“Mom, I’ve decided to get married.”

The Seshadhris were only too ecstatic to here these words pop out of their elder son’s mouth, yet afraid at the the same time. After all, their son did study in the United States for 3 years. And from what they heard from their neighbours, the States “do things” to perfectly normal sons. What if he wanted to marry a white girl? The blasphemy! How would they ever explain to their relatives?
“Indian no?”, Mrs.Seshadhri asked, nervously.
Iyengar….”
“Oh thank god! Chamathu da nee. We’ll see the girl tomorrow!And I’ll have to call all our relatives to inform them. Ha! First I’ll call your aththai. Her son went to the states and ended up with one of those…punjabi a? Ya, punjabi-o ennavo. But my son? Chamatha Iyengar ponnu paathutaan.”
“Amma…”
“What? I know I’m getting excited but its not everyday your son gets married! First ponnu paakanum. Give me her address.”
“I can’t give the girl’s address.”
“Why not? ” interrupted Mr.Seshadhri. “Is it because they don’t know? Its okay, we’ll convince them”
“No, its because there is no girl”
Ennada solra?” chorused the parents.
“I am in love with an Iyengar, yes. But its not a girl. Its a boy”
Silence.
“Is this some kind of TV show? Is some shanniyan going to come with a camera and say all this is some joke? I know! Vijay TV-la Simbhu is doing something like this. He’s going to come now, isn’t he?”
“No mom, nobody’s behind your almirah. This is real. I want to get married to him and him only”
“This is not normal, you know that?”
“Appa, who’re you to say that it’s not normal? How do you know that it isn’t normal? I want to get married to him and that’s the end of it” and he stormed out of the room.

The Seshadhris were appalled, and did what any other parents would do when presented with such a private confession. They called the entire family over to discuss it.
Mamas, Mamis, Thathas, Paatis, Chithappas, Chiththis, Aththais, Athimbers, Perippas, Perimmas and a motley crew of cousins promptly assembled to exchange their views over filter coffee and masala vadais.

Enna kodumai Seshadri idhu
“This is not the time to joke, its a very serious issue pa. Namma community-la this is just not done”
“Are you sure about this? I mean was he joking?”
“Will anybody joke about things like this? Avan serious-a dhaan irukaan. He’s gay.”
“Amma Amma, what’s a gay?” interrupted 6 year old Achu, loudly.
Silence.
“Sshhh, Achu. Go play outside with Kichu.” said his visibly embarassed mother.
Achu promptly ran outside hollering KICHU! GAY-NA BAD WORD DA!
“Kids”
“Yea. I’m hoping he gets a girlfriend soon.”
“Shree, he’s 6”
“The earlier the better. And I’m so not sending him to the US”
“Not everyone turns out like that. My son married a perfectly nice girl. Enna, she’s punjabi. But very nice girl.”
“You know she has a beard, right?”
“Oh please! At least she’s a girl.”
“Enough enough. This is not about her daughter-in-law’s beard. Idhu konjam serious-aana matter.”
“Yes yes. There are so many fundamental complications”
“Like if this marriage does go on, who gets to be the Maapla veedu?”
Chechu make it clear to them that we will be the groom’s house. We will demand our rights”
“Hey, who gets to tie the thaali?”
“Will there even be a thaali?”
“Maybe they’ll tie a golden poonal around him”
“One more doubt. The girl usually sits on her father lap when they tie the thaali. Does this mean that the son sits on his mothers lap? How does that work exactly?”
“Yea! And then usually the girl wears that special koora-podavai before she ties the knot. Do we have to get this guy a koora-veshti?”
“Atleast you’ll save on all those silk sarees.”
“And that Mehndi thing. Unless your son wants it, ofcourse”
“Hahahaha! Thats so g…nothing”

An uncomfortable silence followed, but was swiftly interrupted by the Periappa.

“Come to think of it, that golden poonal will weigh a lot”
“Does your future…err son-in-law cook?”
Aiyo! Don’t call him son-in-law! I don’t even want this to happen!”
“Maybe you should do that. Vidaatha. Then he’ll come around”
“No way, then he’d elope. Odi poyiduvaan!”
“Thats not good for the family name.”
Thu! As if marrying a boy is very honourable.”
“And besides, eloping-na, usually the girl runs away, gets a baby and then only gets accepted back in the household. This is how it is in all tamil padams”
“Ok, but how the heck are these guys going to get a baby?”
“My point exactly, so they won’t elope”
“Which is worse. What if they get together like those villains in Vettaiyaadu Villaiyaadu?”
“Aiyo! That’s a movie about homosexual psychopaths! You’re son is too sensitive for that. He cried in the climax of Kabhi Khushi Kahi Gham, for heaven’s sake!.
Appove we should have noticed…”
“You think there’s some kind of homeopathy treatment for this? Or Ayurveda? Some kashayam or something?”
“No no, its a state of mind. No kashayam can cure it”
“Or should we send him to a psychiatrist?”
Illa. Those psyciatrists are Peter parties. They’ll end up brainwashing us about how we are educated and must accept him the way he is”
Adhaan pannanum” said Mr.Seshadhri, finally.
The entire household went mute.
“You mean…we have to get him married? To that…that boy?”
“Yes”
“Only then, he’ll be happy.”
“Aiyo sentiment thaangamudila
“My decision is final. I’ll go call him and find that other boy’s number. I have plenty to talk to his parents.”

