November 05, 2007

Lost in translation.

k's mom: "Why does your mother call me mummy?"
RS: "She does?"
k's mom: "Yeah, mummy, mummy, that's how she calls me"
Just then, my mom enters the kitchen and says, "Oh maami already made tea"

I have an aha moment and I attempt to resolve confusion. After hearing my explanation,

k's dad: "So younger people can call older people maama and maami?"
RS: "Yes, also older people"
k's dad to k: "So younger people can call older people mama and maami. Like we say kaaka and kaaki"
k: "No" (he usually refrains from playing 20 questions with his parents and my mom. He goes back to staring at his favorite-vacant-spot-on-the-wall from the couch)
RS: "Also older people..."
k's dad: "So everyone can call everyone maama and mami?"
k's mom: "Whose maama?"
RS: "Not everyone..."
Meanwhile, k's mom and dad laugh at their joke, "Whose maama?" (Kiske maama?)
k's mom: "So, if Deepak kaka and Mahesh kaka are in the same room, we would have to say Maama, maama, maama"

K's mom and dad giggle again.

(I am reminded of a very similar conversation earlier that week,
k: "Ramya's patti..."
k's mom: "Patti?"
k: "Means grandmother..."
k's mom: "So it is patti and patta?"
k (looks confused): "I think, wait a minute"
And after fifteen minutes we resolved that confusion.)

(Yet another conversation transpired like this:

RS to mom: "Amma nee kathala oatmeal saapdu..."
k's mom: "Teri mummy ko abhi oatmeal chahiye?"
RS: "Subah ko oatmeal khayegi"
My mom: "Adhu awkwarda irukum"
RS: "Yen?"
My mom (shaking her head): "Subha veetla edukku naan oatmeal sapadnum?"
k's mom: "Teri mummy ko oatmeal nahi chahiye?"
RS: "No oatmeal for anyone!")

Back to the current vernacular topic of discussion, I wait for them to stop laughing and then explain again,
"Younger kids and older people can call older people maama and maami"
k's dad: "Ohh, like uncle and aunty"
RS: "Exactly!"

A day later, we were getting ready to leave the house and k's mom had to call my mom; she hesitated for a few moments, cleared her throat and said, "Maaaami!"

And that moment is when k decided to stop-staring-at-vacant-spot-on-wall and take a few pics :)


prabukarthik said...


SK said...

ROTFL Funny!!! :--))

Zeppelin said...


had to run out of my cube into the break room, pretending to get something, to laugh it off!!

IBH said...

RS,tell me about it :)

MIL - enikku vellam venum....

my mom rushes inside the kitchen brings the powdered jaggery and says.
mom-'indhango chechi' (yeah my mom calls my mil chechi)

MIL-*all starry eyed*

IBH - amma,amma thanni kekkura.....vellam illa....:)

idhu madhiri in my household oru one million nandandhu irukum :)

RS said...

pb, sk, zep - en vaazhkai ungaluku ellam sirippa pochu :))

ibh - :)))

RTD2 said...

Awesome! I laughed so hard at the 'subah ko khayegi' part!

Serendipity said...

:)) Awwww @
My mom (shaking her head): "Subha veetla edukku naan oatmeal sapadnum?"

Anonymous said...


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