Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Kuratthi Magan

Cousin Balaji, my அத்தை's son, and I have been living in the same city for decades. Yet , somehow we haven't met for years now. The last meeting in 2014 was opposite Kamala mills at Lower Parel, Mumbai where both of us worked. It was a filmi meeting to say "Hey neeeeeee Balaji daaaneee..." . After Upayakusalobaris, we promised to keep in touch, meet etc. and it never happened.  Golu was a good opportunity to meet him and wife and they were kind enough to visit us this year, last weekend.

Balaji's family continues to live in Nagpur. His father never missed to attend any wedding in the family on his wife side. He would travel all the way from Nagpur to Madras to be a part of the celebrations. Balaji and his sister would visit us in Madras every Summer to spend their holidays. Actually , nobody knows him as 'Balaji'. He continues to be 'Bun' Balaji or 'Bal Bal' for us. His love for Mylapore Universal Biscuit Factory's Bun was well known and our Uncle would stock up on buns whenever he'd visit.

During his visit last weekend he shared great memories of his Madras summers remembering the beautiful Mylapore veedu, the endless supply of food and buns, the vetti games we'd play and so on. He narrated this particular incident from the '80s and I am sharing it here.

In Mylai, we had this huge hall on the first floor, where all of us cousins would sleep. Balaji would sleep at the farthest end of the hall. "Apparently", I'd bully him to say the Kuratthi atop the tree on the road would catch* hold of him and take him away in the night. 

Balaji kept repeating on what a bully older sister I was as he was scared to death trying to sleep. Ofcourse, I have no recollection of saying this. I kept asking if it was indeed me and wanted to jog his memory to check if it was my brother or sister who may have said this. He kept repeating that it was indeed me and only me who bullied. Voh my gaad. The husband was quite amused because he thought I was this paavam child growing up and this Balaji came all the way to break this 'Ambi' image of mine and make me an Anniyan.

Vena and Mylaporaaan, the Narikuravas , an indigenous group, sold beads in and around Mylapore. I remember them carrying the Dalda dabbas often,  taking the leftovers post dinner time from home.  This bommai reminded me of them and had bought them in KuraLagam in 2018. I wonder where Vena, Mylaporaan and their families are, now.

*Before outrage Uncles and Aathas take over, I was a poor little kid in the '80s who had associated the Indigenous groups with crimes. Please forgive me and stop your outrage.

PS - As a big fan of Kuratthi Magan, the film, had to use it as a title. The film is Silver Jubilee hit on KTV and Golden Jubilee Super hit on Sunlife. The film stars K R Vijaya, Gemini, Master Sridhar, Jayachithra and ofcourse Kamalagassan in a thundu beedi role, Incase you haven't seen it, I'd urge you to, right away. 
Here's the link.


Please do read my earlier posts on Navarathri Golu.

தந்தனத்தோம் என்று சொல்லியே

Danceu Papa Danceu Papa

The Reluctant Poser

Twins - Separated at Birth?


Harini's Paatti - I met her last in October 2019, if I remember right. Maama (her husband) had passed away, her son and family had moved to UK. She was living alone in Mumbai. Have been trying to contact her with her mobile number and it seems to be switched off. 

Bommaigalil Oru Blooper

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