Wednesday, January 13, 2010

57. Pongalised

One of the ironies of being a 'Madrasi'(yeah, in this part of the world, this is how saddi community is known. As if all that Tamilnadu has is Madras and nothing else) in Delhi is that you are like one of those 101 dalmatians - neither black nor white. You get treated like you are an outlaw. And things only get worse when it's Pongal time. You get Pongalised. Pongal-i-s-e-d? Whaaaat the heck is that!! It's a syndrome, hon. Tradition(and a True Blue Madrasi mom) demands that ganna/karumbu/sugarcane be purchased alongwith some other random stuff that sounds like a tongue twister. Fate had it that I go and buy all of it. In such cases, the best thing you can do is to either make your mom spell out what she wants else make her write it on a Post-it note. You know those ones, don't you? Arre yaar, those chhote chhote sticky on one side yellow papers. Still no? Arre the ones you see in that Kelloggs ad? Mummy, papa and son, all with those yellow papers stuck to their body, as if shooting for Ghajini. Right. So make your mom write and go hand it over to the shopkeeper guy. Obviously you run the risk of coming forward as illiterate to those around, but never mind. Pleasing THE MOM is very important. More so, when you know she is going to blackmail you by denying access to paal polis.

Now, look at the timing. Of all the sugarcanes he has in his stock, he chooses to give me one as tall as a ladder and with as many leaves as Adam and Eve would together have worn. The next 15 odd minutes had me carrying the ganna, like that white-washing guy in your house carries his ladder. I think I heard 2 random ladies whispering, "Saare madrasi aaj kood rahe hain idhar udhar ganna lekar". I am better off without explaining what that meant. U can still ask me, if need be, I'll give you that Hindi-English translation lexicon(note the usage of the word ; I am awesome when it comes to showing off) my mother used decades ago after this happened :

Ma : Bhaiya, nimbu kaise diye? (How much do the lemons cost?)
Shokeeper : Ded rupaye.( Rs. 1.50)
Ma : Ded? Bohot zaada hai. Main toh Dhaayi hi dunga.(1.50? Too costly. I'll give only 2.50) *Note the 'dunga'*
Shopkeeper : *prostrates* :D

I don't know how this works, but somehow, all the cute guys in the mohalla HAVE to see you ONLY on that day ; I even hit one with that sugarcane leaf when he tried giggling at me. Moron.
So. Tomorrow is the day. Do not try calling me. My landline stays busy throughout the day with people from across seven continents having taken it on themselves to wish us 'happy पोंगल'. Yes, that's how they pronounce it here. I didn't know how to write that in English, this is the closest I could get to how it sounds. Forget it, dude. I can't get to the point of explaining phonetics on my blog. :| Fellow South Indians will not spare you too. Yenna rascala, mind itttt! Highly intellectual conversations from the ladies of the house, including but not restricted to what payasam, what kolam, what new dress and whose husband did/did not volunteer with the preparations and festivities shall ensue. I know you will be more bothered about the dirt stuck under the nail of your little finger than knowing what I am doing tomorrow, so Happy Pongal, y'all!


  1. Quite a sight, that must've been. :D

    You know what would've really really scared the poop out of those aunties and romeos? Pole-vaulting your way home. Oh yea. Now THAT, is awesome. Those guys'll will be looking for their eyeballs on the streets, for days afterward. ;)

    So, you know what you have to do next Pongal. Go Anu go! :D

  2. aiyyo bhery bhery hilarious :) a quick question. What happens to the sugarcane after 'Pongal' ?

    Happy Pongal and you madrasi people make really delicious food :P venjoy!!!

  3. That shouldve been one helluva sight !! You shouldve asked that same person you hit to take a snap, na ???

    Happy Pongal madrasi ! dont worry, its not with the tamilians alone. At times, we mallus are also referred in the same way up north !

