I swear it…

Coming from a true-blue Tambrahm family, I grew up with cuss words as part of  the language at home.

My grandmother called most people (including her own sons & grandsons) endearingly, “Yei, kattela poravane!”

My dad almost always started a conversation with “erumma madu!”

My aunts addressed most of us as “saniyane!”

And almost everybody at home were given to a fiery temper. And when that happened, cuss words flew around us like pigeons in flight in a Manirathnam movie!

But these words  are not to be confused with the obscenities you hear on the streets. Oh we’re very decent people, you see. We never abuse the parentage or any other sensitive areas of a person.

It is just that we enjoy getting things off our chests with a good show down. And peace follows almost immediately.

On an everyday basis, we like calling each other more names than our given ones. And most of us have to talk in ear-shattering decibels.

My mother was a total exception to this as she had the softest of voices and a very diplomatic nature.

But the majority of others had another rule too. Always agree to disagree.

Right from deciding on the menu for the day to planning a trip with family, each situation met with oh so many opinions and criticisms. In my younger days my brother and me spent our holidays placing bets on the outcome of everyday battles.

I dreaded the days when my father dropped me off at school. Because he’d invariably stop the car, roll down his window and scream at a passing biker or another car or anybody on the road with the choicest of  cuss words, while I cowered in my seat praying none of my friends would see me.

But once I grew up, I noticed something.

My mother had to deal with hypertension in her forties and my  grandmother at ninety, still is free of  such maladies.

The rest of my clan is also relatively free of hyper tension. (My aunt at seventy did have it for a while, but on her doctor’s advice, she’d stopped watching the soaps in the regional channels and she was healed without medication)

Does it mean all of us have this angry energy swirling inside us and needs an outlet regularly?

Do softer people bottle up everything and it ruins their health in the later years?

I’ve read health capsules which advices you to write the nastiest of letters to some one who’s wronged you and then tear it up to bits. It gets the whole negative emotion out of the system, they say.

Or lock yourself in a sound-proof room and scream your head off till your anger melts and vanishes.

Me? I prefer screaming at my object of ire ‘yei! ariuvketta kazhudhai!’ any day!!

Saves a lot of effort! I’m working on my voice too.

PS: I only feel sad my son is having  too peaceful an upbringing. Once my father told him “Stop staring at the TV and eat the saniyan in your hand,” in true Tambrahm tenor and the child promptly burst into tears!

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7 Comments

  1. Vidya said,

    September 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    LOL! ‘Enna kandraavi’ and ‘Karmam’ passed as normal lingo back then! The very thought that I have not used ‘saniyan’ and the likes the last few years is enough to set my BP/TSH touch a new high:(

    hehe! 🙂 good one!

  2. September 23, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    cuss words flew around us like pigeons in flight in a Manirathnam movie! – nice picturisation in the head.

    Yelling it out and screaming is so therapeutic! No wonder it keeps you safe from hypertension, heart attacks and the like. 🙂

    thanx 🙂

  3. meena said,

    September 26, 2010 at 6:27 am

    hi,
    LOL! having come from a similar background like urs, I enjoyed it each n every word…Its also good to know there is a positive side effect in this…
    When it comes to me, I abstained from using our traditional vocab till my DS 1 was 6 yrs old, then when my 2 nd DS came up, and at times of their tussle , these kind of vocabulary slowly starts to creep in….planning to start meditation :)…

    🙂 thanx! meditation is very good! but the problem is sticking with it!

  4. maami said,

    September 29, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Kazhudai, Asadu, Saniyane, P….., Mun…. aagha enthanai variety….!

    😀 i know!

  5. srisarts said,

    September 30, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Haha, I think Kazhudai is my dad’s favourite!
    It’s come to a point where he even uses it when he’s in a good mood.

    Really funny post 🙂

    :) thanx!

  6. Biswa said,

    October 15, 2010 at 12:08 am

    You must have heard it: “We scare because we care!”

    😀 good one!

  7. maddy said,

    June 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I am brought up in a sound environment (n so is my husband). My parents have never ever used such world over me. Now, I am married and my hubby is quiet used to calling words like errume maadu, kahude which i take quiet easily. But yesterday after these lovely words he came up with “Saniyan” . This has been bothering me since then. Though he has appologised to me but its just not getting off my head. Keeps haunting me.. After I read your blog, its nice to see how lightly its been taken! It has helped me a bit. But dont know, when will I completely get over it 😦

    oh, don’t you worry! you’ll get over it no time!


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