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The Mylapore Mamas :)

September 14, 2015

In July month, I had lots of pujas at home and temple visits lined up as my son was leaving for abroad. Like Thanksgiving. Mostly go to bigger temples in sari only but as we were temple-hopping and it was still hot, simply donned very short mid-thigh length kurtis paired with patialas or jeggings as my husband was also visiting. Spirituality combined with pleasure! Anyway, in front of your spouse always try to look younger!!! My hands were full with 24 hour work at home, shopping everything. But frankly least on my mind was my clothes.

After one such a temple visit to Mylapore, the men got into car while I stopped near my street where 2 guys waved me hand signals. They had receipt books in their hands and asked me for donation for a so-and-so temple. They must be in their early ’50s or late 40’s – around my hubby’s age. Once they mentioned the temple name, I gave them 500 bucks. Surprised, they said they actually expected 10 or 20 rupees only. I said, I grew up in the area and nothing may be enough to repay my Mother Goddess who’s given me so much in life. Besides I hardly visited Mylapore, and if I did, it was always in a rush.

The guys said they knew. ‘Don’t you remember us?’ they asked, ‘we two were in next …. street. Daily we would pass by your street. We have seen you growing up practically from KG! When we would fly kite from our terrace, you would be watering your plants!!’

Then I looked at the men real close. One had salt and pepper hair. The other was going bald. And it came back to me in a flash. Both were road side romeos who I detested totally in my teens hahaha! They were ‘staring princes’ but never mustered enough courage to approach any girl! I remembered their homes. Couldn’t believe they still lived there as friends although their houses have been remodelled/rebuilt. Mylapore is lower middle-class primarily (and my in-laws side has a severe allergy to this part of the city) (my husband and son cannot stand the sight of typical Mylapore Mamas with folded white dhotis and holy vibhuti (ash) across their forehead, walking in the middle of the streets to buy subzi in the market!) (plus the ‘Manja Pai’ !) (in fact my father was like this who both missed unfortunately!). Very congested lanes and by-lanes in Mylapore. Homes literally sat on top of one another. But no regrets. I am fond of the temple-town even today so much…. These two boys/men were attending PS High School when I was in school. I remember them staring nonstop until I cycled their entire street for my typing class.

One asked me presently about my family. ‘You don’t come here any more… More than 20 years since we saw you’ said he. I said its 22 years since I married but I kept coming back. The guys were working (naturally) so probably missed me because I never went for sleepover to even my aunt’s place. Late evenings i went anywhere only with family.

‘So what brought you here at 8 pm today?’ asked one unaware that my family was waiting in car impatiently for me.

I told the guys my son was going abroad for MS and so I was visiting one temple after another with family. We were seeking blessings and thanking the Lord and His Missus.

Our Mylapore Mamas typical response was an unabashed ‘you look as if it is you who is doing MS even in this age!!!’ and what a stupid grin on their faces! I was reminded of Tamil cinema comedian Santhanam instantly! Only a Mylaporean can have tons of ‘jollu’ washing down his face even in middle-age! It comes naturally and so spontaneously to our guys!

At that moment I realized how these 2 guys liked me only because the thing called ‘Mylapore’ bound us together.

‘What took you so long’ demanded my family as I got back to the car after bidding the guys goodbye. More than the temple visit, my heart was filled with contentment on conversing with the 2 harmless Mylapore Mamas who now sported even pot bellies! They were real charming, have to admit to that! That even in this age they have not given up flirting somehow thrilled me immensely.  Called up a friend and told her about them and she said, ‘yeah I know the guys. they won’t change in a 1000 years!’ ‘What a cheek!’ I feigned irritation and annoyance but my friend said giggling, ‘yaar we are in wrongside of 40s with kids in universities! don’t we still have our crushes?!!!’  Lolz How true!!! May be this is a Mylaporean strain. Forever young & romantic at heart 🙂



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