Tag Archives: Kalyanam

Ela Pottachu!

For any Tambrahm worth his or her uppu, the phrase “Ela Pottachu” must immediately ring a bell or rather Getti melam!!! For, in any function one attends these days from Kalyanam to Poonal to Shastiaptapurthi to Sadhabhishegam or even Sasthapreethi the otherwise sober mamas and mamis, take a different avatar moment the phrase “Ela Pottachu” spreads in the hall! Enthusiastic mamas and mamis who are in the midst of “avaloda Jathakam eduthacha?” and “New Jerseyla ore thanuppu theriyumo??? conversations quietly wriggle to “Vantha 1st velaya paarupom” (Read as Handing over the cover/gift to the concerned). Once that is done, it’s time for Vantha 2nd velai – read as Saapaadu. The action shifts from the main hall to the dining hall!

There was a time in TamBrahm functions, literally you will have to beg people to eat in the 1st pandhi. Most of them – youth and old alike would settle for Velambing for the 1st few pandhis and then only would eat in the last. “Nadaswaram, melam ellam vechu koopittaathaan chaapida varuvela??” “Illa Bombay Sistersoda Bojanam Seiyya vaarungo paattu podatuma??? These used to be the type of lighter vein banter to get people to come and eat. Not anymore. With caterers taking over the serving, once the Muhurtham is over, many people settle to “Vantha mukkiyamaana velaya mudichudarom”!!! At heart there are 2 insecurities. First, if the count goes haywire the nice viscous saambaar may become close to flowing rasam by the 4/5th pandhi. Second, the initial enthusiasm of those serving gradually may wane and they start ozhapping. Having counted the days eagerly for a nice saddhi saapaadu, both could be extremely disappointing! So the game plan is to keep guilt pangs like 1st pandhileye saapidarome aside and try to hit the elai as early as possible. You will agree with me that it’s easier said than done – if you look at some of the following real life experiences at the dining hall these days:

• As you settle down to start eating and just as you move from paruppu/nei to saambaar, you will start feeling a whiff of warm air in your neck and shoulders. As you turn around to check, you will realise that a line is forming for the next pandhi right behind you even as you just started! “Breathing down one’s neck” can be literally felt here!

• As you dig in to relish the items one by one, you can hear whispers from behind like, “intha manushan enna ippadi izhu izhu izhukaraare! Sadhiye chapattathillai polarikku!!”

• Even as YOU try to get the attention of those you serve, you will get ample help from behind – “Saarukku inga thayir!!!”Pochu, your desire of going for one more round of ada pradaman payasam goes in vain as the person behind you has already made you move on to thayir!!!

• The other day, while a person was eating he got a call. Just as he was making an attempt to retrieve his mobile which was tucked somewhere between his pot belly and veshti, he got a sermon from a waiting mami. “Mama, phone ellam apparum pesikkalaam. Seekiram mudingo!!!”

“Gappa adichathu porum, naanga romba nerama waiting inga” – One mami was heard telling 2 ambis who were discussing pros and cons of Modi’s Demonetisation!

• In another case, paavam one young lady was sitting and having food with her 5 year old daughter and trying to make her eat. That’s all. Barbs started. “Kuzhanthaikku thaniyaa saapaadu eduthundu poi kuduka padaatho??? Inga ippadi paduthindu irukaale???”

“Mamaakku sugar! Irunthaalum ippadi 2 payasathayum maathi maathi vaangi kudichindu irukaar!!” Another barb at a mama who was enjoying his payasam with a vengeance (his wife was not around) without realizing that he is now sitting like a Nandi before the next Pandhi!!
• Just as you attempt to move your now swollen tummy and get up, the person in the line behind has already occupied the chair like “Minnal”!!!
• For the in between rows which don’t have sufficient space for people to line up behind – people use innovative ploys to reserve their seats. Like:
o In some temples in Tamil Nadu just as you alight from your vehicle, you will see ladies who sell offerings reserving their customers from at a distance by saying, “antha sevappu sari ennuthu, Antha periya pottu mami ennuthu,… Like that, in pandhis also you can hear– from at a distance – “antha yellow kurta en seat, that ponchampalli mami’s seat is mine,..!!!”
o The time tested technique of throwing kerchief from a distance to reserve the seat as soon as a person gets up!!!
o Before itself, befriending the boys who serve and asking them to reserve the seat when you come!!!
o If those who are sitting and eating are your friend/relatives asking them not to let anybody else sit other than you!!
o So on and so forth!!!

So one can see, it is becoming a brahmaprayathanam to eat properly in a function now without getting embarrassed or being shameless!!!
So here are some suggestions (some serious, some satirical) to get over this:

• Have both options of buffet and Ela potta saapaadu. So people can choose and decide.
• If only Ela potta pandhi – have 2 separate rows for Senior citizens.
• Like they have row wise boarding in airlines, have alphabetical order wise calling. (That my name starts with A has nothing to do with this suggestion!!!)
• Have eating sequence as per arriving sequence in the hall. So earlier you come, earlier you can eat! As you enter, you will be issued a dining pass with a sequence number. Accordingly to the sequence you will be admitted in the respective pandhis. (When you keep track of the attendees you can also ensure adequate quantity of food and you can avoid extending the saambaar after the 3rd pandhi!!!
• Introduce a “Saapaadu sequencing app” wherein you will get a notification when your seat is ready in the pandhi. You can just go exactly at that time!!!
• Of course you can also tie a tag with a RFID chip to all guests as you enter which will record the time as you enter and give a beep when your seat is ready in the dining hall!!!

