Saturday, October 06, 2007

Old wives hairy tales

Saturday morning and my best friend Nina drops in. She is amongst the 345 other ‘best friends’ I have ( psst don’t tell her this). Now Nina is very nifty with the scissors. I mean she is quite good in giving a neat trim for our tresses that saves most of us a trip to the salon and a mean Rs 300/-. 'Money saved is money well spent' is our Sorority motto.

Now my tresses are the very private property of my mother. Yeah it grows on my head but so what? The lady cares two hoots. Suggestions made in jest that I cut it and hand it over to her for safe keeping is met with a steely “mom” glare.

According to my mom (and most mallu moms) I can do whatever I please…"after I get married” (the lady is a whiz with clauses and sub clauses and sub sub clauses).

Me: Amma I want to convert to a heathen religion and spend the rest of my life eating lizards!

Amma: Sure dear. After you are married you can do anything you want.

Me: Anything????

Amma: Yes!!

Me: And can I become Sheik Al Arabis 18th wife? He has a mean swimming pool you know!!!

Amma: of course mole!!! Anything after your are married! *angelic smile*

And so cutting my hair is an absolute no-no with her because “ no good achayathi girls cut their hair besides “ no achayan boy worth his salt will marry you if you do!!

I can almost imagine a pennu kaanal scene in the distant future. Yours truly has trimmed her tresses a wee bit and enters the living room decked in traditional finery carrying a laden tray groaning under the weight of the traditional delicacies ‘made at home’ from Delight Bakery.

Bridegroom to be: *gasp* her tresses are a little shorter than what I saw in her photograph!!!

MIL: Entamoooooo!!!

FIL: Idhu chadhi aannu!! grr

Bridegrooms brother: Dad!! Mom!! We cannot stay here a minute longer!!

Bridegroom’s sister: This is an insult to our family!

Broker to my Dad: You ruined my reputation.

My Mom: My heart is paining *gasp*

My Dad: Someone call the doctor!!

FIL: We are leaving. I consider it an insult to even drink water in this house.

My Dad: Nooooo please don’t do this. Pleeeeeaaaase!! I beg of you. Please don't go.... *sob*

*Sound of Ambulance siren blaring*

The Bridegrooms family drives away in a huff.

Scene at our parish Church
in Pala:

Priest: And for todays mass, we will pray for our fallen sister Anjali’s soul. God forgives all sins, but this girl has stretched even Gods patience. Let God in his infinite mercy forgive her her sins so that she does not burn in the eternal flames of Hell!

Congregation: tch tch Amen!

Scene at my mothers house in Changanassery

Aundy 1: *wail* Mein loot gayi, barbaad ho gayi err… I mean ente daivamme what misfortune has befallen our family!!! Aiyyo!!

Aundy 2: *wail*

Aundy 3: *bawl*

Aundy 4: *sob*

Aundy5: *swoon* *thud*

Scene at my Dads tharavaadu (ancestral house) in Pala.

Uncle two: 100 Pipers or Antiquity?

Uncle three: Our niece has done us proud. This occasion calls for a Scotch I say!

Uncle four: *smile*

Uncle five: And Scotch it is!!

(Sorry for the abberation folks but my Dad’s brothers are not exactly prone to melodrama. ‘A healthy amount of alcohol is the best reality check’ is our family motto.)

And so peoples to avoid my mother from going into shock, I decided not to trim my tresses…....till my moms next Potta trip.


Annemarie said...

and me first??? :-O

Di said...

aiyoo! tell me about it...thankfully i dont get that "wen you get married" clause added to the end of it..atleast not as yet :-| Amen to that! But i was wondering on how id look with that hair cut Urmila has in "Ek Hasina Thi" Urmila and me have a lot of similarities u see....theres the bad height..and...ya the bad height.I think i hear mom talking of a rented accomodation for me ..hmm

Crizzie Criz! said...

I love your blog, and so identify with it.

Unfortunately, i learned to be an achayan in my seven years at kottayam.

Bravo writing! Accept my admiring glance at ya!

Abhay said...

most of the times, moms do manage to convince us to blv tht we'll get the 'license to kill' once we r married :) cool post.

Amey said...

Oh, now that was an anti-climax... Aunty (your mother) must really be proud ;)

രാജ് said...

