Blog post by Murali Shankaran
GANGABAGHIRATHI (Ganga to family and Baghi to friends) was very elated, the 6th in the group of 7 siblings, she is going to get married. Like any other girl in her post mid twenties she had her own dreams of her new found home where she will shift with bag and baggage.
“Ganga, pora edathulae nalla nadandhuko. Maamiyaar maamanaar mechiya marumagala iru” this is her mother .
“Adiye pukaathulae konjam munnae pinnae thaan irukkum ketiyaa, nee thaan adjust pannidu poganum. Adhuvum maapillaiku konjam kovam adhigam nu kelvipattae. Namba Balakrishnan mama sonaar.” Idhu ava mootha Akka, experience speaking .
Aval innoru akka, aamaam aamaam naanum parthaen nischiyathartham annniku coffee davara tumbler le koduthaa, avar munji appadiye maariduthu. Apparam avar amma kitatae kaetaen, he does not like coffee to be served in a davara. Please keep it at the back of your mind.
(“davara ilaadha coffee tumbler is like fish in tank without water”) this is the mind voice of Ganga’s second athimber who hails from their native kallidaikurichi .
The D day comes and GANGA BAGHIRATHI smoothly gets transferred from BHARADWAJ GOTHRAM to SRIVATSA GOTHRAM.
She transforms herself from GANGA BAGHIRATHI NARAYANAN to GANGA BAGHIRATHI SHANKARAN. The wedding gazette records the change in name. How effortlessly do girls transform and slip into roles. First that of a daughter, then sister, then that of a wife & daughter in law rolled into one, then the epitome of all a Mother, and then a mother in law to end it with paati. Aahaa kanna katudhae (in vadivelu style).
Before she leaves for her in laws place, a piece of advice “Ganga un maamiyaar nalla maddiriyaa thaan irukaa nalla kalakala nu pesaraa ellorum kittae. Rumba anbaa pesaraa.” idhu ava mudhal manni.
Aana konjam careful she nodifies a lot, this is her second manni .
Idha paaru Ganga, pukaathulae enna aanaalum nee thaan adhai samaalikannum. Angaendhu oru varthai ingae varakoodaadhu, ingaendhiu enna sollanumo adha mattum thaan nee sollanum. Edhuvaa irundhaalum nee thaan adjust pannindu poganum . This is her MOTHER hiding a few drops of aanandha kanneer. Bag and baggage she moves to her new found place and prays to the Acharyal. – Ini ellam unga seyal.
The first few days of new married life went on very well. Moochuku munooru thadavai ava maamiyaarae AMMA AMMA nu koopiduvaa genuinely, she also responds genuinely. Ganga happily does new shopping for her and also ensures that she buys for her amma in law, her naathanaar. ( a very important portfolio in a tambrahm society ) .
The days pass by and months pass by slowly she sees a fortress being build around her husband she tries to impregnate the same but with measured success. this fortress is called by different names – some of them being UNDILUTED LOVE, AFFECTION, INSECURITY of one person called MOTHER .
This is called “thaaipaasam mania” vandha aval en paiyyan nae enkittaendhu pirichuduvaalao?
Amma inniku raatri tiffin upma kozhakattai pannavaa . – pannu aana chatni also venum. Shankaran ku chatni illamal upma kozhakattai pidikaadhu. “Its ok Ganga if sambar is there its fine by me or else molagai podi. Even you have just come back from office.”
Amma’s face changes , the first nail is hit.
Ganga’s brother comes to see her and maapillai. He gets a branded checkered shirt for maapillai and gives. The mother responds Shankar checks shirt potukave maataan. Paravaillai amma aasaiya vaangindu vandhirukaar I will wear. (who will want to miss out wearing a zodiac with mother of all pearls button shirt) enna color thaan konjam adikaradhu, a dark brown color.
The sound of the second nail being hit. The list of the number of nails is countless.
Slowly amma tries to find fault with occasional small and petty things. Appa who is a cool person tells his wife to stop talking. And then he consoles ganga ‘onnum thapa ninaikaadhae avalukku konjam kovam varum (engeyo ketta kural) aana basically she is a very nice lady at heart, .konjam over possessive avalavuthaan. Nee thaan adjust pannindu poganum. (repeat kural)
How many of you would have gone thru this scenarios in your life? A common sight in many tambrahm families. When they see a girl for their son the usual line of thinking is “Ponnu nalla irukanum, nalla family, nalla pazhakam vazhakam konda aval, periyavaalae madhika theriyanum, naanga adi kadi travel pannuvom, enga paiyanae nalla paarthukanum, idhu thaan enga requirement.” What does this speak, the undiluted love and affection for her son.
I have seen a family where the boys mother welcomed her daughter in law with carefully selected three sets of antique gold necklace set (one a diamond) and matching bangles . en ponnu en veetukku varaa let me welcome her with style. This is a new age mother.
In a society where we see and treat our maapillai as our son, why don’t we see our daughter in law as our daughter. What’s it that stops them from doing so. Is it insecurity or the faith and trust on the son diminishes. Not the later or the former but just plain love and affection on the son.
THE DAY A MOTHER REALISES THAT SHE IS HER SON’s YESTERDAY AND TODAY AND THAT HIS WIFE IS HIS TODAY AND TOMORROW, such situations will cease to arise . For somebody has rightly said that “patni thaayum aavaal” and the mother takes a backseat saying my son is in safe hands and starts treating the “MARUMAGAL AS MAGAL”
“Endru thaniyum indha MARUMAGALIN daagham” (Taken from Bharathi’s poem and modified)