Being a TamBrahm by Sharada

Blog post written by Sharada Subramanian

Aathule ellarum epdi iruka…?

Well, being a Tam-Brahm, I had to start it this way no? 🙂 I dint know that being a Tam-Brahm is supposed to be so swag and ended up becoming a cult by itself.  I mean, all my friends raise eyebrows and give that smirkish wickedly smile when they know I’m a Tam-Brahm and I wonder if that’s good or bad…!

Whenever I read a name that ends with Subramanian or Narayanan, it brings a smile on my face and that’s just so silly but yet so Tam-brahmismly nice! 🙂

If you are a Tam-Brahm and you’re single, you are the most pitiful and disaster-prone soul on mother earth…!! The chances of getting killed by a maami in a social function is much more than getting killed by a raccoon or watching a power star movie. It’s better to stay put indoors rather than put yourself in the ‘Hall-Of-Shame’ by venturing outside. The minute they see you, it’s like this tiger waiting to pounce on his prey. They jump on you and attack you with the same set of questions. 1. Eppo kalyanam pannika pore? 2. Unaku vayasaindu iruku, apparam paiyyan kedaikarthu kashtam di. 3. U.S poi settle aidri kozhandhe. 4. Aathule amma, appaku oru periya relief irukum illiya…!?

What?!? Since when did I became a mobile candidate? These standard set of questions are mostly from maami’s whose son/ daughter is either single or ran away with non Tam-brahm person and they vent out all their parental frustrations on us.

Even if you dont nod your yes, they will make you do so with their emotional drama with tears rolling down and the whole Tamil serial episode funda. The next is to find a boy.

A typical Tam-Brahm matrimony reads as this:

“Seeking a boy (yeah, he is yet to complete his school) between 28-30 years of age, fair and handsome (no, not the cream) who is a minimum B.E and an MS who is well paid (like, 1 million $?). Please apply (huh,? U mean I need to apply for a husband post in your family?) to this mail id..”

Tam-Brahms consider working for someone else to be a noble profession. If you own a business, there is something wrong with your ethos. They will do a background check with their josiar to see what kind of business you do and if it is legal and if it is okay to do so !

Well, after this tamasha comes the matching of horrorscopes (No, it is not a typo). The magical squares where all your stars have to be in the wrong positions facing different directions to be matched with the boy’s..!

The next logical (well according to THEM, this is logical). The BOY comes to the girl’s house with his parents to check how the girl is. Can she walk, talk, Walk and talk and so on.. With the free Bajji and Bonda and not to forget the Filter Kaapi, they analyze and note how the girl behaves, how she talks. Then the boy seeks permission from his parents (well, I said, he is a boy…!) to talk to the girl in private ( please read private as the chithi and athai over hearing what you talk from the kitchen). The boy asks, “Did you say ok to get married or your parents forced you..?” (well, a goat is not asked for permission before being butchered, isn’t? ), and the girl replies “no no, enakum equally interest iruku!…” and before its time for the next question, the girl’s father enters and says “make yourself comfortable Mr. XXX, feel at home”, ( yeah sure, can u close the door please), and the nice “BOY” that he is, politely says “Sure mama”.

Once the girl and boy agree to marry and put all the blames on each other for all their mistakes for eternity, there are greetings sparkling all over the place “ Romba sandhosham mama, enaku indha madhiri kudumbathule paiyyan kidachadhuku romba bagyam pannirkanum” and then the sweets are distributed and the boy’s family go home happily ever after.

…and once the boy’s family gets into the car, the gossips start. When the Groom’s mother says “nalla madhiri iruka, ponnu dhan konjam modern a teriyara..”* and the “BOY” being Amma’s boy immediately responds (Tambrahm boys are always Amma’s boy, PERIOD.. so please don’t even bother changing it or questioning why) “Amam ma, aana kalyanathuku apparam maridiva..* (U mean from human to a robot?) .. As this goes on in the car, back at the girl’s house, the gossips are ever more detailed..”Amma, he looks so traditional, look at his viboothi* and his haircut and im not too sure if we shd go forward, I would like to meet him again and understand him better” (yeah that’s how love blooms sweet heart) says the girl but her dad is quick to react.. “Adhellam onnum illai, chamatha irukaaan. kalyanam aana seri pannidelam* (what seri pannidelam, you’ve been saying this dialogue about the tube light in our house for 10 years and it’s still not alright dad).. ‘nalla kudumbam, nalla sambadhikeran* (Yeah, that’s more like it, now your talking dad..!)… And the Athai screams… “eppo date paarkelam, seekirum paaru da, neraiyya velai iruku.. sastrigala poi paathudelam…”* ( yeah right, I’m sure you have loads of work athai, selecting your sarees and matching clips/bangles and flowers to it..!! and the chithi adds to the fuel “Aamam anna, mandapam kedaikarthu, paiyyan kedaikartha vida kashtam..”* (Yeah true, coz so many other joker families have booked it too, so we are in queue…). And the amma says “Let her decide, it is her life”.. Ah, no wonder mothers are mothers..!!

