Tuesday, October 10, 2006


The above picture of a joint family peeling jackfruit kindles fond memories of my village. I was one of the few fortunate ones to have a taste of both rural and urban life. Though I grew up in the city at my pedhanayana’s (elder brother of my dad) place, I frequently visited my mom and dad in the village who had to take care of the lands. We were a semi-joint family. Though the families were physically apart, I always had a feeling of being in a one big family. I always called my pedhamma (pedhanayana’s wife) as mummy as she was the one who raised me, since I was three. I called my pedhanayana as daddy. However, when both of my parents (moms , dads in village and city) get together, I used to call them by their names with a mummy, daddy suffix to avoid confusion. (isn't it funny?)

Well, let me get back to the picture. I spent all my vacation, be it short or long in the village. I had many cousins to play with in the village. We roamed together in the fields. We also used to help women at home ( my mom , other neighbours) in their farm related activities. Few of our group activities were: sorting grams, peppers, tomatoes from the farms; getting rid of seeds and shell from tamarind; cracking open ground nuts… It was always fun doing this and i recollect them when i look at this picture.

My village was just 40 miles away from the city. I and my cousins all grew up together in the city. I was raised along with my brother, my dad’s younger brother’s son and pedhanayana’s daughters in the city. I was the youngest one in the whole family. I was affectionately called “Kurrodu”, (which means the little one) by my grandmom (pedhamma’s mother). I was always raised with lot of attention partly due to my poor health. I should say that all of us were taken great care by my pedhamma. She bore the burden of raising 3 guys and 2 big girls in the city. While her daughters were in college, she was teaching me how to write. She had great energy and used to toil the whole day in taking great care of us.
Well, my mom in the village spent most of her day in the kitchen. Apart from making food for the members in the family, she also had to prepare lunch for those working in the fields, .. . She however had maids to help her in cooking and maintaining the house..In this way, these two mothers of mine complimented each other to make our joint family a successful one. I owe a lot to them.

I also owe big time to my brothers and sisters. An advantage of being the youngest one in a big family is that you always have some one to show you the way. I realize that most of the important decisions that I have made are influenced by those that my elder brothers and sisters had made for themselves. In this way, you always have a chance to avoid their mistakes. "There is a great advantage of being the Kurrodu of a big family."

Photograph of Joint family - Courtesy: From Kamat's potpurri at www.kamat.com


Blogger Archana Bahuguna said...

That's a beautiful piece. Sharing bits about your village/town/city life as well as your family was very unique and interesting to know about. A life completely different from what I led and that is what makes it so interesting.

And now that I know "Kurrodu" I am calm and peaceful. :-)

(ps: Btw, I hope you dint write this under pressure ;-). Pls feel free to completely ignore my requests for blogging on a "tag" or "Kurrodu" ;-) and the likes)

10:29 PM  
Blogger kurrodu said...

good to know that u found it
interesting. It is always fun to
grow up with a bunch of ppl around.
I would say Joint family is one of our cultural identities.
Although it has its own share of problems, it helps you understand complex relationships
and establishes a strong bondage between the young
and the old in the family
at a very early stage in life.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Rajesh said...

Hi Kurrodu,
I didnt know abt ur nick name in college days! Just miss isnt it!
anyhow no probs buddy!
The picture was very good and the connection between the picture and your family is excellent!
while reading i was able to imagine how u would have njoyed in PAKKAM!
But kurrodu one day while returing to india, u should surely take me to ur village....dont forget that u will be passing via ambattur...n dont forget me to call me buddy!

2:20 AM  
Blogger kurrodu said...


Thanks for visiting my blog.

You are right. I never let anyone know my nickname at college.
But i am sure it is far better name than the one you guys had for me - "Actually"

You should definitely visit my village. It would be my pleasure to take you during my
visit to india next summer.By the way, My village is not exactly pakkam but 2 miles from pakkam towards periyapalayam
and it is called komakkambedu.

Also, I left a comment in your blog. Keep posting on mirchi.

2:11 PM  
Blogger deepa said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:23 PM  
Blogger deepa said...

hi deepak,
ur post brings those nostalgic memories back to my mind...i grew up in city and used to visit my grandparents village during vacation...it was fun with lots of people around...me, my brother and cousins roamed together in fields...it was nice watching the cattles and hens...once my brother even tried to milk the cow...we cousins wud sit in a grp and my mom or aunts would feed us telling stories...i helped my granny making brooms from the coconut leaves...it was fun..

i remember having a gud time with u cousins in Komakkambedu...we also enjoyed in Hyd. when u all visited us.

1:41 PM  
Blogger kurrodu said...

Dil.. milking the cow...
I wud rather dare not to. I still remember our maid in kmbedu getting kicked by a cow when she was attempting to milk it.

I remember those days when you guys visited KMbedu.I am not sure if it was during your visit when all of us cooked spinach, sakarai pongal below a huge tamarind tree behind our house.....
Those are indeed my best days.

Hyderabad trip... That was my longest trip outside
chennai. I can fully recall planetarium and birla mandir
trip with you. I also used to wonder then at your fluency
in Hindi and your singing hindi songs..:)..Remember the anthakshari...

6:52 PM  
Blogger The Visitor said...

Your post took me down memory lane - to the times I've spent with my cousins. In my case I was part of 2 joint families - one from my mother's side and the other on my father's side. I studied staying at my aunt's (mother's younger sister) place and holidays were at one of 2 villages. I remember the pongal festivities - they used to be the grandest. For us mattuppongal was of prime importance, then the kaanum pongal.
Nice post :)

2:50 AM  

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