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Pitchumani and his non vadama wife – Chapter 08

“Padha, Perias. Airport podham” he hurried me to accompany him to the airport,” Ravi is coming for a short vacation.I have selected a couple of girls for him and I want to perform his wedding if he chooses one of them”.
Dr.Rao is a leading cardiologist and his son is a software boy working in U.S.
“Fine, but on the way, I would like to call on a friend at Tarnaka”
”Okey, you don’t mind my coming to your friend’s house?”
“Not at all”
”Seshadri Nilayam’ looked refreshed and rejuvenated.  The bamboo chairs bought by Mama, at Rs. 10.00 each , soon after his wedding, have been replaced with leather sofas, and with matching window curtains and wall hangings,the reception hall looked grand. Within a short period of 3 days, Liz has earned the love and affection of the family, especially that of Alamumami and I realized that language is not indispensable, when the hearts develop a silent communication skill of their own,when there is a flow of love in between. Seshumama and athai also told me that they too liked Liz.
Pitchu, while talking to Dr.Rao realized and revealed that his son was well known to him and they were classmates. Pitchu’s sister,
Lakshmi served us ‘chai’ and some snacks
.
”Ee pappa chala anthanga unthikatha, Perias” ( is she not really good looking?), Rao commented and then in his typical simple and straight forward style, asked Lakshmi “Yeamma, na Ravine pellicheskkundava?”( will you marry my son?)
Except one person, we all thought that it was an innocent joke made in good spirit and just smiled.The person who took it seriously was Chamianna, who, while entering the house along with his wife, overheard Dr.Rao’s remarks and asked Seshumama,” Ee kazuveridaman aaruda? Nammudey veettil kkeri pennu chothikkan?”(who is this scoundrel to come to our house and ask for the hands of our daughter?)
Dr.Rao,  fortunately could not follow the question and before further damage could be done, Pitchu cleverly took the visitor to the side room and on the way, seeing Liz, asked Pitchu,” Ethukattil ninnu kittee, ee vella korangu?'(from where did you catch this albino ape?) . Again, he turned back and asked Seshumama, “Oii, Lakshmikkippo thalkarakkamonnum illayea?. Avalodu apasmaram poora poyi kozanthai sowkkiyama irukkala?”.
(hope Lakshmi is free now from the epilepsy problem, she had earlier?)
When she was a kid, Lakhmi experienced seizures once, due to high fever and the wicked pattar remembered that ‘divyastahram’ now, to shoot at the innocent girl’s future.
His arrows, however, failed to hit the targets.
Chamianna, a distant relative of Seshumama, is basically from Vaikkom and like some pattars of south kerala of olden days, talks mostly in Malayalam and uses the words such as ‘kazhuveridamon’ frequently,without worrying the bad meaning they carry. He doesn’t have good opinion about anyone in the world, and enjoys interfering in others’ matters. He never shares the happiness of others; so he is always unhappy. He is jealous of others prospering; so he never prospers. He has worked as a cook,school teacher,vadyar, bus driver,watch repairer and a transport company owner but was a failure in everything he did because of his bad manners,ego and crooked way of dealing. The God, however, in His unique way, provided a remedy for all his badness by
selecting, Meenamami, as his life partner. She is a wonderful woman, full of grace,kindness and affection and whenever I see that charming woman, I used to wonder, how she could be so smiling and look peaceful in spite of having such an unworthy husband.
As he couldn’t throw out Chamianna from his house, Pitchu wanted us to move out and asked Elizabeth,
“Liz, shall we also go to airport to receive Ravi?’
Meenamami said that she would be leaving that evening to her village and asked Pitchu whether she could also join us to the airport to spend some time with Elizabeth.
I realised later that actually the purpose of her accompanying us was to talk to Dr.Rao about the good qualities of Lakshmi.
