Ever wondered why girls go “Cho chweet” every so often? Ever wondered what triggers them to howl “Aww”? Personally I believe them saying two normal words in such an extraordinary fashion is primarily to attract interest to their own selves. This has worn off, of course (with guys getting disillusioned and all that) but this has now shifted to even the non-fairer sex. It now probably means something like how many pictures do I have to comment before you’re going to comment similarly on mine/ how many do I have to comment on before I steal someone away from you. Such evil designs, where are the simpler times? So, Satiish and I have come up with a list of observed behaviour that seems to be the in-thing amongst most females these days which seem to have no rhyme or reason whatsoever.

 7. Too Many of those damned Smileys

This I’m pretty sure is a bit controversial, but there is a limit for everything. I’ve known people who get a full message only consisting of a number of oddly ordered smileys, which may mean anything from I’m deeply in love with you to I hate you, plain and square. Confusing eh?

 6. Machi

When and why have girls started calling each other Machi? My 10th standard cousin uses this word extensively. Such is the epiphany of the word. One small suggestion, why not Machini instead of Machi. For that is what is grammatically and politically correct. Surely in a while there are going to be Magalir Sangams up in arms fighting for such female rights.

 5. Cho chweet

Oh, we are 3 year old toddlers. We cannot pronounce So or Sweet. These overgrown babies seem to have the mental maturity of the infants they mimic when they go “Choooo cute” at most things they come across.

 4. Cling unto me, and you shall be salvaged.

These types just have to cling on to you when they talk, walk, eat and sleep. They are leeches incarnated, holding on to your elbows to make their point. The worse of this kind yell into your ears while holding on to your hands. If you haven’t met one of these specimens, think of yourself as blessed.

3. Awwwww

These are members of the Cho Chweet sorority. They need to make the Aww howl every time they see anything remotely cute. Wolfish, I know.

 2. Self Photography

This is all over Facebook. Remotely pretty girls photographing close ups of their remotely pretty faces, saturating the colours, photoshopping it to death and publishing the photos online only for other girls to say “Cho pretty” or go “Aww”.

 1. Hugs and Kisses

What is with hugging others bye? This surely wasn’t the trend a couple of years ago. Don’t even get me started on a bunch of girls hugging and posing for close up snaps.

The men are not far behind. They seem to have their own brand of the Cho Chweet phenomena.  Here are a few.

 6.Posing on Bikes

Guys posing on bikes convey all but one meaning – not that they have an awesome sports bike, not that it is an Avenger like what Simbu rides in Hosanna, not that his wheely doing skills are top notch but as a showoff whose love for bikes overtakes his potential interest in girls. Beware ye girls, of guys, their bikes and their nasty habit of flaunting what they ride.

 5. Extended relations

Is his sister your wife? Is your mother his sister? Have you given your daughter to him in marriage? Then why call others Mama, Machan and Maapla?

4. Pierced ears and coloured hair

Go jump inside the Coovum if you think you can attract girls this way.

3. Yo-man poses

Face it; baggy T shirts do not suit you. Nor do the oversized coolers. Please don’t scare us girls with zoomed in photos of you looking like a poochandi.

 2. Muscle men

You needn’t wear tight vests alone and roam in front of us to show off your gym body. You cannot match our Surya any day.

 1. The Sports Maniac

Many would disagree with me, but a bright red Manchester United jersey or a bright yellow Chennai Super Kings tee is so uncool. Pains my eyes.

There are a hundred more things that characterizes the youth of today. A hundred things trademark of us. Take a moment to let us know these traits you love or loathe.

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I am his big fan. His ability to do comedy on and off screen is very heartening. Of late, his comedy off screen has been extremely well received and talked about. Who else to have an imaginary interview with than our very own Vaigai Puyal Vadivel.  Hope this tête-à-tête has you in splits.

Sir, what do you wish to say about the outcome of the elections?

Naa apdiye shoke aaiten. Idhula edho ull naatu sadhi iruku!

En Sir, enna aachu?

