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Kolu Memories-appaavi Jayasala

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by jayasala42, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Year 1949.Jayasala ( myself) was seven years old.We used to keep kolu of nine rungs.I had desire to dress up nicely.I was much interested in having a long plait ,having head sets as raakkodi, jadai villai, maattal etc.I loved to have a long plait with jasmine buds intermitted with multi coloured flowers.

    jasmine buds were being sold in Srirangan flower Shandy in saaththara stree,famous for flowers.We had to walk 5 kms to and fro.

    If we purchase flowers for Rs 5/- we could beautifully decorate two long plaits for two girls and dress up a child as Baby Krishna with front side 'kondai'.

    But Rs 5/ was really huge sum.We could buy vegetables or milk for 15 days.We could not even dream of seeing a five rupee note those days.As a mother,Amma promised me even on quarterly vacation that I will be surely be dressed up with long plait.
    I had nice dreams imagining my own beauty.

    Navarathri began. The so called promised 3rd day in navarari arrived. I was restless.At 2 P. M. Amma started decorating me. The long plait with Raakkodi set up was over. My mother asked me to finish off bath room business, sit up straight without moving an inch.At 4.30 it was ready. Amma wiped my face with a wet towel, powdered, applied kaajal and a beautiful tilak . I was so proud.
    From 5.30 to 6.30 P. M. I visited around 15 houses, exhibited my singing talents- rehearsed many times earlier.The songs were chosen according to the taste and involvement of neighbours in music. Appreciations were showered on my jadai, pattu paavadai and singing .I had lot of hugs and they asked me to request my Amma to ward off Dhrishti.

    Came home. Ate sundal to the full satisfaction.Went to temple. Had a darshan of Goddess Akilandeswari beautifully decorated as Bala Krishna with a pot of butter.On that day Thirukkovilur Sisters Alamelu and Pushpa gave a wonderful performance. Half listening, I fell asleep and Amma made me lie down on her saree palloo.
    At 11 P. M. we returned home. I simply slept on the cement floor of the long pyol( Thinnai).without having a mat or pillow.At 6 A. M. Amma woke me up and asked me to put kolam in the front yard.
    I eagerly looked back. There was only the long plait with kunjalam. There was no trace of any jadai of flowers.
    Placing kolamavu on the floor,I rushed inside, asked Amma " Have you removed the jadai and kept in inside?"

    Balu, a smart boy aged 9 hurriedly came inside and told " your jadai is within my stomach.
    He laughed and Amma joined. I became sad and angry.
    Later on I learnt that Amma had no money to buy flowers. She purchased two big measures of Arisi Pori( puffed rice) for 4 Annas three days back,She carefully stitched one by one with a thin needle on a thin card board.She intermittently kept pink and green woollen thread pieces to enhance the beauty of jadai. Amma had fitted the jadai on my plait binding it with black threads.
    I was kept dark, whereas Balu,the smart boy had been watching this.
    While I was sleeping in the temple, the naughty Balu picked up bunches of pori little by little and ate to his content.
    I was such an ignorant girl those days( even now seems to be so, branded as 'samaththu poraathu).
    From next year I learnt the art of doing the jadai with pori and excelled my mother in preparing jadai.
    Now we buy jasminf for Rs30 to Rs 40 per muzham. But the thrill we had in preparing the jadai, the efforts we took to make it look so natural is missing.Amma's ingenuity in managing within means has no parallel.
    Even today navarathri reminds me of jadai made of puffed rice.

    jayasala 42



    1949 ஆம் வருடம். எனக்கு 7 வயது.
    9 படி கொலு.
    விதம் விதமாக டிரஸ் பண்ணிக் கொள்ள ஆசை.நீள சடை பின்னி பூ தைத்துக் கொள்ள ரொம்பப் பிடிக்கும்.ஸ்ரீரங்கம் சாத்தார வீதி பூ சந்தைக்கு போகவர 5 மைல் நடக்க வேண்டும். 5 ரூபாய்க்குப் பூ வாங்கினால் 2 பேருக்கு பூ தைத்து ஒரு குழந்தைக்குக் கிருஷ்ணர் கொண்டை கட்டலாம். 5ரூபாய்க்கு எங்கே போவது.

