It was yet another session after the everlasting “Shaatmore” (the final phase of an Iyengar pooja), the maama’s squatted with their tiruman (The red color Naama with adjacent white lines) half washed out due to all the sweat sired during the chorus sessions of Naalaarayam, thirupvai, thiruvamuli, ‘thiru-that’, ‘thiru-this’ uff! phew! (vedic verses recited by Sri-Vaishnavas) Huh! the list goes on.. till they reach “Palland” err! not ‘Polland’ (the final shloka) and put the god into peace. The maami’s quickly resorted to the task of taking the silver tumblers that were kept for ‘Aamshe’ (to serve the god) inside, without giving the slightest ‘Power of attorney’ to any one. The Maama’s son’s did use the opportunity to message or check mails form their fancied ‘blackberry’ or ‘Toshiba’ laptops bought on ‘Thanks giving’ day in Neywork or Newjersy thus showcasing to every one that they are here only for couple of weeks and work still haunts them and US is calling them, well nowadays it also serves as a means of broadcasting other ‘Maamas’,’chitappa’s’,’chittis’,’Maami’s’ etc etc etc… that they still have a job in US and have been spared from ‘lay-off” atleast for now. By the time, The Maami’s Daughter’s come with a pile of ‘Kancheepuram’ sarrees and ‘Shankar Shetty’ or ‘Krishniah Shetty’ gold jewels yet again leavening there ‘Brand-Association’ with these stores; “Enna? Ramanujam Iyengar Varvillai?” (Why Mr. Ramanujam Iyengar has not come?)utters Mr. Ananthram Iyngar! in a tone fading away every minute and with an anticipation that something will finally arrive from kitchen, “Avar Romba Busy..” (he is too busy)utters Mr. Ramanujam Iyengar 1, ah! before i proceed, all men are either named as Ramanujam or Ananthram and all women are either Andaal or Alamelu, if you are wondering what am i writing then, ‘Welcome to the world of Iyengars!!” We follow a standard nomenclature! huh! “Enna ponnu setlle aacha?” (Did you find a match to your son)comes flying a question from a unseen corner by a old man who sighs a sign of relief only when he hears an answer “hun settle aachi” (yes, we did!) so that he can put aside all the tension of breakfast, coffee, juice, tea, hightea, snacks, dinner for next 20 days !! ahem! huh! starting from “Chapra” (the Mehendi tradition of marriage) to “Bheegrothna” (I don’t know how to translate this phew!), “Munte vaaru naa divydesham trip ku poren..” (i will be undertaking a pilgrimage next week), “Rangaswamy du yella arrangement..” (rangaswamy has arranged the trip), the moment the tour schedule is revealed especially the part where the protagonist, ‘ya ! right!’ reveals that 4o cities are covered only for a mere sum of 3,500/- the market rate of ‘rangaswamy’ increases and crosses 10,000 mark just like our sensex, soon Rangaswamy becomes the epicenter and money flows to him, It now resides in the hands of ‘Rangaswamy’ to decide his tour party, don’t be surprised if political parties involve themselves here. “Ayo rama! andu pule edo ponnu jothe oodi pochangu…” (oh! my god that guy ran with some girl it seems) whispers Maami from kitchen which soon spreads like a wild fire..A detailed analysis is drawn by all the Maama’s and all the son’s in chorus utter “Appa! avalde samacharu, leave it!” (its there issue leave it), yes! English here is necessary to prove their ‘New Jersy’ exsistance..
“Ah! vandidchi.. kondaangu maami…..”(Ah! it came, please give me..) A bright smile is suddenly seen across the hall. A sudden positive vibes is passed across, as they see Maami’s coming out with huge tumblers err! should i mention the size here? of much awaited “Puliyogre” and “SakkarPongal” with “nai” (ghee) sopping like “Jog Falls” err! we are iyengars, it should be “Niagra Falls” thus increasing every cardiologists salaries in the cities, yet again proving that health care remains ‘recession free’ until there is “Maami’s Sakapongal and Puliyogre”. Soon all resort to eating, some with a weird noise, some with a thunderous burp- the ill effects of all the “Ekadashi’s”, some with an ever lasting smile and some with an undisturbed concentration..”Annu, puliyogre ku ethnu chamcha gojju…” (How many spoons of flavor to tamarind rice?) questions Mammi, for which answers are shouted at various ‘Frequencies’, ‘velocities’, ‘amplitudes’, ah! with varying answers, an argument bursts out! which is no less than any winter session debate in our parliaments. “Maami, the Shakar Pongal is damn good…”, “Aamadi, it is scrumptious…” shouts our the daughter’s with an accent, “Enna, Use pandringu.. you learn.. this.. you can cook there” (what do you use?) mouths the son’s indicating their wives to learn the recipe in a slightly scared tone, “Aange.. ultu parpe sikharle.. got to take it from here.. haary..” (you don’t get any Grams there in US..) and if i haven’t mentioned about it, then all son’s are either Hari sheshadri or Krishna Iyengar which has been cut and enunciated in stylish way such as “harry” or Krish” and all daugther’s are either “Vaidhehi” or “Anjali”; “Ya, we will take” utters the son’s consoling their wive’s and giving out an immediate solution to ‘not getting of ultu parpu”, “Ayo Mr. Ramanujam.. Kadambu apru curd rice irku… ” (Mr. ramanaujam, Main course and curd rice is still being left out..” shouts maami with tensed face of not serving the ever wanting, ever tasty and ever exclusive “Curd rice” “Ayo, Maami, enthuku adella.. romba kasthu aacha..” (why did u prepare curd rice, was it hard on you?) solaces Mr. ramanajum after a huge burp indicating that he has already digested the coarse of Puliyogre.. then comes a drum which is slightly smaill in size compared to that of any water storage tank, full of “Kadambu” (Sambar rice); “Maama, innu koncu kadambu..” pleads the maami’s “Ayo vanda, its too heavy.. i am on diet maami..” convinces the daugther’s ” i am done…” declares the son’s still with the ‘black berry’ in hand.
“Ay0 maama, gohstiva.. vachudungu..” (Ayo please do not wash your plates.. keep it!) hollers the maami’s, “Yaarkanu Paal..” (anyone for milk?) questions the second generation of maami’s who are in their 40’s and under a rigorous training to become a ‘Primary Maami”, it finally comes to the stage where they all chew the Beetle leaf with a sole intention because it is kept their and it is free! “Romaba Nanaytnhu…” (It was too good) kudoses the Mamma’s “Kanambu pandraku time sikhville..” (there was no time to prepare yet another sweet dish) griefs maami’s. The son’s resort to a serious economic crisis discussion with their mates and the future of their children who are now almost “American” with still a pinch of “Sri-Rangam” in them, how iyengarish!!!! The daughter’s quickly jot down the recipe of what they just ate in a piece of paper hoping that they can regurgitate the same, with an audience who rarely know the difference between “Kadambu” and “Puliyogre”
“tookyongu roome le Mr. Anantharam..” (please sleep in the room) cries Maami, “Ayo vaanda ma pogunu..” (no! got to go) answers Mamma, as they all pack their belongings and decide finally to call it a day by surprisingly rejecting the “Coffee” offer form the Maami, comes a bleached voice in a manner which shows more of a dis interest “Epoodaanaku Varangu haatku!!” (Come home Sometime) clearly indicating “Thank you and not expecting you anytime soon in our home..”