Friday, October 12, 2007

Why odd numbers are never perfect?

Starting today would be the nine day assault of the digestive system and the beginning of chickpea induced woes.

Sundal, odd numbered padis, maamis, Devi Kritis, pattu podavais, stainless steel dabbas, fancy thamboolam pais, and did I mention Sundal?


M Manni is having a kolu too. Amma is happy.
M Manni is going to have only three padis. Amma is not so happy.
At least five padis should have been kept, the maamiyaar says.
Undoubtedly T Anna will click pictures of each padi and send it to us. I suggested to amma that it might be incorrect to photograph the gods and goddesses. She does not think so, and tells me that we love kolu pictures as much as we love Amman films.

Most worrying this is.

But really, I don’t like the festival very much. For one, it goes on forever. Then there is all that singing that one needs to do. S - the little sister and astute mathematician tells me that every ponnu/maami must be on an average - visiting eighteen houses. These visits are typically spread across three or four days. These houses can be classified into three categories:
- The 7 to 11 padi household - few
- The 3 to 5 padi household – several
- The no padi household – most

The complexity and rarity of the raagam and song that you pick is governed very often by the number of padis in the house. For example, if you are going to a type 3 house, you normally get away with the very common Srichakraraja Simhasaneswari in Raagamalika. Type 2 means, you pick something like Maamavatu Sri Saraswati in Hindolam. In the rare instance that you went to a Type 1 house you sing the Navavarnam of Sri Kamalambike, the complexity accentuated by the fact that you sing in a different raagam depending on the day.

I do like music and even singing, but now that I am older and not in regular touch with music, it is not very easy. The voice is rusty and the words don’t roll out as easily. As a teenager, amma would make sure that I was better turned out than the daughters of other maamis for these occasions. Now she focuses on S, who anyway is made for such an occasion. It is mostly annoying when teenage girls will correct your singing. Even though I am sure that I must have been one of them myself.

But certainly the worst part about this festival is the assault of the digestive system. One year’s protein requirement of an individual is attempted to be consumed over nine days. Amma will proudly show us her culinary skills by sundalifying anything that can be and sometimes not. Cooked too much at times or too poorly at other times, it is most annoying to eat them. And the generous garnish of coconut doesn’t help either. If that is not bad enough, G Periamma will also come with a big bowlful of Sundal in the evenings. And coincidentally, it would be the same sundal that amma has made.

Whose Sundal is better, amma will demand to know?

This year shall be no different. I have prepared myself with adequate number of antacid strips.

Amma wants to know if she should make extra Sundal so that I take it to office! NO, I warn her.

I think she will have her revenge planned over the next few days.

Sometimes I wish that T Anna was in Madras too. Amma could have had more occasions to play maamiyaar and spare me of some of her evilness.

Amma also wants to know what new thing I will start during Vijayadashami day. I tell her that at age twenty-four there are very little things that I can start.

She thinks that I should start studying Maths and enroll for some GRE tutorial classes.

I ask her why she thinks that I must study for GRE exams. So that you score high marks, she tells me matter-of-factly.

I am baffled. S tells me that this was Indira Maami’s suggestion. Apparently, since I have no hope of getting a job outside of Madras city, my only option is to study some obscure course. This I believe will fool some man into thinking that my job attractiveness and resultant financial worthiness shall improve -- making me more marriageable.

I should have married that North Indian Bhaskaran fellow. Sigh.

Indira Maami has invited me to the Kolu in her house. I must kill her. Or better still, I must woo her son – Vasanth. Rather dull fellow, but he shall just be the means to an end. And besides, he must be one of the few people who is under thirty, single, male and not destined to get a job in any other city besides Madras. Wonder why nobody saw this until now?

I will sing songs to woo him. That will work. Which one though? I need to be subtle, like a good Tamizh Ponnu. May be something in Vasantha Raagam. Andhi mazhai pozhigiradhu? Illayaraja + Vairamuthu + Rain + Cashew in Indira’s Garden -- what Tamizh Payyan can resist that?

