M.A. Chokkalinga Bhagavathar

My Current Look

The only Image that comes to my mind whenever I think of building a home for self is that of “Veedu Taata”. The fear that I would be tossed between various government offices like Archana or finally start looking like veedu taata has been an effective deterrent to real estate purchase.

As an Iyer man you are under constant pressure from your parents to accumulate more than one flat in notable area. Your mama payiaan from NJ has a flat in both Nanganallur as well as Madambakkam, Periamma daughter has bought flats in K K Nagar, East Tambaram and near Ashok Pillar and that wretched attai paiyan has bought a house in Kumabakonnam agraharam for his parent’s last days ( I am sure he was hoping they would reach there faster than at current pace).

In absence of the most crucial alphabets for iyers : B.E, M.S and H1B in any form around my name I am left to fend for myself with the kosuru Indian Rupees from manufacturing/finance jobs. How do you fulfill such ambitious multi location, multi type real estate expansion but for to mortgage remaining 25 years of your weekend gourmet lunches, occasional electronic indulgences , Van Huesen Shirts, only in planning foreign vacation, that damn chain you planned for your wife this anniversary at least. The rules of House financing are fairly simple and are applicable irrespective of the size of buy or your economic condition.

1. The final cost of the irrespective of how fixed is your contract will always be higher than you planned

2. The sources will always be short of your anticipation , forcing you to resort to some distress measure

3. The EMI will always be 30-40% higher than your comfort level

4. Most important of all your wife will ask for modifications which are humanely not possible

ICICI Bank wants to have photocopies of all the paper I have at home/office including the Hindu Paper Metro Plus supplement with lot of sesame oil in the Kitchen Shelf. It is only matter of time before my office realizes that the 27543 photocopies which I have taken during this week have nothing to do with the legal cases in office. They have made me sign papers which I am sure entitles them to use the skin of my great great grand children in case their children default in repayment. I also saw a clause somewhere which spoke about not having sex without prior intimation to Bank.

In spit of decoding the Da Veedu code , I think I am a victim of  peer pressure and only way to salvage the situation is to borrow more and start an Ashram somewhere.

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Taata Paati

This post actually necessitated a brand new blog cause my previous blog was dead for all practical reasons and also was dedicted to a cynic who would not have appreciated this post. The galvanizing force behind actually putting the finger tip to key board was remembrance post from Krishashok.

Being born to a mother with significant malayalam influence  Tamil New Year in our house is fused with Vishu. So on this day  ( Dear Mr. Mu Ka , I care a “F” if you think April 14 is not a new year) my mother gave me Rs.500 for Vishu Kani and same to my Punjabi wife but my lucky daughter who is yet to learn counting beyond 20 got Rs.1000. On end of enquiry commission it was revealed that my daughter has been talking about buying herself a Ben 10 Watch and her friends had told her it costs Rs.1000( May be a later post on child economics) and this grant was towards fulfilling that wish. This gesture of from my parents was very normal and I am assuming gets repeated in all modern households with different denomination of grant. On the surface this was a simple action but in my case coupled with the post from Krishashok on influence of his paati on his life and philosophy left me to feel the void.

My Paternal grandparents were dead long before my parents entered holy matrimony , considering they were product of the 40s and 50s did not allow me a chance to meet my grandparents from that wing. As I write this post I just realized I have not even seen them in photograph either. My maternal grandfather only lived long enough to at least leave a mental image of him for me and may ammamma for all practical reason believes she gave birth only to my chitti and that is only valid family she has. I have spent toal of 4 vacations in my life with my maternal grand parents and have no memory whatsoever of that period . Also may be I can add my once in three year visits to Chennai when I spend 40 minutes at my chitti house to ask my ammamma how she is doing. I made it a practice to leave a Rs. 500 or Rs. 1000 for her expenses and which I am told before my car would have left the street would have gone into hands of my cousin for her churidhar benevolent fund.

This effectively left me with no memories , no childhood indulgences and in effect no influence of my grandparents from either side. From what I hear of both grandfathers and knowing my ammamma I think I am perfectly at peace with not having their influence but I am sure I would have loved to meet my paati. What I miss about not being around grand parents which both my appa& amma and mummy&papa ( My wife might chance upon this blog) are showering on my daughter  is unambiguous clemency. I missed my grandparents the most when I left my tiffen box in school , when I broke our window pane , when I bashed up a classmate or worse when I failed in 3rd Standard maths examination. These were the  red letter days in my formative years , as on each of this occassion my mom summoned the inner strength of women and turned into a really powerful physical force. The failing in 3rd standard had got my really mild mannered father also activated for first time in life, you see accepting academic failure for a Iyer father is an unheard event.  Grandparents in my view bring a prejudice and bias to child rearing which are very helpful if you are a child and I truly miss that. See the way I was as a child with serious propensity for mischief and violence logic always would ensure that I get  the stick and this is when biased grandparents ensure that they take you away from harms way i.e a screaming mother with iddukki in her hand.

I miss you both the taata’s and one paati and ammamma I wish you you liked my mom then may be you would have liked me.