Sunday, December 23, 2007

One chilly evening at the Yathiraja Matham

Note: The conversation below is in Kan-Tam (Kannadized Tamil), spoken quite widely in Malleswaram, with dialects as diverse as the families that speak it. I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to skip the vernacular and stick with the translations though :)

Anri, Yeggu, ippodhella kaaNrdhe ille? Kaaryon jaasthiyaa?
(What di Yadugiri, haven't seen you in ages. Been busy?)

Ille ma Sheerangu, aar maason Cincinatti-k patpoindhe, chin paNNde haathke.
(No ma Sriranganayaki, I was visiting the younger daugher in Cincinatti for 6 months)

Oh, annual visitaa? Apdi ikka unde haidhi? AvLe paath 5 varshath kitte ardhe.
(Ah, the annual visitaa? How's that daughter of yours doing? Havent seen her in 5 years at least)

Hoon ma, ingthik varthke aiykundille awlaale. Office karyon, pash-haLde schoole, yejmanarde vaaley, adh, idh ant time-e shik-kyundille awLke. Athkey ticket anpichoodra, naangl rand peron poit varthke.
(Yeah, yeah.. You know how it is, Work, children, husband's job, etc. Thats why she flies us up there every year instead)

Adh sari. Naanon yejmanaron hathrathle Minneapolis poit vandhon 6 maasathke. Ande peri paiyon ang ikkandha, gyaapkon ikkardha?
(Oh yeah, I know that one! The old boy and I were just up in Minneapolis for 6 months to visit our older son recently)

Oho aama, anna? Odh paanengl rand pero ange? Thalihe, paapa pathkordhe, phone le vaarthey sholrdhe: athnyeva? Athva engyana alchkund ponana, paiyyon?
(Oh, Yes, no? And what did you two do there? Cook, take care of the baby and talk to relatives on the phone? Or did he take you out somewhere?)

Hoon ma odho Taco Bell ant restaurant ikkardhe, angthik alchkund pona wor na dinner ke. Awnde haath leno jasthi dooron ille ant kaanrna. Namde rajma ikkardhe, athk kothambri sopp pot chapati le shuththi kudthaa. Parvayille, nanna indhe.
(Yeah, we went out once to this restaurant called Taco Bell. Didn't seem very far from his place. They dished us some weird Rajma and corriander wrapped in a chapatti. Wasn't too bad I suppose.)

Adh sari. Naangl yengyon jaasthi poville ma. Thalihe panni, papa-de karyon ella pathkorth-kullye sariya pochi. Paapon rand perkon office le shene karyon ant thonrna. Time-ey shikville engLe angyon appale alchkyund porthke.
(Ah ok. We didnt go out much ma. What with all the cooking, cleaning, looking after the baby and all. Looks like both of them were really busy at work. )

Aamva? Neengl vapas vandh aan pinne rand pero Europe trip patpona ant aaro sholkyundindhaaaa...? (sly smile)
(Well, r-e-a-l-l-y now. I heard they went off on a Europe vacation after you guys came back. (sly smile) )

Oh.. ha ha.. err.. aama ma, paapon, odho break vonon, break vonon ant kirchaadkyund indha appolenme. Naangl innu sheth naal irkunma irndhdhe. Adhe holidayk time ach ant begon anpichoota.
(Oh.. ha ha.. err yes, they were talking about that while we were there. We were infact supposed to stay on longer, but they sent us back early so they could go, poor things.
Aama Ne, nee unde naatpaNde daycare centre le thuNi thochkyund indhe ant kaette....n? (smirk)
But how about you? I heard you were in charge of the dirty laundry section in your daughter-in-law's daycare center? (smirk))

Umm.. errr... Ann ma, varme washing machine le adth potkundindhe athnye. Ange adhellaa periya kaaryon ille.
(Umm.. err.. well I .. just loaded the clothes in the machine and dried them out. It wasn't a big deal really... )

Hmm. Paapon. Nee yenmana chollu. Indh vysle ang poi oddhaadrthk badhla, ingye santhoshma irndh filter coffee utkund, kovilk poikund-vandhkund irklaan. Anna?
(Hmm.. Poor you. Eh, but who are we kidding. At our age, I'd rather do filter coffee shots and hang out at the temple here, than slog it out in a foreign land, what say?)