Well what did you expect anyway? Today is day 1 of Navratri, celebrating Shakti after all. And it is a nine-day long arduous journey, interspersed with several cups of semi boiled pulses to gain supreme wisdom.


anantha said...

May be something in Vasantha Raagam. Andhi mazhai pozhigiradhu? Illayaraja + Vairamuthu + Rain + Cashew in Indira’s Garden, what Tamizh Payyan can resist that?

What's subtle in that? It's a duet, no? Besides how are you going to pull off the third voice in the interlude?

Deepti said...

Already so much arivu, what more do you want?! :)

And amma, this is too subtle. The boy is expected to identify raagams also now? Like the Amma's requirements were not complex enough!

And I would love to have some Sundal now.

Commie Comrade said...

I completely forbid you from wooing any many besides me. I will complain to Maamiyaar.

Commie Comrade said...


One is bad enough, don't even think about many.

Anonymous said...


Don't let dull boys come in the way of our Noble Mission of setting up the - Feeturr Writers Collective.

Also, this Commie Payyan is getting too annoying. Edavadu pannu. Please. Introduce him to Vasantha (he sounds gay anyway)

Amrita Bhashyam said...

Ayyyo, no need for this Vasanth fellow. Kill that Indira Maami only. It will be much fun. We can argue that it was all the Sundal made by G Periamma that contributed to this moment of insanity.

Do it before wisdom makes an appearance.

Anonymous said...

As your fan, can I please make a post request?
Please post on why you think NRI boys are extremely dumbass. Please, pretty please. I know that you will do full justice to the topic.

K.Shyam said...

Nice humor laced posts. I say you can be a fierce rival to that sidin guy in

Commie Comrade said...

I demand that, only I be allowed to comment on this Blog.

Thee Nagar said...

I think you should go for one of those dandiya things that happen in T Nagar and find a nice Gujju boy. Sundal shall be replaced by Dhokla - far nicer and easier on the tummy.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons why I like Navratri is that it keeps the boys away.

Anonymous said...

Odd numbers are never perfect, eh?

Lalita Ma'm would be orre proud of you.

Anonymous said...

god save vasanth

Anonymous said...


Come for kaapi with me.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this annoying you?

Raj said...

ATP, three suggestions:

1) Pass on all the sundal to Madras Thatha. Chick pea sundal will keep his pulse rate up. And help you avoid cricket-talk for some time.

2) If asked to sing in a kolu, sing the Suprabatham or something that will take 45 minutes to complete. That will teach'em.

3) Avoid Raja parvai song. vasant might think that you are calling him blind.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Raj on No. 3. But then, love is blind etc.

Artful Badger said...

Very funny!

Priya said...

> I think you should go for one of
> those dandiya things that
> happen in T Nagar and find a
> nice Gujju boy. Sundal shall be
> replaced by Dhokla - far nicer
> and easier on the tummy.

No how wrong you're! Only the chemistry and audio are different, everything else is just the same.

The difference between Gujju boys and Tam boys are that the G boys are not coy about expressing themselves when they feel that way.

Anyway, I think yay TP is a nice girl not given to such airborne exuberance. On the contrary, maybe she is and maybe that's why she stopped singing.

Blogeswari said...

ATP.. the latesssht saang is
"oHHHH.. Aaaasiq banaaayaaaa.. aasiq baanayaa.. " with one mookku covered. you never know, one number neighbour of vasanth - Jitesh shah or jignes shaah might come running

Good luck! Golu updates yeveryday please

Anonymous said...

YayTP - Updates koodu.

Anonymous said...

But certainly the worst part about this festival is the assault of the digestive system. One year’s protein requirement of an individual is attempted to be consumed over nine days.

Heh, how true.

Your Blog is most fun.

- Pravin

Anonymous said...

hey ATp,

i read all your blogs. you seem to be a littel popular. I have one complaint though. there is too much of flippancy here. tamil ponnus are supposed to be more serious. i dont find taht here. i never see you respond to comments also. that is plain arrogance, especially given that u get a few comments. arrogance is also not a quality of good tamil ponnus. i always think that tamil journalists have konjam head-weight. so may be, you have just become like them.
anyway i hope you will take my suggestion in the correct spirit. i feel that u have an average blog and it can be corrected and made better.
and one more thing as you work for the hindu. it is a very boring and hi-fi paper. you must tell your boss that normal peoples dont like to read it.

one tamizh payyan

Revathi said...