The household watched him go with a rather stern resolve in absolute silence. The only sound was the jowku-jowku of Paati eating Vadai.
Enna paati? What do you think?” said one of the cousins, finally breaking yet another uncomfortable silence.
Ennadhaan payyana love pannaalum, atleast Iyengar payyana paathu love pannane, adhuve porum

Translation for the last line: Even though he loved a boy, at least he loved an Iyengar boy, that’s enough for me.

UPDATE: I have to give credit to 2 other people for this actually.
1) Idling in Top Gear – It was a conversation with him that sparked off the whole thing. Thanks anna πŸ™‚
2) Vanilla Vats – The line “KICHU! GAY NA BAD WORD DA!” is an adaptation of one of Miss.Vat’s actual quotes.
Now that I’ve mentioned you guys, please stop the death threats. thank you.

124 Comments on Deviance

  1. rofl:) this was the awesommest post ever! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it, you might want to rethink being an accountant..you really have a flair forwriting1

  2. Simply superb,, Rethink ??? U sure wanted to be accountant ?

    esp : Patti’s words

    “Ennadhaan payyana love pannaalum, atleast Iyengar payyana paathu love pannane, adhuve porum”

    Is this a true story ??? πŸ™‚

  3. @ shankar
    thanks! πŸ™‚

    @VV
    Not really, I love me! Pls to check update

    @Aditya
    Illa, just a result of slightly hyper active imagination

    @Dilip
    Thanks! πŸ™‚ And yes, paatis are always brilliant.

    @Ranjani
    Thanks, and to your husband too! πŸ™‚ And I’m doing the accountant thing for the money, btw. So that I’d have enough money to self publish when the publishers reject my stuff due to inappropriate content/highly volatile toilet humour.

    @harini
    thanks! πŸ˜€

    @lone crusader
    thanks! πŸ˜€

    @neon
    thanks fo trippin by, foo. πŸ˜€

    @max
    trust me, it has. πŸ™‚ thanks.

    @atul
    thanks dude! Hows UIUC keeping you? And like I told ranjani, I’m doing the accounts thing for the money.

    @rads
    thanks! πŸ™‚ Paatis are the best, aren’t they?

    @chokkathangam
    Wo gad! And Russel Peters is priceless man!

    @pavithra
    aiyiyo illa! Not a true story, just hyper imagination. πŸ™‚ Thanks.

    @Nikhil
    Yea, I sold it to Karan. πŸ˜› πŸ˜€
    thanks! πŸ™‚

    @aish
    thanks!

    @Stith
    es es, very rare πŸ™‚

    @buddy
    thanks! πŸ™‚

    @m
    Thanks! πŸ™‚ glad to have made your morning.

    @vrinda
    thanks! πŸ™‚

    @ramanujam
    Like I said, plenty of fundamental complications πŸ™‚
    thanks.

  4. Wow πŸ˜€ Very impressive. A lot of dialogues stolen from every TamBram family (or any family for that matter) anxiously waiting for their MS kid in the US to say the word.

    Aaana idu too much :))

    Awesome post as usual… out pattis totally rock. period.

  5. A very bad Friday until I read this!!! Extremely hilarious!! Had a good laugh…

    Best lines are:

    “Like if this marriage does go on, who gets to be the Maapla veedu?” and ofcourse paati’s end credits!!!

    And I should admit that, though this is your wild imagination, it is absolutely possible for this kinda conversation (especially paati’s punch) πŸ˜€

  6. Ishant Sharma is Brahmin, but he’s not Iyengar ‘n all πŸ˜‰

    PS: Thanks for the credits, but where is the hyperlink? Cha, kids these days – they don’t even know how to credit people properly! πŸ˜›

  7. Sheer brilliance!
    KICHU! GAY-NA BAD WORD DA!
    “Ennadhaan payyana love pannaalum, atleast Iyengar payyana paathu love pannane, adhuve porum”

    Those were my favorites! I simply love the way you write… Been following you on Reader for a while…

  8. @atul
    will do πŸ™‚

    @drenched
    good to see you back! πŸ˜€ and thanks!

