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Saturday, June 17, 2006 

CultureShock

We are on holiday with the family, in one of the more hoity toity residential complexes in Bangalore. After I gently pointed out during a shopping trip that custom-made dresses from Abdul the tentmaker would suit certain girths more, I have been relegated to babysitting the kids : 6 girls and a boy ranging from 4-10. So this morning, after the Mall Marauders had left, we sat down to read a novel, but were continually interrupted by brawls in the brat pack. As usual, there were the “this a 3 person game but there are 5 to play” and the “I want to be first to do ****** what ever game” issues, with shifting loyalties and factions that would put Bhajan Lal to shame. Look here lads and ladies, says I. We are NOT getting into this, so kindly resolve or perish, since we shall lock away everything in nature of a toy or a game. (The BratPack treats me with digital logic : disdain generally and utter fear when we stop snarling and talk in honeyed tones).

Upon which we came upon a ritual that really, really grated. This consisted of the affected personnel standing around and reciting a word for each person something that went like this

“My Mommy asked me to choose the very best person here and you are not it.”

The “it” , of course , based on context, could be the winner (first to play with toy) or the loser (out of the game). We stuck through two rounds of this, and then proposed a desi substitute. This was welcomed with extreme enthusiasm : so much so that the selection process was voted more attractive than the toys and games.

The victorious army rang up to say that they were returning for lunch, so we took the brat pack to meet them below. As we were waiting for the lift, the familiar squabble over who would press the lift buttons began. Before I could slink away, the Brat pack began the desi selection process I had taught them , with the most phoren of accents.

(known translations appended : any Tams reading may want to contribute more insights).

Biscuit biscuit (start)

Enna biscuit ? (what biscuit ?)

Jaam biscuit (Jam biscuit.)

Enna Jaam ? (what jam ?)

Ko Jaam (No idea.)

Enna ko ? (what ko ?)

Tea ko (No idea.)

Enna tea ? (what tea)

Rotti (Rotti== Tam roti==bread. Pun)

(as opposed to borota==paratha)

Enna rotti (What rotti, what bread)

Bun rotti (Hot cross buns, anyone ?)

Enna bun ? (What bun ?)

Ribbon (Rib-bun pun, geddit ?)

Enna Ribbon ? (What ribbon)

Pachai ribbon (Green ribbon)

Enna pachai ? (Which green ?)

Ma pachchai (Ma green ?, but actually parrot green)

Enna ma ? (What ma ?)

Upma (Wokkay, not MY idea of a pun, but…)

Enna uppu ? (What salt ?)

Ration uppu (Salt was once sold in ration shops ? No idea)

Enna ration ? (what ration ?)

Pie ration (Pie : Cloth bag, gen with grocer’s names and pictures of deities on it. Bag ration :- sugar, rice etc as opposed to tin ration that was oil, kerosene etc)

Enna pie ? (what Pie ?)

THOPPAI! (Thoppai : rude term for tummy. Accompanied by a poke in the guts to chosen one).


Family cringed. Assorted passers by clung to each other for support on hearing such low-class language spoken in these hallowed portals. Lift attendant looked ready to press alarm buttons.

Guess what ? I no longer have to baby sit. Not the brat pack, at least. I only have to sit with the driver during the shopping now. Oh well, except for a tendency to play “Jhalak Dikhlaaja” ad nauseam, the reading environment is good.

Ma Pacchai - Pacchai like Ma Maram Elai no? (Mango Tree Leaves?)

Thanks for bring back a big bunch of memories. Must try this with Sri today. :)

Here's two other versions I know of.

Enna ma?
Amma
Enna amma?
Teacher amma
Enna teacher?
Kanakku teacher
Enna kanakku?
Veetu kanakku
Enna veedu?
Maadi veedu
Enna maadi?
Mottai maadi
Enna mottai?
Thirupathi mottai!

or

Enna ma?
Bama
Enna bama?
Sathyabama
Enna sathyam?
Saami sathyam
Enna saami?
Duraisaami
Enna durai?
Padi durai (padi-thorai)
Enna padi?
Arai padi
Enna arai?
Kannathula arai!

Finally, something I can understand. I couldn't follow any of your inglees posts. And the comments that it prompted! Ammadi! Sutham!

There goes my plan of dropping off a couple more to that gang you have there. Hmph.

Definitely Uncle now!

Enna Maama?

*echoes ammani's last line!

God.. finally one post that I can understand! Okie.. actually the last one about the Bawi was nice too :)

Actually the one variation I have come across ended with "Enna tea..., Pondatee" !

Btw, Ammani, you forgot about the "conversations with self" in the comment section!

oh great...people say they understand this post..but it's in freaking tamil!!!! Now i am bummed. Do you know any of our language at all?

yena bum?

rambam.

Negah : Ya doan require this with a hubby though : just press override :)

Morning Money : See, Gulticultural desi me ==> Ingliss trying out for effect. Brittanimanis like you : Tam for Tres Cool slumming it out. Hmmm, that that person that that views.

Ph : Awwwwwww. However, if the kids wanna drop you off while they have a trip around town ... I'll tell them find some one else, we ain't babysitting brats anymore : )

S : No, manavaade. However, my Telugu is in general free of such influences, more staid and orderly :).

ExAnti : Amma taana nu sonna ni tandanna nu sollanumma ? (Indha pondatee fixation from kidhood ? Urrupadamate). And convos with self ? Sigh. We are katti with ourselves now Esp since we discovered that sitemeter does not update hits when we visit the blog.

Alpha : Will ask around and be ready with the "Solai solaiya munthirikka" stuff by the time your turn comes. And Rambha ..aaaah. Wanted to branch off, BTW, from enna ma -> Nagma , but the kids caught on to it.

whats with the ko? ko tea? koti is a monkey? ko in tam? wassitmean???

huccome i never played this game... sigh... opporunities missed...

avignon? avignon? popes? wine? huh?

didn't mean it to be a anon post except there is no option to put in my name...realised too late - that was luthor... oops pec...

Enna Maama,

Doesn't the Jhalak Dikhlaaja get interspersed with Aaanshiq BaNNNNaya aad nooooooiseum in the Reshammi reading environs?

Why no desipundit link to this one? Why coz it's too..er...desi? Cha...*ketta vaarthais*!

enna ammani?

po ammani

enna po?

po to desi pundit and give link.

First time here! Loved this post.

Avi eva: I thought I didn't get ko .. your stuff is even more beyond me : (

S : Ayyo, do not tal to us of the Resham stuff:we are mighty sore already!

MoneyMoneyMoney (It's so funny, it's a rich man's world) : errr... the pun was so long I forgot the comment.

A-List : yeah, it is OK for people like you, getting *invited* there. Sigh. Ask P if he'll accept a Liz Claiborne from me.

ShoeF: Ahhh,a chance to use a pun waiting for you : happy that you Choos to read this. :)

I'm impressed! A man who knows his Choos.

Devudu Choostadu.

Do you do the lu ?

do you know 'o onnara dakkara dun'?

Mania : Do share :) Dunno!

Will teach it to the kids!

Enna ma?
Amma
Enna amma?
Teacher amma
Enna teacher?
Kanakku teacher
Enna kanakku?
Veetu kanakku
Enna veedu?
Maadi veedu
Enna maadi?
Mottai maadi
Enna mottai?
Thirupathi mottai!

That's the one I grew up with. =D

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