Ellaarum adichaanga. Adhula oru pombala karate pazhagirupaa nu nenaikkuren. Andhaa dhadi mootu vechu ethinaa paarunga…

Neenga yen sir DMK ku first of all support paninga?

Election jeicha enaku panchu mittaiyum and Kuchi Ice um vaangi tharen naanga.

Asingama illa ungaluku?

But andha dealing enaku romba pudichurundhudhu

What is the reason for you staying with Mr. M. K. Alagiri at present?

Maapu, vechutangaya aapu.

What did you ask Mr. Alagiri regarding this?

En kitta irundha edhu da unna heavy ah like panna vechudhu nu keten.

What do you wish to say about this video?

Adhu vera vaai, idhu naara vaai.

What do you have to say regarding this picture of you doing the rounds in the internet?

Both DMK and the elections played the basketball in my life.

What do you think has brought you to this state?

Naa ready nu sonna odane, endha nerathula venalum attack pannunga. Adha naa epdi thadukarengaradha mattum parunga nu sonnen.  Endha oru vishayathayum plan panama panna ipdi dhaan. Plan panni pannanam. Okkk?

Could we expect the same behaviour from you for the next elections too?

This is drungen monkey style! It will repeat until Kalaingar comes to aatchi again!

What are your future projects? Can we expect to see you star in your very own production soon?

I am acting in my home production in 3 roles. The movie is called Lochak, Mochak, Pachak. I plan to release it at the same time as Raanaa. Raana vadhu gaanaa vadhu!

Sir, ipo unga sondha padam eduka mudila na what will you do?

Dubai la enodaya birathar Mark irukara. Avar kita aprasintha sendhupen.

When can we see you competing against Vijayakanth in the assembly elections?

Very soon. All plans are on for starting my very own katchi named Na.Ku.Mu.Ka. Naavaal Kuttichuvaraagum-makkal Munnetra Kazhagam. Kootani with DMK. Our chinnam is a medhu vadai. Here it is:

 

Erm alright. Now let us hold a mock poll as to who your vote would go to in the next general elections:

  • Na.Ku.Mu.Ka FTW!
  • Gaptun is the Captain!
  • Thaathaa
  • Aaathaa

Comment with your replies.

For all of you who have not followed the current pre and post election scenario, this video says it all.

Also, thanks to Aravind Chandrasekaran for helping me with this post.

Curiosity

May 16, 2011

He could not be called normal. One look at him and you could say that. Was it his longish hair? Or his pockmarked face? Or the fact that he always roamed alone? What was on his mind? What was he always contemplating about? Did he ever talk to anyone?

His parents were long dead. He lived with his Aunt. Nothing much to say about living with a 70 year old Aunt. She seldom talked too. Did they talk to each other? The neighbourhood wondered. Did she cook? Did he cook? Who did the laundry? Why did he not attend school? Why did the old lady never venture outside? Was there a conspiracy? Was he with the terrorists?

Word around was that they were black magicians. The old lady was a witch. She performed arcane rituals with the boy. They drank blood. They were cannibals.

Word around was that the old lady was not his Aunt. She was his grandfather’s mistress. His grandfather was a deceased Lieutenant. The boy was his daughter’s illegal offspring.

Word around was that the boy was on drugs. That explained his sunken eyes. That explained his want for isolation. The poor lady was said to be oblivious to the doings of her nephew.

Who were they? What was their source of income? Postmen never knocked their door. Maybe the old lady was rich beyond anyone else. Maybe the boy was her heir. Was there any way to measure or claim their wealth?

Then, the old lady died. As simply as I said. She died. The funeral was a lonely affair. The boy, the undertaker and the body. The funeral service lasted barely ten minutes.  The neighbours tsked as the boy entered the gates of his lonely home.

They watched as he shut himself in. And with it, all the answers to their questions.

A Vetti Post

May 13, 2011

I have mentioned this tangentially already. The range of usage of the word vetti is a pride to senthamizh. So wide its reach is that it would make our Kalaignar proud. Though it literally means “vain”, it is coupled amusingly with many words that bring out a different dimension to it. Here is a bunch of ways in which the word vetti makes my day.

