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Saturday, February 02, 2008

samosas with Shanmugam

I caught the Trichy express from Cochin that saturday night at 9pm as I had been regularly doing every fortnight to travel to Vellore CMC as my wife was there with my child for her training .( this was some 14 years back )

I would get down in the wee hours at 3 am in Erode and wait there till 7 am to catch the West coast express to get down Katpadi and then on to vellore .
All this so I could finish my clinic on saturday evening which I would miss if I travelled by cochin Express which left at 4.30pm .
I would spend my time in Erode chatting to the cofee shop vendors in Erode platform and I became a familiar figure to them .

That day also I caught the west coast Express from Erode and got into an empty sleeper coach and got a berth ,slept for some time and woke up at Salem ,there was some commotion in the platform and I saw a rotund dhoti clad figure getting into my compartment ,he seemed to be an important man as a retinue of servants followed him with some big bags full of vessels .
He ordered some of them to get back and told his driver

" Thambi vandiyya nera viddu ,madrasla pakkalam enna "

strange I thought .".(.which meant go straight to madras I will meet you there ),
then why cant he too go in that ,shortly I had the answer for this question as he plonked right opposite me even though the whole compartment was empty .
His man friday came along and arranged the luggage and sat on a corner .
I stepped out before the train left and bought some samosas as nothing else was availabe and I was feeling hungry ,and came back and sat in time for the train to chug out of the platform .

Dhoti looked at me and the packet in my hand ," enna thambi sappadu ivilo thana ? "( is this ur lunch ?)

"well what to do nothing else here "I answered
he laughed heartily

" ayyo enna pa nee ,nariya irukku namma sapidalam va ,"
(I have lots lets eat )
and looking at his side kick he bellowed
"dey elaya poduda !!!"
that meant put the leaf for serving food ,

I was riled "oh no please have your food ,iam happy with this ,"

"ha ha thambi naan yaru theriyuma ?
( do u know who i am ? )

such questions are difficult to answer if one didnt now the answer !

i just smiled

"naan than shanmugam ( name changed of course )

" kali paal theriyuma kaali paal ? "

( name changed again ,yes I knew it was a famous brand of milk whcih was competing with the state owned one called AAvin ,I knew it came from Salem too ,o this was the owner .ok .)

" hmm theriyum "I murmured .

"ama adhe shanmugam salem shanmugam ,"that sounded like Rajinikanth

"thambi en wife nallla cook ,
neriya samaipaa ,
neriya irukku nammaku sappadlam vaa
antha samosa thuki eri "

( my wife cooks well throw away those samosa and eat with me )

"vendanka " I told

"summa iru nee "
( keep quite )

he also told me he was suffering from a spinal problem and he couldnt travel in a car for a long distance and so he would go in a train while his car drove to madras !

my luck !

"Salem vandha vitukku vaa ,periya panna ,elaam newzealand maddu nanne vanginathu ."

( when in salem come to my house I have all new zealand cows bought by myself from there )

"Salem erangina udene kali shanmugam apiidinu sholu ,onne thukittu varuvanga " ( tell my name and they will carry you home )

God save me !

"dey ennada paathukeite nikkira thambikku pasikkudu da '
( hey you idiot what are u waiting for serve the food ,this to his servant )

And so the servant cleaned the seat in front of me kept a neat paper and spread a green plantain leaf
He put portions of so many items like in a marriage feast in both our leafs ,and for the grand finale took the big vessel which I presumed was for the rice .

I was right there but I was wrong too as no rice came and the servant blinked hard ,

" iyya ,iyya ,manichunga iyya ,amma shoru vekka maranthutanga polirukku "
( sorry sir i think mistress forgot to keep rice )

disaster indeed !!!!

Shanmugam went into an apoplexy of rage ,
"ennmanatha vangitye daa thambi enna ninakkum "
( my honour is lost what will this boy think of me now ? )

that was vintage Sivaji here

"paravallanga " ( it is ok i said )
"phone podren paa adutha stationle "
( i will phone next station )
this was the pre mobile era ,
"dont worry "I said ,
"I have an idea let us crush the samosas and eat it with all these side dishes ",

"appidiya ok "said shanmugam by now having lost his demanour .

and so we had a delicious samosa mixed lunch and strangely shanmugam relished it

"nallathanmpa irukku ! '
( it is good indeed )

thus ended my samosa with Shanmugam


Maddy said...

that was brilliant - i sat & laughed thinking about the dhadimadu shanmugham bellowing and the shaking hari eating samoosa with sambar...& then licking fingers...

shanmugham then stating to the man friday - eda muthala, seekhram thanniye konduvada, payyan kayye kalukattum da..

Nanditha Prabhu said...

ha ha ha!
i can well imagine the whole scene. you sitting and savoring the samosas with all those curries!

saras said...

This vishu, I am definately going to try this combination.

harimohan said...

tks maddy ,nanditha and saras .it was nt bad at all maybe we were really hungry

renuramanath said...

dear harimohan,

that was really great reading ! thank you for visiting my blog. sure, you must be missing kochi now ! i am basically from thrissur, presently settled in kochi. was with the hindu till last july, when i quit.
please keep visiting spaceout, i am trying my best to keep updating about the major cultural happenings in kerala.

harimohan said...

tk you renu ramnath
will be visiting spaceout and putting it in my bloglink if you dont mind

Dr.Thomas Antony said...

Dear Hari,

Your flair for writing is exemplary and your style unique. So wonderfully you are ‘translating’ an experience of yours to a ‘close encounter’ of the reader. This one anecdote is so three-dimensional, that one walks through the experience.

Ever thought of a making a series like ‘Innocent Kathakal” which was serialized in Asianet TV?

High time to think about “Hari Paranja Kathakal” 


Thomas Antony

raj said...

innocent kathakal or vkn's payyan kathakal.....i couldnt find the usual harimohan flow/touch in this blog, sorry, oops:-)

Vimala said...

Harietta ,once again ,well descriptive indeed. Looks like a movie scene ... Reminds me of R.K Narayan.... Malgudi Days !
Good that you didnt throw off those samosas !

harimohan said...

dear vimala ,TA and raju

you dont know how happy you make me with all those undeserving comments ,RK Narayanan and PG wodehouse are my two loves in writing ,to even put his name in my blog in comparison is making my hair stand up no way i only ache to become something in the feet of these demigods .

shafeeq said...

hi hari,
I come here when I miss you!
You are there in what you write!

harimohan said...

tks shafeeq ,great to hear that

raj said...

......then it's been only the poetic justice that harimohan's first name being 'narayanan'!!

venkat said...

Hari Anna
truly hilarious and so very real...the kind that the likes of me have experienced in the edless train journeys of the 80's & 90's.
Expression is a god given gift...felt like reading a PG Wodehouse piece...Great script!!

harimohan said...

Tks dear Venkat

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