    @dalals
    thanks so much! πŸ˜€

    @journey to home
    thanks!

    @anonymous
    thanks!

    @confounded lady
    naanga eppovume konjam too much dhaan. πŸ˜‰
    thanks!

    @nandini
    happy to help. thanks!
    πŸ˜€

    @BPSK
    Will try my best πŸ™‚ Thanks!

    @nandhini
    thanks!

    @the maverick blog
    glad to make your friday a little better! πŸ™‚ thanks!

    @Idling
    Ishant matter was supposed to be between the two of us! Don’t bring it up in public n all.
    Sigh! Old men these days, dont’t even know how to keep a secret.
    πŸ˜›

    @tashi
    thanks! πŸ˜€

  9. Stumbled on to ur blog a few months ago.. Since then been checking it out quite often… U have certainly improved a LOT comparing ur ooolder posts … Elegant and fluid writing and u take care in choosing topics that would interest the reader.. It is one thing to have a good sense of humour.. It is quite another to be able to bring it into ur posts..
    U rockk πŸ™‚

  10. he he loved the post. Your description of how the wedding will be made it funny and thought provoking. I think there will be a fight over who will be the bride and who will be the groom. Vada thaan minjum! Paati had the last say!

  11. this is brilliant. i did not understand the tamil words but i got the jist and the flare of the lingo (having had a good friend excessively passionate about chennai). you are an awesome writer
    πŸ™‚

  12. First timee here ! Came through twitter ! This is indeed absolutely hilarious ! Enjoyed this !

    For some reason, this incident comes to my mind :

    Some years back, i was asked to give a speech. And after that, there were a few folks who collected my phone number !

    Little did i realise that one of those blokes would call up home. And tell my wife..’i enjoyed your husband thoroughly’ !

    And since then, life has been different !!

  13. hey, directed here by a friend.

    58 comments in, not much to add (i presume, not having read them), but would just like to slip in my little note of appreciation here. πŸ™‚

    um. consider it slipped.

  14. very funny…its a wake up call to Iyengars everywhere…can happen, esp with the US of A leading the way with equal rights for gay people. will give lots of people ideas…hehehe

  15. I just wished to bring to your notice a mixed piece of news: This piece of yours has become a rage in forwards I think because over the course of the last two months I’ve received it as a forward from two completely unrelated forwarding chains! πŸ™‚
    The bad news is neither forward had referenced this back to your post! πŸ™

  16. hey i really enjoyed ur sense of humour(patti making jowku jowku vada noise)and other iyengar stuff).enna irundallum coconut chutney kku konjam cholesterol jasthi.u have jus thaalucchified iyengars in general(jus joking)

  17. eons ago there was a nice comedy series commisioned by BBC (Goodness Gracious Me) and shown in India on Star world. There is an comedy sketch which I have given the link for. Hope you enjoy it.

  18. Paati is a class act! Loved her one-liner… the world truly needs understanding paatis like these! If this is a true story; all's well that ends well… and if not; it's a great read! Keep up the good work!

  19. Hi,

    I don’t know either of you. All said and done I think you have taken things a little too far. You could have approached the problem rather professionally than taking it head on like a street fighter. And seriously you should have moderated comments. When you have started with a β€˜Thoo’ you cant blame your friends for taking it couple of notches higher. I know that neither of you will be taking this to legal since we all are aware the case will end probably only by 2030.
    Infact both of you have to thank each other for giving publicity. First you have thank Charukesh for making this video and laying a foundation for creating an issue. Secondly he has to thank you for blowing this issue out of proportion and making a mountain out of a molehill. Ultimately both of you got what any aspiring man / woman would want. Publicity. After all there is nothing like bad publicity. Isn’t it?

  20. @Khaleel: I don't know you either. Reading all the recycled jokes and internet forwards on your blog, I think you are probably trolling to make both of them look bad as well for publicity.

    FYI, the "thoo" is more comical than a literal meaning in that context. I hope you understand tamil.

    Explain "take the problem professionally" in less than 100 words and i will tell you why it wont work in this case.

  21. Well. Unfortunately I don’t have the literary flair or creative ability to write an impressive blog post on my own. That’s why I simply put the jokes and forwards I read and I liked in my blog. In fact I considered my blog only as a place to store my favourite collection of jokes which I can read through whenever I wish. And I don’t meant to draw attention to my blog as I hardly comment though I have read and read many blogs (including your blog).

