Nov 18, 2010

Of Home Visits, Closet Outings, Bigoted Priests and other random stuff

And, almost 10 days after returning from a very nice, very fulfilling (stomach-wise) home visit, I decide to pen it down... extremely long, mostly random, definitely boring, largely personal, but then, the whole purpose of this blog is to look back at all this 5 years down the line and chuckle at how silly I was...


This was a trip filled with nostalgia... the first wave of nostalgia hit as soon as I landed and saw a cut-out of Kalaignar, Varuga Varuga nu varaverthufying me to the land of the Ulaga Tamizh Manadu! The second wave of nostalgia hit when I got into the bus to Bhavani, and listened to random songs like "Sendhura poovae..." and "Devadhai pol oru penn ingu vandhadhu thambi, unnai nambi." And 33 bucks and 100 km later, I was home!


Within half an hour of reaching home, my brother had downloaded all the games that I had taken from here on a pen-drive (for the record, NFS, Cricket 2007, and most important, MK4!!!) and we settled down to a good old Mortal Kombat session. And I won! Haven't lost my touch! Btw, we have a computer at home now. With internet connection. Progress. Prosperity. Or as my mom puts it after watching our MK4 sessions, paithiyakarathanam!


I spend a weekend attending a friend's wedding. Third wave of nostalgia. Meeting school friends after almost a decade. Memories of sitting in the same bench together for 12 years come rushing back. Sigh, why did I not keep in touch? The old bugbear, laziness. Must make amends.


The first round of 'meeting relatives' begins. And the usual question tumbles out: "When are you getting married?" The funny thing is, they are convinced that I actually want to get married, but I am too shy to tell my parents and hence, they tell my mom "Avan apadi thaan aparam aparam nu solluvan. Nee paaka thodangu." More than anything, they are worried I'll find a girl from 'some other caste'. I wish. 12 years in Bombay, and I have come up with zilch. Or actually, three whiny V-day poems. Sometimes, I think my relatives think too much of my capabilities while the gals in Bombay unfortunately don't. They really need to switch their opinions on the subject of SRK's general attractiveness, if you ask me.


The whole week at home is spent in a simple routine: Wake up, have breakfast, read the Hindu, try to solve the crossword, give up, read books, pull Mom's leg, bear with her pulling mine with the dreaded "marriage" question, lunch, siesta, read some more, MK4 session with bro, eat dinner, sleep. Aah, if there is Paradise on Earth, it is here, it is here, it is here!


Actually, have to elaborate a bit on the "pull Mom's leg". I finally came 'out of the closet'. No, not that I am gay. That might still have been accepted probably. But I am something worse. A non-believer. Blasphemy!
To her credit, she did accept it with more calm than I gave her credit for. But I can see it makes her queasy. I told her I take the occasional drink and she was ok. I told her I dig the occasional chick (the feathered variety on the plate, not the tight jeans and high heels ones), and she was ok. But this religion thing makes her fret. I ask: "Payyan kuduchu kuttichevuru aanalum paravallai, aana pora pokula govinda govinda sollite ponum nu oru aasaiya?"
She smiles. And says "One day, you will believe." One day...


She also tells me that the kovil gurukal told her that it is written in my jadagam that I'll be this kudarkam pesum kundamandi. I am more concerned as to why the gurukal has been looking at my jadagam. And get into one more discussion of if and when I get married, I will not allow horoscopes to be looked at. I will be starry-eyed, but only about the girl. Not about whether her fifth house has Guru or Shukran. Or whatever they see in that!


And after 5 days of such kundamandi talks, Diwali arrives. And I happily gorge on the sweets, the omapodi, the muthusari, and as a reward for all this er... divine food, I submit to visit the temple. The temple is actually a nice one, being on the banks of Cauvery. Plus, it has this legend, which is nice to read about till you actually come to the end of it (not in the online version, but it is inscribed in the temple). Which is that, after a British Collector is saved by the Goddess, he wanted to thank Her, but the wise men decided that he is an "alien" after all, and can't be allowed inside the temple. So, they make three holes in the wall from which he can have darshan, and the holes are still there. The temple priest proudly points it out. I am disgusted. Your God(dess) didn't discriminate when she went to save the guy, but you act holier-than-thou by not allowing him inside, and now, you are proud of that legend? Sigh!


The temple visit has 2-3 more incidents. First, I bump into this really caste-obsessed priest who, admittedly in good fun and because he knows my parents well enough to joke with them, playfully tells them "Why don't you shift to the agraharam? Why do you want to stay in the midst of all the shudras?" I don't know if my shock showed on my face, but he did lay off that topic soon enough.

Only to get on my case. "Eppo Kalyanam?". I smile. I have learnt that while some of them are really matchmakers, most of them ask it as a matter of polite courtesy. And that smiling and saying "All in good time, by God's grace" usually shuts them up. I don't mind calling upon God to get out of such squirmy situations.

And then, we meet another gurukal. Who asks me my 'nakshatram'. Which, like Karna in the Mahabharata facing Arjuna, I forget at the nick of time. Damn. (But, you should note that I do remember my mythology). A brief lecture on how one should remember one's birth-star. So, before this gets any more embarrassing for me, and more for my mom since she is known around the temple as a very devout lady, I quietly slip away and sit on the steps leading to the river. And admire her in full flow. If there is anything remotely divine about that place, it is the majestic flow of the river. But that is just me.


