The Muddy Tsarinas

(for the Tamil challenged, the title is a pun on Madisaar, which refers to the 9 yard saree traditionally worn by Tambram Maamis)

In an earlier post, we discussed the games Chennaiites played. But in doing so, we did grave and cemetery injustice to a species that, as Neha points out, is the very core of the Tamil economy.

This is a post about that species, Homo Mamiens, and the games they play.

The zoological name was coined by the Celluloid Ranter, Ramsu, whose comment on my earlier post is pretty much the inspiration for this one.

Game #1: Karthikological Kabaddi

Contributor: Ramsu

Maami: Oh, nee BITSla padichchayaa? (You studied in BITSaaa?) Then you should know this guy.

Me: (Polite disinterest) Who?

Maami: (Reels off a long spiel on how she is related to him. Typically, the common ancestor is either Adam or the ape, depending on which version you believe.)

Me: Who?

Maami: (Begins to reel off an alternative way to link the two, this time involving duck-billed platypi)

Me: I mean, does this wonderful guy have a name?

Maami: (Doing the mami equivalent of head-scratching) I know his dad’s name is Krishnamurti. We call him Ambi at home.

Me: (Waiting for this conversation to end)

Maami: Wait I think his school-name was Karthik.

Me: At any given point in time, there are about 3,567,290 Karthiks in BITS, not counting plants. None of them are know by that name.

Maami: I don’t know his nickname. Avan adhellam veettula sollaradhu illa. (He does not reveal that at home)
Me: Usually, these nicknames aren’t repeatable in mixed company. Such as…

Maami: Oh, ok. Escaaapes before I elaborate.

Me: ( Sigh of relief)

Additional notes: Replace BITS with TCS, Infosys, Satyam, Cognizant, and that version of this game is also getting increasingly common.

Game #2: Sanjay Subrahmanian 100m Freestyle (a.k.a The Rich Madras Maami Mock Humility Game)

Contributor: Bikerdude

Maami 1: What maami, many days not seen?

M2: Yes maami. was a little busy with daughter’s wedding.

M2: Oh very nice maami. Grandaa?

M1: Illai maami, we kept it very simple. Just close family in Trident Sheraton followed by a Sanjay Subrahmanian concert by the pool side. You know, people are so bored of the same elaborate ceremonies.

M2: Aaamam maami, I did the same for my son’s wedding too. Just a couple of sweets catered by a very puuuure traditional cook who has catered for the PM himself. Nothing fancy ma. You know, that’s what children want these days

M1: very true maami. Left to myself I’d only eat thairshaan and wadakkina wendekai, but they forced me to eat all 5 sweets and 17 traditional south Indian main courses at the wedding and Im still getting over it.

M2: (Silvery laughter). I know maami. These kids these days.

Game #3: Dollar Store Dodgeball

Maami 1: What Maami, eppidi irrukkel (How are you?) US Trip and all went wellaa?

Maami 2: Oh yes. first class. Such a beautiful country you know.

Maami 1: I heard. So where and all you went?

Maami 2: Not too many places. Just Niagara and Pittsburgh Venkateswara temple. Granddaughter is very young and frequently falls ill. And my son does not want to miss even one day of his mother’s cooking. (silvery laughter)

Maami 1: (coppery laughter). Plane food and all ok-aa?

Maami 2: Don’t even ask, maami. Somethinng and all they will bring. God only knows what ingredients they use. We only ate the fruits.

Maami 1: For me any giftaa?

Maami 2: Of course maami, how can I forget my closest friend. (proceeds to handover

1. set of 3 plastic cups (made in Thailand) purchased from the Dollar store).

2. 1 package of Snickers chocolates bought during Halloween sale.

Maami 1: Oh. Romba thank you maami. (Whispers to herself – adachi kanjapisnaari. I can get these in Nilgiris supermarket in Mylapore itself.) Why, so much expensive things and all?

Maami 2: Oh. Not a problem at all. I asked my son to take me only to the best quality shops. Like namma ooru, I didn’t want to simply buy cheap things from Pondy Bazaar or Ranganathan street. (silvery laughter)

Maami 1: (iron-ic laughter)

Readers, Your ideas please.