It describes my state of being.

Like my Mom often admonishes, I am always vetti.  Vettiya computer ah thattindu irupaa ava, they say at my house if anyone asks of me. You guessed it, I am proud of being called vetti.

It describes the people I am jealous of.

Only I can be vetti ok. If someone out-performs me in something, what they do automatically becomes vetti velai.

And then there is Vetti Scene.

All scene is vetti scene. Partly because we do not like or approve of the scene party, the scene they put becomes to be called vetti.

Paavam, the animals.

I mean, vetti dog, vetti donkey, vetti erumai and other things we say when we want to wag our fingers at people’s faces.

To illustrate my point better, here are instances of vettiness that we come across everyday:

Sitting idle right in the morning waiting for coffee without asking for it comes under staying vetti.

Flicking your iphone once every 10 seconds right in the faces of people around you is putting vetti scene.

Calling your sibling a vetti erumai when they hog your TV time is using the word vetti to degrade a poor erumai.

I can go on and on about vetti examples to illustrate my vetti point in this vetti blog for you vetti people to read. Ha! There, I called you vetti.

Poor pranks apart, here is this vettiest thing I have seen. Just after the inception of a Tambrahmrage, there has been a peak in the levels of general vettiness with Gult Rage, Gujju Rage, Mallu Rage, Aamadmi Rage and so on. Damn you all, no one has started a Vettirage! Now that it is established that I am also vetti, the question may arise whether I cannot be the one to start Vettirage. Here is a very amateur, very mokka Vettirage comic drawn by low-funda-boy and me.

Dialogue courtesy : Dom Cobb in Inception

As it can be seen from the comic, I am very comically challenged. Readers are welcome to contribute to this rage. Use this to draw your comic. I will keep updating the post as the comics flow in.

I have to face it – I am getting famous. This blog is being read a lot. Thank you readers for that. The blog is also being liked a lot, which has taken me by surprise. To know that people read whatever I write and to think that my sense of mokka humour is appreciated flatters me.

Of late, many people are subscribing to this blog. This places me in a dilemma because my posts are wrought with errors. I never used to proofread before I post. Now I am extremely conscious – conscious of what I write and how I write it.

I would love your feedback on what I could write on. You can always mail me at ladyy.kedii@gmail.com. Yes, yes; the ID is nameologically and numerologically spelt. Also, after a lot of contemplation, I have joined twitter. My twitter handle is @LadyyKedii. You can follow me and tweet me your suggestions.

On a personal front, I feel my anonymity has been justified. Many of you know me very well. WordPress tells me that many of you google my identity. I like the mask I have created. I can assure you, I am a very normal girl to know and be friends with. I promise to keep you all entertained. Hope I have not disappointed you with my first personal post. Thanks for reading.

Mary Girls

May 3, 2011

All of us know of Peter payans. Peter’s feminine equivalent Mary is not that well known. Heck, it is not used at all in common lingo. I came to know of it when I was perusing a list of Madras Bashai words here. It triggered an urge to blog about Mary girls. I have been convent educated (that phrase used to make my Paati proud) for over 10 years. So I have all the authority to write about Mary girls who put scene, who use butler English, who are wannabe aapa-kaari’s and who want to marry rich. No wrong in any of the above. In fact, it’s a great source of amusement to observe their habits and to make fun of them. Continuing in that vein, here are Ten Commandments to become a Mary girl, for the sake of our female blog readers.

Commandment Ten

Thou shalt always have your hair stick straight or in artificial curls

The natural look is so passé. If you have inherent curls, straighten them and deprive them of their innate beauty. If you have straight silky hair that makes people go wow, declare your love for curls and go curl your hair. It’s a sin to have your hair not done.

Commandment Nine

Thou shalt not tie your hair

Blasphemy! Even if you do wear a ponytail, make sure there are stray strands falling all around your face. Your bangs should obstruct your vision. Your hair should never be cut even. Do not follow any kind of symmetry. It angers the gods.

