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Being a Tambram – part 2.

…and once the boy’s family gets into the car, the gossips start. When the Groom’s mother says “nalla madhiri iruka, ponnu dhan konjam modern a teriyara..”* and the “BOY” being Amma’s boy immediately responds (Tambram boys are always Amma’s boy, PERIOD.. so please don’t even bother changing it or questioning why) “Amam ma, aana kalyanathuku apparam maridiva..* (U mean from human to a robot?) .. As this goes on in the car, back at the girl’s house, the gossips are ever more detailed..”Amma, he looks so traditional, look at his viboothi* and his haircut and im not too sure if we shd go forward, I would like to meet him again and understand him better” (yeah that’s how love blooms sweet heart) says the girl but her dad is quick to react.. “Adhellam onnum illai, chamatha irukaaan. kalyanam aana seri pannidelam* (what seri pannidelam, uve been saying this dialogue about the tube light in our house for 10 years and it’s still not alright dad).. ‘nalla kudumbam, nalla sambadhikeran* (Yeah, that’s more like it, now ur talking dad..!)… And the Athai screams… “eppo date paarkelam, seekirum paaru da, neraiyya velai iruku.. sastrigala poi paathudelam…”* ( yeah right, im sure you have loads of work athai, selecting ur sarees and matching clips/bangles and flowers to it..!! and the chithi adds to the fuel “Aamam anna, mandapam kedaikarthu, paiyyan kedaikartha vida kashtam..”* (Yeah true, coz so many other joker families have booked it too, so we are in queue…). And the amma says “Let her decide, it is her life”.. Ah, no wonder mothers are mothers..!!

After all this tamasha and gossips, comes the next part.. Informing the world about it! Tambrams have a unique knack of spreading information; It is so powerful that it’s high time they copyright it. The athai’s are always the loud speaker at any TamBram family. They are the official reporters of TBC (Tam Bram Channel). The minute the alliance is fixed, the news travels faster than light. From the mama’s and chithappa’s in aminjikarai to the cousins working their butts off in America for a flew $, everybody is informed that there is a wedding in the family. Don’t get carried away by these US Tambrams, all they gift is a T-shirt that looks more like five for a dollar kind and in all probability would have got manufactured in tirupur and yes not to forget the ten Hershey’s mini chocolates per family neatly stapled after taking some to give the neighbours.

The girl’s family is busy scooting around for the mandapams from adyar to annanagar, from Mylapore to Mandaveli. Just one small condition, It has to be reasonable but should accommodate the size of a cricket stadium. That’s right; Tam-Brams are big hearted people. They invite every human they knew from the time they were born. Suddenly everybody become a relative. “Appa, I have not even heard of this Rajalakshmi maami before, why is her name on the list?” asks the girl. The Appa is quick to respond.. “Illai kondhai, she is the mother of chellappa mama who is the ammanji of raman who is the co-brother of ambi who is the brother of lalli chithi who is my cousin”.. (WHAT?!?! I need oxygen, pls!! I’m running out of breath here and a rope too…)

A wedding is the time, where all the various relatives come together’ (read together as the ones in a parliament) in the Tam Bram household. It becomes a mini assembly of its own. With everybody voicing their opinions and suggestions, a decision is never taken alone. The influence of a mama or an athai is always there. PERIOD. The paati of the girl (Read it as Father’s mother) makes sure every relative of her age is invited (Dead or Alive) and nobody is left out, if we do, it becomes a national news.

Well I can go on and on an on about Tam Brams , but now that u read the two blogs im sure u got a fair idea about what we are 🙂 so next time when u see a Mr/Ms subramanian or a Narayanan or a Ramakrishnan, plzzz give a smile 🙂 🙂

English translations

1.“nalla madhiri iruka, ponnu dhan konjam modern a teriyara..” – Nice family but the girl looks a bit modern

2. “Amam ma, aana kalyanathuku apparam maridiva..” True mom, she will change after marrying me

3. “viboothi pattai” – Holy ash on ur forehead

4. “Adhellam onnum ille, kalyanam aana seri pannidelam” – Nothing like that dear, we will make him alright.

5. “nalla kudumbam, nalla sambadhikeran” – good family, he earns good dough.

6. “eppo date paakelam , seekirum paaru da, neraiyya velai iruku…” – When do we see the date for the wedding? There is so much work I have to do.

7. “Aamam anna, mandapam kedaikarthu, paiyyan kedaikartha vida kashtam..” – Yeah bro, getting a mandap is more challenging than getting a groom.

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