Poochandi by Jyothy


Blog post by Jyothy Iyer Our usual Saturday morning starts “ippo kaNaratha? Ippo kekkaratha?” “kaNarathu, aana kekkarathillai …” And on and on, for those who didn’t get any clue so far, it is typical Palakkad Iyers testing Skype connectivity. Of course myself and my mom. The only life line between New Jersey and Palakkad. After discussing a lot

TamBrahm Identification by Rishi


Blog post by Rishi Athreya A question often posed is about the unique identity of Tamil Brahmins. It is asked if these people could not identify as Tamil and whether the caste is an essential part of their character. Tamil Brahmins are ethnically bilingual with both Tamil and Sanskrit. Like those of all other states

What’s in a TamBrahm Name? by Anand


By Anand Kumar What’s in a Tambrahm name? To answer this question we have to first ask which name. Because for time immemorial, a Tambrahm person will never have just one name. He will have a pet name at home, an official name for official records and then there is another name which is a

Trivandrum Iyers by Ramya


Whenever Iyers in Kerala are referred to, they are assumed to be from Palakkad.  I for one, take offense when anyone calls me a Palakkad Iyer, because I have nothing to do with Palakkad.  There are Iyer settlements in different parts of Kerala other than Palakkad.  Calling all Kerala Iyers as Palakkad Iyers is like

Lingua-franca Conundrum by Preeti


Blog post by Preeti Swaminathan When you live in metropolis like Mumbai, to be a multi-lingual is not a surprising fact! You will see appavi Kuzhandaigals speaking tamalyamindiarathiglish! This is not an alien language neither you can find this word in dictionary or wikipedia. All you’ve to do is firstly ease your vocal chords, do some

To swear, or not to swear, that is the question by Saumya


Blog post by Saumya Sadanand I am a Palakkad Iyer, born in Mumbai and raised in Pune. My parents too hailed from similar backgrounds with dad having lived all his life in Ahmedabad and Mumbai and mum in Pune. Needless to say we didn’t exactly fit into the mold of the quintessential ‘pattar family’. For

More TamBrahm Nomenclature – Who on earth is a Sheddagar and why is Varadarajan’s nickname Cheema ?


Blog post by Lapsed Iyengar (author chooses to remain anonymous) This small recollection was inspired by the impressive post on Iyengar Nomenclature. I am a long lost Iyengar – An Army childhood, working across India and settling in Mumbai with a multicultural family has meant my TamBrahm know-how is diluted. I cherish my non-practising  TamBrahmness

Why I can never be a "Tamilian" by Meghna


Blog post by Meghna Kumar This incident is just another testimony that I can remove the “me” out of “Palakkad Iyer” but, I can never take the “Palakkad Iyer” out of myself. Born in Vadakantharai Gramam in Palakkad and growing up in Coimbatore meant weekly visits to my ancestral home (Tharavaadu) and visits to numerous

Tamizh isn’t Easy by Suchitra


Blog post by Suchitra Sankaranarayan Tamizh is a beautiful language filled with mellifluous words that can roll off the tongue of an experienced speaker, like most of you reading this. And Tamizh has the ability to join up many words to make simple sweet-sounding sentences. This occurred to me when I saw the poster of “Vinaithaandi

Essence of a TamBrahm by Priyanka


Blog post by Priyanka Natesh No matter how modern we appear on the outside, the trace of a TamBrahm cannot go unnoticed. A pottu, or poonal, and that chamathu kondhai charm that oozes out involuntarily! Growing up in Hyderabad since I was 6 years old didn’t give much time to get to know namma Chennai