I think you should publish your columns in the Hindu- one of the most boring newspapers. If any one objects, tell them that you are the reincarnation of Jane Austen.

Anonymous said...

Tamizh payyan, spot on. Orrey thimuru this ponnu has.

Commie Comrade said...

Various anon folks - Don't trouble our girl.

Bikerdude said...

On behalf of ATP to all Anonymous Arumugams: Freeya Vidu :)

Superfunny post :) Here's an idea for a duet song: Porvai onre podhumeyyyy.

Thoppai Mama said...

Ungaath-le idhu nadakkuma?

Mami varuvaa golu paarkka-nnu. Elaarum saernthu 'mami, paadungo, paadungo, pona varsham Ambulu mami aathule paadina "Anandamruta varshini" innum kaadhule reengaram pottundirukku. Enge namakkaaha oru paatu.'

Mami konjam bihu paNNuva. 'Illai kural sari illai', appadiye ippadiye-nnu.

Kadasi-le practice paNNina orrey paatu 'KaaNavendaamo' paaduva (Iyengar aathukku vandhirundhum Chidambara devan-ai patthi paatu-parava illai).

Aarambiccha kai-yoda mattha ella mamiyum saernthu arattai kacheri aarambippa.

Mami in the meanwhile ploughs a lonely plough to the finish.

Kadisiyi-le ellarum arattai-ya nirutthi konjam kai thatti 'aha pramaadam mami'-nnu solluvaa.

Anonymous said...

yayTP is rendering yeoman service; her posts are bhava laden; they are a weekly desideratum; Why priya thinks they're far(t)cical when everyone knows yayTP is Tamil ponnu, so coffee drinker only. There is no 'T'. In farcical, hee hee.

Anonymous said...


Kadambari said...

Why can't Vasanth get a job outside Madras? I think there is some past story there, which you are not telling us. I bet you always liked the boy.
Give us updates on the latest.
Though I must say that him being names Vasanth was rather convenient, what if he was called Sadashivam?

Anonymous said...

I concur with K. What if he was called Mahadevan?

Anonymous said...

Or Nilu? The original incestous thing that started.

Anonymous said...

Why are Tamil Blogs only read by other tamil people?

Anonymous said...

Fucking, elitist Tamil bitch. Hah.
Actually, that is an universal quality of all Tamilians, especially the Tam-Brahms. So, I won't blame you.

Anonymous said...

I fail to understand why you don't reply to comments? Ivalo arrogance yen?

Coomie Comrade said...

Don't trouble my girl.

coomie comrade said...


Please note: coomie and not commie.

Commie Comrade said...


Rajasthan Boy said...

I am most certainly not Tamil, but I love this kid.

Asal Tamil Penn said...

@ Kadambari: You of all people should know that - every person, non person, action, non action, occasion, non occasion has a song. Sadashivam will have plenty of songs. I just need to meet him.
Though notice this, Sadashivam, Mahadevan, Nilakanthan - all names of Shiva. Even Vasanth actually. Patterns, signs etc. May be something in Bhairavi will do nicely. Yaro Ivar Yaro? First meetings, past life connection and Ram – most appropriate.

Inability often leads to perception of arrogance. And just because one is anonymous, one must not be incomprehensible. As Virginia Woolf would vouch for, anonymous has great history behind it and there is a lot to live up to if you take that name. Anyway, freeya vidu.

Kadambari said...

Touche! :)
And trust you to connect everything. Post something new no?

Anonymous said...

In the last one week I have found your Blog linked by several Bloggers I read. Wading through your archives, I am surprised that I have missed your Blog until now. There is something terribly charming about your writing. I understand that there are times when you are deliberately over the top, which seems to make several people dub you a racist and a bigot. But I sense that the dilettante exterior is carefully cultivated. No matter what everyone says, keep writing, for people might hate you, but it is unlikely that they will ignore you.



Anonymous said...

