Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Oru Paathiriyum Rande Kunjaadukalum...

Jagathy: "Kalyaana kuri vaangikkan pokuvaano"
Mohanlal: "Athe"
Jagathy: "Pathu kalpanakal ariyaamo"
Mohanlal: "Illa"
Jagathy: "Ennaal poyitte kaaryamilla"
That was Jagathy in a short but funny role, whose desire to get married is repeatedly foiled by his parish priest, Thilakan in the movie Koodum Thedi, for not knowing the Ten Commandments.

Recently I had to accompany my sis to our parish in Trivandrum, to get the kuri for her. And it turned out to be more hilarious than I ever expected. Going to this church and meeting priests from this church was a tense affair for me, because I was irregular for mass, had bunked sunday school and we never made it for their prayer group sessions.

The priest handed out a four page form to fill out. My sis is dismayed as it is in Malayalam, not her strength by any means. What surprised me is she ventures to fill out the form in malayalam, ignoring my entreaties to get it done with, in english. I decided to watch mutely, the fun that was to follow. Yes becomes "Uvve" in malayalam and No becomes "Illa" while filling forms. But my sis wrote "Aaa"(her colloquial for Yes), and when I broke down laughing, she changes it hastily to "Athe". The questions the form asked were funny too but i forget them. And where her answer was negative she writes "Alla", firmly in the grip of colloquial usage. Gleefully, I let her leave it that way, hoping the priest would spot it. She took the obsession with writing in malayalam to dizzying heights by attempting to write our US address in malayalam and when she came to the words "apartment", the helpless look on her face was a moment to treasure for eternity. I stopped making fun of her right there, as she seemed to be on the verge of exploding with rage and tears.

The Achan took up the form, and the first sound that escaped him was a groan, and his hands went up to his face, seeing the systematic murder of the malayalam langauge that had taken place. Like a school teacher, he diligently corrected the spelling mistakes, semantic "misjudgements" and the grammatical errors. Sis sat red-faced, while I was enjoying the comedy of errors thoroughly. It was a long time, since some situational comedy happened in my life.

Achan: "Nee kooduthal chirikkanda. Ningalode njan chila catechism questions chodikkan pokuva"
Me (laughter substituted by fear): "Njan alla acho kettunne. Ivala"
Achan: "Pathe kalpanakal ethokkeya"
I begin sweating. Luckily sis knows them all.
But the next question stumps both of us.

Achan: "Pathe kalpanakal ethrayaayitte churukkaam"
Sis: "Eh?! Angane churukkaan pattumo?"
Achan: "Sheda! Illaatha Kaaryangal njan chodikkumo"
Sis: "Ezhe"
Achan: "Ezho! Ente karthaave ninte sabha pokka"!
Achan: "Ennaal nee para"
Me: "Acho njaan alla kettunne."
Achan: "Haa parayada"
Me (tepidly): "Naale"
Achan: "Naalo! Correct answer is two"
Achan: "Ninakke extra two evidanne kitti"
Me (embarassed): "Athe njan enikke vendi ondaakiya rande kalpanakal aanacho!"

Achan: "Seven sacraments ariyumo"
Sis: "Of course."
But the seventh stumps her. The priest turns to me.
Me (triumphantly): "Holy Orders!"
Achan: "Ho nee vichaaricha poleyallallo."
Me: "Oru kaalathe enikke achanaakanam ennondaayirunnu."
Achan (sarcastic): "Ho bhaagyam, athe nadannillallo!"

After more questions and some disturbing answers from my sis...
Achan (to me): "Ithokke kettathukonde ineem ninakke eluppamaayallo"
Me (chuckling): "Achan ithey chodyangal thanne chodikkanam, please!"

The priest winds up the session, giving my sis some really awesome words of advice. We were very impressed. Mom had given us a very wrong impression of this priest, both of us thought. He had totally floored us. But like a predator, quickly moving in for the kill after cleverly ensnaring his prey, he made his next move.
Achan: "We are building a church at Pongummoodu, and we are severely short of funds."
Me (that sinking feeling): "I forgot my checkbook."
Achan: "Cash mathi"
Me: "Veetil poyi eduthonde varaam acho"
Achan: "Sheri"
Me: "Kuri?"
Achan: "Cash konde varummbam tharaam. Porey?"
Me: "Mathi acho!"
We ran for our lives. Sis, embarassed that her catechism had failed her. Me, cursing myself, for not reading the Achan's mind well enough.

Back home, we tell our parents, all what happened.
Pops: "Why did you tell him you both are working in the US. You should have said you are studying."
Mom: "Ente maathaave, enikkingane rande mandan pillereyaanallo kittiyathe"
Me (sheepishly): "It is for something good, right?"
Mom: "Achanmaarke aavashyathilere kaashonde. Athe edukkaathe nammale pirikkaan nadakkuva"
Pops (mournfully): "I sent you guys there, to escape him. Ineem njan thanne pokaam, and hopefully undo all the damage!"
Me: "Another reason, to do a register marriage!"

