I belong to the quintessential Tambram clan who are perpetually stuck in the “transition” phase. We are forever struggling to fit in, “our” modus operandi into today’s picture of the world(which, is strikingly different from ours).
Kamala maami couldn’t contain her excitement. Even if she managed to hold a calm-what’s-the-big-deal expression, her dazzling nose rings(which she wore only on important days. This was common knowledge) and her 9-yards of silken splendour, gave her way. It was her turn now. She had patiently waited for 11 months for this day. The day when, Manohar would finally give the keys to her newly constructed, swanky 3BHK (with an exclusive swaami-room) apartment in the second floor. It was her dream. She had planned everything meticulously for her “Grahapravesam”(house warming ceremony). She knew what she had to do.
As it is with every celebration in the Tambram household, we make sure we do it, when the rest of the world is asleep. So, Kamala maami chose an ungodly 3:45 am muhoortham. After the inhuman torture of oil bath at 3:oo am, we all assembled just on time. Worse, we were all completely decked up. Even my little niece, all of just 5. Manu was dressed in really pretty pattu-paavadai(which would have otherwise been the talk of the town, if only everyone weren’t walking around like zombies dressed in silk sarees).
So, everything was ready. The Shaastrigal(priest) maama was particularly thrilled in making us do chores around the house, when he knew, some of us were lilting away in a dream sequence in a land far-far away.
Shaastrigal maama asked, “Maadu vandhacha?” (Has the cow arrived?) That is the exact point, when/where, I realised, how “different” we were.
(It is a famed tambram ritual, to bring a cow-calf duo into the new house, and make them do su-su(pee). Actually, if it did the big business, we are happier. But, we will be satisfied with susu only. We are contented people).
Hence, the cow too, was woken up at the ungodly hour and brought to the gates. But you see, the ritual clearly states, the cow has to do susu “inside” the house. Now, you get the problem? Kamala maami’s apartment is in the second floor. The cow just wouldn’t move when we tried to get it upstairs. Someone, suggested, we take the calf alone in the lift. But someone else pointed out, we weren’t supposed to use technology, we had to keep it natural. (I was wondering in some corner, which part of all of these, was natural! ).
The cow keeper started getting impatient. Apparently, this particular cow, was quite the celebrity and it had 3 other house-warming appointments to keep.
The shaastrigal mama suggested, we bring a “thinner” cow as it would be easier for us to push it thro’ the surprisingly narrow stairways.(To think, humans only have vanity issues…)
My little niece was also irritated.
“Amma why are we waiting?”
“Illada kanna, maadu has to do susu inside the house no?”
“Even I want to do susu now.”
She started wailing. Shaastrigal mama and the cow-keeper got increasingly annoyed. The cow stood staunchly refusing to move even one bit. The whole environment became chaotic, just like that. Definitely not the way kamala maami had planned it.
Finally, there was pee on the floor(inside the house).
Little Manu couldn’t contain anymore.
See, I told you, we are contented people. We make do with what we have.
PS: Fact and fiction.
#Fact – We did have a house warming ceremony in the second floor. Only, that, we, very cleverly changed the rules to suit our need. Cow could conveniently pee near the gates and the shaastrigal testified it saying, the pee was on the same ground as the house.
#Fiction – You know it!
PPS: No offense to anyone. We can tease only what we love the most no?
PPPS: Next Pulitzer prize for me only, I know. Don’t be jealous.