Monday, October 02, 2006

Meet the Batch mate

The thought of missing India is a system level daemon that seizes to kill itself. I and many others who have come to this country (US) for the sake of 'studying', to establish a career and the many other myriad reasons, miss our homeland badly. Let me not whine about it. But rather I would wanna talk about the "characters" that we miss being here.

I/We call them 'batch mate'. This is a male(most 99.99% of the times) whom every south Indian would see in a typical south Indian marriage.He would be carrying a money pouch which carries heavy cash usually, and all he does is the managerial tasks like saying "Oru batch saapida polaamey?". From this we derive the characters name 'batch mate'. He usually holds the bag by his arm pit or make sure it doesn't slip out of his hand by a complex knot thru the small handle like on the corner of the pouch.

I 'm most certain that everyone who's been in and around tamilnadu (can be generalised to south India) can relate to this character. He usually falls into the age group of our appa's, mama's and chithappa's and periyappa's or in short we refer to them "uncle" in english. They are known for their sharp acumen.

Here are the few characteristics of the batch mate:

1) Usually wears ethnic south Indian dress leave alone during marriages.
2) Has a stuffed shirt pocket which has usually useless chits dating over a month and INR bills usually in higher denominations and usually amounts to a value that can be 'useful' in any kinda emergency.
3) He's known for his 'attention craving' mannerisms. You can usually find him in 50% of the group pictures in recpetion album or even the marriage album.
4) Night time behaviour of batch mates : This subcategory focusses on his night time behaviour.
a) Last one to sleep.
b) Checks to see if every light in the house/chathram/hall is off.
c) If in house makes sure all the entry points like doors, windows, at times even balcony doors are properly closed and make sure the lock is secure by pulling the lock more than once.
d) Take a pitcher/sombhu full of water and keeps it beside himself.
e) Can't sleep without a torch, usually the ones Goorkha uses, the long silver colour metal one, no matter how many new flash torch lights come, which they get to see in "exhibitions", which are far more efficient than the one they use.
f) Usually wakes up to pin drop noises. The light from the house opposite to his' and the sound from the house that is 7 buildings away is bright , loud and clear most of the times.
5) Knows all the train timings. you can see them using the phrases like " tvm mail 4 35 ku thaambarathukku varuvaan". Note the male gender they associate with trains. For no reason they use it.
6) During the farewell's at the train station, while most of the characters shed tears due to happyness , sadness, 'cry for the sake'ness, he never gets emotional. They usually ponder about things like " raja, water bottle vachurikaya.. onnum pretchana illa idho naan vaangittu varen".
You don't get to see more practical people than these.
7) Usually works (90% of the times) in banks or LIC or some other government job like BSNL, ED etc.
8) Usually have a experience in tens of years like say "naapadhu (40) varsham service".
9) They would have had many promotions and usually would have reached a saturated state.
10) They are up-to-date on 'current happenings'.
11) They drink Coffee like 20 times a day.
12) Their wife character i.e Ms. batchmate is a silent innocent female with extreme/surreal helping tendencies, like cooking for far relatives' train journey, waking up as early as 4 am to vegavechufy/cook 40 odd idlies.
13) Wife knows every possible mannerism of his and behaves accordingly, if not the wife would be berated then and there.
14) The kids of his are quite sharp like himself.
15) They usually embarasses the youth ranging from LKG kid to a final year BE student by publically asking/requesting embarassing questions/actions like "vijay, nee nalla dance aduvayamey.. enga aadu?" or like the famous "vijay inga va.. indha batch oda saapuda po". Usually this 'vijay' would have been waiting for his age group cousins to accompany him with food and he spoils it just about perfectly.
16) He considers 6 am as a late wake time.
17) Talks about kris srikanth, gundappa vishwanath, gavaskar every time they talk about cricket.
18) They are the ones who are most feared by shop keepers.. they will ask for extra cover for the purchase, haggle immensely.. they have award winning negotiating skills (even the saettu/marvaadi's get fooled) and they learn from their past experiences.

You start to think about these peculiar characters you had seen growing up as a kid in south India, all of a sudden their absence makes you want to be as responsible as a 'Batch'.


Wherever I May Roam said...

Awesome dude.....
but after reading the blog, my system level deamon has got more resources now and is consuming more CPU time.....[:(]

Kedhar said...

HAHAHAHHAA>> hilarious right till the end.... great post...

the inward odyssey said...

kudos on your observational skills....
pinned him down to the last detail and as takes one of these guys to get any event going... although why you would miss him i dont understand

Anonymous said...

Amazing Theory of batchmates dude..Social Observations and how..

Anonymous said...

Machi post more Chennai Society-- Sattirical Observations Dude...
Saamaya irukku

Villain said...

i would more agree than disagree with it... except that this kinda mama(s), are now fast disappearing, unless we decide to take it upto ourselves to keep up the tradition

germinal_dreamer said...

@ anon

yeah i would love to, triggers are missing.. wat to write abt and how to go abt the writing.. will def think in those lines

@ villain

yeah knowing u well , u make a awesome batch mate ur self!!

Anonymous said...

Inward odyssey is a senseless ass... aabuku u wont understand..