“I am not related to Seshumama”, She told Dr.Rao, in Telugu, ‘but I know that family for the past several years. They live a simple and decent life and there is harmony and understanding , love and affection among the members. Lakshmi is a girl of exemplary character and intelligence. She will be an asset to any respectable family. Being a man of conventional thinking, Seshu may have some reservation, because, though your socioeconomic status is much higher than his, you are a Vashnavite and speak a different language. But these problems are not insurmountable and I can talk to Sehu and convince him . But before that, if you did make the proposal seriously, let your son meet Sehu’s people and if they also agree with you, talk to Lakshmi and let you know whether he wants you to go ahead”
” I am serious about this alliance ” Dr.Rao said,” Perias has mentioned earlier about Seshumama and now I have heard from you too. I want Ravi to see the girl today itself on our way back and give his opinion”
I was surprised at the turn of events. I went to Seshumama’s house to enquire about Pitch’s wedding arrangements, could not speak a single word about it but now we are discussing about his sister’s wedding, the proposal for which came from a friend who appeared unexpectedly. I wished Meera were with me.
Meena mami wanted to talk to Seshumama before Ravi goes to see the girl and moreover she wanted to remove her husband from the scene. So, she told Dr. Rao that it would be inhuman to trouble the boy who would be tired after a long journey and Dr. Rao should talk to his son about this matter after a day or two allowing him time to take rest and relax.
On our way back from the airport, Meenamami told Pitchu,”Let us go to ‘Ananth jyothi’, first. I will prepare food for you all there . You eat and relax.I will pack off my husband. I don’t want him to see Elizabeth again ”
That was a great relief for all of us.
After returning home, while Meenamami was busy in the kitchen, I called Meera and briefed her about the developments. She was extremely happy about the proposal and suggested that in case we were not able to get rid of Chamianna, the meeting can be arranged in Anantha Jyothy .
But Meenamami did manage to pack of her husband and therefore we all went to ‘seshadri Nilayam’and contrary to our expectation, Seshumama did not reject the proposal outright, though he would have preferred to have an Iyer boy with Vibhuthi, instead of an Iyengar boy with Namam and speaking a language other than his mother tongue.
“Seshu, remember,” meenamami said,” You are aging and have two daughters to be married; your two children are studying and you cannot burden to Pitchu any more, beyond a limit. Dr.Rao, is much above you in economical and social status and Pitchu knows Ravi well. Except for some variations in customs and social activities, Vaishnavites also follow the same scriptures as we do. Lakshmi speaks Telugu well and therefore language difference is not at all a problem. Anyway, mostly they will be talking only English”
Elizabeth also encouraged mama to take a positive decision, though she couldn’t differentiate between, Iyer-Iyengar or Tamil-Telugu or understand how a marriage could be fixed just in one meeting between an unknown boy and girl..
“Anyway, let Ravi and Laksmi see each other and then we will decide” Seshumama said.
Athai verified from Pitchu about the credentials  of Ravi and  Pitch confirmed that to his best knowledge, Ravi was not involved in any love affairs.
Next morning, after ascertaining from Pitchu about Laksmi’s educational qualification and some other details, Dr. Rao suggested that we meet informally in a hotel, so that in case, for some reason, the alliance didn’t materialize Lakshmi wouldn’t  feel bad. He invited all of us for a dinner.
It was a very friendly, casual meet and Ravi and Lakshmi were given enough opportunities to discuss and decide. Ravi wanted to have one or two meetings with her one to one, for which none from Seshumama’s side had any objection. Athai diplomatically asked a few questions to Ravi to know about his habits and way of living and Meera asked about his job, hobbies etc and also provided some information about Lakshmi on topics the youth are interested .
After a couple of days, I went to Seshumama’s house with some fruits and sweets and declared,
” Though I am against dropping costly kanchi pattu sarees in the homakundam, I believe that the benevolent sky, have  accept a few drops of ghee poured in the sacrificial fire and rewards the earth in the form of rains. Similarly, Alamumai’s Chatahppuram pulliar,has showered his blessings on us, accepting the extra one coconut on our credit; Yes, Dr. Rao and his family would like you to find an auspicious day and perform the wedding in two weeks”.
‘It is purely due to Lakshmi’s good heart and kindness to others” Alamumami said,
” Don’t pluck all the flours from the plant; leave a few for the bees and butter flies”, she used to warn me when I go to the garden to pluck flowers for Puja” ‘
We had a long discussion about the arrangements to be made. Meera, who was sitting by my side, pinched me to find out about Pitchu’s wedding so that both the marriages could be conducted the same day in the same hall. But, I was helpless as none of them in Mama’s family discussed that topic and I didn’t want to raise it on my own.
At that time something, really bad happened.

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