Hopefully by adopting some ideas like this, one can enjoy the function fully without training your ears all the time to hear the important phrase – “Ela pottachu!!!”

Kalyanama? En conditions Apply!

These days, in many TamBrahm households, with girls of marriageable age, the parents are gripped with tension – “Ivalukku kaala kaalathula kalyanam aaguma”??? On the other side, in households with boys of marriageable age, the parents are also gripped with tension in fact more tension – “Ivanukku intha jenmathula kalyanam aaguma”???Girls’ side – because of the many conditions the daughter is listing and boys’ side wondering if their son can ever fulfill the conditions of today’s girls. Whichever side it is – prachanai konjam gambeeram thaan!

Most of us must would remember the film ‘Manal Kayiru’ in which playwright and stage veteran Visu made his debut as a director. The film has the male protagonist played by comedian S.Ve.Shekhar laying out an elaborate list of 8 conditions which a girl must satisfy to become his wife. The director himself playing the role of a marriage broker in the pre – Tamilmatrimony/ Srutivani era lines up a girl and cons the hero into accepting her by proving that all his conditions were met. In these times of sequels, if one thinks of making Manal Kayiru – 2, one important change is called for in the script. Or rather a role reversal. Today, it has to be the female protagonist who has to dish out the conditions to be met by her potential suitor.

There was a time (Pre 2000) in the TamBrahm community when it was very fashionable for the prospective grooms in those days to have a Specification sheet for his future wife. The specs used to range from looks to education to upbringing to skills sets…  Nanna Samaika theriyanum, Kudumba Paanga irukkanum, Kalyanam aana velayai vittudanum, Nanna paada theriyanum, Bharatnatyam kathindu irukkanum

But post the IT revolution which swarmed India in general but Tambrahm community in particular, the whole situation is different. india’s IT rise has stopped the party the boys were having, on its tracks. Today, it’s the girl who call the shots.  The result is there for all of us to see nowadays.

Once the digital match happens via some matrimony.com, the parents slowly broach the subject with their daughter. “Ennadi intha payyana pidichiruka”?? And the responses start coming usually like this:

“Avan mogathila oru kalla lakshanam. Venda

“Paaka sumaara irukkaan, aana Non-IT background. Enakku sari pattu varaathu”

“Seemingly o.k, but avan companyla en friends irukka. Avaal ta check panninen. He has never got an On site so far. So….”

“He is o.k.. but kalyanam aagatha akka oruthi irukka pola irukku veetula, sari padave padathu”

He seems fine, but total CTC thaan potirukkaan. Enna Take home nnu theriyanum.

Naan avan profilea FB la check panninen… Thathu bithu nu post pannindirukkaan!! Cannot stand his sense of humour!

Sonthama Veedu innum book pannala polarukku!!

So on and so forth..

In this vadi katting, most of the cases get into the Recycle bin! (Digital cases aache)

After this microscopic scrutiny, if some case survives comes the next step of “getting to know each other” meeting.  In this meeting the girls usually come prepared with a set of conditions and questions while the boys just show up without much preparation.

The girls usually start with – “I would like to make things very clear now itself. Don’t expect me to be a wife like your Amma or Paatti”!!!

Avalavu thaanAppave the boy konjam backfoot la!!!  But still, konjam sudharichundu, “No, no absolutely no. Go ahead”.

O.k Ennoda conditions are:

  • “We cannot be in Joint family after marriage. Even if we are in the same city, we will live separately. When we have a kid, they can stay with us so that they can have the joy of spending time with their grandchild”
  • Naan, en parentsukku ore ponnu. So I will have to take care of my parents even after marriage monetarily and emotionally. Pinnaala, no questions must be asked on this.
  • “I don’t know to cook so much. In fact I can’t cook to save my life. Will try to learn as soon as possible. In fact, I turn on the GPS as soon as I enter the house, so that I can locate the kitchen

I hope you know cooking. So that we can manage”

  • “Enna dress venna pottuppen – Modern, traditional, whatever. Decent dressing thaan”.
  • “Apparaum, will not give up my job under any circumstances after marriage. And for me my career is very important. So Onsite kadacha, I will go”
  • “Then most important, I will decide when and how many children to have”

“If these are acceptable and o.k, namma further proceed pannalaam!

The boy now having gone thro few similar routines in the past and backed out hearing the conditions, doesn’t want to miss this time.

Boy: “Yes, yes. I agree. These are very normal conditions. I support them.”

Girl: “I have a few questions for you. Kekalaama?”

“Do you smoke? I don’t like smoking and smokers”

“Do you drink?  Intha social drinker appadi, ippadinnu kathai ellam vendaam. If we get married, you will have to give up smoking, drinking…”

“And I hope there is no other excess baggage in your family. Means – apart from your Appa, Amma and your sister – there is no old athaipaatiKollu Paati… living with you, no???”

The meeting gets over.

The boy is still in a daze. “Enna pannalaam? O.k sollalaama, Vendaama? Adutha case itha vida innum pathu conditionsoda vantha enna panrathu??”

The Girl is also in a daze. “Enna ithu, oru conditionume podala?? Maha reject caseaaa irukkumo???”

Back at the girls house – “Ennama un conditionsukellam o.k sollitaana???”

And back at the boy’s house – “Ennada, nee onnum conditions ethuvum podaliye??? O.k sollittaala??”

P.S: I read that S.Ve.Shekhar is in fact planning the sequel – Manal Kayiru – 2 with his son in the lead. I am sure that in this the conditions will be on his son!!!