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Monday, March 10, 2003

AN ODE TO TALAYALAM

AN ODE TO TALAYALAM
TALAYALAM
The language spoken by the Tamil Iyers settled in Kerala, is something which is a mix of Tamil and Malayalam, we can call it Talayalam as many people call it.
Identity Crisis
Am I a Talayalee? ….almost so….because while I was growing up and even now. I don’t fall in either category i.e. Tamil or Malayalam speaking. That definitely qualifies me to be in this genre.
Born to a mother from a Talayalam lineage (my maternal grandfather hails from Tirunelveli and my maternal grandmother from Vadakkan Paravoor (North Paravoor). My grandma knew only to read and write Malayalam and she definitely didn’t know much Tamil, and as the mother’s influence at home is very strong on her kids, all the 3 daughter’s speak Talayalam, cook Keralaiyer style and 2 out of the 3 are married to Keralaiyers,(Tiruchur and Trivandrum respectively).
My mother got married to my father who hails from Coimbatore and has more of a Tamilnadu influence. But both of them are brought up in Mumbai and I grew up hearing different words for the same thing.
When Appa used to go to the market Amma will ask him to buy Matthan (Orange Pumpkin) and Elavan (Ash gourd) and when he comes back he will say Pushnikkaiyum Parangyakaiyum vaindhu vandurken.
In Tamilnadu  Ash Gourd is Pushnikkai and Orange Pumpkin is Parangyakai.
Amma used to get quite irritated. Then Appa used to call Amma “Ara Palakkad”(means half-Palakkad). We used to be quite entertained by the Great Tamil-Talayalam squabbles and grew up to learn nothing perfectly.
It was always a royal confusion at home growing up and learning a language. I don’t think what we talk could be classified as Tamil in any sense of the word, hence the last time I started a thread of Bombay Palakkad tamil Iyers, in our Palakkad Iyers forum. I called it an entirely different genre and I named this genre BBC- PTI  (Bombay born confused Palakkad Tamil Iyers).
(Sorry folks I still can’t get myself to say Mumbai.)

BBC-PTI ke baarein mein (About BBC-PTI’s)
I am a Bombay born confused Palakkad Tamil Iyer, but I can still call myself as Tamil speaking, Malayalam was a bit far off from what we spoke at home. It was already challenging to speak our mother tongue, as vallam (water) transformed into tanni(water) at my home and when grandma came she used to ask “ konjam thanuttha jalam venum enakku”(I want some cold water?) and I used to tell my mother, “ Fridge lenthu konjam cold vallam venam ammavukku?”
Now what was that…..That is Talayalam mixed with English and sometimes there was a mix of other languages as well Hindi and English with the Talayalam.

Let’s see some Tamil and Talayalam words (courtesy- our Palakkad Iyer Members which includes me)

General
Ende Guruvayorappa – O my Lord Guruvayoorappan (Talayalam)

Eeshwaro Rakhshathi – Lord save us.

Allah – No in Talayalam
Illay (Tamil)
(Appa teases my mother, "Allah Allah Misbillah" for using the word Allah)

We use a lot of “O” in reply to questions

Neku – for me in Talayalam
Ennakku in Tamil

Noku – for you in Talayalam
Onnakku in Tamil

Evolo – Tamil how much
Ethara – Talayalam

Enna pannare- Tamil
Ennavakkum Pannaraai-Talayalam

Manasilaacha  - Talayam (did u understand)- this word is nearer to Malayalam
Purinjacha -Tamil

Verummane –Talayalam (Simply)
Chumma – Tamil

Kaalambra – Talayalam (Morning)
Kaarthala – Tamil

Uchaikki – Talayalam (Afternoon)
Madhyaanam – Tamil

Saptacha-Tamil
Aaharam kazhichacha--talayalam

Evlo neram aachu -Tamil
Ethara neram aachu –Talayalam

Ethra prashiyam – how many times -Talayalam
Evolo vaati – how many times – Tamil

Velai – Work in Tamil
Joli – Talayalam

Dhirudhi – Talayalam (Rush)

Nagaru/ Navuru – Moove out of my way in Tamil
And in Talayalam Neengiko

We call our little girls Kunju ponnu and little boys Kuttan
Kutty – small in tamil and  Kunju – Talayalam

Naai – Dog in Tamil And Patti in Talayalam

Tamilians say Veetu ku vaango
We say, Aathuku .vaangol

Talayalam -"cheruppa azhichutu vaa"  In Tamil"seruppa kazhatyutu vaa"(Remove your slippers and come)

Tamil - Kizha poithu valayadyutu verthukotindhu vandirkan (he went down, played and has come back sweating)
Talayalam - Kizha poithu kalichuthu vesharthukothindhu vandirkan

Saadikyalai – Talayalam (couldn’t do)
Mudiyalai - Tamil

Madiyan – Talayalam (Lazy)
Somberi - in Tamil

Medukkan (boy)/ medukkathi(girl) – clever boy or girl in Talayalam
Buddhishaali in Tamil