Aama Ne. Namde Malleshwaron thaa gathi namkellaan. Sari, appo vapas pore angthikke?
(Pfft, tell me about it. Malleswaram's the bees knees for the likes of us! When are you going back?)

Sadya (Thank god) ma, naat likely in thee neeyar future.

Nee lucky ma ude. Naa July le wapas ponmaardhe. Thirpyon Taco Belle- gille ant engyana alchkund ponaka adhHaLe kothambri marathk nethaad-vechoot vare.
(You are lucky ma, leave. I have to go back in July. But I swear, if those freaks take me to a Taco Bell again, I'll personally string'em up on their stupid corriander plant* .
*kannada idiom: will string you up on a corriander plant = I am angry but love you too much to wish you any harm


Usha said...

Holding my stomach with one hand while writing this.
Bombat Post - the dialect as well the sad reality behind the fun post.

RustyNeurons said...

hmmm the same sad story of many aunties and uncles I know of..

plush said...

hangin by d coriander tree...hmm..nice...vaary familiar....

Anonymous said...

very funny way of putting forth something so very sad really..

Nikhil.S.Kaundinya said...

yenna sir....neenglu mattaku poirndingla....!!!????
swalpa adjust maadkolli.....nanna mysore iyengaari tamil malleshwaram iyengaari tamil kinht aswalpa weak...!!

padma said...

good one! yathiraja matha is unrecognisable in the pic.

rads said...

Satire well done :)

I see the way some treat their parents here and it takes all of my restraint to not slap them silly and shove some sense into their fat thick brains.

oh well.. Happy Holidays and christmas caroling :)

Mark IV said...

i just got a whiff of the english. and that obscured with the coming-aaa what maa dialect !! :-)

so how ve u been doing old pal?

comment_raja said...

i want 'kannad' version i say.

mama mia said...

Nee ango poite paa

Nutcase said...

Lol! funny it was. but unfortunately, quite true too. and thats how i describe a burrito to my mum everytime i eat that and she asks me what i'd eaten. :P

btw, u write well.

Tapan said...


Spunky Monkey said...

Aren't you just about the funniest guy there is.

maxdavinci said...

maga, we view-yes-tamizh-payyans would need a bengalooru tamizh glossary/tutorial in your coming posts...

Bikerdude said...

Merry Christmas all :)

usha, rusty, veens: Thanks. Well I guess it's not so sad when you have good old Malleswaram :)

plus: You got it!! Whew, I was a little worried about that :)

nikhil: Yenna oi, Mysore le Benglur kinno nanna varthe shollra, namde bhashele. Poi begon aar kittyanna chollichko.
(Yen ri, Mysore nal Bengloor gintha channagi maataadthare, nam bhasheyalli. Hog yaar hathr aaadru kalthkoli. maja baruthe.)

padma: Thanks :) Cute mantapa no? The new Mutt building is quite ghastly, sorry to say.

rads: well the idea was to showcase the dilemma that ppl have with their parents. of them not being able to take time off to come home for the hols, not having time to take their parents out, not knowing where to take them. And of course, parents not being able to fit in anywhere. The moral of the story being, stay put in Malleswaram :)

Mark: Notwithstanding the translations?? Doing good bro. Thanks for stopping by :)

comment_raja: Hoon. Gujarati, Tonganese, Cree -- ella versionsu ning kalsthene thaalu. Yay hengo idiya, maga?

mama mia: Thirpi varthk podh aache. Coffee geefi ella panni vechko, vandhe.

nutcase, tapan: thanks :)

spunky: Leiiii! Sarcastic Somarajendra. Yengythe, myge?

maxdavinci: LOL, its sorta complicated. Ideally you'd need to speak both Kannada and (old) Tamil fluently to understand the nuances.

Divya said...

Merry Christmas Dude....Awesome post as usual....this is kahaani ghar ghar ki type of thing....poor parents

Runningink said...


