Arre O Sambar: The festival of lights, a hot babe, and whole wheat flour (a.k.a. Deepavali Gal-atta)

Posted on October 27, 2005


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OCT 27, 2005 – A LONG TIME AGO, whenever people in Chennai wanted to celebrate Deepavali, they used to head off to a city near Bangalore. A few days before the journey, they’d start putting all their clothes into a suitcase, and ever since Deepavali has been synonymous with Mysore-pack. And rava laddu. And thenga burfi. But of late, the state government has decided that the festival isn’t only for Hindus, and it should be celebrated by people of all religions. Therefore, the new official sweet, in the spirit of communal harmony, has been declared to be John-Giri.

Needless to say, this has caused a lot of controversy. Rajinikanth’s fans have submitted that they will eat nothing but Baadusha, and women’s organisations have announced the total boycott of all sweets except “avalkesari. The association of gold jewellers in T Nagar has placed unprecedented orders for “carat” halwa, while geography teachers are insisting that their students will only be served globe jamuns. Meanwhile, the upholders of chastity in our state have called for a ban on the production of paal-Goa, because Goa has nude beaches and that’s against Tamil culture.

With all this ruckus, people seem to have completely forgotten how expensive things have become. (They’re planning to change the name of the popular firework from oosi vedi to osi vedi, because kids who can’t afford it have started piling on to someone else’s box of crackers. Also, not many can afford new clothes, so the lucky few have become very arrogant. Kamal Haasan predicted this phenomenon years ago, in his movie Cocky Chattai.) Therefore, a meeting has been announced by a committee consisting of Iyers, Iyengars, Mudaliars, Nadars and Thevars – they will address the high caste of living in our city.

Then there are the environmentalists, who have jumped into the fray protesting against dogs that do their business all over the place. Naai’s pollution is a major menace this time of the year, yes, but surely this is a bit too much… At this rate, the only way we’ll hear explosions on Deepavali day is if the whole of Chennai dines on beans the previous night. Then the next morning, we can go around wishing people using that immortal line from Star Wars: “Look… I am your farter.”

With everyone getting into the act, can auto drivers be far behind? They are demanding that they’ll raise the minimum fare to Rs. 100 unless a firework is named after their preferred mode of transport, pointing out that MTC drivers are proudly represented by the busvaanam. But the biggest protest of all comes from a group of crazed cinema fans who refuse to let newlywed couples enjoy their first Deepavali together. Their cause for anger? Why, when there’s no release from Ajith, how dare anyone celebrate “thala” Deepavali!

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Posted in: Humour