Home » Being married » The newly wed meals

The newly wed meals

So it still hasn’t completely sunk in that I’m married. Except maybe when I wash vessels cos its my least favorite thing to do. But marriage does change a lot of things, some of them startling changes. Say, for example, all the maamis and mamas who’ve hardly said a word to me in my so many years of my existence suddenly talk to me like an equal. Well, not really an equal but at least I see them wanting to develop some sort of kinship. You know, swap recipes for paruppusili and aracha vitta sambhar types. I don’t know what the polite way to decline invitation to the maamis’ club is. But when you just smile like a pretty doll and not say too much, they just take that to be coyness of the new bride and let you be. After all, how long can they carry on one sided conversations about where to buy the best puli and paruppu in Bombay and where to go to find the quintessential Tam crowd in the maida maavu city.

I digress. So there seem to be a lot of set rules and rituals that people generally follow to make the new couple feel welcome. Actually, its just for the daughter-in-law cos the boy is anyway treated like a king without kingdom (that actually depends on the dowry he gets and is subjective) wherever he goes. But, the one ritual that I couldn’t make too much sense of was the fact that everyone suddenly invited us to their house for lunch. We tambrahms never invite people over for dinner. Lunch is the first choice, if unavailable, evening tiffin is also acceptable but we never do dinner. I wonder why that is. Lots of people invited us over for lunch. Mostly RC’s people. The nice people that we are, we went to almost all their houses.

When you prepare a Tam lunch for someone who comes over, it invariably is Sambhar, Rasam, Curry, Kootu, Applam and Thayir. You know, like Saravana Bhavan meals types. Some of the over enthu ones also made pachidi and sweets. The problem started here. I don’t like Sambhar or Kootu. I only looked forward to the applam and sweets. In the meanwhile, word had gotten around that RC loved Pushnika kootu and vengaya sambhar (Pumpkin coconutty gravy and Onion sambhar). Since the boy is anyway the king, kootu and sambhar “followed my behind” with such a vengance, I still can’t bear to look at either of it even though we haven’t been fed that in over a month. I must be the only tambrahm on the face of earth that doesn’t like sambhar. I’m tired of explaining myself. Rasam I can have, just not sambhar. But then, people naturally assume that they must be my favorites too cos my husband loves them. So there was this constant pressure on me to make the yummy noises and ask each of them for the recipe of their version of the two dishes.

We South Indians are best known for our hospitality. Its the best. Honestly. But while serving guests food, the hospitality just goes berserk. We can never understand when someone says they’re full or insist that they’ve had enough. We always insist harder that they have some more. Its always a one-up game. Unless they notice some sign of distress on your face or hear uncomfortable sounds from your stomach, they will always insist that you eat more. The best way to avoid landing up with insane amount of food on your plate is to completely cover it up with both hands and almost shield it with your chest. One must be very careful to not give the host even the slightest space to wriggle their way through.

When you’ve eaten so much that you can’t move even an inch, let alone bend down to wear your own shoe, they will offer you a pillow to sleep off the carb coma or the unda mayakkam. After the nap, when you think you just might be able to stand up again, talks of “why don’t you stay back for tiffin” will scare the hell outta you. I never thought the day will come when I will groan at the thought of eating a meal.

In spite of all this, its a good feeling to be the center of everyone’s attention. Its the “Live it up while it lasts” logic, I guess! πŸ™‚

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25 thoughts on “The newly wed meals

  1. Honestly. But while serving guests food, the hospitality just goes berserk. We can never understand when someone says they’re full or insist that they’ve had enough.
    I don’t think its a South Indian thing. Punjus are known to do the same. I think its a pan Indian thing actually!

  2. Congratulations again! Finally an update on your blog. πŸ™‚ Are you in Bombay now?

    yes i am! are you coming here anytime soon? write to me! πŸ™‚

  3. Do what I did. After the first 70 houses I went to where I had to swallow huge quantities of kootu to keep the peace , the next house I just declined the first helping itself.

    After the shocked silence that follwed, the rest of the time was spent dissecting how this generation got this way with me just politely smiling along.

    Fun times!

  4. I hate sambar and kootu. I just cannot stand it.

    And soon you will be expected to be superwoman. Soeone who works, cooks, makes sure there is no crease on the dining table wala table cloth and manages to keep her husband in rein from cracking poor jokes.

