Sunday, November 21, 2010

Brahmin girls and Bengali sweets- Marriages are made in heaven [Part 2]

It's a long time since we had a get-together… Although not everyone was present, I could see a number of known faces. My classmates, my buddies of the most precious 4 years of my life, the ones who slapped me hard out of my dumb perception of life- they're here. And the next 24 hours is gonna be full of joy and laughter and it's gonna go fast. The only one who will end up unhappy is the புது மாப்பிள்ளை…

I bet this is how people will start feeling after meeting their college-buddies after a couple of years of college, scattered around in many places and getting back together for the most anticipated wedding celebration of the unluckiest candidate. The things that caused me to write this post are, however, many.
  1. Venkatraman of my class whose ambition in life is to get married[?!] ASAFP.
  2. Venkatraman of my class [yeah, the same guy] who wants to marry an Iyengar girl [எவ்ளவோ சொல்லி பாத்துட்டேன்… கேக்க மாட்டேன்றான்].
  3. Iyengar girls who, most of the time, piss him [and me] off!
  4. Kailash Mahadevan, who permitted me to use his name here.
It's an imaginary story of a marriage, and the proceedings of the marriage in my style. So,
    If you can't read tamil, please get help from someone.
    If you're not a Brahmin, please get help from someone [Not to convert you, but to translate].

கல்யாணத்துக்கு முந்தின நாள்- 4 pm

I went to the Kalyana mandapam- it was huge and well decorated with serial lights. I didn't want to look like a fool inside, alone. So, I waited for someone to give me company. And there he was, Kailash, with a box- neat and gift-wrapped. Venkat's mother welcomed us and we went in [வேறெதுக்கு? Tiffin-க்கு தான்]… Peculiar! Those who served, had a red stripe on their foreheads, just like I did. I asked Kailash of the matter.

Kailash: விஷயம் தெரியாதா? பொண்ணு உங்க ஆளு டா- Iyengar …
Me: என்னது!!!!
Kailash: ஏன் அனாவசியமா jerk உடற? பத்திரிகைய பாக்கலியா??
Me: பத்திரிகையா?

I took out the pathrika from my bag. And lo! I hadn't noticed it. Just like missing out a "MERE ATTEMPT" question in my 10th public exam, I missed this out as well. சொன்ன மாதிரியே iyengar பொண்ண மடக்கிட்டான் Venkat…
The pathrikas of Brahmins scare the shit out of me. If Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were to get married [In Brad Pitt Style: That's one big "IF"], the invitation would be something like

Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt
Cordially invite you to their wedding at
St. Louis Church, Chicago, Illinois

But a Brahmin pathrika would have some things like these
  • Half the pathrika is filled with images of Gods and statements like
    ஸ்ரீ பூமிநீளா சமேத ஸ்ரீ லக்ஷ்மீ ந்ருசிம்ஹ பரப்ரம்ஹணே நம:
  • Then comes a statement which is roughly translated into English as "சௌக்கியமா?", but it's unnecessarily sanskritised and reads
  • The time of the event is referenced to the Greenwich meridian time. So it goes like
    விரோதி வருடம் ஆவணி மாதம் மூல நக்ஷத்ரம் கூடிய சுபயோக சுபதினத்தில் நாழிகை 3.14159265-க்கு மேல் 8.00031256-க்குள்....................
    If you haven't noticed, the first number is the numeric constant 'pi'… Brahmins just tend to be extremely accurate on details [an 8-digit precision is observed].
  • The names of the bride and groom are prefixed with the most confusing details

அடியேன் தமையனார் வேலாமூர் தண்டந்தோட்டம்
ராமகிருஷ்ணனின் பௌத்ரியும்
என்னிடம் 200 ருபாய் கடன் வாங்கிய கேசவ Iyengar-இன் தௌஹித்ரியும்
ஸ்ரீ சௌந்தரின் புத்ரியுமான

அஞ்சலி [எ] Angelinavai
மடிப்பாக்கம் வெங்கடேச Iyengar-இன் பௌத்ரனும்
K.K.P.N.X.Y.Z. புரம் ஸ்ரீனிவாச Iyengar-இன் தௌஹித்ரனும்
கொஞ்சம் பயந்த சுபாவமுள்ள ஸ்ரீ ரெங்கநாதனின் புத்ரனுமான

வரதராஜன் [எ] Brad-kku

கன்னிகாதானம் செய்துகொடுப்பதாய் ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. பிரார்த்திக்கிறேன்.
  • After all these perpetual, mooted criminal statements, comes the tag
    வாசக தோஷ க்ஷமதவ்ய: [which means "Please forgive us for any errors"]
    If God was really impartial and just, he'd not forgive the person who wrote all these [Not me]…

