Sunday, May 31, 2009

'Chaatyam', 'Chadhi', 'Chattambi' and 'Chol Ezhighai'!

These four Palagattan terms deal with obedience, decorum and trust.

'Chaatyam' is Palagattan for 'impertinent obstinacy'. It often applies to children who are adamant and unrelenting about their demands. It doesn't happen these days so much, but in my days as an under-ten, I have often noticed kids sprawled on the floor in stores and kicking their feet in despair demanding an object of their desire, usually a toy or a brand of chocolate. If such kids were Palagattan, their parent(s), usually it is the man's prerogative to tame the child in public, would say firmly: "Itha paaru. Chaatyam kootathe ketiya?" "Look here. Behave yourself. [Don't be impertinently obstinate (sic!)]"

'Chadhi' is Palagattan for 'to betray'. In the truest sense, in the original Malayalam, 'chadhi' is used in a political or business context when people betray each other through deceit, conspiracy or manipulation for monetary gains or to gain power. But Palagattans use the word even when dealing with kids such as the one above. The usage is to communicate the acute sense of pain and grief that has been afflicted on the parent. For example, knowing his child to be a 'chatyakaaran' or 'chattambi' (meaning one who is impertinent, obstinate and adamant), a Palagattan father may condition the child before taking him out. Despite all that preparation, kids being kids, Palagattan or otherwise, may sprawl in public to leverage the moment and have their demands met. So, when they come back home, a grieved Palagattan father may confess to his wife: "Kettayo ni? Chadhichuttan. Ellam nee kudukara chellam akkum." "Heard this? He betrayed us. It's all because you dote over him (implied-therefore spoiling him)."

'Chol Ezhigai' is Palagattan to denote absolute futility in getting someone to obey. An exasperated Palagattan grandma may declare: "Avalkitta chol ezhigathu." "There's no point in expecting her to obey." 'Chol' means an order or instruction. 'Ezhigai' means 'does not obey'.

The current family drama perpetrated by Thiru MuKa and his Clan on the nation__and on poor Dr.Manmohan Singh__is a perfect context to help this blog's readers to understand these four Palagattan terms. Assume for a moment that MuKa and his brood were Palagattans. This is how the entire story would have been presented by MuKa (writing) in his party organ 'Muracholli' [Unauthorized translations in English]:

"Enakku Prayam Achu Kettaela?"
[Listen folks, I am getting old now (sic!)]
"Degha-Obadhravum Sahikkalai. Nattellum Odingirrukku''.
[I am unable to bear the miseries my body's going through. My spinal cord too's broken.]
"Poraatha avasthaikku intha Azhagiri chaatyam pidikkaran".
[As if all this pain weren't enough, I have to deal with this impertinently obstinate (sic!) Azhagiri]
"Ana, prayam anaalum, enodu budhi mandhalai kettaela? Naan avanai Delhikku mathittuaen."
[But, despite my age, my brain's still working overtime and is sharp. I have shifted Azhagiri to Delhi]
"Ini avan Stalinai chadhika maataan, pathaeyla."
[Now, you see, he can't stab Stalin in the back/betray Stalin]
"Chattambi-galai-ellam kochchu kaalathilaye kandicchiirrukkanam. Onnukku pathula, rendu perai kettitu enna prayojanam?"
[Spoit brats ought to have been disciplined when they were kids. What was the point in me marrying twice and have two (caretakers)?]
"Ippo azhudhoottu enna prayojanam? Chol Ezhighaathu, Azhagirikku".
[What's the point in lamenting now. He will just not listen/obey. It is futile. This Azhagiri.]
"Ennakku Bhagavan paerula nambikkai illai-than. Irundhalum, Stalinum, Kani-kuttyum chamathakkum kettaela?"
[I don't believe in God. But let me state here that Stalin and Kani(mozhi)-baby are good (well behaved) kids]
"Oru ashwasam enna kettaelna, naan porthukkullaye, ithukallay-ellaruyum ava-ava vazhikku okkathi-toaein"
[One redeeming feeling is that, before I went my way, I have got these kids to find their paths and have set them on their ways]
"Anna, Periyar...Kootinddodupaa...(In lieu of Krishna, Rama, given that Muka is an atheist in public!)
[Anna, Periyar...why don't you call me to you...]

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