Commandment Eight

Thou shalt carry a bag that resembles a sack

Remember Santa’s sack full of goodies? That is the kind of bag you should trudge along. And trudge it along with panache you should.

Commandment Seven

Thou shall rot in hell without Vaseline

Vaseline is your way to salvation. Your pouting lips should always be lip-balmed. Your skin should always be moisturized and toned and cleansed. A little tan or a little of flaky skin will land you right in hell.

Commandment Six

Thou shalt always smell like a cedar

Don’t be stingy with that deodorant. Follow it up with a body spray. Follow that up with an eau de toilette. And that should be followed by an eau de perfume.

Commandment Five

Thou shalt swear twice in every sentence you speak

Call every girl a bitch. Or a “biatch”. Address other women as females. Sprinkle the F-word generously amidst your phrases. Curse and admonish every time anything happens. That should be your way of life.

Commandment Four

Thou shalt colour your nails blue

Or green. Or bright purple. Or blood-red. Look like a witch. Behave like one too.

Commandment Three

Thou shalt dress like a gypsy

Wear beads. Lots of ‘em. Jingle and jangle as you move. Wear yellow framed coolers. Perch it up on your straightened and coloured hair. Pierce your ears four more times. My dad calls such species kuruvi kaari.

Commandment Two

Thou shalt sound as dumb as you possibly can be

Make everyone tell you things twice. Go “Oooh..” and “Aaah…” and “Sheesh!” and “Oopsie!” when you want to exclaim. Exhibit a lot of PDA’s. Cling to one and other and hold hands always. I know how this sounds…but this is really how it is!

Commandment One

Thou shalt marry rich

What is a Mary girl without her iPhone, or her pompous Yash Chopra type wedding? Strive to maintain your same standard of living by making others pay for you. That, my friend, is the true trait of a Mary girl.

With this post, Lady Kedi is going on vacations this summer. She’ll be back a little later. Meanwhile, wish her happy vacations and y’all have happy vacations too!

Tanglish For The Win

April 26, 2011

I cringe when people use blatantly wrong grammar. My cringing nears an epileptic seizure when they merge two languages, use bad grammar and kill two beautiful tongues. This phenomenon is popular by far in India. As much as we Indians pride our influence on good ol’ English giving rise to Indi-English, Hinglish and my favourite Tanglish, we really should not step over the line that separates the colloquy from the colloquial. Despite hard to follow rules, our modification of English gives rise to many a funny situations, few of which are very typical to Tamil serials. I say Tamil serials because that is where you get to hear phrases like “German ponaaru”, “marriage pannikitanga”, “youth people naanga”. I will go on to list flaws (yes, I love flaw finding. I will make an excellent mother-in-law some day) that are omnipresent. Although I go eeeks when I hear these, I cannot suppress an inward smile and that is why I want to share it with you all.

“I cannot able to…”

How simple is “unable to”? As I write now, I am in a mental dilemma whether “I cannot able to…” really is right. Look what the society has made of me!

“You ate, no?”

Typical Tamilian mentality. This always happens when you translate the Tamil inside your head to English verbatim. I cannot really mock people who do that since this particular sentence fragment bears the stamp of Lady Kedi’s trademark usage. I use it because it is so much in line with Tamil. And I use it only to people who know Tamil. Some justification that.

“Thalli nillunga, ladies irukanga.”

As a friend once pointed out, a sole lady is also “a ladies” to the Tamil gents. This has given rise to the popular phrase among “the youth people” – “Who is that ladies?”

“You know Tanglish?”

No, it’s a sin that will haunt us in all our seven births if we prefix a question with a “do”. Why do a “do” when you can raise your voice in the end instead? Why do a “do” when it’s not wrong not to do it? Ok, I will shut up.

Which reminds me of “Shut up your mouth, bad girl”. In school, we never said “Shut your mouth” or “Shut up”. We always had to combine both to show others we could speak big English sentences. Even after more than 10 years since 3rd grade, I am proud to see this trend continuing with the present 3rd graders.

