

Vaadhyaar: Ellarum anga anga iruntha padiye enna kudukarelnnu kaamichurungo, naan inga mandiratha chollikaren. Corona ellam mudinja udane marakaama, anupichudungo!

Rojano rojamaanasya, Shobano shobamaanasya kalyanaha… Thatha-Paati vagai aasirvadham kuzhandaikku oru swarna maalai,…,…

Chittappa-Chitti vagai aasirvadham , paiyannukku 1000 roobaai Amazon voucher!

And so on…

Vaadhyar: Appadiye kozhandaiyoda athaiyum, mamiyuma iruntha edathulenthe arathi eduthudungo! Paatum paadanam. 

With the Achaarya Sambavanai, the Zoom function comes to an end.

Cousin: (In a lighter vein) Cheenu, Appo saapaadu ellam??

Husband: Just wait pannungo. Lunch is ready. Inga irunthe, swamikku neivedyam panra maadiri, praanaya swaha pannidiren ungalukku! 

Vaadhyar: Sari, appo naan kalambaren. Enakku oru Zoomandham sorry Seemandham nadathi kudukka irukku, aduthathu!

Lockdown paduthara paadu!

The usually chatty and eventful day in the life of Tambrahms have become chattier and more eventful during these lockdown days.

“Innikku menu enna?” – Even during normal days, as I have written in one of my earlier posts, this is one phrase which will get the goat of mamis at Tambrahm households often.  Ippo kekave vendaam.  Due to the lockdown, mamis who usually manage the menu time table very efficiently using complex algorithmic formula that has been handed over by their ammas, are at sea in the past few weeks. Due to non-availability or shortage of key groceries and provisions, ivalavu varshama use pannindu iruntha technique ellam onnuthukkum ubayogam illaama poyiduthu!

“Oru ravai mattum aathula stock iruntha, ethara easy theriyumo? Kaarthala tiffinukku Upma oru naal, rava idli oru naal nnu pannalaam. Appadiye ravaiya vechu Pongalum pannalaam. Upma va konjam maathi oru naal Rava kichidinnu thatti vidalaam.  Apparam raathiri palagarathukku rava dosai panni oru naal samaalichudalaam. Apparam, saayangaalam enna tiffinnnu mama kekarache, rava kesariyum pannalaam! Intha ravai illaama thindaattama irukku. Intha essential items la first ravaiya manufacture panna cholli, supply panna thodanganam”! This was a mami talking to her friend who is stuck in Florida now. “Neenga yen kekarel? South Indian items ellaam inga Indian stores’la out of stock! Rava mattum illai, oru saamaan inga stock illa! India vula Ponni arisi, puzhungal arisi ithellam ungalukku kidaikume? Maava araichu vechutta idli, doasai nnu kadaiya ottalaam. Bread’a thinnu thinnu aluthu poyaachu, mami!”

Not only Rava. There are other such “God sent” items like Aval… which are also on short supply, making the life of the mami tougher. Conversations like these are common at Tambrahm households these days:

Mama: Innikku menu enna?

Mami: Kaalangaarthala ezhuntha udane, intha kelviya engitta kekka dheengo. Athu thaan T.N. Seshan yetho sonnaaraame. Palakkad Iyers are either good cooks or crooks nnu? Naan ithu vara neenga cook panni paathathu illai. Samayala pathi vaai kizhiya pesarathoda sari! Oru naal neenga samayungalen.

Mama: Enna ippadi sollitta? Antha kaalathula enga kovil Annual Sastha preetikku enga thatha Parameshwara Iyeroda paal payasuthukkunne manusha varuvaa!

Mami: Intha kathaiya engitta oru 101 praavisyam cholli iruppel. Naan unga thatha va pathi kekalai. Unga appavum nanna paayasam veppar. Naan paathirukken.  Ongala pathi kekaren.

Mama: Ippo enna? Enna menu nnu thane ketten? Etha panrayo pannu.

The fact is many mamas are good at basic level cooking. Some have passed advanced grade also. But there are many, who, even if they don’t know to cook, will get very high marks in theory!

“Samalaya pathi vakkanaiya pesuvaar engaathu mama. Ellam therinju vechundu, en uyira vaanguvaar, intha manushan”, I have often heard this from many mamis!

Once the menu is finalised somehow, looking at what is available and what is not and all, the next question which creates additional head ache for the mami is “Thottukka enna?”

Mami: Tifinnukku Idli panni vechurukken. Vanthu eduthukongo.

Mama: Idli ya? Thottukka enna?

Mami: Idli panrathe perisu intha samayathula. Ithula thottukka enna vereya? Irukkara molaga podiya thottundu chaapidungo. Kalyana aathu tiffin madiri Chutney, Sambhar, Molaga podi, Gotsu’nnu varietya ellam ippo panna mudiyaathu. Irukaratha kazhiyungo!

Mama: (Mind voice) Yetho matha nalla ellam romba variety’a pannina madiri!

As you are aware, thanks to lockdown, most of the mamas are now WFH. WFH nna Working From Home illai. Anyway, retired aayache. Because the maid servants are not coming, they are now “Working For Home” in addition to their WhatsApping From Home!

So in the morning, once the Coffee is over, mama Shanka Chakra Gada Pani madiri, oru kaiyula thodappam, innoru kayila Mop stick, naduvula moramuma veetta clean panrennu does his bit these days in cleaning the house. As per mami, in normal days, the same Shanka Chakra Gada Pani mama will have mobile phone in one hand, TV remote in another and US Ponnu vaangi kudutha I-pad in between while sipping his filter Kaapi on and off.

Though the cleaning effort and the helping hand of the mama are commendable, mami is anxious to know when the government will start allowing non-essential goods to be sold. Yenna, mama cleaning aarambichathulenthu, shopping panrathukku list perisaayinde irukku. So far, in the past 4 weeks the score is 5 wickets sorry 4 items down. Mop stick rendeyum udachachu. Thudaikara bucket handle poyaachu. Vilakku maar – naar naar’aa vanthundu irukku. Paathiram thekkara Scotch Brite onnu micham illai.  Ithellam udane vaangiye aaganum.

The other day, when mami was having a WhatsApp video call with her friend, the friend mami said, “Enna mami, unga aathu floor oda shining enakku inga theriyarathe!” Mama overheard this and the result was the breaking of the mop stick. Not just one. But the second one which was kept for standby purposes also in an attempt to impress mami further!

Just like everyone else now, mamas and mamis are craving for the day when the lockdown will be fully lifted and life can go back to normal. Some of the laments of the mamas include:

Oru walkingukku kooda poga mudiyaama, veettaye evalavu naalaikku suthi vanthindu irukarathu?

Oru Kovilukku poi ethara naal aayachu? Intha varsham namma kovilla bhagavatha sapthaham ellam miss panni aachu!

Aryaas hoteloda Nei roast, masala vadaiyoda taste’a maranthu poyaachu!

Adutha vaaram Sabha vila Sanjay Subramanyam kacheri irunthathu – athuvum cancel!

Oru kalyanam, karthigainnu onnuthukkum poga mudiyama aayachu. Inime oru varshathukku veeta vittu engeyum eranga mudiyathu!

Innaikku Trissur Pooram kodiyettukku oru manusha illai! Ennoda Jeevithathula itha parupen’nnu naan vijaarikave illai!

Intha China kaaran eduthu vitta virus naala, logam enna paadu padarathu paathiyo?

Naan decide panni aachu, inime China voda oru product naan vaanga porathu illa! Vera entha country product aanaalum o.k. But, China never!

Neenga enna decide panni irukkel?

 

Image courtesy: Webdunia