After all this tamasha and gossips, comes the next part.. Informing the world about it! Tambrahms have a unique knack of spreading information; It is so powerful that it’s high time they copyright it. The athai’s are always the loud speaker at any TamBrahm family. They are the official reporters of TBC (Tam Brahm Channel). The minute the alliance is fixed, the news travels faster than light. From the mama’s and chithappa’s in aminjikarai to the cousins working their butts off in America for a flew $, everybody is informed that there is a wedding in the family. Don’t get carried away by these US Tambrahms, all they gift is a T-shirt that looks more like five for a dollar kind and in all probability would have got manufactured in Tirupur and yes not to forget the ten Hershey’s mini chocolates per family neatly stapled after taking some to give the neighbours.

The girl’s family is busy scooting around for the mandapams from Adyar to Anna Nagar, from Mylapore to Mandaveli. Just one small condition, It has to be reasonable but should accommodate the size of a cricket stadium. That’s right; Tam-Brahms are big hearted people. They invite every human they knew from the time they were born. Suddenly everybody become a relative. “Appa, I have not even heard of this Rajalakshmi maami before, why is her name on the list?” asks the girl. The Appa is quick to respond.. “Illai kondhai, she is the mother of chellappa mama who is the ammanji of raman who is the co-brother of ambi who is the brother of lalli chithi who is my cousin”.. (WHAT?!?! I need oxygen, pls!! I’m running out of breath here and a rope too…)

A wedding is the time, where all the various relatives come together’ (read together as the ones in a parliament) in the Tam Brahm household. It becomes a mini assembly of its own. With everybody voicing their opinions and suggestions, a decision is never taken alone. The influence of a mama or an athai is always there. PERIOD. The paati of the girl (Read it as Father’s mother) makes sure every relative of her age is invited (Dead or Alive) and nobody is left out, if we do, it becomes a national news.

Well I can go on and on an on about Tam Brahms , but now that you read this article and I’m sure you got a fair idea about what we are 🙂 so next time when you see a Mr/Ms Subramanian or a Narayanan or a Ramakrishnan, plzzz give a smile 🙂 🙂

English translations

1.“nalla madhiri iruka, ponnu dhan konjam modern a teriyara..” – Nice family but the girl looks a bit modern

2. “Amam ma, aana kalyanathuku apparam maridiva..” True mom, she will change after marrying me

3. “viboothi pattai” – Holy ash on your forehead

4. “Adhellam onnum ille, kalyanam aana seri pannidelam” – Nothing like that dear, we will make him alright.

5. “nalla kudumbam, nalla sambadhikeran” – good family, he earns good dough.

6. “eppo date paakelam , seekirum paaru da, neraiyya velai iruku…” – When do we see the date for the wedding? There is so much work I have to do.

7. “Aamam anna, mandapam kedaikarthu, paiyyan kedaikartha vida kashtam..” – Yeah bro, getting a mandap is more challenging than getting a groom.


16 thoughts on “Being a TamBrahm by Sharada

  1. But doesn’t it happen with every other caste – shaming single girls, the ponnu pathufying tamasha and just everything else? Except for the Tambrahm language used in the dialogues, I don’t find anything unique about the Tambrahm culture in the post.


  2. Enjoyed reading a fun account of the tam bram experience but some constructive criticism.

    1) the blog was very cliched and I have read a ton of similar blogs. There is an English movie too along similar lines ( my big fat Greek wedding). But appreciate your attempt.

    2) tone down on the goat metaphor . I guess if you were capable of finding a guy who owns a business you could have done it. A lot of tam bram girls fall in love and get married. Appreciate periyaval attempts to make sure you don’t end up lonely.

    3) working butt off to make a few dollars is a common thing done by all the people and a lot better than working butt off to make a few paisas. The fact that they are kanjews enough to give such presents is proof that these folks save money for a rainy day.

    4) Missing part in your article: The boy is mother’s boy because sometimes Brahmin kids see their parents making a lot of sacrifices to get them through their b tech and ms (from your article it comes off as though these people are losers) . The boy just did not want to disappoint his parents. I know; sounds like a Tamil mega serial but hey it is kind of true.

    5) Credits to Periwval to make this happen in your life !!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 90% of people who belong to any community are cliché. The rest 9% are rebels and 1% is the outcast. Though I belong to the 10%, it is important to write something what most will relate to. I appreciate you calling this cliche because it is. The very fact you call this to be one shows you aren’t one. I also write less or zero cliché blogs. is where you can find them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 😂 😂 😂
    Hilarious take on our unique culture!!
    Ummm are there others out there who like me don’t really know the mother tongue
    🙈🙊 c’mon don’t be judgemental now 😜😝
    I’m a unique sub-set, a TamBrahm raised in North.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha ha. Awesome awesome. 😀 Hilarious to someone who is a tambrahm and yet I haven’t experienced anything like this. Obviously I am young and haven’t been exposed to a lot of relatives. So I am sort of safe, but reading this gave a good chuckle. Good writing and the picture you have painted with the words are really hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person


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