ആണ്‍ പ്രജകള്‍ (അച്ഛന്‍ മുത്തച്ഛന്‍ മുതുമുതുമുത്തച്ഛന്‍ വരെ പോകുന്ന ലൈന്‍‌) പിന്നെയും ക്രൂരന്മാരാണ്, അവരുടെ പല്ലവി ‘എന്തു വേണേല്‍ ആയ്ക്കോ ഞാന്‍ മരിച്ചിട്ട് മതിയെന്ന് ;)

അമ്മമാരെ കല്യാണം കഴിയുന്നവരെ സഹിച്ചാല്‍ മതിയല്ലേ?

Arun Jose Francis said...

good one as usual... keep it going!
I guess, mallu girls are lucky to have such moms... :-P

mathew said...

rockin as was long since heard those "kudumbakathagal"...loved it..;-P

All malayalee Dad and Mom's have a fetish for hair parting lines..I dont remember the umpteen times I was told to show the perfect line otherwise I would have to comb all over again..

Btw even though u say all these..from all your old posts I can surely make out that ur Mom rocks!!

Dhanya said...

Excellent post as usual :) Now I know all mom's r the same. Even I'm fed up of this "after marriage" dialog especially when it comes to a hair cut. It doesn't matter that the once thick and long hair now resembles a rat tail and is only waist length. I'm sure by the time I'm allowed to cut it, I would have gone bald n nothing remains to cut ;)

Anonymous said...

excellent! the pennu kaanal party drove away in an ambulance? :))
btw mallu mom's are not very open to the idea of long hair on us men...

Ajith Prasad Balakrishnan said...

The negative reactions from the groom's side at Pennu Kaanal itself can be avoided by giving a scotch / blacklabel rt ? ..I'd say, instead of taking tea to them, take a tray full of beer bottles ..Almost all achayan boys will fall for that irrespective of ur hair style :)

Unknown said...

Hilarious! :) Hold on to your tresses or all hell will break loose in the pala changanassery area...:p

scorpigle said...

that was neat and tickled the right spots! ;)

Adorable Pancreas said...

Aundy? ROTFL!

I like your dad's family. They go about things with the right attitude. :)

silverine said...

Annie: I have conveyed your admiration to her :p

Di: I may join you soon in that rented accommodation :p

crizzie criz: Thank you buddy :)

Abhay: You are right ;)

fleiger: She is proud of herself, thats for sure :p

Peringodan :"‘എന്തു വേണേല്‍ ആയ്ക്കോ ഞാന്‍ മരിച്ചിട്ട് മതിയെന്ന" So you guys also have these time lines? lol!! My sympathies. Yours seem to be infinitely longer :))

Arun Jose: And for that really sweet comment I am praying that you are born a mallu gal in your next birth :p

mathew: My dad was also very particular about hair parting. And I don't think there was a day when he was satisfied by our hair partings. We could never get it right :)

Dhanya: Great to meet another fellow sufferer :)

sreejith: By the time either of the men in my house have their hair a micro millimeter longer than what she thinks is acceptable she starts nagging about a hair cut. So I know what you are talking about! :)

Ajith:"Almost all achayan boys will fall for that"
Then you don't know achayans very well!

Joey: :p

scorpigle: Than you :)

AP: Oh yes, they do have their fundas down pat :)

Abhi said...

That was a rockin post as usual! I am like one of the achayan guys ur mom has mentioned, loves long hair! But then no gal nowadays has the ability to maintain long hair like my mom's n grandmom's generation! SOB!

Anonymous said...

LOL! Funny stuff dudette :-)

aaron said...

simbly too much...!!

chanced on your blogs for the first time today. having read quite a lot of them, i think you have more consistency and subject matter than sidin, when it comes to syrian christian matters....
definitely coming back for more...

Amey said...

As a curiosity, in which religion do they eat lizards? I am keeping miles away from them.

I knew people would ask girls to walk, sing and all to make sure the girl they are marrying didn't have any "defects", but I didn't know they also carry measuring tapes.

As a personal choice, I support your mother, and all such mothers.

VIDYA said...

i remember the one time i walked into my house with untied straightened hair, and a pair of sunglassesover it.
ammuma said: Enda di? Mudi ele karandiye pole?
me: ende 'LAYER CUT' anu.

:) :) lowly post.

Diviya said...

I wonder what your mum has to say about hair colour. Hilarious post!

Anonymous said...

Hahhaa... exactly how it would be in Shivalli Brahmin community also!
Tired of hearing to that thing by Mom, I waited for exactly one month before marriage, and got my hair cut! Answer was - ur son-in-law wanted it short!