    Don’t fall into the trap now coz you will languish there. Make it a point to show you are not superwoman and don’t want to be one.

  5. I guess developing kinship or joining the maami’s club could be a little irksome .. u may feel a lot older than you actually are.
    Its true that hospitality goes berserk down south. I totally fell on the plaintain leaf once trying to shield with my chest.

  6. congratulations!

    and isn’t that what marriage is all about? swapping the best paruppuusli recipes! πŸ˜›

    PS: the quintessential tam crowd in bombay is very hep and unfortunately loves vengayam sambar. all the best!

  7. Congrats πŸ™‚ !!!!!!!!!

    Loved reading the going-ons:-D
    My advice…go with the flow…..or shd I say enjaaoy yit while it lasts…. πŸ˜€

  8. Congrats on the wedding. Nice to see you posting again πŸ™‚

    Your post reminds me of the newly wed couple in chupke chupke, in which the husband eats like crazy and ends up with a terrible stomach ache, and the wife cribs about the numerous invites they have…have you seen that movie?

    PS: I hate sambar and kootu too!!!

    lol.. good to see such solidarity!

  9. That was funny. And for a moment I thought RC = Royal Challenger. And then the realization. Lol. Like buddy said, Bombay Tam crowd is nice. Go for Matunga, Andheri West, Chembur. The Thane people like buddy can be avoided.

    And don’t listen to Nandu. It’s like the Dark Knight. We’ll hunt him because he can take it. A silent guardian. So you are expected to be superwoman because you can be. :p

    P.S

    I so love getting Nandu miffed!

  10. hi sweetie, thanks for the tip to cover ur plate wid ur hands if someone wants u to eat even if u re full, ill remember that next time i m coming to India πŸ™‚

    i’ll do the same to you when you come over next time with my cooking!

  11. Congrtas on ur wedding…
    I can undertsnd abt the food thing, After my wedding we tried not to go to much houses as i had the excuse that i dont have much time etc… Then too the zillion houses we were forced to go to, we made sure that we dont end up in much places for lunch and dinner, as i hate many of the dishes especially sambar… luckily the houses to which i went, my hubby also supported me by telling @no she eats very little dont force her etc’ Another thing is that my cholestrol shot up in that one month…heheh thats the amount of meat and sweets we had…

    good to know there are more of us suffering πŸ™‚

  12. Does Adi know?

    Is Adi married? Is Adi a woman to even understand super woman? I mean, he is a man. A lowly man. He could never try being super. Forget anything else.

    About expectations, that is exactly what we’re trying to avoid, for the uninitiated πŸ˜›

    The trick here is to avoid expectations while pretending to be superwomen. Lowly men can’t even begin to understand such concepts πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  13. πŸ™‚ Nice to see that you’re being spoiled da !!!

    πŸ˜‰ thanks! you’ve disappeared man, where are you?

  14. Ditto with Koottu. Sambar, esp. Arachu Vitta Sambar, thattikka mudiyadhu. Arachu vitta sambar with urulai-kkizhangu fry and papadam (not appalam) – my idea of a dream date. πŸ˜€
    Just curious, were the folks who called you for dinner Tam-Brahm too? And did they serve all this koottu-sambar thingy for dinner? Some sense of humour they have. πŸ˜€
    (PS: You don’t know me, I don’t know you, just landed here blog-hopping.)

  15. Ditto with Koottu. Sambar, esp. Arachu Vitta Sambar, thattikka mudiyadhu. Arachu vitta sambar with urulai-kkizhangu fry and papadaam (not appalam) – my idea of a dream date. πŸ˜€
    Just curious, were the folks who called you for dinner Tam-Brahm too? And did they serve all this koottu-sambar thingy for dinner? Some sense of humour they have. πŸ˜€
    (PS: You don’t know me, I don’t know you, just landed here blog-hopping.)

  16. Here after a long time. Congrats! And welcome to the paruppusali club. *sigh* It’s a shade better than the diaper club.

  17. The description was soooo nice that I could actually imagining myself in midst of the hosts and lapping it up all.

    Though a Bong the South Indian food (specially the Tamil and Andhra food) is a real treat.

    Having said that let me also say that you style of description and flow is like a professional novelist.

    Congrats!!

  18. also, it is customary to burp after you are full and you take some food just to ensure that you are really full. Just in case. A burp now also is appreciated.

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