Varthamanam- Talayalam (news)
Samaajaaram - Tamil

Molla – Talayalam (slowly)
Medhuva – Tamil

Cheekaram – Talayalam (quickly)
Vegam – Tamil

Ormai – Talayalam (Do u remember)
Nyaboham - Tamil

Ammanji – Mama’s son
Ammanga – Mama’s daughter

Attan – Attai’s son
Attangaar – Attai’s daughter

Konthai – Talayalam –  (baby)
Kozhandai - Tamil

Therakku – Talayalam (crowd)
Kootam -Tamil

Pani – Talayalam (Fever)
Joram – Tamil

Mookuchali in Talayalam (cold)
Jaladosham in Tamil

Vayaru seriya illai – Tamil (Stomach is not good)
Vayaru kedu vandirku – Talayalam

Kushumbu – Talayalam (mischief)
Kurumbu – Tamil

Budhimuttu – Talayalam (Trouble)
Kashtam - Tamil

Ubadhravikkarathu – Talayalam (to trouble)
Kashtapaditharthu - Tamil

Torthu / Torthumundu– Talayalam (Towel)
Tundu – Tamil

Virutthikedu - Talayalam (untidy)
Asingyam - Tamil

Praandhu – Talayalam (Mad)
Paithiyam- Tamil

Vashal la – Talayalam (Outside)
Veli la – Tamil

Chamachacha - Talayalam
samayal aacha - Tamil


FOOD
Adukkulai is kitchen in Talayalam and in Tamil they say Aduppu arai

Vellicha Ennai – Talayalam (Coconut Oil)
Tenga Ennai

Appam in Talayalam
Paniyaaram in Tamil

Appakaarai in Talayalam
Kuzhi Paniyaaram in Tamil

Pansaarai / Panjaarai– Talayalam (Sugar)
Chakkarai – Tamil

Chakara Pongal in Talayalam
Sakkarai Pongal

Karandi in Tamil for a ladle is Aapai in Talayalam.
Kanaapai (Spoon with holes)

Cheena Chatty – Talayalam(wok)
Vaanali / Iluppu chutty in Tamil

Chattuvam for the rice spoon

Kashnam –Talayalam (Pieces )
Tundu - Tamil

Mundhu – Talayalam (Sarong for men-Dhoti)
Veshti – Tamil

In tamil Kootu (mix vegetables in coconut and lentil gravy) Becomes molaghutal in talayalam.

Curry / Poriyal becomes Mezhukkuvarati if just sautéed, if coconut is added it becomes Thovaran and we call everything podutuval at home. It was easier for us. Some call it upperi too. But for us Upperi was always Banana chips.
Also thengapodi became sambaarapodi and the thuvayals became Chammanthi and then there are typical PI dishes like molagushayam and idi chakka thuvaran.


Morkozhambu(Tamil) becomes Morkootan(Talayalam) 


and then there are dishes like Olan, Kaalan, Pulinkari, Puli-Inji which also form an integral part of the PI wedding lunch along with Nendram Upperi, Sarkaritta Upperi(the sweet banana chips) and a Banana which usually don't form a part of Tamil iyer wedding menu.

I always say doshai. Never was it dosa or dosai or as they say in Singapore Thosai.
Idly was always Idaly.

Harmless Abuses
We do use a lot of Mannangatti…..the Malayalees say Mannangatta…(a form of abuse…meaningless as far as I know)

My uncle used to get angry and say, “Cheppe la oru adi kittum” (you will get one beating on your butt)

Ennathu idu kaatumbraandi maadri nadakkarai (walking like a savage)

My mother always threatened me by saying,“choota kaachi ezhuten na paaru” (I will burn you with the iron rod)

Chooral aala vechchu kachuven (Cane you)

Moonjiyem Morakattai yem paaru (see the face)

Atchipitchu (Idiot)

Muttal (Fool)

Abhishtu (Stupid)

But there are certain words which mean entirely different in tamil and Malayalam This is seriously funny.
Valakku Kathanam – Talayalam ( I have to light the lamp )
Valakku Ethanam – Tamil
Kathardhu in tamil means shouting

Thalla lai enakku (Iam not feeling well) in Talayalam
Enakku odambu mudiyalai in Tamil
Actually Thallarthu means pushing someone in Tamil

Thooral - Drizzling in tamil and Vayathaala porathu in Malayalam
I read somewhere in blogosphere that when the movie 'Thooral ninnu pochu' came to kerala they had to change it to Saaral ninnu pochu and release it

Kazhichacha- have u eaten? in Talayalam is saptacha in tamil, but kazhichacha actually means subtracting

Veedu in Tamil(home) is Aathu in Talayalam but
Aathu in talayalam actually means river in Tamil

I have never understood the Tamil news read on Singapore local channel Vasantham Central or on / Sun TV / Vijay TV / Jaya TV nor have I understood the Asianet news. It all sounds like a foreign language to me.
Then there are words like thair oravathardhu(setting the yogurt from milk), moru Kadayardhu(making buttermilk), chaana churnai(rag to wipe the floor), modai (kitchen platform), sambadam(vessel), eriyardhu/ kaaram aa irukku- I don’t know which one is Talayalam and which one is Tamil…
I like my chaya (tea) as in Malayalam and Talayalam but we call it Chai (Mumbai isshtyle) and don’t like Kapi (Coffee) at all like the Tamilians
So does that qualify me to be a Talayalee……?
I love dhoklas, samosas and pav bhaji. Vada pao is my absolute favorite and I speak fluent Marathi and extremely fluent Hindi and my hindi peeks into my Talayalam as well…. Ezhadhardhu khatam(finished in hindi) panniyaachu? I have finished writing.
so does that qualify me to be a BBC-PTI ?
Confused and not accepted but what the heck I get the best of all worlds don’t I?
POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING …….LOL!!!!!!

