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