My close encounters with “Mamas”!!!

First the disclosure:  This post was inspired by another post I recently stumbled upon among the deluge of shares which hit one’s timeline in the social media daily– “The Ascent of the Maami” – Read here. I liked it and thought why not I write one on my encounters with the mamis’ counterpart namely the “Mama”. Also I wanted to take a break from Aam Admi and write on “Mama/Mami” 🙂

Second the definition:  In Tamil brahminical parlance, any male above the teenage threshold who cannot be tied in with any other description like Anna (elder brother), Chittappa (uncle), Thatha (Grandfather), Cousin,… is called a “Mama”.  Its’ important to note here that once you are called a mama you are no more a teenager and vice versa.

Third the disclaimer: This post on mamas in general has nothing to do with “my” mamas. This is about mamas in general. Hence the above definition needs to be understood in perspective 🙂 🙂

In my last 40 years or so, en(noda)counters with mamas have been very many. At home sometimes but mostly in social functions like marriages or common gatherings like Avani Avittam, Temple pooja,..,.. Based on these interactions, the mamas can be grouped as under:

  • Question Killer: Like serial killers, these mamas have the ability to almost kill you with their serial questions. When you see them, its’ almost like interrogation. Kelvi kette saagadippanga intha mamas
  • “Hello – Eppo vandha? (When did you come?)
    • Just now
  • Eppadi vandha? (How did you come?)
    • In my car
  • Athe car thane, illa puthusu vaanginiya? (That same car or you bought a new one?)
    • The same car
  • Wife varaliya? (Wife didn’t come??)
    • No she didn’t.
  • Enna Veetukku Vellilaya??? (Has she got her periods???)
    • 😠 😠

                   You then force nature to call you and slip out

  • Mama Konjam toilet poyitu varen (I’ll just go to the toilet and come)
  • No. 1 or No. 2???
    • 😠 😠 (to yourself – Vidave maattaar polarukku intha manushan)
  •  Perfection personified mama: For these mamas, everything needs to be perfect. Nothing short of that.  Your living in this planet is a waste if you don’t do things with utmost perfection. If you get caught with this type in some occasion, the next day you will have to attend some HR course to boost your self-confidence. Becoz in 1 hour he will find 100 faults in everything you do and shatter your ego and self-confidence.

    • Ennappa veshitya ippadiyaa kattarathu? (Do you wear your dhoti like this??)
    • 11 o’ clock ku pujai, medhuva 11.05 kku varaye?? (The puja is at 11.00 o’ clock and you are coming slowly at 11.05??)
    • ,…
    • ,…
  • Rules Mama: For this mama, everything has to be followed as per the set procedure/rule. If there’s any deviation, in front of everybody he will pull you down that too with his loud voice ensuring that everybody in the vicinity comes to  know what you did. They can also be labelled as Maanatha vaangarathukune porantha mamas.
    • Ennappa elaya eppadi podaruthunnu kooda theriyaatha? (You don’t know how to keep the leaf??) – In functions it is customary to serve food in banana leaf. And the leaf has to be laid in a particular way only. If you change the direction, you will be subjected to a few nasty looks and loud jibes)
    • And if you decide to help and do some service and volunteer to serve food, there is an order by which the different dishes have to be served. If you happen to serve some dish ahead against the set order you will have to listen to archanai (taunts) from the Rules mama.
    • ,…,…
  • Over smart, padutharathukune porantha mama: These mamas are deadly. They are born to torture you. Sample these:

                   1.  “Mama: Dei, how are you, Enna theriyuma?? (Do you recognize me?)

                   You: (you are obviously unable to place him. But if you tell him the  truth  you will be subjected to a mouthful. So you lie) – Yes, yes, I recognize you. How can I forget?  How are you?

                  Mama: You remember me?? O.k. tell me who I am???

                  You: 😠 😠 Well, well, (you just escape)”

`                 2. “Mama: Ennappa entha companyla work panra?? (Where are you working??)

                   You: Mama, Godrej company

                   Mama: Evalavu Sambalam tharaan?  Kanja pasangalache??? (How much are they paying??? They are stingy buggers no???)

                    You: 😣 ???”

  • The Professional mama: These mamas wear pride in their sleeves having done professional courses like Engineering,.. that too in those days securing admission absolutely in merit when there were only few colleges. They loathe the present education system, lament on the decline in education standards and absence of meritocracy these days. So whenever you meet one of this type you will be subjected to a long lecture on how tough it was to get into engineering college those days and how he managed to get a job in Kirloskar company,…,.. When I happened to get into engineering college and met one such mama after my 2nd year, he almost took a test on Thermo dynamics, Machine design,.. all in the midst of a Seemandham function where we met!!!
  • Ellam therinja mama: He is the know it all. Period. He has an opinion on everything and as per him that’s right. From weather in Bay area to political climate in Chechnya, he knows everything.
  • Angry Old mama: These mamas were Angry young men in their primes. They get angry over everything. On the Government, system, roads, politicians, people, relatives and what have you.  Usually you will find them alone as generally people avoid a run-in with these types.
  • Munjaakirathai (Over cautious) mama: This category of mamas are always over cautious about every thing. So much so that one mama from this clan told me that he accepts friend requests in FB only after checking their horoscopes 🙂 🙂 🙂
  • Advice Kadai mama: These mamas are always into advice some time solicited, most of the times unsolicited.  From how to handle a bad boss at work to tackling inflation they provide free guidance.

