Posted by: akilamoni | August 27, 2006

BULLY MAAMIS

My brother’s wedding is finally here.

The house is bursting in its seams with guests. Actually, I am just hyping it all up. It still hasnt but it sure will soon.

But a wedding can be tough. Not just on the bride and the groom but for everyone. With all the dynamics one has to manage, you either need to be a master juggler or just plain pretentious.

How else can you manage a bus load of people- each one opinionated about everything and anything?
I came home just yesterday and have been meeting a lot of relatives. As I move from one to another I mapped out an imaginary questionnaire that I was filling out for everyone.

Akila’s exhaustive list of TAM BRAHM BULLY MAAMI’S LIST OF CONVERSATION TOPICS.

The following is a check list of questions which will be asked when a cart load of specimens called tam brahm mami’s meet me.

Lets start out with the ladies. The ladies/mami’s/aunts have to, I mean really have to, start out a conversation( even without saying a hello, how are you?) with a remark about my looks.

The minute you meet an aunt/female relative, the first words that invariably falls out of her mouth will be,” Oh you have changed?”

While one aunt was talking about how dark I had become, the other one took it upon herself to review my nose piercing. Innumerable correlations were made in the mind about nose studs and fashion.

The next most comment you are bound to hear is, “Oh God, you are not wearing any jewels?”

People who know me well know that I hate wearing chains/bangles/bracelets of any sort.
In the past two days the only time my mum spoke to me was when she called me aside and thrusted a chain into my hands and said, ” For God’s sake wear this. “

Until a few years back when I was wearing a bindi regularly, my dad’s friend paddu uncle’s aim in life was to tell me how to wear my bindi properly.

Well, I wear a bindi in its minimal form- just a dot or a line. But even that was a point of contention for Paddu mama. He wanted me to wear it at the point just above the point where my brows joined- just at the exact point where it looked hideous on me.

Till date he squints his eye to find out where my bindi is.

Then the mother of all topics- my height.

Okie I am short. so what?
Okie I am way below the average height a normal person should be. So what?

My mum’s elder sister walked in and looked at me and said ” Oh you should grow taller”
What a grand opening to my day. I am 23 years old. According to science, after you cross 20, you usually dont grow taller. So here I am all of 23 years, when my aunts feels I should grow taller. Why not?

I looked at my mum crossly and said ,” Can you please tell people I cant grow taller than this anymore?”

Discussing my height is like a pet topic for a lot of people. I take after my dad who is short. His who family is always gushing about how short my grandmom was and how short my dad and I are.

While people are on the height topic, my height is the benchmark.

“So, is kuppamma taller than akila?”

” Is her sis in law taller than her?”

“Is suppamma(who in most probability will be in her 8th std) as tall as akila?”

And to add fuel to fire, I was standing next to a cousin of mine who is way shorter than I am. She suddenly looked at me and shouted to her son,” Look, Akila has grown taller”. After coaxing her to shut up, I convinced her that I was just the same height when I left two months back.

While I was in Chennai, my brother, sis in law to be, uncle and aunt landed from the states. They were a jing bang by themselves. Add/subtract a few more, we formed a whole village when we went shopping. Everytime I landed to go shopping, the whole jingbang would rate me on what I wore.

The verdicts were anything from ” Oh the bharthiya nari” , if I wore a salwar kameez to
“You have changed. You are a metro girl now”, when i wore a pair of jeans.

The whole race of tam brahms is obssessed about commenting on looks.

After they have exhausted all possible ways to comment on how I looked, the next inevitable topic(apart from asking about how I am faring in my job in Coke and giving a cynical smile) is about my vocal stylings.

As a Tam brahm child, I went through the stage where my mum was competing with other mums regarding my upbringing. So I was put into music classes for a whole lot of years.

I learnt for almost 5 years after which I did what I was good at – quitting. I mouthed the words I QUIT.

But my relatives have short term memory. They remember the days when I learnt music but conveniently ignore the fact that I have stopped singing.

