Tag Archives: Tambrahm humour

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

With’ aa? Without’ aa??

In any Tambrahm function whether it is a simple Aandu Niravu or a grand Kalyanam, one question you are most likely no, no…. you will definitely encounter just as you enter the hall is – Kaapi kudichela?  Not just once. First time paakaravaa ellam athe thirumba thirumba keppa!

Kaapi aayacha?

Nere kaapi kazhichuttu vanthurungo!

Luggage ellam apparam vechukalaam. Kaapi mudichuttu vanthurungo!

And so on.

Here Kaapi refers not just the Coffee drink but actually the breakfast.

If you arrive into a function in the evening, the above sequence repeats itself – and there the Kaapi refers to probably Coffee and evening snacks!

That Coffee occupies a very exalted position in the life of Tambrahms need not be elaborated at all.  In this Thanks giving week, if Kaapi has to extend its vote of thanks, it should first Kovil katti kumbudu pottu thank Tambrahms and then it should thank Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker (Starbucks founders pa) for its continued reign in the world!

While in the subject of Kaapi and Tambrahm functions, the next most familiar question one will encounter throughout the span of the function is – With’ aa? Without’ aa?

I don’t even have to explain this because, in Tambrahm circles, this is a very, very familiar and common question. Many Tambrahms – mamas and mamis alike, mainly due to family history and or dietary pattern and or rather deskbound lifestyle are afflicted with Diabetes. And hence after a particular age, many of them shun sugar in all forms.  So, they give up on sweets and even in functions resist temptations to taste that odd Jaangiri and paayasam! Or just oru tastukkunnu mattum nnu arai glass kudikarathu! However, in the case of Kaapi, there is no giving up there. So, in Tambrahm functions you will always have the option of Coffee “with” sugar and Coffee “without” sugar!

Nowadays in most Tambrahm functions Coffee is served in a separate “live” Coffee counter instead of serving along with breakfast or tiffin itself. This I think is mainly to manage the logistics of “with/without” options apart from of course being able to prepare fresh Kaapi and serve.  But, there is a flip side to this as I heard in one of the functions recently. ‘Enna anaalum, antha dosai/idli and molaga podi taste naakula irukaratheye chuda, chuda kaapi kudichaa, athu vera feeling. Once, intha vaaya alumbittu, apparama kaapi kudicha, athu vera taste aayidarathu!’

Around the “live” coffee counter, around the topic of “with” and “without” one can hear a combination of requests going to the poor Coffee mama!  Like:

Coffee Mama: With’ aa? Without’ aa??

Mama 1: With, With thaan!

Mama 2: Enakku oru Without!

Mami 1: Naan usually Without thaan. Aanaa innikki low sugar. Athanaale With’ e irukattum!

Mama 3: Chakkarai pottu oru nalla coffee chaapttu romba naalaachu! Mami pakkathula illiye? With’ e kudungo!

Mami 2: Enakku Without’ e kuduthurungo. Konjama naane chakkarai pottukaren!

Mama 4: Enakku sugar irukku. Aanaa coffee mattum sugar illaama kudikka mudiyaathu! With’ e kalanthudungo!

Mama 5: ‘With’ thaan. Aanaa chakkarai konjama podungo. Rendu moonu spoon pottuttu enna naalaikku ‘Without’ aa aakidaathengo!

Mami 3: Chaaya nna ‘Without’ kudikka mudiyaathu! Kaapi ‘Without’ kudikalaam! ‘Without’ ‘e kuduthurungo!

Mama 6: Enakku With’ um, Without ayaum mix panni kuduthudungo!  Appo thaan sugar correctaa irukkum! 

Mama 7: ‘With’ thaan! Aanaa chakkarai vendaam. Naatu chakkarai irukka??? Iruntha atha pottu kudungo!

Coffee Mama: Mama, Naatu chakkarai ellaam illa. Neenga ‘Without’ aa ve kudingo!

And so on!

And you can hear more conversations around this very important ‘With’ aa? Without’ aa?? topic:

Mama 1: Neenga With’ aa?  Without’ aa?
Mama 2: Enakku ithu varai ‘Without’ nilamai vanthathu illa! ‘With’ thaan! Ennikku ‘Without’ aagaratho, annikku logathhu lenthe pack up panna vendiyathu thaan!

Mama 1: Ennakku ellam 40 vayasulenthe ‘Without’ thaan! Athukku enna solrel? Ithellam appadiye manage panna vendiyathu thaan!

 ——————————————————————————————————–

Mama 1: Enna mama, neenga ‘Without’ aa? Nethikku paayasam rendu moonu glass vaangi kudichindu irunthele?

Mama 2: Chatthama pesaantheengo! Wife kaadula vizha porathu! Apparam oru vaarathukku aathula sahasranaama archanai thaan!

 ———————————————————————————————————

Mama 1: Enna mama? Neenga ‘Without’ aache? Innikku enna sugaroda kaapi kudikarel?

Mama 2: Naan 15 varushama ‘Without’. Ippo 6 maasama intha Patanjali diabatic tablet maathiraiyum, Yoga vum pannindu irukken. Ippo ‘With’ aayitten!

———————————————————————————————————–

Mama 1: Oru 6 Kaapi kudungoppa, vadhyaarmargalukku. Athula 2 “With’, 3 ‘Without’, 1 konjama ‘With’!!!

——————————————————————————————————-

Mami 1: Neenga With’ aa? Without’ aa??

Mami 2: Without thaan. Aana pona vasa America porache, anga ‘Stevia’ nnu oru natural chakkarai substitute en paiyan vaangi kuduthaan. Athu thaan use panren ippo. Oru 6 masathula oru thadavai vanthurum.

 ————————————————————————————————————

Mama 1: Neenga ‘With’ aa? Without’ aa??

Mama 2: Veetula ‘Without’! Veliyila ‘With’!

Mama 1: Athu yen appadi?

Mama 2: Veliyile ‘Without’ nna – konjam vayasu koodaraapla irukku.

Mama 1: Athanaala enna ippo? Health thane mukkiyam?

Mama 2: Health’ aa ? Neenga etha chollarel? Naan ‘pal set’ a patthi pesindu irukken!

Mama 1: Naasamaa pochu? Naan Kaapiya pathi ketten!!!!!

Aamaam, neenga With’ aa? Without’ aa???