Friday, March 23, 2007

The Lost Supper

(This is what i thought i would write on Yugaadi day; but sleep and unwillingness took over)

We are a typical middle-class Kannadiga family. You know, the
we-love-Rajkumar-no-matter-what-Kaaveri-is-ours-Tams-may-go-take-a-walk and yes, Narayana Murthy-for-President

One of the family traditions i am rather proud of is the annual sit-down lunch, on festivals such as this one. A tradition that is, like most, dying. Very unfortunate. Indeed.
You know, the sort of lunch where amma cooks a multi-course meal, with her hair still wet and tied haphazardly; a lone yellow sevantige flower popping out, seeking attention from somewhere under the black mess. A lunch cooked while tapes of very old Kannada devotional songs blared on, waking us kids up, and adding a flavour of their own to the simmering paayasa, hayagreeva, hoLige saaru.

The sort of lunch where appa sits to eat, still in his Kanjeevaram mogaTa, the one he got in his wedding, the one with red and green borders. The sort of lunch where he would always playfully chide amma for getting confused with the order of serving kosambaris and palyas; something the over-worked woman never managed to master.

The sort of lunch we sat to partake of, smelling of happy shikakai (with violent red eyes) and the welcome smell of freshly opened new clothes, with the noisy anticipation of the treat in store. The sort of lunch where we would all squat on those small, square, intricate mats laid on the floor, eating off of the very large steel plates that were drawn out only on special days.

The sort of lunch, which was as a rule, followed by the most satisfying slumber, post which we would all sit and watch television together.

The memories rush in as cruel reminders as to why childhood was infinitely better than this pseudo-adulthood. Especially, when on a day like today, the brother grabs a bite on the couch; and i throw things down the gullet as i move around the house trying to locate my helmet and mobile phone.

It is almost cruel how a family affair i am rather proud of, is a vestige of the past. So much so, it is hypocritical to refer to it in the present.
I somehow now understand what amma means when she says,
'Children should never grow up.'


tangled said...

Tam Brahms have occasions like this, too, you know.
Except the part about the Kannada devotional songs. :)

Spunky Monkey said...

And i am sure the occasions have fewer and fewer (par)takers by the day. Is that not so?

As we grow older, when in our 20's to be specific, all things 'family' bring on some sort of anaphylactic shocks, don't they?

Wonder why.
(and no, i am not 20)

The Darkling Thrush said...

I noticed the spelling of Kaveri/Cauvery. Inneresting.

one of my closer friends is also staunch Brahmin. Kannada variety. I'm sure he'll fully agree with you.

wow, blogdom is a small place.

=) nice post.
happy writing!

Spunky Monkey said...

I am sure he would.
Agreeable souls mostly this blogdom harbours. We don't talk about Torpedo here.

And Thrush, it's a nice blog you have up there.

Burpoid said...

who are YOU flirting with, mister?
silly birds, huh?

Spunky Monkey said...

Silly birds that Thomas Hardy liked?
You got a problem with that, Gasmonster?

The Darkling Thrush said...

Gosh. I'm sorry if I did something?

Amogh said...

Well said. It's true but sad. But no matter how much I try as a 20 year old to generate the same enthu I had about 7 years back, it's just not possible.

But you know what, this is probably more true of our generation than say, 20 year olds, 20 years back. Back then, it was cool to be a Rajkumar fan. And Yugadi was cool too. Not now, especially today in a Bangalore filled with non-Kannada speakers and the most popular song is "If you come today... Tic Tic Tic". Unfortunate, really. I Blame Globalisation, Liberalisation and a world dominated by an American perspective of "coolness".

Comment on comment: Is there anything special about your spelling of Kaveri(apart from the extra 'a')? This is the only way I can spell it!

P.S. This is the only post I understood enough to comment about,you Spunky Monkey!

Spunky Monkey said...

I do not care much for Bob Dylan, but then he sure nailed it about the times-they-are-a-changing bit. It is quite unfortunate that one people's cultural ambassador(and mind you, for all the rightest reasons) is looked upon by other people no more than a caricature. The whole me-too yuppie crowd remembers Rajkumar, by all accounts a masterly artiste, for a few mispronunciations and a frilly red dress.
As for why we cannot generate the same enthusiasm over time about family affairs, i have a theory and will try and write it sometime. If at all.
The ole man Blighty had a way of making spellings suit his ever-rolling tongue. So, righteous Kaaveri became Cauvery. And Srirangapatnam, Seringapatam. And so on. Well, i despise that shite.

And, what was hard to understand? I guess, and now i am sure, i write real bad dude.

Anonymous said...

Ayyo! It is Ugadi kanrappa..Not Yugadi..Kannadigranthe.. :P

Anki said...

hear u boi... diwali is round the corner... n i m the only one left in the family home... mom has emailed instructions to her atheist daughter.. a list of diwali rituals... that i will carry out... all by myself

electrocuting myself wt the diwali lights... which used to be my fav part when bro n me wud get assigned serious roles... dad... will be th eofficial light man... taking out the fuse of teh whole house in order to put up his tacky disco ball of lights... bro's job tp hokd on to the chair... mom s job to hold the stool below the chair n also procliam the failure of the mission ever 5 seconds...n my job... to protect my father from this family of vengeful bees who had been disturbed in the process... using a broom

eventually we will move over to the lawn.. where all trees will b made to look like chirstmas tree

i guess i m gonna be electrocuted soon

but i wont let diwali down

great post
made me nostalgic ...hence this long rant

Spunky Monkey said...

Living alone is tough, you say? I am dreading it myself, having never been away from home ever.
I'll miss waking up at my own time and not worrying about dirty laundry.

Thank you, but I am sure it'll all be worth it.

jus me... said...

strange... i dont connect to this. i've been born n bought up in south banglore... maybe it is a brahmin culture and i was raised in a casteless home...
yet this sounds familiar... the smell of dal cooking, old rajkumar songs... i'm revisiting blr i think...