Finished the idlies, upma and kesari… Washed my hands and went to see the victim- Venkat boy.
He, on the contrary was totally happy and cool. Even a person with previous experience would have been a little more anxious. But not Venkat…

Me: மாமா!!!!!!!!! டேய் இப்போ தான்டா கவனிச்சேன். பொண்ணு iyengarame? சொல்லவே இல்ல?
Venkat: மாமா இல்லடா... இன்னிக்கு நான் மாப்ள. நாங்கல்லாம் சொன்ன சொல் தவறாதவங்க…
Me: Anyhow, நல்லா இருந்தா சரி…
Venkat: என்னது??!!
Me: நீங்க ரெண்டு பேரும் வாழ்க்கைல நல்லா இருந்தா சரின்னு சொன்னேன்…
Venkat: நல்ல வேள…

There was this list of events à Jaanavaasam, Nishchayathaarttham, Kanganam…

Time: 7 pm
Then, Western style reception. Met some of my classmates and had quite a time with them. Balaji came to the premises and we all stood in line and gave our friend, the gifts we had brought. Bajji advocated that he wanted to give Venki something useful. So, he gave him a digital photo frame. I brought a gift cheque for Rs.2000. And I still believe that money is the most useful gift to give anyone. This way, they can really USE the gift [For the record, every couple receive as gift, at least 500000 clocks on their wedding day. And then they spend the rest of their life giving them away].

Went downstairs for dinner. Waited for about half-an-hour before the பந்தி cleared. Sat down and watched, as men were actively placing items on my plantain leaf. At one point, a small oval sweet was placed on my leaf and it was the last piece on the server's plate.

Me: என்னது டா இது?
Kailash: Rasamalai, I think…
Me: Ooooh [Ate it hastily]
Bajji: ஏன்டா இவ்ளோ அவசரம்??
Me: Bengali sweet அண்ணா… உடனே சாப்டுடணும்! தெரியாதா?
Bajji: அது 1 நாள் வரைக்கும் தாங்கும் டா…

When the server got back with his plate full, I got my next rasamalai… [SWEET MANIACS BEWARE!]

Time: 8. 30 pm
After all the hullabaloo was over, the 3 of us had a conversation on the rooftop. There, it started.

Bajji: இந்த காலத்து Brahmin பொண்ணுங்க கல்யாணத்துக்கு போடுற conditions இருக்கே… யப்பப்பா! சொல்லி மாளாது.

Me: ஆமாம் அண்ணா… மஹா கொடுமை… இதுல என்ன விஷயம்னா, அவங்க கேக்கற condition-க்கு எல்லாம் ஒத்துப்போற மாதிரி இந்த உலகத்துல ஏதோ ஒரு மூலைல எவனோ ஒரு பையன் இருக்கான். அவன் வந்து அவங்களையெல்லாம் காப்பாத்திடறான்…

Kailash: என்னடா சொல்றே?

Me: Recent-ஆ ஒரு பொண்ண போய் பாக்க… Sorry sorry… பொண்ணாத்துக்காராளோட பையனாத்துக்காராள் [pointing to myself] casuala chat பண்ண போயிருந்தோம். அந்த பொண்ணு ஓரளவு silenta தான் இருந்தா. பெரியவா எல்லாத்தையும் பேசட்டும்னு கேட்ட கேள்விக்கு மட்டும் பதில் சொல்லிண்டிருந்தேன்.

Bajji: அப்புறம்??

Me: பொண்ணு கடைசியா என்கிட்டே கேட்டா பாரு…
Enna padicchirukkeenga? B.E.
B.E enga? GCT, கோவை
MS padicchirukkalame? ஓ படிச்சிருக்கலாமே…
Foreign poi work pannirukkeengala? இல்ல. இங்கியே Ashok Leyland-ல decentana சம்பளம்  வாங்கிண்டிருக்கேன்…
Foreign-la settle aara madhiri idea irukka? இல்ல. அப்டி எந்த ஐடியாவும்  இல்ல. I'm satisfied here.
Sorry enakku MS padicchu US-la veedu vecchirukkara maappilla dhan venum.

Kailash: அடேங்கப்பா!!

