Blog post by Ananya Swaminathan
Our aavam was a total mess when we heard our foreign mappilai was coming down here. Ok it is not our usual mappilai who wears namam and goes to ISKCON temple in the US. It is a foreigner mappilai to be precise. Ricky Ponting maari Australian mappilai.
So we had no clue what to feed him. Namba mappilaia irundha nei ozhuga bakshanam panni kuduthu, filter coffeeaa davara set la suda suda pakathla vechu cover panidlaam. But namba high tea ku pora foreign mappilia epdi cover panradhu we had no idea.
Paati said “suda suda vada pani koduklam, epdi thirmbi Australia poraru nu paklam” and my 2 States la vara thambi character mari enga aathlayum irukra thambi encountered, “Paati avarlaam nambla maari oil pandam saptu epam vidrava kadayadhu, system affect aaida pordhu”. My dad meanwhile returned from office with bag full of cookies and my paati got her turn of kadupuadikardhu “ama aathuku modhal moraya vara mappilai ku, pora thundu podran unga appan. Andha kalathlalaam mapilaiku poriyal, kutu applam vadai oda sapadu saptu, vethalai la sunambu kammiya iruku nu avan amma kadha poi kadipan, apram avanoda amma mundhanaya varunju katindu vandhruva sanda poda. Indha kalathla paaru.” She did her famous face suluchufiying and went when my thambi and I face thaambulamed .
Finally the table was set with hot tea, cookies, cakes and konjam mixture for the nambdava touch. The mappilai arrived and after all the ‘aththi devo bhava’ formalities, he went to shake hands with my grandma who was shocked. She gave him one look of disgust and folded her hands “namaskaram, we no give hands.” We thought the mappilai got samma bulb when he bent down and touched her feet “sorry your grand daughter told me to do this, I forgot.” And all of us had anandha kaneer in our eyes.
We started our high tea, and mappilai was so impressed by the mixture. “can I get more of these? It is nice to eat this and wash it down with tea.” And I had this feeling that Bodhidharmar China pona maari, Srinivasano Ramanujumo Australia poirka? Avaloda vamsavali dhaan namba mappilai nu. And it was confirmed when he asked for vadai, “I ate it for breakfast in that sarvan baven today .”
Before they left after this sojji bajji session, both the ponnu and mappilai did sashtanga namaskaram and as usual our periyavas told “seekrama oru perano pethiyo pethu engala busyaa akungo”, which when translated to him made him blush furiously. And let me tell you only our paatis can make a 6 foot broad built Australian blush so much.