Just wait till u get married, and u can enjoy as much as you want! :)

S.. Diva said...

good post!
reminds me of my mom's reaction when i joined salsa classes. she almost swore that no "middle class brahmin boy" would marry me :)

Santosh said...

Hey, you know watt, You mom's absolutely rite, you should never trim ur tresses.

I am sure you draw this amazing sense of humor from them :p , what if they go the moment you trim them?
The more you trim, the lesser and lesser funnier you get. Awwwwww Scarrry....

I am convinced, your mommie knows about this UFO which landed in kerala and put this power in your hair. and hence .....

Let'em be :-)


ap said...


Enjoyed like anything.... :)

But dont worry ...there will be super moms like mine ,she adores girls who are trendy!!!(And she is from Pravithanam...A place 8 kms from Pala town!!!!!!)

May be its because there is no girls in our family!!!!!

AnneK said...

If I have heard it once, I have heard it a million times. No one will marry you if you have short hair.

I ended up marrying a fraud mallu and HE loves long hair. Maybe not so fraud after all :S

Scribbles said...

Hey, this post surprised me... I thought my amma was the only one who says "yes u can try that hairstyle after u are married..." am so so glad... to find others in the same boat...

Anonymous said...

hehe... my mom was in the same mode..till i got my hair trimmed without her knowledge... and now its like "Please cut your hair, its getting longer"...She seems to like my short hair better.... but i had the same reaction when i joined salsa classes.... No guys would marry you....

Anonymous said...

Hi Anjali,
Hilarious blog as usual. My mom luckily let me cut my hair & so i went thru the 20 odd years of my life with my hair barely touching my shoulder and then the inevitable happened - my engagement. Suddenly my mom turned into a true blue mallu mom and wailed loud and long about my unwise ways and that I wouldn't look like a true mallu bride with loads of flowers on my head. Luckily I had a 6 month enagagement and in the mean time my hair grew long enough to the plaited and so my mom's wish of seeeing me as a propah mallu bride came true.
Of course now the problem is my hubby wont let me cut my now I'm well and truly stuck with long hair

Bullshee said...

giggling as usual!

hope and love said...

hmmm.. true.. u can get away with a lot of things once u are married..

Parul said...

Scene at my grandparents place in Jaipur-

Me: yeyeye haircut!!!

Nani: whhaatt!!! I hope you got your cut hair packed in a plastic bag.

Me: huh???

Nani: Women's hair = her mannerisms ('lakkhan')!!!

To silverline - Trust me, the scene is the same it a mallu mum or a rajasthani grandmom. I was shell shocked when granny gave me the 'lakkhan' logic after my hairdo last summer.

silverine said...

Abhi: I guess maintaining long hair is cumbersome. But it does look nice :)

teal: Thank you :)

aaron: Thanks buddy :)

fleiger: Well that is what our moms make us believe :) And it is because of supporters like you that we undergo what we do :p

vidya: lol!!

diviya: That is another on going battle :p

Cococaptive: I plan to enjoy life before marriage too :p

sneha: I guess they are worried of the wagging tongues when people go for western dancing classes :)

santoz: LOL!!!

AP: May your moms tribe increase :)

annek: I guess our moms are behind the times. But MIL's definitely look for long hair :)

scribbles: Join the club!! :)

archie: You are really lucky that you had that 6 months. I think all those flowers look really pretty on long hair!!

bullshee: :)

HnL: lol!! ;)

Parul: Thank you for the reassurement :)

Hammy said...


Maybe you should stress property rights... A sign saying "Private property" stuck on the tresses might do wonders... though of course, this has the tendancy to distress moms and grooms alike, not to mention the rest of the public.

I guess you'll have to defer that act too to the time beyond time.... after you get hitched.

Nice post.

Pixie said...

My first visit and I love your writing!! :-)

Amey said...

Ouch... you make it sound like you have to undergo a surgery or something. In fact, we are asking you to do nothing.

But I guess I should not push you too much, else I get "acquainted" with your new "friends" ;)

skar said...

I never knew they charge 300 rupees for a haircut in those ladies salons!!! I pay 20 rupees, and its the same rate even if I grow my hair as long as a short-haired girl. Why don't you just go to a guy salon instead? In fact, it might boost their patronage so much, they might give you a free haircut and a couple of bottles of shampoo to take home as well! :)