Ungle and Anti.

Pay us a thousand rupees for every time we say this right, no, we can never call people Uncle and Aunty.

Enna Rascalaa

This goes over my head, always. All Hindi film stars say this when they associate themselves with our Tamil Film Industry. Are they mocking us? What does Rascalaa mean? Is this some poorly memed punch dialogue allegedly delivered by the Chuck Norris of South Indian Cinema? The answers elude me.

Plight / phant and liffstick

I cannot suppress making you read my poor pun: the plight of the flight. The F we cannot pronounce in “flight” comes out in full force when we say “pant” and in fuller force when we say “lipstick”

Yechoosme

I love this! It’s the Vadivelified version of “excuse me. While Amit’s (North Indian vetti scene parties living in and cursing singara Chennai) would prefer the more sophisticated “Excusez-moi”, I am a great fan of yechoosme in all its glory.

Bobby Ganesan

Found this conversation snippet on Facebook as a status update.

A: Mama, my treat da.

B: Enga da?

A: Bobby Ganesan da.

You could not have guessed it, Bobby Ganesan denotes Barbeque Nation. The comedy we are capable of!

While at it, I would like to bring to light a popular Twitter phenomenon. It was #kogul where Kogul is a Tamilicized version of Gokul. This Twitter list consists of all such words and makes a hilarious read. People who have names like I do (which are mercilessly slaughtered) will totally empathize with it.

Pour in your comments of such common, amusing and funny Tanglish phrases that will put a smile on our faces. Tanglish is what a part of our identity is – we might as well be proud of it!

Total Waste Management

April 16, 2011

I have never been much of a “management” person. Meaning – I have never been attracted to pursuing a career in management, entrepreneurship or human resource development. So when courses on management, finance and accounting are thrust upon me during the last year of college, it is only natural that I make a long face and try to ward off the bad elements. Try as I might, it is beyond my powers to change the syllabus or the professor who teaches it. Every time I start to study for my Total Quality Management paper, I go through extended periods of imagining how the principles of TQM could possibly be of use to me in my life. What results is such a blog post, full of twisted flawed versions of what Deming, Taguchi  and Ishikawa spent their whole life propagating.

For example, this is how I studied the 5W1H technique:

What is the problem? I hate TQM.

Where is it happening? Duh, in most undergrad’s life.

When is it happening? In a time when we are supposed to enjoy college life just when it is about to end.

Why is it happening? Pure bad luck.

How can you overcome this problem? Murder the professor? 

Who do you need to get involved? Someone who can teach me to learn this subject within the snap of my fingers.

When will you know you have solved the problem? Only when I pass this goddamned course.

Below is a tree diagram of how I typically study any subject. It has been slightly exaggerated to accommodate my mechanism of studying TQM.

Ever heard of PDCA? It’s the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. I remember it as a Pointless Dumb Chart to Annoy students.  It is one of the most useless things that people can make students study when it is evident that students excel more than anyone in planning, doing, checking and acting – all separately. I will attempt to explain it for you:

Plan – this video should make you realize the importance of proper planning.

Do – do whatever you have planned.

Check – check whatever you did.

Act – act upon whatever you checked.

Yes, this answer is worth 16 whole marks.

I pity the good-hearted Japanese who framed 5S – SEIRI, SEITON, SEISO, SEIKETSU and SHITSUKE. So much have we cursed them for making us study by heart random Japanese words. I have framed my own 5S principle to reflect the current Indian political mentality. If not now, I sincerely believe this is going to make me famous in the near future.

Sort  the amount of money you wish to swindle and allocate the rest, if any, for the upliftment of the people.

Set in order the account you maintain for yourself in an international bank, preferably the one in Switzerland.

Swindle as much as you can in your term so that there is nothing left for your successor. Make hay while the sun shines.

Shake off all that the people blame on you and fake probity at all times.

Shutting up is what you should never do. Thump on your chest and question anyone who questions you whether they love their native tongue as much as you do. That should settle all issues.

