Ajji vandane-a tribute to the actual "Argumentative Indian"

karigar / 7 yrs ago /

Transmitting Traditions -informally

Ajji vandane
-a tribute to the actual "Argumentative Indian"




My grandma was an argumentative woman (she used the correct kannada word for it "Nyaya-adoodu" i.e. playing at debate), she passed on this characteristic to my dad, who, I've realised belatedly, must have passed it on to me too.
She had third grade schooling, but not third rate schooling, especially from sources outside the four walls of the mud brick schoolhouse in a small town in South India. Other than real life, that great teacher, her other source was the local "kirtankaar" Dyavappaia & his performances of bhajans, kirtans, pravachanas, & marathon oral serializations of the Mahabharata & Ramayana. The stories were & are a typical feature of traditional India, and would be performed by the "kirtankaar" for a crowd of devotees, & other audience, and would go on for months on end.
How do I know all this? Obviously the first reason is because she told me, and the second reason is because she became for us, a "kirtankaar", and brought it all to life, for me & my siblings/cousins when we were growing children, between the ages of about 4 and 16.
When grandma, or ajji as we called her, was around, the routine was set. We would come back from school, throw away our heavy school bags, eat quickly & directly head out to play.
Back at sundown, we knew exactly what to do. One of us would rush into her little room, with its own intriguing smells of haldi, elaichi, amrutanjan balm; all emanating from a small table & a few old trunks & suitcases beside her bed. We then stand there, nudging each other, & whispering, till we either shook her awake, or she heard us.

She would then wake up from her afternoon nap, and the journey would begin.


{If you've come this far, & would like to read more,
could you please  join me on the journey, by clicking here, ( for full article at MedhaJournal )

riverine / / 7 yrs ago

i went a-hunting down your blog line until the line was exhausted of bdbs (i will read them all one day, promise)...just skipped them all until i hit this one - great!
it reminds me of my grandfather who lived with us. he was well-educated but, as you say, belonged to that generation that no longer is...he on the cane chair with his feet perched on the stool, me on his lap and both of us drowning in a book (chandamama, mostly) is a frozen memory i have of those beautiful time of life...
ajji vandane!
thatha vanakkangal!

karigar / / 7 yrs ago

always a pleasure to get a comment from you.
the nri with a "twist"-na raha indian....!!   that was cool!
also i didn't know about "frozen thoughts". thanks for informing. (your offspring is finding his way, sort of groping in the dark, sort of how we all did / still do..kudos to him & the values seeded in him by family...)
watching the way you write ( even if comments..) i'm sure you'd be a highly readable writer...
thanks & do come over & read , now & then.

Aditi Ray / / 7 yrs ago
Aditi Ray

it was very nostalgic, and i could relate so well to the magic you created in your narration.
it also made me introspect about my role in society for  passing on the traditions and values of dharma to the next generation....and  i felt very guilty.  it will be quite some time before i can even aspire to be a grandmom,  with a son still a good year away from college, but  by my sheer laid back and a laissez faire attitude , i  realise that i have not been able to make my son excited about exploring  indian mythology, puranas, indian values...... all that i have grown up with... and even without any of us migrating from india, he has become almost a nri (na -raha-indian).... ., typical of most youngsters in indian metros today... 
but hopefully all is not lost.... there is this monthly magazine published from chennai and pune called "frozen thoughts"... i subscribe to it, these days i find him reading it  cover to cover... ... and even lecturing me at  times...
sorry for the ramble..

narensomu / / 7 yrs ago

i am yet to check on that quote but our school-hating selves loved the quote and thought the professor who used that quote was a wonderful person.

flagellum / / 7 yrs ago

oye karigar paajee,
   saadda ek blog twaadde vaasde intzaar karrya si.  tussi hoon aake unaanoon dekho aur   mainoo  dasso kaisa hai!

Rudra / / 7 yrs ago


yes indeed -- anonymous posts work on the medha journal,  but the user would still have to use a name and a valid email address (to prevent spam).

and as far as the "blog" getting lost in the "blog-hole" (pun intended) is concerned -- that is why we needed medha journal in the first place -- somewhere topics of this nature can be discussed and ideas exchanged without sinking into oblivion.

karigar / / 7 yrs ago

medhajournal editor confirms that comments left by "anonymous" are accepted, if you don't want to take a login type id...
[of course all that is moot if this blog is finding its way into the dark depths of sulekhosphere...  :=-)=)   ]

karigar / / 7 yrs ago

the attempt is to get you a taste of medhajournal....... :-)
[just a click away, as they say!!!]
thanks for the positive feedback. yes the family type stories are very good, & this one was long overdue, all of us have enjoyed childhood, & been positively influenced by people while growing up.
thanks for the encopuragement..

karigar / / 7 yrs ago

thanks for comments. glad to know about your ajji's "real" type of stories. i guess each kind , in it's own way, shows knowledge of human nature, & helps kids to grow up understanding life..

Kalyanee / / 7 yrs ago


why didn't you put the entire blog here??
hope to read more like this....love reading about family members and values..

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