All trips back home involve temples. Hell, even if I lived in Kanchipuram ( which has some 1100 temples on its own) and visited Chennai, amma would ask me to visit the local amman koil. We are like that, only. But visiting the Big Lord is something else. It is a celebration in my family and the last time I visited was before I moved to Singapore.
So, this time around we had some extra time and decided to do some shopping. We shop everywhere. Tirupathi has some seriously pretty bangle shops which can stand competition to Hyderabad. Oh yea, same state. Anyway, after buying over 6 dozens of bangles which I don’t know when I will wear – we were hunting to buy pickles. Of course, like any good family mine packs pickles for me and sometimes they get over excited when I casually ask for Andhra avakkai.
The brother walks to a store near Tirupathi Railway Station. It is a small eatery resplendent with a frying pan of pooris, a huge menu board listing over 50 dosais etc. This is the interaction between thambi and the store keeper. The storeowner didn’t know English or tamil and the brother only know biryani and avakkai in telugu.
Thambi – Annaee, pickle iruka?
Storekeeper – Eh? No tamil..telugu ..teluguu..
Thambi – No telugu.have pickle?avakkai pickle undhi ?
Storekeeper – Ah, avakkkai..go straight..anga bhimas hotel...
Thambi – ya ya..came that way..
Storekeeper – anga..police station.near by there is supermarket..there you buy Priya Avakkai Pickle. Very good. I buy that.
Thambi – *what* Priya oorugai?!
Storekeeper – ama, Chennai manufacturing..very good very good.
Now, my brother is very frustrated and explained quickly in tamil how we are indeed from Chennai and didn’t come all the way to buy packed pickles.
The storekeeper nods empathetically ( frustratingly) and asks – Oh..loose’a?
Thambi – ama da, naa loose dhan da :D
We had a laughter riot at it. It will be remembered every time we visit tirupathi! Ya, our family is like that.