Of Madras, home, married women and other things

I grew up in Madras. Life would begin at 5:30 AM in the morning to a Suprabhatham or a Vishnu Sahasranamam. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner would mostly be rice-based. Despite the rice-touch all of us used to be healthy and did not visit the doctor to reduce weight or to cut-down rice!


Fashion was all about half-saris, long plaits and jasmine flowers in the hair. I remember my childhood days wearing ONLY paavadai-chattai at home. My dad wouldn’t allow me to wear frocks! Come to think of it. The reason deserves a post by itself. I went to school where I had to wear salwar-kameez with pinned duppatta. These days, Kurta / Kurti / Salwar Kameez / Paavadai Dhaavani / Sarees ~~~ are just in my dreams.


We knew everyone who lived in our street. In the Wee hours of morning, a maami would stop-by just to ask “Kapi acha?“… Evening would be all about maami’s and maama’s walking towards a temple, bhajanai’s and TV Serials.


There was someone who taught music and dance in every street of West Mambalam. I also miss the Marghazhi magic. It’s years since I have spent a december in Madras. I hear that between April and June many Carnatic vocalists perform here in Cleveland, Texas and California. But NONE seem to come to Boston!

Huh! I miss all of that here and I’m still getting used to this place..


I see many desi girls around me here neither wearing a bindi nor an earring. Some married women never have the signs… the ‘mangalsutra’/’thali’ the ‘toe-ring’ etc etc are all missing. Whenever I see such people, I rage and I would remember the day I got married and remember what my mom said ‘This thali may just be a thick long gold chain with added pieces of gold and silver in the center. But it means more than that. Never ever remove this‘. In hindsight, I know and I understand the cultural differences in the place where I live in now. Deviating from such norms is new to me and I’ve learned not to bother about someone not being indian in their dressing sense. I am just happy that I have not changed.


All the beautiful kurtas I bought from my last trip to India are sleeping in my closet now. I hardly wear them. However, my desire to wear them are at peak at times and doesn’t seem to go. We have casual friday’s at office here and I do try to wear my Indian kurtas on those days. That makes me happy.

Okay. I’ll stop here. Too much randomness in a post is not good! 😛

P.S.: Tomorrow we are going to have one of the worst snowstorms here in Boston. Hopefully I will have power at home and post tomorrow. If not I’ll do a double post on Wed. Is that even acceptable in the Blogathon??.


6 responses to “Of Madras, home, married women and other things

  1. Even I miss the place where I grew. And I cannot find anything here that is atleast close to what it was there.
    Take care tomorrow! 😃

  2. I enjoyed this random post a lot! 😀
    I can see what you mean about women not wearing “signs” of marriage. I have been told by an acquaintance that she doesn’t wear the mangalsutra because her daughter finds it uncool. I wonder if the daughter is a red herring here. 😀

  3. I loved this post about Madras! Ahhh how beautiful our childhood memories are?! 🙂

    Take care Lavender.

  4. Oh your description about the Agraharam life is so beautiful and i was trying to relate to film scenes to imagine it.. Take care !!

  5. although they say change is good.. but I also beleive that a person who changes for the sake of it and a person who changes from their heart is not fit to be called a person …

    the childhoods days were awesome .. so many traditions and I respect all of them and they indeed are VALUABLE

  6. Makes me so want to live with maamis 🙂 🙂

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