Tuesday, October 11, 2022

முத்தைத் தருபத்தித் திருநகை

I was invited to this beautiful Golu this year hosted by someone who I deeply respect and admire. Loved the entire Golu display and loved one of the bommais , in particular.

The Golu Bommai narrates the story of Saint-Poet Arunagirinathar who decides to end his life jumping from the Temple tower. Lord Murugan comes to his rescue, preventing him from taking his own life. He blesses Arunagirinathar who goes on to compose Tamizh religious songs called Thiruppugazh. Take a look at this beautiful bommai featuring Arunagirinathar and Lord Murugan. 

Had written about the Iconic Thiruppugazh, 'Mutthai Tharupathiearlier in Kollywood Kisnan.


There has been a lot of discussion this year, on how Navarathri Golu is strictly for married ladies, women with kids. And that there is no place for those who are divorced or have lost their husbands. I believe Navarathri Golu is a festival to invite people across gender, marital status, class, creed , home and have a good time. It's unfortunate that people are being excluded from a celebration like this.

 I am specifically talking about this in this post because the host of this Golu featuring the Arunagirinathar bommai mentioned she doesn't live with her husband any more. She added that the house they lived in had become toxic and it exuded negative vibes. The pandemic and the lockdown made it worse for her. Thankfully she is out of it now, hosted Golu , invited everyone and was busy attending other Golus. I was quite happy hearing that there are still people in the world who do not care about being பழுத்த சுமங்கலி, பழுக்காத சுமங்கலி and all that. People like you and I reading this, who genuinely want to make it all inclusive, thankfully still exist.

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Please read my earlier posts on Golu



தந்தனத்தோம் என்று சொல்லியே


Danceu Papa Danceu Papa

The Reluctant Poser

Twins - Separated at Birth?

Masterji

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

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.


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Please do read my earlier posts on Navarathri Golu.





தந்தனத்தோம் என்று சொல்லியே


Danceu Papa Danceu Papa

The Reluctant Poser

Twins - Separated at Birth?

Masterji

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

Monday, October 10, 2022

தந்தனத்தோம் என்று சொல்லியே...

"தந்தனத்தோம் என்று சொல்லியே வில்லினில் பாட... ஆமா...வில்லினில் பாட.. வந்தருள்வாய் கலைமகளே..."

If you sang the above in Thiru. Subbu Arumugam and group's chorus voice, then you'll definitely relate to this post.

This year, while it was fairly easy to explain most of my Golu Bommais including deities, art forms and Influenzas to non-Tamilians, I got stuck at Villu Paattu . I had to leave it at "It's a traditional Tamizh art form where singers use a bow and stick like this one" pointing at this bommai.




We were introduced to Villu Paattu by the Legendary Thiru. Subbu Arumugam. Accompanied by his children, Gandhi and Bharathi, Subbu Arumugam was a regular on Doordarshan in the '70s and '80s.
Stories on Murugar, Gandhi, Ramayanam, Mahabharatam were narrated in a simplified format with tunes that one could sing along. 

(pic - The Hindu)

Here's another picture from my 2004 Golu. I don't quite remember whether Amma bought these or if I had purchased these here, in Mumbai. Most likely, it's Amma.


Subbu Arumugam passed away today. Much before Karaoke became the in thing, it was Subbu Arumugam who brought the sing-along technique closer to us on our TV screens. If not the entire song, we have atleast "ஆமாம்" போட்டு-fied with Gandhi and Bharathi, haven't we?

வாழியவே பல்லாண்டு காலம், சுப்பு ஆறுமுகம் புகழ் வாழியவே...

_
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Please do read my earlier posts on Navarathri Golu.





Danceu Papa Danceu Papa

The Reluctant Poser

Twins - Separated at Birth?

Masterji

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

Sunday, October 09, 2022

The Vyjayanthimala Pose

We went on a #Pondicherry trip with friends from college in December 2009, if my memory serves me right. On the way back spotted a road-side shop that sold #GoluBommais and I managed to buy a few including the one in the picture in red frock (called "dress" these days).



