What it means in Tamil

We were back in India, for a big, fat, joyous occasion - my sister's wedding! It was such a great time to meet family and friends - stressful, but great! Stressful because, well I had to do the running around for a lot of last minute stuff. And it was great because that gave me a reason for a 2 hour massage after the wedding. Yeah, baby!

Little sis was creating a cross of sorts. She was marrying into an Iyengar family. (Iyers wear the holy ash horizontally on their forehead and are followers of Shiva, Iyengars wear the vermilion vertically and are followers of Vishnu. So the horizontals were meeting with the verticals) 

D was especially fascinated by the flowery head piece. She felt it was Rapunzel's Indian version and was fixated by it the whole time. So, we got her one too. So while sis wore hers, the lil one wore hers too. 

Now, it was  really unfair that D and sis were hogging the limelight. The vaadyaar (priest) wanted his share of attention too. "Where's the taambaalam?" he screamed to top the sound of the naadaswaram.

I ran helter skelter, D in tow. Where on Earth was the taambalam? "Mamma, check the fridge, check the fridge" D urged.

Now, a taambalam is a large copper plate, used for religious occasions. It is huge! There's no way you'd keep it in the fridge. 

"What? No Driti. It cannot be in the fridge"

"But, you always keep it in the fridge"
"What?" I don't even have a taambalam in my house. What was she talking about?
"Taambalam, taambalam" the priest was still screaming. 
"Driti, baby, why don't you go back to Chitti? (my sister, her aunt)"  So she ran back.

Well,I finally did find the taambalam and the wedding went on fine. Phew... what a big deal over a big plate!

Back home, when we're all finally relaxing, Driti comes up to me and asks me to open her closed fist. 

"What's in it?" I ask
"Taambalam. The one you were looking for so much at Chitti's wedding"

And it fit in her fist? I was curious.

"See", she urged, as I opened her little fist. She had a small tomato in her hand. 

"Isn't that what they call tomato in Tamil?"
At the next wedding, let somebody else find the taambalam. I'm going to the fridge with Driti.

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