Blog post by Sharmilee Sriram
“Enna aachu kuzhanthai ku?”, Lakshmi Mami questions her daughter, Savi (Savitha) over the usual FaceTime session. Savi lives in London along with her husband (Ananth) and 5 year old daughter (Ritika). Mami resides with Mama in Alwarpet.
Ritu sniffs her running nose and lies down on Savi’s lap as Savi replies, “Joram Amma. Nalla temperature rendu naala. Inga weather konjum crazy a iruku. Eeya Chombu la rasam vechurukaen iniki, pakalam. Seri aagala na, GP (doctor) kita kootindu poganum”
Mami, all worried and slightly cross, “Naan than apovae sonaenae (enna, unga aathu Mami um ithae dialogue solluvala? Ithu nambalava Ammas’ oda standard dialogue oy!) Facebook la Ritu kutty oda photos elam podathae, kannu padum nu..(how come our Ammas’ end up blaming the Facebook or the mobile in our hands for anything that goes wrong with us? Mummy Miracle!) En pecha yaaru kekarel?” (and guess who enters at this scene. Of course elaroda aathulaiyum, yaaru Mami kita thittu vaanguva, antha nalla ullam padaitha, (Venkat) Mama enters in)
“Enna di acchu? Engiyo yezhu kadal thandi iruka avalae pavam, oru 1 hour facetime panra. Athulaiyum kuzhanthaiya thittara?” said Mama and tries to fit into the iPad screen to look at Savi, adjusting his mooku kannadi upward with one finger, with The Hindu crossword page in his hand.
“Maapilai ‘work from home’(work from home aa, ila work for home aa??) panna mudiyatha Savi? Unaku konjum uthasiya irukumae…” said Mami. “ila ma, avaruku project completion deadline iruku. Pavam naal pagala velai panraru. Cant disturb him. I can handle it, nee kavalai padathae. Calpol kuduthurukaen. Iniki paravala” replied Savi, having iPad in one hand and stirring the rasam on the stove in other hand.
“Intha year end nee varum pothu, inum neriya rasam podi, sambar podi, ayngaya podi, paruppu podi….eduthundu po. Maapilai anikae veppala katti and maracheeni appalam aayduthu nu sonarae. Mylapore la irukarara Naatu Marunthu kadai laenthu konjum kuzhanthaikum podi elam vaangi tharaen. Antha English syrup elam vendam. Elamae athikama stock up pani vechuko, seriya?” said Mami
“aamam kuzhanthai…Unga amma kuduthu vidara packets vechu, nee anga oru Ambika Appalam franchise open panidalam. Ipo elam ithelam angayae kidaikarthu di Lachu”, teased Mama with a cheeky smile.
“That reminds me Ma, enaku inum konjum poonal, charadu, manjal, kungumam, seepu kannadi elam vanganum. Intha year Navratri Golu ku I am expecting a huge crowd at home”, said Savi, checking Ritu’s temperature with a thermometer. “Normal ayduthu ma. Intha weekend kovil ku poitu varanum. Kuzhanthai perula oru archanai panittu vanthuduraen”
“Enga … Pulaiyar kovil a? Apadiyae Saravana Bhavan poitu vanthudu da Savi and don’t forget our favourite Sunday special Adai Aviyal…hahahaha…” laughed out Mama just like comedian Madhan Bob Sir, with Mami sighing off and hitting her forehead with her right hand palm.
(Ofcourse mama, ithuvum main reason for visiting temples during weekends. Ummachi, grocery purchase and hotel sapaddu. Our typical weekend in UK or USA.)
“Seri Savi, inga TV serials aramikkara time aayduthu. Naan poi dosai kal a podaraen. Rendu dosai ya saptutu, serials elam pathutu, padukka seriya irukum. Nee Ritu va paru. Take care three of you. Marakama kuzhanthaiku drishti suthi podu kanna” said Mami.
“Okay ma. You don’t worry. You both take care of your health. Sugar tablet marakama eduthuko ma. And appa, please go for walking regularly” said Savi caringly.
“aamam….aamam…unga appa walking poitu vara kathaiya kelu. Kizhai poitu flat members oda nanna vambu pesitu, antha street corner la irukara Boli stall la nanna snacks and sweets saptutu vara..ketukko Savi…” said an angry and worried Mami and left to the kitchen handing over the iPad to Mama.
“Ava etho solra..nee vidu Savi. Athelam onum ila Kanna. I will take care”..said Mama to ease the tension on Savi’s face.
“Enna appa…please…odambu pathukongo. I want you to take your cholesterol test this week and scan me the results. Seri ya?? Please dad, paduthatheengo” said Savi, who was already a mother to Ritu.
“Scan elam vendamae, ipo than just click in iPhone or iPad and send as iMessage or whatsapp la….hahahaha” said Mama, showing off his tech-savvy skills and to make it a lighter moment.
“Seri pa, anupungo..High Tech Iyer aaitael…hahaha..ok dad need to go now. Enakum neriya velai iruku. Dishwasher otitu, Vacuum podanum. Carpets romba dirty a iruku. Nalaiki Ananth oda colleagues aathuku vara. Need to do some cleaning. Bye pa…bye maaaa….” said Savi and switched off the iPad and gave Ritu a big kiss on her forehead.