    அம்மாவுக்குக் குழந்தைகளை திருப்தி பண்ண ஆசை. கால் பரீக்ஷை லீவ் ஆரம்பித்ததுமே பூ தைத்து விடுகிறேன் என்று வாக்களித்து விட்டாள் . எனக்கு ஏக குஷி.3ஆம் நாள் நவராத்திரி அன்று குஞ்சலம் வைத்துப் பின்னி அழகாக சடைப் பின்னலுடன் வீடு வீடு வீடாகப் போய் பாட்டுப் பாடி இரவு 7 மணிக்குக் கோவிலுக்குப் போனோம். அம்மன் திரு உலா. முடிந்ததும் அலமேலு புஷ்பா கச்சேரி.
    ஆசையாகக் கச்சேரி கேட்டுக் கொண்டு அப்படியே தூங்கி விட்டேன்.11 மணி சுமாருக்கு அம்மா வீட்டுக்கு அழைத்து வந்து விட்டாள் . வாசல் திண்ணையிலேயே பாய் கூட விரித்துக் கொள்ளாமல் தூங்கி விட்டேன். 6 மணிக்கு கோலம் போட எழுந்தபோது பார்த்தால் தலையில் பூ வைத்த சுவடே தெரியவில்லை. அழுது கொண்டே அம்மாவிடம் " அம்மா, நீ என் சடைப் பூவை அவிழ்த்து உள்ளே வைத்திருக்கிறாயா? என்றேன்.
    " இல்லையே" என்றாள் .
    பக்கத்து வீட்டு பாலு ' உன் சடை என் வயிற்றினுள் இருக்கிறது 'என்றான். அம்மாவும் கடகட வென்று சிரித்தாள்.எனக்கு கோபம் கோபமாக வந்தது.
    பின்பு தான் விஷயம் தெரிந்தது. அம்மாவிடம் பூ வாங்கக் காசு இல்லாததால் 4 அணாவுக்கு 2 படி ஸ்பெஷல் அரிசிப் பொறி வாங்கி 2 நாள் கஷ்டப்பட்டு அட்டையில் மொட்டுக் கோர்ப்பதுபோல் அழகாகக் கோர்த்து நடுவே woollen கலர் நூல் வைத்துப் பின்னியிருக்கிறாள்.எனக்கு அப்போதெல்லாம் சூக்ஷ்மம் போதாது.( இப்போது கூடத் தான்). கோவிலில் நான் அயர்ந்து தூங்கியபோது விஷயம் அறிந்த பாலு என் பின்னால் உட்கார்ந்து கொண்டு எல்லாப் பொறியையும் பிய்த்துத் தின்றுவிட்டான்.
    நான் ஞே என்று விழித்தேன்.
    இருக்கிற காசில் குழந்தைகளை திருப்திப் படுத்திய அம்மாவை இன்று நினைத்தாலும் பெருமையாக இருக்கிறது.அவர்கள் குடும்பம் நடத்தும் நேர்த்தியே அலாதிதான்.

    இன்று முழம் முப்பது ரூபாய் கொடுத்து தயங்காமல் வாங்கும் நிலை. அன்று சில அணாவுக்கே கணக்கு பார்க்கும் நிலை.
    மறு வருடத்திலிருந்து நானே சின்ன குழந்தைகளுக்கு பொறி சடை பின்னுவதைக் கற்றுக் கொண்டுவிட்டேன்.
    இப்போதுகூட நவராத்திரி என்றாலே அரிசிப் பொறி நினைவுக்கு வருகிறது.

    Sorry, Pori( puffed rice ) in Tamil should have small ra( idaiyinam). I am unable to correct. Sorry for the typo.
    jayasala 42
     
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  2. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:I enjoyed reading both English & In Tamil. You had narrated it all in simple language bringing the sequence of events live till crescendo in such a manner even layman or appavi like me too can understand appreciate the nuances of making a jadai.

    2. It brought memories of my mom and little sister and my role during Navarathri days. My Amma too would manage with whatever available to befit the occasion only by improvising.

    3. I tried to visualise those days at Triplicane when boys used to escort their sisters in their pavadai sokkai ( some in Pattu & some in seeti) and girls in half saree who go about inviting and attending.

    4. A good collection of visuals and sundals as we approach eve of Navarathri.
    5. Kudos to madam sisterji for posting the timely nostalgia.
    Thanks and Regards.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  3. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you Thyagarajan Sir. Even with the most technical electronic toys we don't get similar pleasure.
    Wish you happy navarathri.
    jayasala 42
     
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  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:thank you for the wishes and I reciprocate. Kalasam will be readied today ammavasya and from tomorrow 29th sep sunday to October 7th celebrated. It is mahaishasura or rama return to ayodhya for coronation after killing demon king Ravana.
    The present principal in presidency college is Mr. Ravanan! And he is a staunch theist.
    Regards.
     
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  5. Amulet

    Amulet IL Hall of Fame

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    Jaya,
    Thanks for the English version. I was heart-warmed at reading "She carefully stitched one by one with a thin needle on a thin card board.She intermittently kept pink and green woollen thread pieces to enhance the beauty of jadai." Stitching puffed rice to make it seem like jasmine rows is beyond anything I've known.
    Amazing stuff !! Thanks for sharing that with all of us.
     
  6. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    What is there in a name? Rama will be within Ravana also.
    I am reminded of an anecdote. Mandodhari and Ravana were watching from the top floor of their palace. They saw the beautiful bridge built by the monkey team.Mandothari said that she heard that the monkeys wrote the name of Rama in each stone and therefore the stones didn't sink but just floated.
    Ravana said,what is there? Now see, I shall write my name on a stone and make it float. Ravana wrote his name and the the stone floated. mandothari thought her husband too was as powerful as Rama. Before she could think, ravana said that he was praying Rama to make the stone float .
    The stone contained Ravana's name with the spirit of Rama.
    jayasala42
     
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  7. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you Amulet. Next year when I learnt the art,I started pasting the puffed rice pieces on a thin card board ,taperingly cut, to look like jadai. For the sides we used thin stiff pieces from coconut sheaths and pasted some what bigger pieces of puffed rice to give a three dimensional look to jadai.
    Being non perishable item, the jadai ,if kept untouched ,could be used on different days to different people and could be preserved for occasions intended for girls.
    All these effort just to save Rs5/ which is nothing in today's trend.But the thrill and happiness were inexplicable!
    Now a days, it is plastic yuga. Plastic jasmine jadais look very natural and could be preserved for years. My daughter-in-law being a dance teacher, she bought from Mylapore some 12 sets for her students in US.
    jayasala 42
     
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  8. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    Very nice write up. Bringing back old memories and translating to words. You have done it beautifully. Could visualise it while reading.
     

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