My favourite day of the year! by Soumya

“Di, today is Saraswati Poojai, don’t open your books and don’t study today.” Priya’s face lit up when I heard those words from amma. She wondered “Did I just hear that or am I dreaming?” Almost sensing the pleasure on her face, her mom quickly retorted “Just for today, tomorrow we will take the books out from Swami padi. You better start studying regularly for a couple of hours instead of mugging last minute before exams. Maths la last time 80 than kadaichudu” Although momentary but those words ‘don’t study today’ were like music to Priya’s ears. And that’s why throughout school this day holds a special place in her heart. The only day in the year when people in a tambrahm household would tell you to refrain from taking books in your hand.

Throughout her schooling Priya has been an ‘average’ student – average as per tambrahm standards (though she passed with distinction in all her exams). She never got a 100/100 in maths or science! “Achupichu, scoring subjects la aaravudu 80 vanguvala?” will be her mother’s standard reply.

Her father would help her with her maths homework; he was an MSc in maths. She would go to him with solved maths problems and he would give her a disappointed look. She would look at it and ask him if she has solved it right. He would say – “yes the answer is right but inda answer vandude adu ennadu – chakkaiya mangaya? If you have 25 sweets and you gave 17 to X, then how many do you have left?” Priya would say “25-17, 8 thaane, appa.” He would say, “Yes, answer right than but what is it, 8 bananas right? Who will write that? You lose marks in silly mistakes, Priya.”

That’s it – Amma starts polumbing that these silly mistakes are a result of

  • Lack of concentration
  • Anda ashatu naalu friends
  • Picking out vegetables from sambhar and molagootal instead of eating them
  • Knowing film song lyrics by heart and thus letting them occupy memory space in your brain!
  • Not having thair sadam after eating kana-pina street food

And many such irrelevant conclusions.

Then comes the comparison – look at your anna. He is so good in studies, he doesn’t loiter around with crappy friends, he doesn’t back-answer his parents, and he eats all the vegetables without grumbling! Priya would always get angry at such comparison sessions. “Amma, how does eating vazhakai and chenai have anything to do with getting full marks in maths??? Some people like them, some don’t!” she would retort angrily.
“This is your problem, Priya. Vaaya kizhika maathram nanna padichirukkai nee.

Priya chuckled as she remembered umpteen such arguments with her amma. Today as she lit the lamp and wrapped all the books in silk cloth on Saraswati poojai day, her 4 year old tugged her and asked for the 115th time, “Amma, why do we keep our books for poojai today?” Priya smiled as she lifted her in her arms and said, “It is my favourite day and in a few years I am sure you will love it too” 😀


8 thoughts on “My favourite day of the year! by Soumya

  1. Very reminiscent of my days as a school student. Now even if I wish not to study on Saraswathi Puja my desk has too many papers I have to clear. Anyway I saw one interesting comment on Palakadan Bashai – maybe it’s time to identify all Tamil Speaking Brahmins as one rather be so parochial.


  2. Thanks for all comments..
    True @sankarahumour.. the kids today are always on the go, they feel sitting idle, doing nothing is a waste of time.. 😀


  3. The chakkaya/mangaya brought back flooding memories. Nice to see some good Palakkadan bashai among the mix.:) Yes, and the “vendaka kashnam” in “kootan” is always kept away. 😀


  4. Nicely written piece of how we felt about reading text books in our younger days and now, the writer Sowmya narrates interestingly about her favourite holiday which happens to be holi-day for conducting special poojas for Goddess Saraswathi and her experience got inherited by her daughter too. But times are changing and the attitude of our children have evolved accordingly due to the influence of the social media, the internet and other gadgets which facilitate faster communication and they have no time to enjoy the leisureliness of holidays as they are all in a hurry to progress , to get on on par with peers and they are inclined to read on that day too, while spending a few minutes at the pooja room.



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