Aug 30, 2005

The Two Mrs. Nairs

Those of you, who have seen the Vanitha women's magazine, must be familiar with the last page cartoon strip about a pompous house-wife called Mrs. Nair. This post however, has nothing to do with that character. This post is my tribute to two ladies who make my 'Sun'days in an otherwise bleak Raipur.

I'm talking about Srikant's and Shrijith's mother's. They are the silver linings in clouds of home-sickness that form around me while I'm in Raipur. They are my stomach's hope when it rumbles in protest against the food served at the HNLU Mess. They are the closest I get to a mother, quite like my own, despite being in Raipur.

I am at my jolly best when I'm on a visit to any one of the Nair homes. They happen to be my favourite hangouts in Raipur. I start cracking my best jokes the moment any of these houses come into sight. A smile takes over the major part of my otherwise gloomy face. My mouth waters at the thought of the good Kerala style food that would be awaiting me at the Nair home. Cloud Nine never felt this great.

I step in there and greet the Lady of the House with a smile, enquiring whether everything's fine. They smile back and enquire the same of me, in that infinitely concerned tone which God seems to have specially given to mothers. I am hugely comforted by those smiles. It is the closest thing to Mummy that I'll experience before my paroles, once in every six months. Then I sit down to conversation with the Mr. Nair, while Mrs. Nair goes to the kitchen to finish the preparation she's made, I'd like to think, especially for me. Though she be not in the room, the absence is covered by the aroma that emanates from the kitchen.

In about 5 minutes, I am only just keeping the saliva form dripping. Then she re-enters, inviting me to the dining room and to the feast she's prepared for me. Again the motherliness of the whole thing deeply comforts me. An expectant me enters the dining room to the sight of steaming rice on plaintain leaves set on the table, frilled on the sides with the varied Pachdi's and Kichdi's, Erisseries and Pulisseries, Aviyals and Theeyals and all those sadya mandatories. I forget washing my hands and fail hopelessly in trying not to be in a hurry. But Mrs. Nair understands all this, and starts serving.

The feast begins! This could be heaven for all I know! She urges me to eat more. Motherly intuition tells her its time for more sambhar or pappadam. She asks me whether the food is good. I reply incomprehensibly, owing to the enormous amount of choru mixed with sambhar, moru and pulisseri and pappadam in my mouth. In about 15 mins, my stomach is a balloon. Mrs. Nair brings on the Payasam. Do I say no? No! I take extra helpings with renewed vigour!

I would thank Shrijith and Srikant for selflessly introducing these wonderful ladies to me. I would pay my tribute to the two Mrs. Nairs for being what they have been to me. With them around, it's Onam everyday!

22 comments:

>|' ; '| said...

may they live forever!

stranger in a strange place, its heaven to find love and care.

Jiby said...

cheers to these malayali good samaritans who feed us mallu bachelors in alien lands with an open heart! when i let these ppl know i am coming they assume i am coming bcoz my stomach craves for some homemade mallu food and having already found out what i like...thats all they cook over that weekend even if their husband and kids wudnt agree! its a fact...mallu hindu women make the best vegetarian food in the whole world!

Jithu said...

u r right man! when ooutside kerala, we will go anywhere for getting good food.. any acquaintance of urs house in ahmedabad? ;-))

പാപ്പാന്‍‌/mahout said...

Nicely written. I could visualize The Nair Residence(s). Having been in a marunaadan Malayali bachelor once upon a time, I could easily empathize with you.

blah_blah_blogger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
blah_blah_blogger said...

Nice post...

@ Jithu

Do you stay in ahmedabad? My family (chaste mallus) is based there...

Praveen said...

Glad that you find good mallu company in places like Raipur. Good post!

DARREN FLETCHER said...

neeeli,nice to hear that you eat vegetables,cool,nice to hear that at least you dont miss ya parents.Here it is only when i cook that chotte feels like he is at home.Would love to make you taste my delicacies.

DARREN FLETCHER said...

wonderful wonderfulllll

Neil Padayatty said...

@poison - A little love is all we need!
@jiby - They actually love doing this thing they do. That's what makes it more warm!
@jithu - Just scroll two comments up. Catch-22, the place where to find hope and help.
@mahout - Here's another beneficiary! Suddenly, I feel I could go anywhere in the world, because my heart tells me there's another Mrs. Nair waiting there to love me.
@blah_blah_blogger - Do help jithu out! He's a nice guy!
@praveen - Thanks!
@Darren Fletcher - Ani, I've heard enough about your cooking. I daren't! But if Bade says so, Neeli would do anything!

silverine said...

You are really lucky. Hats off to the wonderful Mrs Nairs who have to cook up a storm for you. May their tribe increase :))

great post neil!!

Angel said...

Yes, I can imagine you mumbling incomprehensibly with food in your mouth ;)

"Eat More" is a universal mom phrase:)

sandeep said...

Neil, I'll not say anything but just waiting for you to come my home. There wouldn't be a mallu food but something of a local tradition waiting for you. I hope that u come.............someday.....isn't it?

Neil Padayatty said...

@silverine - Ya let that happen! Thanks!
@angel - You're right... Universal Mom Phrase! Wow!
@Sandeep - Well, well! Yours is an offer I can't refuse. And since I'm not beyond all reason and good food, I'll be there soonest!

DARREN FLETCHER said...

neeli,come online once da,comedy of the year,naveed ennum ravile uk pookan ennum paranju shangumughathu pooyi swimming padikkanu,naddodikaattu part 2

Neil Padayatty said...

@ darren - Ani I can imagine! Naveed saying Wasalaamu Walaikum, wearing those Arab clothes, complete with head-gear and all. That's Naadodikaattu Part-2 definitely!

Jithu said...

> BBBlogger
yup i stay at ahmedabad.. any chance of getting mallu food? :-))

DARREN FLETCHER said...

bade back witha a bang,covereddrive.blogspot.com

Nair said...

Well Neil ! My mother will be happy to know your compliments for her cooking.

Anonymous said...

tht was a cool article u have here.
by the way ths is nimmy

Neil Padayatty said...

Thanks Nimmy! Guys, this is Nimmy Wren Padayatty, my favourite cousin!

Kusum Rohra said...

They smile back and enquire the same of me, in that infinitely concerned tone which God seems to have specially given to mothers.

*smiling from ear to ear*