And then we go to Bangalore (ok, Bengaluru) to meet cousins. Awesome time. Made even more awesome since this time it was my sister, poor lady that she is, that was facing the 'Eppo Kalyanam?' heat.
And like the usual sadist that I am, I joined in. Took an issue of SruthiVani, which is this really Mallu mag which happens to have half the pages dedicated to matrimonials, to shortlist eligible mapillais for her. Probably only of Tambrahms or something. Which reminds me, if you are a single, Tambrahm guy, between 28-30 years of age and living in and around Bengaluru, get in touch. Engineers preferred. :)

One look at that SruthiVani thingy and I can definitely say I'm not getting married. Not unless they really invoke the '1000 lies allowed' clause. All the potential brides want tall, handsome grooms. (although I still don't know what's wrong with the short and pudgy ones?). With clean habits (does the fact that I sometimes drink my vodka neat count?). And God-fearing (maybe, just maybe, I can print Dog-fearing, and they'll think it is a printing mistake. While I'd have told the truth. The same way Yudishtira said the truth to Drona about Ashwathama. See, I do remember my mythology! Maybe that'll count for something!).

Need to write a post on why I am extremely uncomfortable with the concept of 'arranged marriage', but then, I have said it before and I'll say it again, it is the socialist solution for guys at the bottom of the desirable pyramid like me, who'd otherwise remain single (happily?) in a ruthless capitalist-style 'date, propose, marry' society...


And that concludes the home visit report. Boring? Don't say you weren't pre-warned!


  1. Anonymous11:56 PM

    1) Very well written..had good time reading!!
    2) Btw, can't agree more on 'Bottom of Pyramid' thing..! :)

  2. @ Anon:
    1) Thanks :)
    2) Er, do I know you? Or has it come to the point where people who only know me online have also discovered that I am 'Bottom of the Pyramid'?

  3. I love the way you write.. witty, down to earth... reading about India... i can relate to that feeling of nostalgia and euphoria when i breathe in the warm air of chennai...just want to soak in the stench.. :)

  4. Sangeetha9:25 PM

    "One look at that SruthiVani thingy and I can definitely say I'm not getting married."

    Don't be so scared! Sounds unbelievable but there r people in real life who have got married thru Shruthivani and have lived to tell their (happy) tale...

    You never know from where the girl of ur dreams will pop out from... go back and look carefully at the Shruthivani pages! :-))

  5. Anonymous1:57 AM

    Is Sangeetha, the previous commentor authors the blog - ?

    I was a regular to this blog since its inception till a change to the settings that gives access to invited readers only.

    @Sangeetha - If you are willing to give access to regular readers, let me know. would like to subscribe.

    @SRK - Not sure whether Sangeetha would take a look into this comment section again. Please Communicate to her if you know of a way.

    P.S. 1 Apologies for hijacking the comment section.
    P.S. 2 Nice post, btw :P

    - Sampath.

  6. Anonymous3:42 AM

    "Er, do I know you? .. I am 'Bottom of the Pyramid'?" not referring to you when I said I agree with BoP thingy..As I too belong to the BoP clan, I was commiserating with your feelings..!! ;)

  7. @ Nisha:
    Tnk u :)
    but I was not writing about Chennai :)
    and there is no stench in Kovai nor in Bhavani!

    @ Sangeetha:
    I am sure there are people who have gone swimming with sharks and lived to tell the tale. All I am saying is that I don't see myself as one of those people!

    and will you please respond to Sampath if you ever visit this page again?

    @ Sampath:
    Tnx :)
    and I don't know Sangeetha, except through her (now inaccessible) blog. And so, you can only hope she comes back to this comment section and grants your request :)

    @ Anon:
    ah, a fellow loser! Nice!

  8. Anonymous10:11 PM

    @Sampath : Sorry, i didn't know i had any regular readers, which is y i made the blog private abruptly. In future, if i decide to invite readers i'll definitely send u a link. Mail me ur id at

    @SRK : Yes, i can understand. Asking a person who does not believe in God, to start trusting Sruthivani, would be a giant leap of faith! :-)


  9. @ Sangeetha:
    Dunno about SruthiVani, but this KirukuVani has just united a reader with a long lost blogger :P

  10. Anonymous1:02 AM

    @Sangeetha - Thanks :). Emailed you my id for access.

    @SRK - Thanks much :)

    - Sampath

  11. Balaji V10:08 PM

    Maapi,your visit for 2 days for my marriage is not a surprise..but along with your mom and dad gave me a big surprise and my parents felt happy for that...and ofcourse same question from my mom" Sivaramanuku eppo da kalyanam??". Really when i heard murmur of some one asking my FIL "Payyanuku ketta pazhakam edhum illiye?" at once the moment came in my mind was we two sitting and taking gulps of vodka along with "Murgi ka tangdi"...aaahaaa...abhachaaram abhachaaram..A BIG lock for all these stuffs after marriage..Now i rarely see onions & Garlics in my food...