Me: அதுக்கு நான் என்ன சொன்னேன்னு கேளு...
    "MS படிச்சுட்டு US-ல வீடு வெச்சுண்டிருந்தா நான் ஏண்டி உன்ன கல்யாணம் பண்ணிக்கறேன்??"னு சொல்லிட்டு குடிச்ச coffee-க்கு 100 ரூபாய கீழ வெச்சுட்டு திரும்பி பாக்காம வந்துட்டேன்…

Bajji: மானஸ்தன்டா நீ!

Me: மானஸ்தன எந்த பொண்ணு அண்ணா கல்யாணம் பண்ணிக்கறா?

Kailash: Bajji na, உங்களுக்கோ கல்யாணம் ஆயிடுத்து… இனிமே இதெல்லாம் பத்தி உங்களுக்கென்ன கவலை?? நீ மேல சொல்லு மச்சான்...

Me: அந்த பொண்ணு வருந்தணும்னோ, மன்னிப்பு கேக்கனும்னோ நான் அத பண்ணல. ஆனா அவ சொன்னது என்னன்னு அவளுக்கே புரியறதுக்கு முன்னாடி வந்துட்டான் ஒரு பையன் – South Carolina University-ல MS படிச்சவனாம். Buffalo, New York-ல வீடு.

Bajji: Buffalo??

Kailash: உன்ன compare பண்ணா 'Buffalo'வே மேல்னு சொல்லாம சொல்லிட்டா… Ha ha ha!

Me: இதுக்கு மேல என்ன பண்ண சொல்றே??

Kailash: நம்ம அப்பா அம்மாவ தான் டா சொல்லணும். பொண்ணுக்கு 20 வயசான உடனே alliance பாக்க ஆரமிக்கறாங்கல்ல? அதே மாதிரி பையனுக்கும் பாத்தா என்ன கேடு?

This is when I started to explain to him, the laws of Brahmin parenthood.

When a baby is born to a Brahmin couple, most people think it's a physical change for the mother. True. But few think about the fathers. When the sex of the child is determined [by God or by genes], the brain of the father undergoes dramatic change.

Brain of a person who has a daughter
Brain of a person who has a son

That's because male children start thinking for themselves, while girl-children don't.


Dad: Hey kutti, let's go to the market…
Girl [age:5]: Yay! You should buy me ice-cream then!
Dad: Chellam, daddy's suddenly got a back pain now. We'll go some other time…
Girl: Boohoo [starts crying]

Dad: Hey kutti, let's go to the market…
Boy [age:5]: ஏன், தனியா போக பயமா இருக்கா?
Dad: I'll buy you ice-cream. Will you come then?
Boy: Done!

So, when the girl grows up, her parents are always in track of her growth- like measuring her height everyday with an inch-tape. But couples usually forget the complete existence of the child if it's a boy. So, it's only after some relative of theirs ask them "உங்க பையனுக்கு எப்போ கல்யாணம்?" that they look at each other and say, "அச்சச்சோ! மறந்தே போயிடுத்தே!!". On coming back, they would notice that their son has grown much and only if he starts showing signs of aging [like white hair], they'd start looking for a bride. Otherwise they'll forget the boy again. [And ladies, that's precisely why we start growing white hair. For the record, Venkat started it when he was 15 years old, Kailash 19 years, and me?? At 11].

We slept there in a room, specially allotted for friends. Woke up early in the morning and got dressed up. While Kailash and I bared the elements to bath in cold water, Bajji somehow got hot water.

கல்யாணத்து அன்னிக்கு- 7 am

Then the wedding procedures went on…

Venkat got an extra set of Poonals, then garland-exchange, Kasi-yatra, panigrahanam, mangalya dharanam, oonjal, sapdhapadhi, then ammiya midhi… We, as usual, threw the அக்ஷதை on Venki's head and hurried down for breakfast. பந்திக்கு முந்து!!! We were having a splendid breakfast and just when I was thinking how hard it is for an iyer boy and an iyengar girl to get along, there came a person with a large bucket in his hand.

Server: அண்ணா, சாற்றமுது?
Bajji: என்னது?!
Me: ரசம் அண்ணா…
Bajji: ஓஹோ ரசமா?? Hmm, கொஞ்சமா…

Next server: திருக்கண்ணமுது??
Kailash: அப்டீன்னா??
Bajji: Let me guess. பாயசம்?
Me: Bingo!

Venkat's gonna have some rough time ahead!

We went back to the marriage hall and were about to take leave, when Venkat compelled us to stay. Bajji went on with some work of his and so, Kailash and I decided to fall back.

There were many old ladies, weeping, sobbing. The only happy face there was that of the father of the bride.

