My niece in California has Godparents. They obviously love her to pieces and often gift her large noisy toys so she loves them back. It’s all very nice and positively reeks of cuteness. I was basking in the warm afterglow of happy family moments when she asked me about mine. And not unlike Harry Potter apparating I went back to the murky past to dig them out. You see I’m Tamil Brahmin, so I have God maamis.
The god maami is not literally a member of the pantheon (though in some cases she has been known to frighten even men of steel). In theory she is one appointed by the community at large to watch over the little ones as they fumble their way through life. However, like most theoretical concepts that migrate to the practical world, this one takes a toss too; the God maami will lean back, point, laugh, make a sarcastic remark, criticize your upbringing sometimes all together and not even in the abovementioned order. I was born when Saturn was in the 7th house overlooking the moon when rahu and ketu were in opposition and I have 5 formidable God maamis to prove it.
Mrs Kanakambari Viswanathan
Strengths: Kills crows and other pesky birds with her rendition of ‘nagumomu’. Stuns dogs and small mammals with Shankarabharanam.
Weaknesses: Allowed her daughter to marry a Bengali. Is hopeless when it comes to controlling offspring. It is rumored that her son is secretly studying fashion designing.
Defining moment: In a fit of musical ecstasy strangled a rival, Mrs Shanmukhasundari devi, margazhi 1999
Mrs Rita Swaminathan
Strengths: Knows everything there is to know about the US including bad parts of Atlanta. Can pack suitcases efficiently in minutes. Is known to have packed her son’s suitcase in 57 minutes flat. Cut off her daughter for marrying a Singapore return boy.
Weaknesses: Gets fidgety at the consulate. Has been known to drool upon hearing the words ‘H1’
Defining moment: Yet to come, her green card application has run into troubles.
Mrs Aparna Singh
Strengths: Was widely ostracized in 1982 for marrying a Punjabi, was unanimously accepted into the fold ten years later when she converted all the women in her husband’s family into kanjeevaram wearing, Sun-Tv seeing maamis. Commands immense respect from all other maamis. Seals her arguments with a resounding hadippa!
Weaknesses: Unwittingly puts garam masala in sambar, causing indigestion.
Defining moment: Signed a contract with Radhikaa Sarathkumar to turn her life story into a mega serial
Mrs Chitrangada Ramakrishnan
Strengths: Power broker. Hard negotioator. Horoscope tweaker.
Weaknesses: Must be paid in platinum
Defining moment: Surya Jothika. Khushbu C sundar. Abhi Ash. Obama Michelle. Her clients are endless.
Mrs Vijayalakshmi Ananthanarayanan
Strengths: Her regimen can guarantee even a cretin an IIT seat. Is known to produce excellent results in proven dumb students. Is said to have got 101 on 100 in all of her math exams in childhood.
Weaknesses: Has hairy arms that can survive nuclear attacks..wait that’s a strength too
Defining moment: Once got a lamppost to clear the IIT JEE.
PS: This was supposed to be published on women’s day, but every day is Iyer women’s day, Hence.
PPS: offense takers to go elsewhere.