13 comments:

Viju said...

Hi Sukanya I had a hearty laugh after reading your blog. My eyes were watering with laughter. Trust me, I can relate to everything written in there right from "I cannot yet call Bombay as Mumbai" to Chanachuranai. As you say whether a BBC-PTI or no - we get the best of both world.

Sukanya said...

Thanks a million, I am glad you enjoyed. Thanks for the encouraging words and yes---we do get the best of both worlds don't we?

maami said...

This is too much....i had such a laugh...i belong to the same bbc category and am rolling on the floor with laughter....too good

maami said...

This was too much fun....absolutely a trip home....we bbc's belong in a museum... I am still rolf...

S&Scancook..!! said...

ha ha too good a post Sukanya...

esp words like thair oravathardhu(setting the yogurt from milk), moru Kadayardhu(making buttermilk), chaana churnai(rag to wipe the floor),

I am 50% palakkad, 25% madurai, 25% thirunelveli and now married to a North Indian...I am only wondering what the next generation will be...!

But seriously i miss hearing these words now :(((

Avis Namar said...

Actually i came to the post to know abt the word 'ormai' which i read somewhere else. After reading the entire post i had a heartily laugh. After an half a trip to kerala i enjoyed the beauty of malayalam. Talayalam can be heard easily south of tirunelveli. nice words flow.
agniboy.wordpress.com

Aroopa said...

Though born and brought up in the North of Bharata Desham my mother was born in Kalpathy graamam and due to the influence of my maternal grandparents we children only learnt Kerala Tamizh much to the amazement of family and friends because my father came from the Himalayan region!
"Chanachurnai" warmed up the cockles of my heart and have you included "choolu=thodapam in Tamilnadu bhashai?My husband hails from Madurai-Sivagangai and so always makes fun of our " talking accents".
Torthamundu is also another word unheard by these " aliens"!
By the way do you know what is " kurunjothan" and " kaakarnaangai?My mother always used to say to me ( due to my intolerant temperament) that I had a " kaakarnaangai gunam"!!!
Had great fun reading your compilation!

Aroopa said...

Though born and brought up in the North of Bharata Desham my mother was born in Kalpathy graamam and due to the influence of my maternal grandparents we children only learnt Kerala Tamizh much to the amazement of family and friends because my father came from the Himalayan region!
"Chanachurnai" warmed up the cockles of my heart and have you included "choolu=thodapam in Tamilnadu bhashai?My husband hails from Madurai-Sivagangai and so always makes fun of our " talking accents".
Torthamundu is also another word unheard by these " aliens"!
By the way do you know what is " kurunjothan" and " kaakarnaangai?My mother always used to say to me ( due to my intolerant temperament) that I had a " kaakarnaangai gunam"!!!
Had great fun reading your compilation!

Aroopa said...

Though born and brought up in the North of Bharata Desham my mother was born in Kalpathy graamam and due to the influence of my maternal grandparents we children only learnt Kerala Tamizh much to the amazement of family and friends because my father came from the Himalayan region!
"Chanachurnai" warmed up the cockles of my heart and have you included "choolu=thodapam in Tamilnadu bhashai?My husband hails from Madurai-Sivagangai and so always makes fun of our " talking accents".
Torthamundu is also another word unheard by these " aliens"!
By the way do you know what is " kurunjothan" and " kaakarnaangai?My mother always used to say to me ( due to my intolerant temperament) that I had a " kaakarnaangai gunam"!!!
Had great fun reading your compilation!

VCMouli said...

Desham my mother was born in Kalpathy graamam and due to the influence of my maternal grandparents we children only learnt Kerala Tamizh much to the amazement of family and friends because my father came from the Himalayan region! "Chanachurnai" warmed up the cockles of my heart and have you included "choolu=thodapam in Tamilnadu bhashai?My husband hails from Madurai-Sivagangai and so always makes fun of our " talking accents". Torthamundu is also another word unheard by these " aliens"! By the way do you know what is " kurunjothan" and " kaakarnaangai?My mother always used to say to me ( due to my intolerant temperament) that I had a " kaakarnaangai gunam"!!! Had great fun reading your co

Siddharth said...

Hey!! What about 'ethiyacha'? What does it mean? Everyone in my family knows this word, but when I used it with a taxi driver in Chennai - and subsequently with other Tamil colleagues in Hyderabad - no one understands it!!

K K Narayanan said...

Tamilayam would be a better name

Pramod said...

@Siddharth, etthiyacha might be "have you reached?"

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