P.S: Phew! I never thought i would blog again. Feels nice to be back. And enjoy this wonderful xian song, that I have listened to, a hundred times already!


Anonymous said...

Nice one. Something to tell the next generation and laugh over:-)

silverine said...

I soo relate to this. I remember going for confession and the Priest asking me to say "I confess". I mumbled something to show him that I was praying, but he asked me to say it loud and I didnt remember a thing. So it was back to Sunday special class for me :)) I used to think I make the max blunders.

For my baptism, the very same thing happened. My folks needed permission for a private mass in a college chapel, and we had to pay through our nose for a 'No Objection Cert' form our Parish priest. Of course the payment was in the form of a donation towards some Church work. Same for my eldest bros wedding. In fact my Dad says by the time my second bro and me get married, the Church will make him bankrupt :)

Luvved the post!!

Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

Nice One Jiby. Had a good laugh after a long time :)

Jiby said...

anon, i wonder who will get the sanction of the church to marry, in the next generation :)

silverine, that was funny. only reason I don't do confession anymore is that I have forgotten the format. we make fun of my dad saying, "pramaaniyaayitte velassuvem venam, kaashe kodukkaanum vayya!"

dhanush, thanks man. happy to read that the post evoked a few laughs.

bombay dosti said...

ya, some ppl here too feel nice that you are back with your blog :)

Emmanuel said...

beautiful post...... :) pathu kalpanakal churukki yathu adipoli..... :)

convey my regards to ur sis too.....also wishing her gud luck.. :)

enjoyed the post very much... :)

quills said...

LOL! So funny..I can totally understand. I better get the name of the priest and the church from you. Might have to go to the same palli in Tvm. The Pongumoodu church tip is good. :)

Anonymous said...

WELCOME BACK JIBY....lovely post!

Preetha Nair said...

:) :) yupieeeeee...
Jiby is back with a bang!!!!!

Now don't go absconding ....:) :)

Jiby said...

bd, thanks yaar...knowing there are readers like you out there surely spurred this return.

emmanuel, thank you.

quills, oh oh...if the priest goes hunting on why donations are coming down, i am in deep shit!

anon, thanks. but leave a name, please. its not fun to address someone without knowing his/her name.

preetha, you have second-guessed me so well! i have also been wondering all through if this return is just to go absconding again. :)

Karthik said...

Lol..good post Jiby..and please keep blogging regularly..

Ashok said...

"Kalakki" ennu vaenam parayaan, ningalude performance. Ithra manoharamaaya aachaarangal iniyum vallathum undoe?

Jiby,very happy to see you back in form.

Tara said...

Hey Kuttans...hilarious...

Jiby said...

karthik, will try to, man. this was written on a day when my manager was off, the work was light, and my mind felt light. those days are becoming hard to come by.

ashok, manoharamaaya aachaarangalokkeyaanu, but you know what, am dreading a phone call from home, with scoldings for this irreverent post...so please don't get me into further trouble by provoking me :))

tarachech, this happened before you reached...or you could have been party to the fun too!

Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of the old days when making fun of the Priest was part of the local culture...now a dying culture :-)

flaashgordon said...

Hehe, too good !!i liked that "aaa" reply the best actually ! how wud that look like on paper?? :-))

btw been ther done that !! was really frustrated at some times during the "negotiations" with the priest coz mine was a weddin which crossed the religious boundaries. Tho the priest himself ddnt ask for anything we'd to give to everyone there, esp i hated the kapyar who bosses around there a lot.Rsisted the urge to beat up the guy a couple of times ;-)

Neway regarding reciting the prayers, the best anecdote was my frnd who had once been an altar boy et, but later as time went by not too regular at church etc . He'd come for the kurie for his wedding, and when asked the 10 commandments, hesistated around the 5th ..he wanted to say "vyabhichaaram cheyyaruthu" (thou shalt not commit adultery) but it came out as "Balalsangam cheyyaruthu" !!!! (i laughed for around 2 days thinkin of this one)

silverine said...

@flaash: ROFL!!!

mathew said...

loved this post..church adventures always have a funny tinge to it..and i can almost guess the church..is it one in plamood coz i have always felt some churches have that extra pull for georgekutties!!;-P

good now i know what they ask atleast..it will come in handy when my time comes..

that was kickass!!

Unknown said...

jibychayaa.. a nice read..
i think it'll be worse when the groom who is working in the US goes to collect his kalyanakkuri..
thangaludeyum samayam varum.. sookshicho.. ;-)

nish said...

he he... i remember the questioning sessions... vivaham ennal enthanu?... athu acho... kristu thante manavattiyaya sabhaye snehichathu pole.. ehm... dampatimaar.. ehm.. kristuvinte naamathil... ehm... :D :D
avasanam achanu thanne confusion aayi... :D :D..

aachi said...

Very nice..