Tuesday, June 10, 2008

5 days - A gamut of things

We just came back after shoots in Coimbatore for the preliminary auditions. We had a press meet before the event and the Creative Head of Vijay TV happened to mention that there will be auditions in Singapore and Malaysia due to a lot of inquiries and online applications. Apparently a lot many came from the US and UK as well.
We had come down to Coimbatore after attending a traditional Chettinad wedding. I saw one for the first time and it was highly interesting to say the least. Only I was surprised that they did not have any Homam. As soon as the groom and bride came in, the groom just tied the Thaali and placed a diamond thaali around her neck, and some two other pieces of jewellery I presume, could not make out what it was. Apparently the married women of Chettinad only wear their mangalsutra made of diamonds on a daily basis. The traditional thaali tied with the sacred yellow thread is worn only on special occasions. Also noticed that the women wore only diamond jewellery. Hardly saw the any gold, except on outsiders. I asked a lot of questions as usual on this and that. I am usually interested in the hows, why, and whats of every traditional ritual that goes on in any function. It was interesting to know at least the basics of what happens in a Chettinadu wedding. Also they have another special ritual - not connected with weddings though - something called "Pullaiyaar Noambi". I attended one such ritual a couple of years ago. I guess the idea was the men pray to Lord Ganesha before embarking on a journey. (correct me if I am wrong, of course. Reminds me that I have to verify and ask about this one all over again). Celebrated once a year, the most interesting part of the ritual, accoding to me, was when they had a 'vilakku' (lamp) made of some edible flour, lit the wick which was apparently pre-immersed in Ghee and swallowed it, flame and all. My quest of knowing the rituals of various traditions in India continues.
Anyway, coming back, Super Singer auditions will be held this weekend (14th/15th June) in Trichy.
This time, at Coimbatore, I got to know S P Shailaja ji a lot better. Though she has been a part of Super Singer in 2006 and 2007, we decided to go to Marudhamalai on Saturday and she came along with us. All along the way, I realized we had a lot in common. That we read the same kind of books, dreamt in Technicolour, scene by scene and would even direct our dreams in our sleep. As we spoke, she mentioned a book she was reading that I had just finished the same afternoon. She also happened to mention that she has some really rare books, though written in Telugu, which I hope to see someday. She is genteel, sophisticated and has this special elegance in her which is becoming increasingly rare to see. Soft spoken... Telugu, when the right dialect is spoken is one of the most soothing languages to hear. And she reminded me what it was to listen to good Telugu and what a beautiful speaking voice she has! She also has an excellent sense of humour laced with just an iota of irony and sarcasm. All through the drive we laughed so much that it brought tears to our eyes and to say the least, that evening was a delight. This was my first visit to Marudamalai and the place was extremely magical to say the least. I fell in love with mountains and the clouds all over again. The people of Coimbatore are actually blessed to be breathing such clean air day in and day out. Just hope all this industrialization doesn't ruin the pristine beauty that is still maintained there.
And wonder of wonders - I was off internet for the past 6 days! No mails no internet. I am pretty amazed that I could pull through!
Here is a picture that we took at the wedding. I love this one! Quite informal. A lot of us had changed to easier, wearable clothes by the evening.

24 comments:

Karthik Murali said...

Welcome back from the "disconnected world " Chinmayee ..
that was a very knowledgeable and interesting article :)
it also facinates everyone to know about new cultures and traditions
They are just few hundreds of kms away from us , yet they seem so far from us na ?

btw i jus wanted u to read "The Interpretation of Murder" by Jed Rubenfeld..

Its a brilliant book and also involves a lot of PsychoAnalysis to understand a human being.You being a Psychologist , ithought it was highly relevant to u.
its a gripping read and a must read..
This is under the presumption that u haven't read it already :)

My share of life said...

Just loved this pic!

Mandy said...

Hey Chinmayee...
so sweet of u to write about a chettinad wedding ..in such detail....amazed at the myriad cultures which tamil nadu has on offer:):)especially impressed by the diamond thali which married women wear.... :):):)
i listen to aha kaapi club every morning..and my mom is a great fan of ur show.. i like the cute comments which u make while speaking... like "Hello.. yaar pesradhu?? yaarum Pesla... ".... i used to laf like crazy for this timely wit of urs...
good luck to u..:)

Anonymous said...

Maavilakku is a sumangali poojai. Taken for the family diety or Mariamman. The karugamani, is the thali tied (not the yellow thread one). Even Kongu Gounder follow the tradition. Yes, there is no agni sakshi biz in Chettiars. (I have attended one wedding, where even Non Veg was served.) But in my kind of Chettiars, we have all the Vaishana-Saiva combination stuff.

Coimbatore is becoming expensive nowadays. Flats are as costly as Chennai and Bangalore. No one spoil the air. You might have missed the Isha Foundation near Vellingiri. (Even though my hometown is Tirupur, I am yet to go there)

I bet you would have had tons of folks from Mallicheri orchestra, for auditions, who are trained and better singers than some who shine in the cine world!

Rgds
Vijay

பிரேம்குமார் said...

