Rolled Monk

Brinjals and Beyond!

In Paati sonna stories!, Singaara Chennai!, Uncategorized on May 6, 2010 at 1:59 am

Hello random reader,

Read on!!! You'll get what Im getting at!!

Nostalgia. Yes nostalgia.  If I remember right, it was around 15 years ago that I heard my first story. I was an innocent, cherubic, 5-year-old kid and she, a toothless 70-year-old woman. But believe me, she could tell stories. She had great flair for storytelling and her panache – out of this world. For those of you who are still wondering what I’m talking about let me break it down to you.

If I had or had had a girlfriend, I would have written about her. But since I am a total novice in that area, I leave it to the experts. I am going to cater to the needs of the intellectually craving by writing about my grandmother’s stories which she had heard from her grandmother and so on…

When people are talking about children’s stories and all you can think of are Cinderella or Snow White or Rapunzel or whatever, you my friend have not listened to a story from your grandmother. The only similarity between these fairy-tales and my grandmother’s tales are the extremely clichéd “Once upon a time” and “Happily ever after”. While the former always ends up having a prince, princess and an evil old hag (villi ma!!), the latter talks about domestic problems, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law issues, religion, love and other invaluable lessons of life in a format best suited for a 5-year-old kid (just so that you don’t confuse it with a soap!).

Another beautiful thing about these stories is the fact that the characters do not have any names. There is always a central character and the rest of them are invariably his/her relatives. So a character in the story is either the protagonist or protagonist’s so and so. Thinking about it now, the stories are completely ridiculous. Take my first one for instance, it’s about an evil mother-in-law who tries to kill her daughter-in-law for eating her prized brinjals (egg-plant) but ends up getting killed. Phew, what a world it must have been.

Another thing to ponder about when it comes to these kind of tales is the fact that they are limited to particular regions or communities. As in, if your grandmother tells you stories, it will be something different from what mine told me. This is mainly due to the cultural differences and this helps us gain a better understanding of who we are or where we come from (and NO. Women in my family don’t kill for brinjals).

Now, there is one more thing you have to trust me on. However silly these stories seem, they make sense in the end. Since we enter the realms of fantasy as well as childhood, we take for granted certain logical inconsistencies in the plot. This is not the case in grandmother’s stories. The amount of detail she goes through just to make sure there are no loose ends will sometimes make one pull his hair out.

Last but not least, you never get bored of these stories. To this day, I pester my grandmother to tell me stories. She has gone to Salem now, left on the day I arrived. So here I am, bored, at 2 in the morning, longing for a story before i can go to sleep.

So till I write again…ciao ciao.
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  1. bravo!!! i miss my grandma going over her sisters’ nonsense…

  2. one word – beautiful…

  3. It’s incredible that you still remember stories from when you were five.I mean i try n look back and cant find anything but a void.

  4. ♥ Thankyou 🙂

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