    I am not taking sides. Shifting the blame to his friend when he has mentioned his name also as a script writer is unacceptable and very cowardly.
    I just feel that he is a nice man who has done a mistake in haste and if communicated properly would have promptly corrected his error with an apology. But when abused and humiliated he has reacted just like any man when cornered would do.

  22. @Khaleel: I think you answered the question yourself. Any man when cornered would act so. Similarly any woman when taken undue advantage of will only say "thoo". Men are thankful they don't throw us on the ground and step on our face.

    Calling parties of a serious issue foul and descrbing it as a "publicity seeking" venture i think is out-rightly rude when most of the people commenting here know Lavanya Mohan personally, including me. The proof that such incidents happened and the real email communication occurred are all published on another post on the same blog is available for one to read. Please consider all information into account before accusing someone of playing a publicity game.

  23. I'd read this a few days after it was put up. And I came across Mr & Mr Iyer today. I must say that the whole episode is routine for Indian "creative" media – video is made; original author surfaces; author is destroyed.

    Well, maybe not so much the last bit this time around. Great going Lavanya! Superbly handled.

  24. My Gudness…
    I was laughing for half hour thinking about this in my room. It was as though visualizing Enge Brahmanan in a different manner.
    And this post was sent by Thyagi to my mail address and asked me to read this,he was my school and college mate…
    Thanks to him..! and Thanks to u too…
    By the by My name is Seshadri! πŸ™‚

  25. INDHA POST AH US LENDU THAN EZUTHAREN!!!!TYPICAL IYER AATHU CONVERSATION …I REALLY DUNNO WHO U ARE AND WHAT U DO…ITZ ONE OF THE POST THAT REALLY MADE ME LAUGH AFTER A VERY LONG TIME AND ALSO MADE ME TO FEEL BOUT MY FAMILY TOO…TO BE FRANK WIT YOU…. THE CHILDS WORDS AND PATTIS WORDS WAS SIMPLY SUPERB…… THANK YA FOR MAKING ME LAUGH WIT UR WORDS!!!!

    REGARDS
    SHANKAR
    shankar0708@gmail.com

  26. Very nice writing.. really makes one laugh.. But i can see an undercurrent of deep thought that you have expressed in your entry here ..You could expect such a conversation happening in your house when such tabooed topics arise.. well done ..keep it up !!

  27. gay-na bad word da was too funny, but i literally spit out my tea when i read the vettaiyadu reference. love it!

    this is my first time on your blog, and i am truly impressed. i could read a million more of these!

  28. haha…are iyengar families really that easy to stereotype? coz really, i'm sure that's EXACTLY how a discussion on this topic would go at my place πŸ˜›

  29. Hi there..this was one excellent read..sheer brilliance..though i aint a tambrahm,i can related each word to it,thanks to all my tambrahm friends..keep it going !!
    timeless stuff πŸ™‚

  30. You have obviously put a lot of effort (and humor) into this, BUT methinks you have got a very basic TamBram characteristic wrong – they are (generally) masters at the art of covering up issues they perceive as scandalous. I should know – I have been married to one for over 20 years… I don't think that family "meeting"
    would have ordinarily taken place! We only recently found out, through a very convoluted grapevine, that hubby's maama's grand-daughter got married in the US of A quite a while ago. The matter was swept under the ubiquitous "paai" (mat) for as long as it could be. No, she wasn't getting hitched to another woman. The groom was the "right" gender alright, but the "wrong" race – African. Maama and maami go about as usual assuming (or pretending?) no one knows… All the clan know by now, but no one dares to discuss it in public…

    BTW they are also experts at exaggerating desirable issues so that they reflect more favorably… mostly pertaining to property, income and domicile (read USA). It never fails to appall me that a class that on one hand so proudly flaunts it priestly and spiritual origins, should be so obsessed with all things materialistic… No offence meant, but it truth it is.

  31. @cathedralist – I think Lavanya has captured THIS moment in a TamBram family perfectly. What YOU are referring to is an aftermath. Once the bad stuff is done and over with, the covering up act is the way. But when presented with a such a scenario, TamBram protocol is family meeting. And to those who are Naive enough to think "Family" means amma and appa together, this post should show you the real deal. πŸ™‚

  32. ROFL!!!! andha nalla parents intercaste marriage accept pannama irundha avala accept pannikka vecha lovers apparam adhu oru padi poittu inter religion achu athukkum seri solla vecha… apram inter state, inter countrynnu pochu…. ippo homo sex…. hmmm ithukkum othukkanumo ennamo…. aana onnu janathoga perugama irukka ithuvum oru vazhi pola irukku….

  33. Politically Incorrect to the core…you have hazed Tam-Brahms, Iyengars, Homosexuals, Old People, Tamil culture…err..have i missed out on anything else? And you know what I absolutely Loved it..you rock man

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