Me: டேய், இதென்ன கல்யாண வீடா, இல்ல எழவு வீடா? அநியாயத்துக்கு அழறா?
Kailash: ஆனந்தக்கண்ணீராம்!!!
Me: மண்ணாங்கட்டி! தனக்கு வெச்சு குடுத்த புடவை colour புடிக்கலேன்னு அழறா. அங்க பாத்தியா? பொண்ணோட அப்பா மட்டும் தான் சிரிச்சுண்டிருக்கார்.
Kailash: இருக்காதா பின்ன? இனிமே அவருக்கு பதிலா Venkat அழப்போறான்!!

In the evening, there was the நலங்கு part of the function. They newly-wed were rolling a coconut to and fro… And an old lady was singing the verses of வாரணம் ஆயிரம் [The original one; not the Gautam Menon movie crap]. Then the bride and the groom sang a song each. Even Venki got a "பேஷ் பேஷ்!!" from one of the பெருசுs sitting there. After that, Kailash went to help a small kid lift a heavy plastic bag. After he was done, the kid said "Thank you மாமா". Laughing at that, I wanted to try my own hand. A cute young girl was trying to open a suitcase whose keys she might have lost [Theorem: In every wedding, someone loses the keys to his suitcase]. I tried several keys of my own, and at last the case opened. The girl said, "Thank you uncle" and went off with the suitcase. Uncle!! Uncle?? Do I look like an uncle? She was hardly 3-5 years younger than me and she called me Uncle! I turned back only to find Kailash enjoying it…

இனி என்ன? கெளம்ப வேண்டியதுதானே?? Went to Venkatraman to sign off. But now, he got scared- REALLY scared! இருக்காதா பின்ன? Like Leonidas in 300, i said to him,"Tonight's the night you become a man da!". "மச்சான், tension-ஆ இருக்குடா!", he said. Laughing at that, Kailash and I came out of the mandapam, after informing Venkat's parents. "வந்து நடத்தி குடுத்ததுக்கு ரொம்ப thanks பா", his dad said. "நாங்க ஒண்ணுமே பண்ணல uncle. And சொல்ல மறந்துட்டோம். சாப்பாடு பிரமாதம்!", I added.

Then, went to the railway station to catch a train to my place. Kailash accompanied me. Bought a bottle of drinking water and sat on a corner seat of the empty unreserved coach. "டேய், தேவையில்லாம இன்னிக்கு அங்க தங்கிட்டோம்டா. காலைலயே கிளம்பியிருக்கலாம்… கட்டுசாதம் கட்டி குடுத்து அடிச்சு வெரட்டுறதுக்கு முன்னாடி கெளம்பிட்டோம், நல்ல வேள…"

I took out my mobile and touched the facebook app on the screen. The page opened and I had 18 notifications. On top was Venkat's… இந்நேரத்துல facebook-ல என்ன பண்றான்?? There it was-

Venkatraman Renganathan: Thank you all for making my wedding so memorable… But only now I feel tensed and nervous- just like my first semester [If you know what I mean]… ;)
Like . 6 persons . View all 44 comments

I showed it to Kailash. "வெவஸ்த கெட்டவன்டா அவன்…", he said. "ஒரு மணி நேரத்துக்கு ஒரு தடவ update போடாம இருந்தா சரி!", said I…

The train blared and Kailash waved me off… I could think of only two things- Brahmin girls and that Bengali sweet. And even more intriguing was the question-"Do I really look like an uncle??"


  1. Excellant.. :) I dont have words to explain.. :) it was just like attending Venki's Real wedding.. :P But unga Jolly ku enakkum kalyanam ayiduchu nu sollitiye da :(..

  2. Actualla SSS profile-la enna kalaaicchadhukkapram unga kalyaanattha theme-a vecchu ezhudhanumngradhu dhan plan...

    But Venkiya vecchu ezhudhina innum comedy-a irukkum... Adhan...

  3. Sema sooper da dei..... :)
    Apadiye Venkat oda kalyanatha nerla partha mathiriye irukku!!!! kadasila Facebook Update Chance eh illa!!!! ;) :D

    Unnoda Bodhai ku Avana oorkaai aakitiye!!! ;)
    Bhesh.. Bhesh... romba nalla irukku!!!! :D

  4. Thanks da machan... Waiting for Venkat's "aalu" to see this!!!

  5. dont feel guys en kalyaana pathrikai ellarkum kudupen.... moi vekkaama endha naayum veliya poga mudiyaadhu.... only one correction ... ponnu iyengar illa iyer dhaan enna maadhiri... yen da naan oru iyengar veetu kalyaanathukku poi jollu vittuttu vandhu oru romantic dialogue pesina adhukku ipdiyaa da blog ezhudharadhu !!! i accept iyengars r far beautiful. but i will stick to my customs only.

