Sunday, October 24, 2004

Of fairy tales and pumpkin coaches

This is probably overdoing it. Three posts in a day. But since the idea is to write when one can, what does it matter. Plus, the first two were just vanity!

I am not sure how many of you saw this really grand advertisement for the 'Cinderella' pavadai, by the RmKV store - a little girl wears a pavadai that spreads out in a perfect geometric circle around her as she sits.

I saw it. And it makes me want to be a little girl again, so I could wear one of those pavadais. The best thing about wearing a pavadai was being able to twirl yourself around and then sit, with the skirts ballooning about you. THAT was one of the many pleasures of my South Indian childhood.

We would even have competitions at that- my sister, the cousins, neighbours, me- all of us who wore 'pavadais', turning and swirling till the world became a blur and the skirt, a balloon! The kids that got their skirts to swell most won, naturally. When we got a little older, the losers began to console themselves, "It has to do with the cut of the cloth." But, their faces still fell as their skirts did.

Whatever else we did, we din't call it the Cinderella pavadai. Today, 'pavadai wearing' is not for me... dredging deep into my memory's recesses, I remember we used to call the swirling-ballooning ritual 'thattamaalai.'

But, when did 'thattamaalai' become Cinderella?

Perhaps, in its re-invented avatar the pavadai has morphed into an ill-treated step-sister raking the coals in the fireplace. Then, when you wear the Cinderella pavadai, perhaps you'll get one glass slipper free, and a pumpkin coach to ride on too!



Blogger Shyam said...

Oh, that certainly brings back memories :) Thattamaalai it was. And only the pattu pavadais would make perfect balloons that stayed up for a bit before collapsing. And of COURSE there were the meanie boy cousins who would try to whoosh down the "balloon". I bet they were just jealous... ;-)

4:11 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With today's digital cameras, it would be fun & easy to have these competitions and award prizes, then & there, for the best 'geometric' circle. Will clue in my better half on this and see how we can take it forward! :) Ravi

11:21 am

Blogger Pavithra said... that's transported me back to the 'pavadai' age when a girl can twirl gracefully :-))) And what lovely confections they were too, m'dear - the colours, the feel, the texture...

Drat the modern age.

3:00 pm

Blogger b said...

gawd! a lot of graceful kids YOU all were!! yes, i DO remember the balloon game -- but that's about the only good thing about those blessed pavadais. PLEASE, is there one human woman out there who tripped and fell because of the wretched thing? who could not play catch because it got it the way? who almost set herself on fire because the skirts ALMOST touched a candle? come one - 'fess up!
-- Brinda

12:19 pm

Blogger hari said...

I am hari from Chennai and was introduced to your blog by REFLEX. Nice blogging. True, pavadai has come a long way to become cinderella pavadai. You see now we are so obsessively westernised that it takes a Western name for us to re-invent pavadai too. I suppose soon all my granny's discarded household accessories would become a fashion in a new name. I was about to dump all of them but not now.
Visit my blog when time permits

12:22 pm

Blogger virdi said...

hey how did u add these links on the right??? put some fundes da!!!

6:10 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was one of the graceless kids who tripped and fell while twirling. Did not stop me from trying however, aktho the other kids kept their distance....;)

12:21 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's no doubt, Cinderella pavadai is a reflection of our Westernisation. Just as the same shop had an ad for Zodiac saris......sad but true. At least, maybe more people will buy the pavadais at least for the name!!

Btw, missed seeing you before I left, but at least got to see u briefly. Laksh.

12:59 pm

Blogger None said...

virdi. its quite simple. well, ganesh doesnt think its a good idea, but the way i did make some adjustments to the html coding in the templates column of the page.
its easy if u have a page that already has links. if it does not, its a little more difficult. but can be done. as i;ve done with this revised page. what kinda page do u support?


7:51 pm

Blogger None said...

hey laksh,

nice to see ur comment da. i think u've got a blog on too.. will check it out...
do keep in touch...


7:52 pm

Blogger None said...

hey anon,
we wont hold ur tripping against u!!! reveal thyself!! :)


7:54 pm

Blogger None said...

hari saab!

u've blocked other bloggers from entering your site. not fair. open up mate!


7:56 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my anonymity can I truly be myself....

12:38 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

watched it a gadzillion times

but hey i came here thinking there was a review which wld lead to a discussion
must say am disappointed ;-)

4:29 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops had multiple comments window open and hence the comment for thillana mohanabal karthik ended up here.
karthik no mood to postit there again :-)

ramya on the thattamalai yup my head's still spinning..
my paavadai caught fire one diwali because i had the "jaati" too close to my paavadai and when somebody screamed i duly burned the other side too in the excitement- lost a new lovely patttu pavadai but not a scratch

while i am at it might as well confess that one karthikai deepam full enthu on my compound wall while transferring oil in "agals" the "butterfly sleeves" of my frock caught fire and i still hv the mark in fond memory

oh one more thing my cousin and i used to act cool trying to light the changu chakram with our hands and then leave it on the ground
in the height of competition we didnt realise that we both had our changu changram facing each other, mine lit first and the rest is history ;-) its amazing that my cousin stilltalks to me after repeacted attempts to bite and burn him

boy am i getting nostalgic
should get my own blog ;-)

4:41 pm

Blogger None said...

accident- prone anon!

thanks for that slice of your life! and if you dont have a blog, you should start one, rightaway. but, pray who is anon? or ur the anon that revels in being unknown!:)


7:36 pm


Post a Comment

<< Home