  4. lol,even I have trouble with the gender!
    Happy Pongal !:)

  5. Dear Miss My Daily (whenever u post) Dose of Laughter.. Your writing the very very nice.. thanks and wish you a very happy Pongal too..(madrasi)

  6. @Rindo,

    Tell me about it! :D

    Pole vaulting, LOL! U'll sure see a post next year same time :P


    At my place, they eat it once Pongal is over :) But to reiterate, it can also be used to hit people around(refer post).


    Oh , I jus hit him and gave that Oh-my-God-did-I-hurt-u look :P That look was worth being captured, yes :D See, remember this. Anyone from Andhra, Karnataka, Kerala, surrounding areas IS a madrasi. No arguments on that. I don't usually give such precious advice for free. I might ask for a cheeseburst later.


    Got it yet or still struggling? :) Thanks for the wishes!

    @AJCL aka Fellow Madrasi(FM?),

    I loved what you wrote for me! Thank the yous and happy the pongals....

  7. ROFL totally ROFL !!!!!! Geez... you werent in my reader and thats why i have been missing out... !!!!

    Hey Madrasi... Happy Pongal !!!!! :D :D :D

  8. nope,lol,now I just make fun of the language,it doesn't have a neutral gender for the love of God!!! ;)

  9. hitchwriter,

    I'll give u 3 seconds to add, 3...2..1, ok TIME UP! :P (Kidding)

    Thank u so much for the wishes :)


    U bet! :)

  10. Ha! Ha! Quite an entertaining post :)

    'Madrasi'... I'm no stranger to this term, since I'm from the eastern part of India... where all south Indians are 'madrasis' :)

    The general agreement is that... all 'madrasis' are intelligent and are born with a high IQ. They are good in maths and science. Reason? They eat lots of fish...

  11. Belated Pongal wishes.

    Hogged all the sugary and non-sugary goodies, on the sly as well, I presume? And taking digs at your mom while in the process? :-) That is a "good" girl!!!

    And did you mash that "sugarcane with a crown" using your mouth after cutting it after the poojai formalities? Good for the gums, you see and the juice is good for the body. :-)

    पोंगल - Ha Ha Ha. The closest Tamil phonetic is the way in the movies of yore, the heroine would say to the hero to go off with respect. (poHngull)

  12. @Roshmi,

    Haha. I have heard that too. You don't have much credit for yourself even if you ace some high funda exam.. You get dismissed with "Madrasi log bohot intelligent hote hain". Fortunately/unfortunately, I have never been showered with such praise ; My grades never gave ppl enuf chance to come up with such lavish praise :P Thanks for visiting :)


    Oh yes, I had a good Pongal time eating around ; the sugarcane is yet to be attacked though :)

  13. LOL!!

    I had some issues here in Bengalooru as well!! so, go figure!

    Happy Pongal to you too!!!

  14. elo elo..enaku terinja oray anu...kuruvi anu vagia neengal thaan :D ozhunga chamatha tag potruveengalaam :)

  15. ??intha postuku naan anikay kament potene.kaanum :( kuruvi saptrucha/?

  16. Hey Pix,

    Thanks!! :)


    Uhumm, naangalaam award vangindu odi poiduvom :P Tag aadhu mannaadhu :)

    Irukkalam.. saptircho yennavo :) Yenakku varave illaiye...

  17. ROFTL wonderful writing, quite witty str8 to the point and realistic narration. Pongalised hehe new term to be added to dictionary.

  18. Nice Post!


  19. Wo! Didn't really read the full post, but the bargain thing struck me! I remember many many years ago (I'd probably have been 10/11 or so), when mom had been pestering me to start talking and learn to bargain, etc (unlike ever-quiet-and-reserved dad) when, on this trip to Usman Road with dad (near Duraiswamy Subway), we stopped to buy some fruit and the shopkeeper said "Pathu pazham Aaru Ruba" or something, and pat came the reply from me - "Yaen, Aaru Pazham Pathu Rubaikku varaadha?"
    Though young, that shall definitely rank among the more embarrassing moments of my life. :D

    1. Turns out I am seeing this comment 2 years after it was published :D

  20. Nice post, things explained in details. Thank You.


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