  6. and one more thing naan interview la kooda nervous, tension aaven but not during ************** ... i am confident enough .... hope u guys get it.

  7. 1. Let's just hope so...
    Just reminding you of your mom's words- "It ain't wrong until it's between a man and a woman"

    2. Who the f**k told you that iyengar girls are beautiful??
    Nee etthana Iyengar kalyanatthukku poyirukke? Naan etthana iyengar kalyanatthukku poyirukken??

    3. And for the last part, Nee kalyanam-nu sonnale "jatti"ya eeramakkiduve! Confident enougha?? Your "confident" won't be enough da... :P

  8. What an imagination......! Chanceless........! Seems like briefing every event of real marriage of him...EXCELLENT da...

  9. Thanks machi...
    Will you giv me a chance to write one about yours??:P

  10. super da..venkatraman patthina perfect whistleblower nee dhan nu prove pannita...but balaji annava family man aakinadhu konjam kooda kashtama illa..sema jolly matterae adhu dhan..eppadiyo aandava,jatti eeram aayidanum..

  11. Thanks da...:)
    Actually, andha "Ponnu paakura accident"a unna vecchu ezhudhalamnu nenacchen. But i thought it'd be offensive. So, last minute-la i switched places of you and me. And i have another version where we 3 chat in Bajji's wedding. Exclusive footage...:P

    PS: Jatti matter veliya 'leak' aaga aaramicchadhukkappram avan 'diaper' use panna aaramicchuttan. Ushaar!!

  12. I am struck hard as seeing a KB sir's film. Hats off. I am satisfied as if i have attended his marriage.

    Thanks for the wonderful Blog

  13. Thank you...:)

    KB sir range-nu solradhellam konjam over...
    But definitely, i'll work hard to achieve such excellence as KB sir...

    Thanks for your comment da...

  14. Very interesting.Good knock for VENKI.
    He would never ever open his mouth about MARRIAGE WITH AN IYENGAR GIRL.........:)

    You are to your world but i do wish to tell u something.
    What you had told about girls in the blog is wrong.
    Because NOW A DAYS girls do not prefer guys working or settled in abroad esp US due to the RECESSION AND ECONOMIC CRISIS da.......

    Girls are very cautious in selecting their life partner SIR.....:)

    And ACHYU i wish you become a FATHER for a SON BECAUSE.......................

    YOUR are a very good writer. I felt as if VENKI got MARRIED........

    MY wish is that you write a comedy and fun filled story about VENKI so that we could present to his IYENGAR WIFE on his wedding day.

    @VENKI sorry da you are not only a comedy piece for your class guys but also for all girls of our college da.........:)

    Really superb I always find pleasure in reading your blogs.... You write both comedy and serious blogs but atlast everything gets clicked....:)


  15. i just want my friends to remember me for their whole life time .. so do whatever u want ... but remember one thing, my future wife will know everything about me even before my marriage like unnalae unnalae - tanisha... also 1000% sure that ma wife will be an iyer like me and so all your efforts will definitely go in vain ...
    and 1 more thing to say:
    enna daan hip hop girls aah irundaalum juice vaangi tharen nu sonna, naakka thonga pottu varuvaanga ... avangala epdi madakkanum nu engalukku theriyum ... achyu pongi ezhu !!!

  16. Correction... Namakku theriyum!!:)

  17. ultimate!!! \m/ Am gonna recommend more readers to this blog :) Great work!!!!

  18. really funny!!!may i know why u hate iyengar girls!!

  19. Why else?? Iyengar girls hate me. That's why... ;)

  20. Brilliantly written!!!

    Donno how i missed such a wonderful funny thanglish blog!!

  21. பத்து நிமிஷம் சிரிக்க வெச்சதுக்கு நன்றி!

  22. Hei again a good work da:) Nice 1 Nejamave oru kalyanathuku pona feeling and that emotions of a boy child n a girl child sooper da:) I have that experience so 100% agree with u ........... Then coming to the point ni mattum rendu rasamalai sapten nu solraye padikaravaalukum konjam tharanum nu akkara iruka.....?????????:) Jokes apart nice1 da liked it:) Expecting more from u............:) and after marriage immediately after the kannigadhaanam konjam vivarichirkalam. adhuvum main part where a girl gets mentally prepared to enter a new life n new family.............:) Thanks for taking us for a wedding da:)