Now I have exhausted the little I studied for my exam. Hope you had a good read. Grow to love the concepts of TQM. Happy weekend!

Statement of Perception

April 9, 2011

Let us face it, all of us lie on our SOPs to some extent at least. We try sounding like wannabe passionate researchers adding to USA’s economy but end up sounding more like paava patta Indian student looking for an escape from the Indian education system. We go a further step to overdraw our mini projects and talk of them as potential publication material. Lady Kedi has been there, and Lady Kedi has done that. So she is attempting to write an inside story of what a typical Indian student’s purpose is. Only, she will call her SOP the “Statement of Perception” as it always is cast in a veil of manipulated purpose. So here it goes:

An idle mind is a researcher’s workshop

–         Anonymous

It is strongly believed that you get extra plaudits for a SOP if you start with a quote and hence, I am starting this SOP with a quote which reflects my attitude towards life. I am Lady Kedi and I wish to apply for graduate studies in your University. I have wanted to study in Berkeley, ever since I saw Vaaranam Aayiram. Besides that one main reason, I am told that the weather in California is very agreeable. Also, my mother thinks it’s the best place for me to spend the next few years of my life in. One can see middle aged Mamis putting vadams to dry in California, she says. That apart, Berkeley is said to be one of the top ranked universities and hardest to get into. Since I have always been a good student and because I always get what I want, I thought, why not apply to Berkeley.

When I say I am a good student, I am being very honest with you. I scored centum in Mathematics in High School. You should know that full marks are rarely given in the State Board stream, especially in Mathematics. This goes to prove my genuine interest in the subject and my aptitude for the same. It was only natural that I took up engineering after school because of my capability in the sciences as well as Mathematics. I am proud to say that I have meritoriously gained admission into a premier institution in India, which ranks only next to the Indian Institute of Technologies.

Right from my first semester as a freshman, I have shown immense interest in applying the theory learnt in class to practical day to day things. In my very first semester, I displayed a toy model of a gas stove at the Planetarium along with many kids from school. I went on to design various equipments in my second semester by referring many publications and passing the ideas off as my own. I learnt a new trick (of the trade), never cite references. The same way, I was able to publish one of my “works” in a leading Cambodian journal.

I also learnt to append my name in the works of others, especially when it was getting published in eminent journals. I am proud to say that I have 27 publications in just 6 semesters of my undergraduate study and 11 more are under review. I started working in a lab in my college where my sole responsibility was to make sure that no one used the Transmission Electron Microscope or the Gas Chromatography Column. I believe this has given me enough experience to handle both these equipments and I have always used them to generate more papers that I can publish in the future.

In the 5th semester of my undergraduate study, I learnt of a magic tool called curve fitting. If only I could somehow manipulate and find those few constants, I could publish even more! As it would be clear to you by now, I was an old hand at manipulation. I also discovered another useful trick – track the latest publications, apply the same for your process and get it published even sooner. In the interim, I developed the contacts of a few eminent professors, one of whom has promised to get me admitted into a third tier institution in the US.

I also stand the first in my class with a CGPA of 9.98. I was a 10-pointer for 4 consecutive semesters. The grading system is extremely rigid here and we are seldom questioned from our class notes. My CGPA goes to prove my intelligence in answering any type of question and also my unctuous smartness with the faculty.  I do not have any real aptitude towards research, but I can promise you at least 200 publications in my 2 years of study at your university. I wish to work under Prof. Paableish since he has 268 papers under his name. I already see a strong match of interest between us. I also would like to work under Prof. Hansum as he looks very cute and has just passed out of MIT. I would be very grateful if the graduate committee can recommend this application to Prof. Srinivasa Venkataramanan as he is my Aunt’s mother-in-law’s cousin’s brother-in-law’s son. Also, Mom says it is better to work under a vegetarian. I sincerely hope to get admitted.

Whatever has been said above, though not always entirely true, holds good for each of us. The more truth there is in it, the more reason for you not to study any further. The post is completely sarcastic and has not been written keeping any single person in mind. Thank you for reading all of it.