சொல்வதற்கு ஒன்றும் இல்லை....ம்ம்ம்ம்....ஒன்றும் சொல்ல தோன்றவில்லை! மருதமலையான் உங்களுக்கு மகிழ்ச்சியை தரட்டும்...ஓ..ஓ...சொல்லிட்டேன்ல...இது போதும்...வர்டா!

Sange said...

OMG...U look very pretty...please tell me where you are buying your jewels and dresses...

Chinmayi said...

Vijay,. I beg to differ. Its not maavilakku. the ceremony was called Pullaiyar noambi. Nothing to do with the wedding. This as I have mentioned, I attended two years back at their residence. And there was no karugumani thaali. There were a lot of Gold pendant-kinds which are strung on a yellow thread. I saw how they strung it and that was the first thaali tied. The ones in diamond followed. This chettiar wedding that we attended, the family is vegetarian. I guess I attended a Nattukottai Chettiar wedding. As far as the Isha foundation is concerned, I make it a point to keep a distance from spiritual organizations. I only visit temples.

Chinmayi said...

sange: Both are made to order my lady :)

Thamizh said...

Wow Chin! u r looking awesome. Such a natural smile from all of u.
Next to u is Maala Maniyan? Right?

Visveswaran Rajamani Iyer said...

Hi Chinmayi,
As far as i know i think it is made out of rice flour with jaggerry and elachi ...l
Hmmm going over towards the cookery side..let me come to the point straight ok when is ur next plan to visit singapore i have also uploaded my song with lot of pisirs and lot of errors....he..he.. bottomline is that after hearing some new releases i did not want to correct my songs..looks like a bit of head weight guy...definetely not..this is some thought that has been haunting my mind over a few years where there can be worst songs which are being accepted., however i do accept that i am not upto the mark but just wanted to give a try.. please do reply in this blog regarding your journey to singapore , i would like to meet you people.
Regards
Visves Iyer

jay said...

Hai akka,
seeing ur post after a long time akka..happy!
The description of the wedding is clear and nice.Our Indian tradition is a quiet confusing one,and the manner of marriage that takes place in the religion of Hindus itself varies from place to place seems quite interesting.Instead of showing unity in all other affairs, we all can show unity in the style and tradition of marriage.Just my suggestion to change our India,but i know that it will never be implemented or happen once for all.
By
jay/jishu/jayshree.

Mohana Priya said...

u look verryyyyyyy Pretty.

Mohana Priya said...

Have been reading ur blog for the past 1 yr .Coult not resist posting a comment today .Liked this Pic .Tooooooooooooooo Goooooooooooddddd

Ravi said...

Is that Ms.Mala Manian next to you? Been a long while since we saw her on TV.

Anonymous said...

Gold jewelry suit you more...

Anonymous said...

Marudhamalai.....you were spot on about this place.....i am happy IT havent explored coimbatore especially the Barathiyar univ. area and surroundings else...you could nt speak about the 'clean' air....Marudhamalai...indeed a magical place....brings the memories of riding cycle and reaching the place and the days i would climb the hill at 8.00PM on no moon day and compete with time to reach up..see the last Pooja...get down in 25-30 minutes by 8.30 to catch last bus......No experience can match that...

-Dhanasekhar J P

Aswin said...

Hey,

Great post again. Spent 8 of my 22 years on the planet at Coimbatore, 4 at school & 4 at college and i second your view.

As long as you don't care about pubs and parties, Cbe is the place to be!

But frankly, spending another 9 years at Chennai... hmm.. I call this more of a home than that.. There's no place like Chennai on earth, don't you think? :)

Added a link to ur blog from my page, and i hope u dont mind :)

Aswin
(Previously the Chaingang Soldier)
thegreatthree.blogspot.com

Rathipriya said...

Hi...
Can u please tell me d audition dates in chennai?
I participated in d coimbatore auditions... I was in d waiting list in d final stage... But unfortunately couldn't make it to d top 16... Can i try in chennai?
It wd be of great help if u let me know d dates and venue...

Anonymous said...

You look sick

Anonymous said...

hey u look very pretty! Luv ur smile.

thambiluvil said...

why madam we cant watch ur photos blog please change because we are your fans

Anonymous said...

You look sick

RAthy said...

Hi Chinz
Nice to read about variation of Hindu weddings :). i thought there was suppose to be a Cheddinaadu wedding in a Sneha movie and it looked different than wat u have described.
u r looking very prettyyyy!!!
and ofcouse awesome insights of SPS. she looks like a elegant lady :)
is ur mother tongue telugu as well?

ashok said...

your voice is awesome, i dont know i got impressed very much after seeing your compereing in the vijay TV ... you look pretty and presentation is so good.. ahtha enga ahtha ivallavu vocabularies kandupudicha.. after going through a particular posting your blog i was dumbstruck with the words that were used in it.. enga Vivekananda institute thaney just kidding.. i became a crazy fan of your voice.. even my orkut profile is titled with"Chinmay engey chinmay no ennaku venum".. looked at the occupations in your profile..multipersonality disordernu ninaikuren..so talented :-)
just thot of complimenting your voice ..