The tam brahm ladies in their kanchipuram sarees are nothing short of bullies when it comes to this. When you learn music, they bully you into singing for them. They then correct even the smallest mistake you make and when you stop singing is when their real fun begins.

Imagine this. You are sitting in a pooja with a lot of other people and when the time comes for sangeetha seva,(I am wondering in my head, if sangeetha seva(i) is actually a type of sevai(a tamil delicacy)) all the mamis/aunties who are musical exponents shut up and one random bully maami will call out ” Akilaaaaaaaa, why dont you sing?”

I would look around for the other Akila who they are calling, only to realise to my dismay, I am the only Akila in the room.

The next degree of torture is when they take it upon themselves to ask me why I had stopped studying music. Some even give me a motivational speech( a la shiv khera) so that I can realise that my aim in life is to study carnatic music and make my race proud.

The next most entertaining activity of the mamis is to offer me strings of jasmine flowers to wear. I am quite moody about flowers and I very rarely wear flowers.
But in the tam brahm way of life, it is a sin for a girl to not wear flowers.
It is a bigger sin, (of the order where you will be burnt in cauldrons of oil) if you refuse flowers offered by bully maamis.

The bully maami will offer you a string of orange kanakambaram flowers which no person in her right minds will wear(it smells sick and is bright orange/violet in colour).
If you refuse, then the wrath of the God and the bully maami will burn you down.

So when I was a kid, I tried the refuse and be burnt down route, but to no avail. Then I took my lessons from days of bargaining for autos. When the bully maami approaches me, I first try going out of sight. After she hunts me down, we debate on the length of the strings of flowers. I will offer proof of how short my hair is, inform her that I have no clip etc and we finally come to a compromise and I take the flowers from her. After she is out of smelling circumference, I take a walk, find an empty table/chair and leave the flowers on it.

I realised today, that I am quite low on brand value in the tam brahm bully maami rating scale.

I have done an MBA and not an MS.

I am still in India and dont work for a software firm.

I work for Coke which according to most people is more dangerous than Mahim beach’s sweet water(which might have been sewage according to few scientists)

I cant cook.

I cant sing.

Last overheard a few relatives were talking about the next big PROBLEM in my father’s life: Finding a groom for me.

The mohalla is set for the mehendi function. Now it is time for maamis to showcase to the world that I have two left feet.The wedding will bring on value additions from kuppa, suppa and muppa about most things under the sun- ranging from the way I walk, to my sari colour to my jewels or rather absence of jewels to work to home to size of my bindi to length of my pallu.

Bring it on baby… Cant wait for a marriage hall full of bully mamis.

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Responses

  1. Pure Gold!

    And the mamas have to ask “What’s your salary kanna!”. One way or another. Pretty smart in how they arrive at that. But, eventually they do, and I am totally not comfortable saying mine. I say some 5 digit random number most of the time!

    And you know what! Am gonna recommend this to some meta-desi-blogs

    -kr!sh

  2. Ananymous,

    This the world we live. When their own children are like that or a stinking rich family leads a life like u the society accepts all in total saying that so & so’s daughter is very intelligent, she is bold out spoken etc.But for a middle income man’s son or daughter
    bench marks r created.All of us live in a false world. We comment accd to our covenience.We want to join the majority . We lack individuality .They expect every one to behave in a uniform manner. We will not expect & accept something different or a person who is different.

    My dear u have ur way and keep going.

  3. you’ve forgotten one important question you are gonna face in the wedding!:

    “next yours….”

    the sweetest revenge for this is, at a funeral, pinch the bully n say,

    “next yours…”

  4. wat bout the ooru vambu? uve missed tht!!

  5. Very funny. Please let us know how the wedding went.

  6. Oh that was really funny!! Just wait until you get married and they wrap the 9 yards around you! 🙂

  7. Muahaha! Do you know how much worse it is when it’s your own wedding!

  8. That was hilarious! 🙂

    But this whole culture of CONSTANTLY telling people what to wear/what to eat/how to sit/how to sing/how to talk can get to you REALLY fast. I’m surprised at how bullied Indian/Tambram/Whatever kids don’t grow up to be psychopathic killers.