I am a little curious to know, how did you pick these ste of Blogs as your Blogroll. I mean, why these?

Anonymous said...

New post?

Anonymous said...

YayTP Akka, Bore Addiching. Post pannungo.

Anonymous said...

Akka still full gas. Give 48 hrs after Vijayadasami, please.

Akka, why do you spell 'Tamil' as 'Tamizh'. Most Chennai people who spell like that can not read or write Tamil, usually products of Vidya Mandir, Rosary Higher Sec, PSBB and other institutions patronized by Tam brams, Mummy Daddy's. Intrigued by Akka's claim to interest in Silappadhigaram. Can you handle the Tamil there or are you refering to a dance drama of the same name by the foreign returned Tam bram like Anita Ratnam?

Maybe you hear one instalment from the story each night from your Grandma along with your nightly fix of curd rice? ille, Akka?

FW Collective said...

What a fruitful meeting the last one was. I propose another one on S Poojai day, since we are all forbidden from working anyway.

Anonymous said...

For most of history anonymous was a woman? :)

me who is not he said...

The only people worse than Tamil boys are:
1. Tamil Bloggers who are male
2. Tamil Blog readers who are male
3. Tamil Blog commenters who are male
This blog helps me prove all of that. Thanks babe.

- Me who is not He

Commie Comrade said...

The commies have decided to boycott the meeting this time. Commies don't like these Peter type folks. Besides, Commie Comrade wishes to meet only ATP.

James Blogs said...

T.Nagar Asal Tamil Penn
Writes blogs now & then
About Golu & sundal
Quite good,not trivial

Journo with The(Iyengar)Hindu
Indha"Andhi Mazhai"paadum Sindhu
Is Vasanth your chosen mate ?
ATP - give us an update.

Anonymous said...

Phew!!! I wish that I could write a post on sundal and get fifty comments. Not just any comments, but a number of psychotic comments!! I envy you ATP.

- Me who is not her :)

Anonymous said...

Me who is not her is going overspeed - yayTP is personality and standing for marriage கலியாணத்துக்கு நிக்கறா. That's a 'thing' of beauty and hopefully the joy does not last forever. You see, yayTP blog is a test script for the poetry of John Keats.

What do you have to say for yourself? Are you kalyanathukku standing too? You can not envy your betters, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Bloody commies. Death to them. ATP, I demand that you get rid of Commie Comrade fellow.

Commie Comrade said...

Death to everyone else too.

ATP, I will see you at the pujai today?

Anonymous said...

CC, why this much of angst?

Dew Drop said...

Hope you had a nice Navarathri.

Assume your evenings were busy with Sundal times, Ragam times, Mamis' advices and lots of other Kolu and the associated "lollu" stuff..

There have been no posts for the last few days.. which is why I am kind of sure your Navarathri times kept you tied up.

Await many more neat and matter-of-fact writeups :)

Deepti said...

Cogito ergo mum? ;)

Anonymous said...

> Cogito ergo mum? ;)

Vento ergo sum or the sundal effect.

Commie Comrade said...

Perio do mortal combat extended. When do you get back to town?

Commie Comrade said...

Perio Do is still alive. In case you didn't know! :)

themoronmagnet said...

Enough. Please post. Meet me. Or, do both.

Kadambari said...

Come back. At least to delete the spam comments.

themoronmagnet said...

Dear woman,

Post. The festival is over. The freaks have had their word. The spam folks too. We REALLY need a new post.


K said...

A little bordie tells me that you are the newest celebrity in town. Come back and tell us about it! :)

Commie Comrade said...

New post?

Bikerdude said...

Ammani, pussa yedhach yeidhu mae.

La vida Loca said...

u are a funny funny gal. nice read. vannakam

Ramsu said...

Wonderful post!

I don't remember doing so much analysis back when I was expected to sing at neighbours' houses during Navaratri (yes, the singing bit is plumbing-independent). I mostly stayed with the lightweight stuff and left the navavarnams to my sister.

Anonymous said...

Please post.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I really like reading your posts; it feels like a slice of my life. I also belong to your gothram, have the requisite Delhi athai etc. Keep posting; you make me smile.