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Stepping stone to success

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by sundarusha, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. sundarusha

    sundarusha Gold IL'ite

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    For the last few days I have been stumped and confused.

    The reason for the confusion is a simple phrase which I have heard several times before. The general meaning of this phrase is "it is a similar story prevalent everywhere" and the literal translation is "every house has a doorstep" or in Tamil "Veetukku veedu vasalpadi".

    The only context under which I have heard this is when a complaint about a family member or in particular, a daughter in law, is lodged to a neighbor or friend. That neighbor or friend would then nod their head giving assurance and comfort to utter this phrase .There may be other circumstances under which this phrase is uttered but so far I have only heard it in this particular way.

    Now the confusion I have is not in understanding the phrase but about the doorstep itself. In which way does this small, insignificant cement structure play a role in getting admitted into this phrase?

    What does a doorstep and a complaint regarding a daughter in law or a family member have in common? I feel I need to know as my head is bursting.

    Why not say "every house has a door or wall or window?"

    It is not as if people trip and fall on the doorstep.
    They very well by now, unless they are under two years old, know that there is a little step and they have to either lift their foot and cross it or step on it to get inside any house whether it is theirs, or a friend's or a relative's.

    If the doorstep is regarded the same as a prevalent problem or a hurdle, why is there a custom of putting rangoli on it? When I was a new bride, my mother in law used to insist that as goddess Lakshmi resided in tha "vasalpadi", it was imperative to put rangoli on it in addition to the floor in front.

    It seems that the more practical purpose of the "vasalpadi" is to serve as a gap preventer between the main door and the floor so that creepy, crawly things are kept in check outside the door.

    So even being an insignificant piece of cement structure, the "vasalpadi" seems to serve more than one purpose.

    Then why does it get the harsh treatment of being compared to a grievance or problem that seems prevalent in homes or in a society?
     
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  2. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Usha,

    now let me explain the way I understood from your explanation! When as a kids we don't watch out for the step, we trip and fall and learn a lesson. But then as we wade through life, crossing the step becomes instinctive! But that does not answer the question of DIL you have raised....may be every DIL has to over look (cross over) some of the issues she is going to encounter so that it is going to be smoother for her - am not sure! But we do say in Kannada - ellare mane dosae toothae (dosas in everyone's house has holes) meaning every one has problems one way or the other! I was reminded of this when I read your snippet.
     
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  3. sundarusha

    sundarusha Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sabitha

    thanks for the quick reply.The dosa example sounds similar to the meaning of the phrase. As far as the DIL, this phrase is uttered when someone complains that their DIL is such and such. The listener then consolingly utters this phrase saying "veetukku veedu vasalpadi" or the problem is prevalent everywhere!
     
  4. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Usha dear
    My admiration on how well your brain works!:bowdown Considering all the important issues in hand of prime importance.. now dont get me wrong dear.. this too is important
    Now why did they mention the footsteps and not the windows or doors... Good Question?!
    You know in the US if people dont know the answe they always say Good Question.. haha:rotfl
    I think its just that in old villages also called "agraharam"... the footsteps would be so uniform and since houses were built adjacent to each other these steps looked kinda cute:)
    maybe thats why
    But I am not that smart to come up with this question nor answer it.. still somehow missed your thread.. and HAD to offer my..:my2cents
     
  5. sundarusha

    sundarusha Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Chitra,

    thanks for the fb.On that particular day that I posted this thread, perhaps there were no other issues that came to my mind. You are right. Perhaps the uniformity of the steps in these village homes gave rise to this proverb meaning that the problems are similar.
     
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