Thanks to Sriram V's blog post, I learnt that this particular doll was inspired by the Legendary Vyjayanthimala's pose in the following songs from the '40s and '50s:-




Saiyyan Dil Mein Aana re from AVM's Bahar

Gopalanodu Naan from AVM's Vaazhkai













Amazing how films have had and continue to inspire Golu Bommais. 

Image credit - Sriram V's blog and Screenshots from Youtube videos

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Please do read my earlier posts on Navarathri Golu.



Danceu Papa Danceu Papa

The Reluctant Poser

Twins - Separated at Birth?

Masterji

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

Idhu Muthuraman Ya

When a friend Swathi Rishi, had visited the Golu in October 2022, was explaining the Influenza (Influencer) bommais to her. Each of them, to me represented one type of influenza - Be it the I-am-single-and-happy-nambunga types or the typical saree types. (Ref earlier post/s)

When it came to this particular doll of a man in glasses wearing a purple shirt and Khaki ‘doLa doLa’ pant, told her that he didn’t quite have a name yet.




“Idhu Muthuraman ya” , pat came her reply.

OMG OMG! Yes indeed, this guy resembled retro Kollywood star Muthuraman and how.
Check this pic of Muthuraman from the epic ‘Sumaithangi’ and you will know how much they resemble each other.




Idhukkudhaan I say - you need mamma Madras friends who appadiye help you with such content. Thanks Swathi for the visit and look forward to more such epic gems from you.

Will sign off with a “Sunlife… Idhu Namma life”


PS - Muthuraman was one of the first “celebrity” deaths I heard as news. Was at school when there was major commotion as Muthuraman’s final journey was going past the main road near the school. Yes, #UselessInformationNobodyNeeds

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Please do read my earlier posts on Navarathri Golu.



Danceu Papa Danceu Papa

The Reluctant Poser

Twins - Separated at Birth?

Masterji

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

The Saree Influenza

Vanakkam. 

She is Confident. Stylish. Fierce. Y00thful. Also, Body Positivity. Also, Bharathiyar's Poems. Also Blade.
Meet your favourite #Saree #Influenza.

She believes in ethically sustainable eco-friendly brands. She practises conscious living. She blesses this planet with regular 'pre loved' sales of pre-torn XXS Shaani Surunais. 

Sooooo Prettttty ya.



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Please do read my earlier posts on Navarathri Golu.




Danceu Papa Danceu Papa

The Reluctant Poser

Twins - Separated at Birth?

Masterji

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


Bored Man

“Kannathula Kai Vaikkadha” (Don’t rest your hands on your chin) was one of the many things that was told to us when we were kids. And one has no idea why older makkal said all these. Not that one followed anyway. If you think am going to discuss “toxic parenting”, sorry to disappoint. Head to outrage Aathas’ instagram profiles.

Back to resting the hands on the chin - It helps one control yawning at blade meetings where one can continue to nod pretending to be interested.


This man wearing a green Jubba and white Dhoti carrying an umbrella is , I’d assume sitting in a park looking at
❤️y00th couples romancing
Or
😰Stressed about his loans thinking about how he will repay
Or
🙃 Generally vetti and sitting there to while away his time.

You know who he reminded me of?




#YouRemember

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Please do read my earlier posts on Navarathri Golu.

Danceu Papa Danceu Papa

The Reluctant Poser

Twins - Separated at Birth?

Masterji

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

Raga Sisters

Here's attempt in making a clay doll. Wanted to make ‘RaGa’ a.k.a Ranjani-Gayatri bommais featuring dolls with contrast pallu sarees. Chose Purple and Green and used the contrast in their blouses.

It was sheer coincidence that when I had completed painting and opened Instagram, saw ‘RaGa’ Sisters post the same colour sarees that was used to paint the bommais’ sarees.