I come from a somewhat aacharam family. Cryptic though the title of the post is, I will highlight certain kinds of gastronomical behaviour very specific to the Tamil Brahmin community. I am sure everyone faces this kind of conduct wherever they belong. But since I know best about where I come from, I will proceed to write about the same.

Adhe Karandi

My dad and I think twice, nay thrice, before going out for dinner in a veg-cum-non-veg hotel before we put forward the plan to Amma. Once we diplomatically convince her about its quality and ambience, she will shriek, “Adhe karandi!  He will use the same ladle for both the veg and non-veg curries!” followed by an audible gasp. When we occasionally dine in Pizza Hut, we have to endure a constant lecture about the same karandis being used. I gently remind her that Pizza Hut is an international food joint and they probably are neater than we are at home. She will shoot at me her trademark glare. Once, she had an ice cream in McDonald’s. Adhe karandi, I reprimanded her. Ice cream ku enga di karandi, she shot back. These mothers!

Brinji, Biriyani, Kuruma, Parotta

Let me drop a suggestion: never utter these words at my place. My mom will frown and nod along to whatever you say, but mentally she will be disapproving of your vocabulary and your taste in healthy food. Krish Ashok had written an extensive post on the same. I refrain from linking you to it for the fear that he may get notified again. See comments on my very first post to know what I am talking about.

Echal and Paththu

Another fetish as far as food is concerned. This time, it’s about how you consume it. Echal refers to basic hygiene while eating – one does not eat what was or is being eaten by others, which I am totally ok with. Nevertheless, it does slightly irritate when Amma tsk-tsk’s when I share a Coke with my sister or eat a murukku half eaten by her. Paththu refers to separating and ensuring that items that spoil easily and items that stay fresh longer do not touch each other when you keep them all together at the dinner table. I know, it is complicated and I always mix them up. It gets even more difficult to follow when you have to wet your hands (symbolical of washing them) after you touch items of one of the categories before you touch the items belonging to the other. By now, you would know how futile an exercise it is. I tell my Mom too. And end up getting one of her famous glares.

No to Onions and Garlic

Negative kriya it seems. These vegetables instill a negative aura in you. Or so it is being said. My paternal great-grandfather never used to eat cabbage or mushroom, because the former is called muttaikose in Tamil (muttai-egg) and the latter nai-kodai (dog’s umbrella). My maternal grandfather, a sastrigal, bellows at the mention of garlic. For me, the smell of garlic rasam is irresistible. For him, it is equivalent to the smell of half-cooked meat. Sorakkai or bottle gourd has not been spared either. Not being able to make any correlations between its English and Tamil names, I ask my father why it has been ostracized. He says it may be because it has all the nutrients that meat has. Makes me wonder why egg-plant has been conveniently forgotten.

Sesha Saapadu

Sesha saapadu refers to the entire fare done on the occasion of Devasam. I love it. If you are in the mood to binge on food, this is tailored to suit your need. It covers every gustatory taste possible – without onion, garlic or chilli. So, how much ever you eat, you always get up feeling good about eating that much. Here too, we have a strange tradition whose roots I could not trace. The whole of Devasa samayal is to be cooked using brass utensils only. Even Mom and Dad don’t know why.

Navarathri Sundal

One reason why even the guys love Navarathri is because of the various sundals they get to eat. All through my 20 Navarathris, I have never once seen the sundal getting over in any house. And the largest amount of sundal I get always is the karamani sundal that I hate and never the channa sundal that I love. My ingenious neighbor had the idea of whipping up her own recipe of sundal sambhar from all her sundal collections. Since she was very generous about how much she gave us just for a taste, you should know how good (or otherwise) it tasted.

I am not sure whether I like or do not like people I live with adhering to the above said habits. I do not like to follow it for sure. But they are an integral part of my life here. In a way, they go a long way in making what I am today, as all traditions do. If you have any such conducts or behaviours running in your family, do comment below and share them with our readers.