Friday, April 17, 2009

The meaning of Palagattan

The acerbic and combative former Chief Election Commissioner, the venerable and revered Shri.T.N.Seshan is once famously believed to have remarked, "Palagattans are Cooks, Crooks, Musicians and Geniuses." The reference to Palagattan from that rather aggressive confession, coming from a fellow Palagattan, leads us to conclude that Palagattan as a word, a concept, an institution, refers to the quirky, murky, clumsy world of Tamzih Brahmins who have origins in Palakkad, Kerala.

That is only a geographical connection.

Lingusitically, Palagattans are a class apart. They are distinguished by their ability to use new, invented usages of common Tamizh phrases. Consider these:

1. 'Karandi' in Tamizh means ladle. In Palagattan Tamizh it is called 'Aapai'.
2. 'Orasinduirrukai' is Tamizh for rubbing against, in Palagattan Tamizh, they say, 'eishunduirrukkai' (which when transliterated means smeared against). So when two human beings 'rub against each other' (sic!) as in Kamal's movie MMKR, the average Tamilian will view it as 'they are orasinduirukka', while a Palagattan will consider it as 'eishunduirukka'. The context and interpretation change dramatically when you subsitute rub with smear!!! Try it.
3. 'Sapittengala' is Tamizh for 'Have you eaten?' 'Chapteya?' is Palagattan.

This blog is dedicated to discovering and celebrating Palagattan Tamizh. Long live Tamizh. Long live Palagattan.

Disclaimer: This blog is open to all Palagattans and non-Palagattans and does not purport to be a mouthpiece for the already much confused Tamizh/Palagattan Brahmin community. Any such interpretation or conclusion is perilous and injurious to the reader's spiritual health!!

1 comment:

  1. Also see and