The aunties I know will say..Romba nanna aldhikra..

Roops said...


khanda nanda raandi un comments.
enki namde bhaashe paatutti khushi aachi [:)]

i saw a similar full fledged conversation live [:D]

nammdeyvaa said...

rommmmba nallaa ikkrna... ohgarey shaattaayo?

shari ippo tirpiyum veleykku tirumbNOm... velaa aanaprum veyley... eppdi ikkrnaa johkku, hanh? HAANNH?? HAAAANNNNNNHHHH???

Bikerdude said...

divya, running ink: thanks!

roops: was that sanketi? nice!

namdeva: oho shirpich shirpich shavadchooteer anne! Andh ohare sawteer? Puliyohareya, kaduhohreya, Lieutenant O'hareya?

Yadu said...

I think you overheard my aunts talking and my name features in your post too...very nice.

FreaKick said...

un pandrathakaardhu .. indhe oorathe pashange apdiye..uthna chonnaku kokardhe illa

am from ramanathapura (native place)
Bangalore for 24 years..

malleshwaram gobi gaadi - haat haat chinese food = favourite hang out

Bikerdude said...

Yadu: Thanks for stopping by. I really think this conversation is best left spoken rather than written. Took my life out to transcribe it into English!

freakick: Aha shene nanna varthe cholreer! Ramnathpurathva engde dhoorath urav aanon. Apdiye thengoL-thengoLaa thedi paatha engana common relatives indhe irknon :)

Simha said...

Oh my god... i still cant stop laughing man... one of the most hilarious posts... particularly that line where u mentioned if that maami had become a part-time dhobi at her d-i-l's day care centre.. new to ur blog... oh ya.. im a hebbar iyengar too... u rock man! 3 cheers!

Balaji R Sharma said...

Freakingly hilarious! As a half-kannada half-tamil tambrahm speaking an equally..err.. messed-up hybrid - in a place dominated by a hip-hop chennai slang-gang, it was a relief to know our lingo ranks up there too. I am flaunting this post around now.

And a very interesting take on a sad reality - will the conservative temple-going puliyogare-loving GenX (and GenX-0.5) ever get used to the Taco Bell lifestyle? Should they?

Vishwas said...

LOL....loved it... great to see the kan-tam/heb tam ... lol... !

Sampige said...

HA HA HA!! As a Hebbar Iyengar myself, let me tell you we think Mandyam Iyengar tamil is too funny ;-)

I am sending this out to my friend in Buffalo.

Surdeep said...

HAHAHHAHA as a recent emigrant to Malleshwaram from the Eastern part of the city where I have lived all my life.....this tam/kan/heb lingo was a revalation.

I was really laughing rolling in the aisle...too cool macha as we would say on our side of town.

Sakkath Maga ..... Ulti post!!! sending it to all I know ...

Keep up the good work!!!!

PS. Biker here too, 86 Roadking :-)

Narasimhan said...

Hilarious!! As a Kan/tam-bram, i can fit every aunt i know into that language and intonation. But i am married to pure-language stock and my wife had her finger accusingly pointed at me and my-language-types while she nodded knowingly at each twisted word. Needless to say she struggled to mouth it, while it rolled off my tongue :-)

ChindiChitraanna said...

yappa yappa!! atnu nanna ikkarda da idu. yengamma yathiraj-muttatle vaachollardu ketikkono neenu :D
(yappa yappa! how nicely you have written. you must have heard my mom talk to someone in yathiraj-mutt)

radhakrishna said...

Looks like my only mission next time i m in MWM, is to hunt and find out who you are. I have a feeling, that we are related even if you are my 30th cousin. Me a hardcore 10th cross EPR guy with Venugopala for a neighbour ;-)
Missing out on all the action as m stuck in Mumbai for livilihood. Naanum pon masam muttathliya inden-ende mamnarde nalayiram. Ellareyum patha madri aachi. Will be back in 5 years there permanently. Makaram Radhakrishna (Just to give you a clue)

srinath nallan chakravarthy said...

Rombo nanna Ikkardhu

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