The topic of Maamis never ceases to amaze me, and as they don several hats, and develop their knowledge base in almost everything with commanding ease, no wonder they have so much to talk about. Maamis have become the know all and end all of all things, which we thought could be accomplished only by someone like Lord Vishnu. Their expertise ranges from the confines of the kitchen to the interiors of US, inside pages of Kumudam to the web pages on the internet, a close coterie of friends and neighbors to sending (and responding to) friend requests on Facebook, keeping a tab of soap operas on TV to finding Youtube videos with ease, listening to Vishnu Sahasranaman as easily on the cd player to Googling the meaning of the verses and even creating tutorials on cooking and uploading them on to Youtube. In fact, as recently as last month, when my wife had to wear a madisaar (nine yard) saree for the Varalakshmi Puja, she was directed to a tutorial Youtube video on how to wear one with ease, thanks to one of the maamis. Times have certainly changed from the days when they found it laborious to turn on the computer and connect to the internet. In short, Maamis are turning tech savvy.
The conversation, when I call home, has certainly changed.
Praveen, you should have been here. Yesterday, the final of the Super Singer program (or whatever that show is called) was held. The female singer was fantastic. It was a great experience.
I nod and give a silent "Hmmm".
You should be able to easily find it on Youtube. Why don't you give the following search query...?
I secretly pray that she didn't ask me if I knew what Youtube was.
Anyway, it is fascinating to watch two maamis in conversation. A gist of which would proceed on the following lines.
Maami curious (MC): Enna maami, unga payanukku USla velai kadachudtha?
[A literal translation would be "What Maami, did your son get a job in the US?
A cool translation, considering the way Maamis speak nowadays, would be "What's up Maami? Your son looking for a cool job, haan?"]
Maami Defensive(MD): Enna avvalavu seekarama kadachuruma. Economy serilay theriyuma. Obamavukku avvalavu pressureaan. Yaarukkumay avvalavu easyaa velai kidaikka matteengardhan. Unemployment rate koodinde pordhan. Recession recessionnu solra.
[Oh, come on Maami, it's not that easy to get a job. Obama has a lot of pressure. Everyone is finding it hard to get a job. Even the unemployment rate is at an all time high. Everybody is talking about a recession.]
MC: Unga Payyan dhan computer science aache. Ippodhan technology companiesku korachalay illaiye. En, Google, Facebooknu try pannalaamolio?
[ Indirectly, Maami curious is saying "You have a duffer of a son who is studying computer science. Why can't he try at Google or Facebook?"]
MD: Ella edathulayum hiring freezeaan. Enna pandradhu pongo. Neenga, Sandhyavukku, moonu maasama Perumalukku vendinda maadri, naanum vendikka aaramikkanum. Ava Edho oru chinna companyla dhane irukka?
[MD has become so offensive that she has almost slapped the other maami like the way Rajinikanth slaps Vijayashanthi in Mannan. Just like the way you were praying for your daughter's success for three months, I have to start my prayers now. Is she working for a small company? Note, she is not talking about a startup.]
MC: Enna maami appadi kettel. She is working for one of the top companies in Pennsylvania. ava 401k matching 5% kudakkaralaaam. That's not a joke, you know. Unga Payyana, paarthu eduthukka sollungo. Edho offer vandhadhu, Krishna Ramanu accepta pannika solladheengo. Ask him to research well.
[Maami has thrown the English usage in the middle. It means things are badly hotting up. "Ask your son to not just accept an offer. Let him carefully study the offer and then join the company." She also slips in about her daughter's company's 401k matching policy.]
MD: Oh Aaamam. Naanum adhudhaan sollirken. You know, he wants a job only in the west coast or the east coast. Avanukku Boston illena Bay Arealadhan velai venuma. Kids today are so choosy.
[Maami indirectly taking a jab that Pennsylvania is not his son's preferred destination. He is a cool dude, who wants to be in Bay Area or Boston.]
MC: Pullaiya online apply panna sollungo. Naraiya websites irukkaam.
[MC delivers killer punches. Ask him to apply online. There are a lot of websites. Seriously, who is going to snail mail resumes?]
Further, she continues,
MC: En machchini oda anna pullaiku Californiala velai kadachurkkan. So, definiteaa kidaikkama pogadhu maami.
[My husband's brother's wife's brother's son has also got a job recently in California. So, definitely there won't be a situation that he will go jobless. This is like seriously influencing the other maami to think about the worst possibility. What an analogy. What a data point!]
MD: Ennamo, Bhagavan vitta vazhi.
[Let God lead the way]
MC: Avan enna OPT la irukkana. [Is he on OPT?]
MD: Aamam. Luckily, ippodhan OPT 29 monthsku extend pannitaale. Adhunaala konjam relief.
[Maami has updated info about everything. She knows that the OPT is valid for 29 months.]
MC: So, avan university vittacha illena angaiyedhan irukkana? Avana California poga sollungo. He will easily get a job there.
[Means: Is that fool still vegetating in the university after graduation? If so, then ask him to go to California immediately. Because, yeah, it seems as though jobs are like chocolates in California. Everyone gets a job there.]
MD: illai, avan aduththa vaaram kalambaran. Avan Graduation mudunje oru vaaramdhan aardhu.
[Oh, he is leaving next week. Before, the other maami can pounce on her, she goes on the defensive by saying that her son graduated only last week.]
MC does not make an effort to hide her scorn. What a worthless son you have is written all over her face.
MC: Naa vena Sandhyava vittu refer panna sollatuma. She was saying that there are a lot of openings in her company.
MA: Oh sure, Maami. Avan Resume anuppa solren. In any case, avan sollindrundhan, Pennsylvania is a nice place, appadinu!
[Oh sure, I will ask him to send his resume to your daughter. In any case, he was saying that Pennsylvania is a nice place.]