And there are more. I can go on and on. Due to space and time constraint I will have to end here. Wait a minute. There’s a ring at the door and It’s my neighbour’s 15 year old son Vivek

        “Vivek: Hello, what are you doing uncle?

        Me: Well nothing much, just doing my usual Sunday blog

        Vivek: Oh, what are you writing on?

       Me: Well for a change some light stuff. On my encounters with “Mamas”  (I explain  the different   types,..)

        Vivek: Uncle, you can add one more type

        Me: Which is???

        Vivek: Blog panniye boradikara mama

         Me:  🙁 🙁 🙁


Picture courtesy :

P.S: This is a light-hearted intentional take but with no intention to hurt anybody or any community.

0 thoughts on “My close encounters with “Mamas”!!!”

  1. R. Santhanaraman

    Yes, it is a nice re-collection of your or the encounters of others. Enjoyable as a TamBrahm mama myself. Like I tried to categorise my wife, I tried finding me in one of those described. Still trying to find the right one. Though you called those above teenage as mamas, none of your mamas seems to be below 50. To be an instrument of fun for the teenagers and the not so aged, the mama has to be above 50. Now guess my age!:-) You lived up to the adage that ‘funsters’ should be able to laugh at themselves. Keep it up.

  2. Anand,Besh,Besh romba nanna irukku. U have covered almost all the mamas except few like thathareena na (Carnatic) mama,cook mama ,the betel leaf chewing mama with the chellam and the top knot kurukcal mama (remember) u meet them almost everyday .very interestingly and very humorously written about a group of interesting ,intelligent it.

  3. 😀 😀 Lolz….its superbly hilarious…enjoyed it thoroughly while reading..though didn’t understand few words..

    Romba mast :p (hope the word is correct :p )

  4. Nirmalya Biswas

    Anand…. this one’s a true entertainer and in every line you relate to ‘the mamas’…. Lol….. 😀 😀

  5. vinaitheerthan

    Good one Anand. Left me light hearted and thannai thaane vimarsikara dhairiyam matrum honesty irukiradhu unnidam , vazhthukal (‘vivek’ i sonnaen- Your blogs are readable , enjoyable , ponderable and informative . Keep up the good work mate.

    1. Hi Vinai, thank you so much. I hope you are following and reading our Silver Jub “Nanbenda” blog as well where our friends are contributing as well. Request you also you to do a few posts there.

  6. Anand Ji, hope your mama is not reading this blog, otherwise for this also you will have to go through 30 minutes lecture time 🙂

  7. I seem to encounter the ‘No no no no no no no’ mama.I can say ” Vladimir Putin dhaan mama Russia president”. He will instantly respond with “No no no no no no, Medvedev dhaan PM, aana Putin dhaan president”.

  8. I seem to get more than my fair share of the ‘Noooo no no no no no no’ mama.

    Me: Russia president Vladimir Putin illiyo mama.
    Mama: Nooooooo nonononononono, Medvedev PM, aana Putin dhaan president.

  9. Whoa! Awesome awesome! Romba correct. Katcheri maama la vittutunglo? 😉 yell akacheriyum avare vanda samma bore adippangaa! romba question keppannga!

    2 bits from my cousin (who’s a non-tamil btw)

    From me – these maamas individually are dangerous a combination of these features is lethal 🙂

  10. Every mama I was reading about, I had a reference point… 🙂 its true but i guess, every family does have a representative of all these categories…. 🙂
    There are also these `Walking Calender mamas’ – quite a lot of them in my family who would start any conversation as `On 23rd September, 1978……… ‘ … you are just amazed at the kind of database capacity which these mamas have …..
    Referring to the mama type who dont cringe asking about your salary details, I came across this mama who asked my cousin as to what he was drawing as salary… my cousin gave an apt reply : `Periappa, neither are YOU going to give me anything if my salary is less, and nor am I going to give YOU anything if my salary is more…. so why this discussion ? ‘ haha…. the inquisitive mama was indeed taken aback 🙂

  11. janakiraman rajamani

    Excellent…I realise finally that I am also in mama category now and not “anna ” anymore ( as I am just 46 years old) and I could map exactly to which category I belong to.super anand.well done


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