Please do read my earlier posts on Navarathri Golu.

Danceu Papa Danceu Papa

The Reluctant Poser

Twins - Separated at Birth?

Masterji

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


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Kalyana Parisu Sarees

The lady who cooks came home for Thamboolam (Haldi-Kumkum) and said "It's a good omen and whatever happens henceforth will be good" , in Hindi. I didn't quite get her. She pointed out to the Saree I was wearing and repeated the same, adding that it was torn at several places. And so it was a good omen. 🤔

Yesterday, being Day 1 of Navarathri in 2022, i wanted to wear a comfortable, well-worn Saree. Don’t know if it’s my mom’s or perimma’s, this one in the picture must be easily be 30+ years old . Could be 40 as well. I tried wearing it today for about an hour but since it had a lot of wear and 'tear' literally, didn’t want to damage further. So this went back to the cupboard after being air dried for a few hours.



Back to this one - What a beautiful, simple saree this is no? Reminds of me of the inside of Naaval Pazham and the border, strong Kaapi Podi. I just loathe any dress or fabric that is "Jaga Jaga" Jaganmohini but even the simplest of sarees these days is slight "Jaga Jaga" compared to 'Andha Haalathula'. I worry for the day when such "pre loved" sarees will be branded antique and sold on instagramam for koLLai. Actually wait - I might just join the koLLai bandwagon to sell my "antiques".


PS - Btw what is "pre loved"? Call it old saree or 'second hand' Saree. Pre-Loved is seems. What is this? Some 'Kalyana Parisu' hero-heroine who were "pre-loved" before they got married to others?

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Danceu Papa Danceu Papa

This is a guest post by my sister Ammani . 

Although it is a 9-day festival, preparations for Navarathri would begin quite a few days earlier. Chitthi, my great-aunt who lived with us, would summon help to bring the big cardboard boxes down from the loft. Careful, careful, she would say as the boxes would be brought down on uneven shoulders and arms. You would think they contained delicate heirlooms (which they did, but more about that later). The boxes would be dusted down with old cotton towels and carefully unpacked to reveal a mountain of crunched up newspapers cushioning bundles of old cotton veshtis. One by careful one, Chitthi would unravel the bundles and we'd finally get to see what they'd been holding. Painted mud dolls of dancing girls, shopkeepers and eleven cricket players and an assortment of gods and goddesses. Some would have lost tips of their noses in handling, others would look like they could do with a lick of paint but they would almost come alive under Chithi's gentle caress. Who knew what she was thinking of while handling them? 

Chitthi was a child bride and I wonder if she thought of the years she never got to spend playing with dolls. Soon a rickety old contraption resembling the framework of steps would be assembled and wooden slats would be placed on them. They'd be covered first with old cotton veshtis and then with a layer of clean and crisp veshtis since their plain white background showcased the dolls better. Old dolls would jostle for shelf space with bright shiny ones and finally the Kalasam would be placed bang in the middle of the fourth of seven steps. And this would mark the official start of nine days of festivities. During Navarathri evenings, neighbours and relatives would drop in to look at the dolls, ask after each other, sing songs (often exquisitely off-tune), collect small tokens of gifts and invite you around to theirs.

On the last night, Chithi would lay the dolls down on their side as if to prepare them for retirement and the next day, they would be packed away. After Chithi's demise, we downscaled Navarathri celebrations and barring a few dolls my sister inherited, I have no idea where the rest went. Luckily for me the memories, the stories and the songs have remained and there's not a single blemish on them. And that alone is worth celebrating.

(From Blogeswari 
- Whenever I see this bommai I tend to sing an old Tamizh rhyme "Danceu Papa Danceu Papa Kobam koLLadhe... Appa varaar neramaachu, Kobam KoLLadhe" and hence the title)



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Please do read my earlier posts on Navarathri Golu.

Danceu Papa Danceu Papa

The Reluctant Poser

Twins - Separated at Birth?

Masterji

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