Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Avani Avittam

Its avani avittam again. If you dont know what it is and want to get more confused than the soul that you already are..visit here and strictly come back to my blog. He is infectious. If you dont come back and refer my blog to 10 people, your head will burst into gobi manchurian shaped pieces.
In this holy day, we are supposed to do our duty of beginning our quest towards knowledge on Vedas. Instead, I remember, every year its turns out to be an interesting day to watch a congregation of funny and variously sized men doing variety of weird acts that can the best tickle the gods if not please.
Men who come for group avani avittam (no discounts are offered for groups. This is purely mass collection mela for the vadhyar) generally fall or trip into the following categories or can be generalized through these names:
First the vadhyars:
1. Mookozhugesa iyer: These are traditional vadhyars of the yore, who ruled the roost once upon a time, but wasted all their dhakshnai in vethali cheeval and NVS Pattanam podi. They have a perinnially flowing nose and a blood red salivation system, which generally keeps you at a safe 10 ft distance. These are the vadhyar emiritus of the system.
2. Swifteswara Shastrigal: These are essentially smart college drop outs of the 90's who decided to take up this profession, having tried their hand at credit card selling, LIC, Amway and medical representative jobs. They know people. They make connections. They can shorten or elaborate mantram based on your needs. They are flexible and are generally good in speaking a few words in english. They know politics and dalal street and actually have a say in both. They always are in a call with minister when you try to arrange for your punyajanam. They come in swift car, generally wear a pattu angosthram, vaira kadukan and motorazr cell phone or sometimes blackberry. These are the sastrigal every one waits f0r (including mookozhugesa iyer, even if grudgingly). Sorry voy..Ipo than SPB aathula panni vechutu varen..Late ayduthu...this would be their first conversation with you (Criterion: You = Qualified middle manager capable of "donating" 501 Rs for vadhyar welfare fund).
3. Kinetic Kittambi: Kinetic Kittambi is like a management trainee. He thinks he knows everything and some small time people like you and I would even call him home for amavasai dharpanam and ganapathi homam and we generally comment that he is better than 'Swifteswara Shastrigal" and swear not to go to him again. Remember its not due to age he is in the "vadhyar trainee" category. Its because he lacks focus, social contacts and prefers Sand Piper to Sandhya vandhanam at times. But he follows the route of Swifteswara shastrigal in general
The other commonality between them is that they both use Gillete Mach 3. SS uses it daily while KK uses Gillete vector mostly and Mach 3 only on amavasai, ganapathy homam days. They may even sport a "crop" with shastrathuku kudumi..
4. Allakkai Ambi:Allakkai is a tamil word with very rich meaning. Loosely translated it means "Uppukku chappani". These are the boys who come to a 39 year old bachelor and verupethifies "enna anna inum oththa piri poonal thaana...indhango...aduthavarsham maami vandhurva". He also is the unofficial water boy for the OC-la thanni pidika verum panchapathrathoda vara gang.
Now the poonal maathikra men:
Nandu Nachiketh iyer: Generally this is a less than 5 year old kid and brought to the avani avittam group mela by the father, only to show that "I had this much libido few years ago". The kid generally embarasses his dad by asking questions like "Daddy, why are you not wearing this thread at home". He also makes the "allakkai" run for his cover by shakespearing
" I want this thread
Around my head
Like my Father
Who never bothers
To keep this on
Till tomorrow's dawn"
Thalai avani avittam tarun: This is generally a 10-15 year old boy who knows xbox and wii better than gayathri jebam. Has prematurely sprout meesai and oozes the air of "I am born with reebok and jockey underwear". Generally dis interested in the proceedings and hush-hushes a sentence or two to his equally dis-interested dad. Generally an unwilling party to "adhuthathu thali deepavali than ..illayada ..hehehe" joke from mookozhugesa iyer.
College going confused manikandan: He normally comes with his father who does not believe in trimming hair in ear lobes or nose. The father and manikandan play dumb charades before deciding the place to sit. They look at each other with "unnalaam pethala ile kuzhikullendu thondi eduthala" expression all through. Confused manikandan carries two PP (Pancha Pathrams). One for himself and one for his father. Father is busy holding his veshti and mani wears a belt.
BPO Padmaganesh: Same as confused manikandan, but wears a fastrack watch. Comes in his pulsar. Smells of AXE deo and generates more rest from the accompanying father (Read, father fetches water for him in his PP)
Execi Vicky: He wears pattu mayilkann veshti and a loose bracelet (yannai mudi). Sports a french beard and probes you with a look which means "I have a smaller ponch than you do and I go to FitnessOne. See my biceps. I can woo your sister tomorrow, if you dont concede defeat in our virtual Mr.Universaiyer potti". He comes with his friends and does not prefer car pooling. He does understand the difference between his maruti alto and bentley, but refuses to acknowledge that the latter is superior to his alto.
Vayasaana Venkatesan: He knows both mookozhugesa iyer (dad's connection) and Swifeswara shastrigal (own connection). He is either an AGM in TVS iyengar or a senior project manager in Infosys. He carries a blackberry (Infosys) or walki talkie (TVS) and gets into conf call in mute mode during the avani avittam (with US team (Infy) or Sundaram Fasteners (TVS).
Chidumoonji Chidambara iyer: Father of confused manikandan or execi vicky. You remember the ear lobes & nose part. Believes that God grace on that day is directly proportional to the amount of vibudhi pattai ob his torso and temple. Does not chant the mantrams but just lip syncs. SS does not like him because CC does not pay for the inflation related increase in his "dakshanai".
Scrolling up, I think I spend most of my time observing these creations than actually beginning the year's veda learning season, which is what avani avittam signifies..may be i should say
"adhyAya-upakarama-akarana-prAyaScittArtham" (Forgive me for not doing upakarma)!!
New amendment - A comment here relieves you of 10 chants of gayathri in the 1008 marathon. You might want to play in.

8 of my fans were here!:

Revathi on 8:58 PM said...

Bloody Hilarious man!! :D you are the best when it comes to wirting about iyer traditions and customs. i could identify with each and every character here!! :)
so indha varusham yenga poonal maathika pora?
indha varusham maami yum vandhuta os no more oththa piri poonal!! :P

Anonymous said...

@ Shruthi

Thanks for coming man..Indha varsham aathula dhan..I woould hav loved to go around here and compare the characters..pakalam..Good thing about maami is she knows to make ulundhu vadai and chutney..slurrrp..

-Ashwin

Jan said...

Samooha Yajur Veda Upakarma is part of every US temple.....many times panchapathiram replaced by plastic cup and spoon....and mostly you dont hear the vathiyar (one for a 100 men) even after paying 30$!! So as you say - ask for forgiveness and DIY!

Sriram on 6:57 PM said...

lol. awesome descriptions.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you that persent day Iyers are hypocrites. But if you look at true Iyer traditions and formalities from the vedic point, they are ripe with Vedic Wisdom. Of course it requires a real enlightened to filter out what is superstitious and those inappropriate for present age, thus retaining only the ageless wisdom of all our formalities and customs.

Why don't you as well analyse the essence of all these formalities or a writeup on how ideally these formalities should be carried out by a true brahmin. Please post that as well with every mockery. That would add more value.

Ashwin on 8:29 AM said...

@ both the anons:

Thanks :)

Appreciate the point of you about the need to explore the essence of some of these ageless traditions. I hope to retire early to figure what all this really means..Inshallah (God Willing)!

Anonymous said...

Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)

 

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