Maaplai ku Sombu Venumam (The groom wants a copper pot)


A wedding in Bangalore was called off over the ruckus the Groom’s family created beginning with Chicken Biryani. If you didn’t know, it has to be Mutton Biryani , yaar. (I know, even I am very curious to know what they did with all that wasted Biryani post the wedding call off)  FYI,  Biryanis are not a ritual for every Indian wedding. For example,  at Shaivaite Tirunelveli weddings.   (Saiva- Vegetarian, Tirunelveli – a crazy place in Tamil Nadu). So, I’ll inform all of you in advance, there will be no chicken biryani at my wedding. There is Janaki Ram hotel in Tirunelveli Junction, which also doesn’t serve Chicken biryani but the Auto-Rickshaw Annachi (brother) outside will take you to some Aachi’s hotel where you can get chicken biryani. But I suggest you get a parcel for yourself from your city itself. I don’t want to disappoint anyone. The highlight of a Tirunelveli wedding meal, however, will be “Sodhi” and “Avial”, which even at its best made form tastes unpalatable in my opinion. So,  you cannot possibly cancel a wedding over something that already tastes like a mixture of “various stages of curdled/about to curdle coconut milk”. But lets not be too sure, Savitha here writes a testimony to the great Tirunelveli Sodhi that she calls as “Maplai sodhi” (Groom’s sodhi).

sodhi
This is the special- for guests, favorite grandchild, grooms, wedding – everything. – Sodhi.

I don’t know if this is the culture everywhere but in Tirunelveli they have this weird practice of having sweet Payasam in the middle of two spicy gravies. That too, out of the banana leaf which has already had Sodhi /other curries on it. So, after sufficient debris of Sodhi on your Banana leaf, it has become modern practice to serve Naan and some Mughlai dishes also. Just to show the world that they are keeping up with the times at the expense of the Bride’s family. So, after all that, you might get  something that we Tamilians call as Veg “biryani” but for my family,  any rice with mixed vegetables in yellow color is Kootanchoru , in orange color is Sambhar Rice and  in a green-grey color is Veg Biryani.

Reva’s Kootanchoru. My version would be the same drowned in yogurt – not very different from curd rice with vegetables.

Now, before you Full-Meals loving people judge me, I’m not making a mockery out of South Indian food. I am just more of a tiffin person. I’ve always wondered why all popular restaurants serve Pongal only for Breakfast! So sad. Indians take their food seriously is a popular myth. Easy to laugh at a headline than think a level deeper. Seriously, do you think this actually happened?  There is one part of the society who’s families are like this –

Sensationalizing a wedding-call off over a biryani is a media hype using the “Grooms” family’s version of the story. It’s probably the Groom’s side-like person who has captioned it like this to make it sound like a petty issue. A bride’s side of the same news will have the title “Wedding called off due to arrogance of the grooms family”. Similar instances are common with some groom’s families . Begins with petty issues. The groom’s family often doesn’t think it is their responsibility also to clear misunderstandings to make their son’s marriage work. Resorting to being rude /ignorant, to the girl and her family, but had it been their daughter, they would put up arrogance from their son-in-laws’ parents end. It is a bit surprising to me, that they assume their son can handle a heart break at their expense but their daughter’s can’t. Modern Indian women are caught in a state of flux- between conservative and modern. Whilst being strong to face the harsh realities, they are criticized the moment they voice their opinion. It’s good that this girl has foreseen the attitude of this family towards her and taken the step to call it off at the eleventh hour. You can’t clap with one hand. Mending fences can’t be from the girls side alone. It doesn’t take much to call up a bride’s family and say, “I think there was a misunderstanding about this”. Instead, like in this news article, the groom’s family resorting to say “My son went to IIT, he is in Dubai, your daughter is not that great ….My son can get a better girl . Your daughter also spoke to my son, it was not just him.” is absolute, pardon me- Bull. What I am most happy about is that the girl’s family has supported her decision in this regard. Wedding is a celebration. I am all for fun and festivity but I am against dowry or demands of any kind.  I will mull in lifetime’s memory of disgust that will fail to arouse in me any respect or regard towards elders who warranted it for such an subversive institution of marriage. So much so that I might as well cancel it and start over again with someone who’s personality commands respect from me naturally than end up being branded as a “disrespectful bride” merely because I am educated enough to have this judgment of disdain towards such practices. First few times, most families don’t. But with time, as parents mature by experience, they support their daughters against such demands. Why does some part of our society justify anything their son/ groom’s family does. Instead they can call their family members up for a discussion to ask if something went  wrong? Why did you say/do that to the girl? Period. If it is THAT egoistic for a family to admit  that they wronged to a girls family (thereby expecting their son to be happy with their behavior even if it costs him his marriage and love) then I guess, they can move on on and find a girl whose family that gets the Mutton Biryani right at the first time. PS- for Tirunelveli Grooms, No Sombu in my house. Only Crystal Glass. Bye.

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6 thoughts on “Maaplai ku Sombu Venumam (The groom wants a copper pot)

  1. Haha nice one i loved this article ! i liked that line “Modern Indian women are caught in a state of flux- between conservative and modern.” you nailed it!

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