  9. @krish(I remembered to call u that and not ki….):)
    I know our mamas/mamiz can ask some really embarrassing qns at times!!!

    Thanks pal…!!!

    @Anon:
    Thanks pa….it means a lot to me that u read my blogs inspite of annaz wedding and stop to comment on it…u know how u and I feel abt this topic:) ur my best bud ever! tHANKS!

    @SLEEPYFACE!

    That was awesome…I read that line and was ROTFL!

    @ada-paavi:

    Oh ya…the oor vambu…and sometimes even the forceful close examination of my ear rings and bangles;)!

    @Ammani: Sure…The mehendi function is happening toms…and considering the way things r going am sure I will have loads to write;)!

    @Akka:

    Oh ya…!!the sexiest sress i have ever seen!!!

    @Neha Vish:
    I have told my dad that my wedding is going to be very simple(I will avoid an elope situation as much as possible)….weddings can be really stressful!!!

    @Raindrop:
    Oh….life comes a full circle …thatz when u meet these psychopaths on tamilmatrimony.com:)!

  10. Anath,

    Intha dialogue varlia innum? ‘unga annioda mamaoda onnu vita nathanaroda chitthi payan statesle irukkanono avanukku akila-ve paakalame’ :)):))

    mamis oda bully ensoi pannu…….atleast kalyanathullayavathu jumikki, odiyanam, vanki, etc ellam potundu nalla samathu ponna iru 😉

  11. ho ho ho. still can’t get over the term Bully Mami. been laughing about it all night and all morning.

    dd

  12. Well, if its like that for a girl, its slightly different for men. Oh, your son is not in the USA? as if it is some deformity! Maamis thrive on comparing the hell out of each other. Toe nails, Universities, Marks in geography! Phew! Fundu post.

  13. Lovely! 🙂 Looking forward to the next post

  14. Devi!

    super time pass post!

    will u give the publishing rights for the book that u writing?

    -shyam

  15. this time from reverse:
    @shyam/chamchu…thank U Krishna(in ur tone…) !
    @shoe fiend:Thanks pal…
    @neelkantan: oh same thoughts in my head too…! phew itz tuff being us:)
    @Anon: DD….!
    @anon: oh ya….got loads of that..fortunately all same gothram jadagamz:)) bruhahahaha!escape!

  16. @Kr!sh…
    hey i mistook u for some1 else…but thanks anyways!! saw the post on gilli.in

  17. hmmm wonder wot the posts u deleted were all about 😀 😛 😛

    and welcome bak to online world… or is it just me who s not been dropping in on mundane stuff?? 🙂 hmm naaaah i think u ve been just out counting trucks 😀 😛 😛 kiddddddddddddding 🙂

    nice post btw… howlarious, i believe wud be the term 🙂

  18. @anon/PDR/ichayazzz
    well …it says the post has been removed by the author…I think it means the person who wrote it deleted it…!!!

    anyways….thanx buddy!!!

  19. I am new here, but I guess I’ve been thru this social bullshitting too (details are different for a guy). If this whole thing is about matchmaking, I would urge them as usual to go to Sivakasi (thats a joke), but I guess it is about conformism, so you could try some nu metal playing in the background and more of the metro jeans image. It works to some extent, as far as I’ve seen from cousins!

  20. @rajesh:
    been through that stage of metal playing, jeans wearing stuff,…makes the situation worse- you are banished forever from the tam brahm clan, ur a disgrace to society..!!!!Think at the heart of it, I dont want to be ostracized!

  21. Really funny!! You got a good sense of humor Akila..and it brings out tambrahm idiosyncracies to well. 🙂

    Mylapore maamigal ella ooruliyum irrukanga polla. 🙂

    Guess you’ll grow up to be one too!! 🙂


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