Sattanadar the great!

Sattanadar talked personally with the proprietor of Ananda Café.

“Whenever I happened to cross this way, I have stepped in to taste your varieties. The items will be very tasty. Now I am in need of your help. Please do not ask me anything in detail. Don’t consult others too. Kindly send a feast of Pal Payasam, Coconut Poli, Aama Vadai and other varieties for about 70-75 persons to night by 8 PM. Kindly accept this amount”, Sattanadar very daringly told him.

“The proprietor was worried, “Only 3 hours more for 8 PM. How is it possible------!”

“This is the marriage of the girl who belongs to your place. You too will expect this to go on well. Get the help of some 4 or 5 persons. Somehow make it ready by 8 PM. But one thing! Even your people should not smell that the food is made for us, until it reaches us”.

The proprietor was shrewd enough to guess what would have happened. Rama and Uma had come to his hotel occasionally. The whole family used to visit his inn occasionally and all liked Rama more. He too had a soft corner for her. At the same time Sattanadar also seemed to be more an interesting character for him. He had come across the Sambandhis who used to shout and demand even for silly things. But the approach of Sattanadar made him admire and oblige Sattanadar’s request.

“You need not worry. Sharply at 8 pm the dinner will be ready here. You happily start for Januvasam. Are you in need of Tiffin, coffee now?”

‘No need, it is enough if the dinner is ready by 8 pm’.

Januvasam went on with all grandeur. Sky scrapers show filled the sky with glittering lights. Nadaswaram filled the atmosphere with melodious, joyful notes. The two grooms came in two different well decorated cars. All the people stood around in the street and enjoyed with wonder.

After Januvasam, Nischayadartham went on well. Sattanadar accepted casually all the courtesies shown by the bride’s people.

“I will send the dinner, like morning, to your place”, Ramachandran said politely.

Sattanadar’s relatives were welcomed by the delicious, sweet smelling dishes which were ready to be served. They all stood spell bound.

The seats were ready with the banana leaves before them.

Buckets were kept arranged in rows, to make it easy to serve. The sacred smell of incents and the tasty smell of the food invited them directly to the dining hall.

Just now Sambandhi said that he would send the dinner. But how come so early-----?

As per the practice they had that day, they should get the dinner only by 10, 10.30 pm. But how was that possible?

All those who had come to serve the food were not those who came in the morning and evening. Why so?

Many ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’ puzzled their minds. Sattanadar invited them all to have their dinner.

Kamali Athai’s son Vembu was loitering outside. Sattanadar called him.

‘Vembu! Come here! Go and tell your uncle and aunt to meet me immediately” commanded Sattanadar.

Ramachandran was loading the food containers to feed the second Sambandhi’s people.

“Uncle! Rama’s father-in-law called mami and you at once!”

“Tell them that I will come by 10 minutes!”

“No uncle! He wants you this second!”

“O.k.! Check all these items and send to the guest house of second Sambandhi. The dinner should reach first Sambandhi’s place also in the next ten minutes. Don’t delay. Do it carefully. Where is she------m! Mythili------!”

Ramachandran’s wife Mythili came out “First Sambandhi called it seems. Come! Let us attend and return soon!” Mythili adjusted her Sari and followed him.

They both were stunned when they entered the hall where the First Sambandhi was staying. Mixtures of feeling made them sweat and also were taken aback on seeing what was happening there!

Sattanadar casually and whole heartedly welcomed them. “Please come in Sambandhi!  Kalpana, come here! See who has come!” The palpitation of Ramachandran did not reduce.

“Welcome!  You both are going to dine with us here today! That is why I called you both Sattanadar said with all smile. “What------! What are you saying!  Has anything wrong happened?” Ramachandran hesitatingly asked.

“What to say Sambandhi! You are very well aware of what is going on here from the morning. Of course managing the marriages of two girls is difficult. I agree! But how do those who have accompanied me know this? You have invited me for the marriage. They have come on behalf of me. I have to make the necessary arrangements for them!”

“If you had been little wiser, I would have been satisfied. If you had provided them first in the morning and considered us first for the next meal, we would not have felt the difference.

Even now, there is no problem. My intension is not to put you to shame. I really wanted my people not to suffer out of hunger!” “Sambandhi, you should not get angry--------- this marriage should go on well ---------“. Ramachandran was not able to pronounce fully.

“Please, keep away all these things. This is not my son’s or your daughter’s marriage. This is our children’s marriage. I too feel that this should go on smoothly. There is no place for anger or ill feelings! Don’t think that I’ll create problem in the marriage or ill-treat your daughter after marriage. She is no more your daughter. She belongs to our family. Like my daughter she too will enjoy all privileges there!”

Ramachandran was about to prostate at his feet,” What a noble personality! How generous! How humble! I’ve not given due respect for him! His emotions came out as tears.

Sattanadar stopped him from his action “What had happened is happened! Leave it aside! Come for dinner. I didn’t take Tiffin in the evening, I feel hungry”

“My people are waiting there. How can I -------“

“I do not know! If you want to honour this Sambandhi, you dine with me. Or else ------------“

By this time all those bride’s members came to know of everything through Vembu.

As if blowing a balloon, many make an issue out of trivial things. This is commonly seen by us.

But Sattanadar proved differently how a man can attain Godliness by his simplicity and forgiveness. He became the hero among all those who were present there.

Ramachandran accompanied by his wife and sister Kamali, dined with Sambandhi that night.

Next day, both the marriages went on to the appreciation and satisfaction of all. Even Kamali Athai was in full spirit that she removed the ‘Dhrushti’ from Rama using salt and chilly.

The trio Sambandhies had their lunch to their stomach full as their heart was already overwhelming with happiness. The Athai who presented jewels for Uma, moved by the greatness of Rama’s father in law, pleasingly blessed her that she would reach her heights in her life in the company of such good minds.

Let me rewind my past. Two years back a German guy married our Tamil girl. He was gigantic and she was 5’ tall and wheat coloured. I was in charge of the marriage arrangements.

Though they lived elsewhere, the marriage took place in Tiruvanmiyur Marundeeswarar temple. The rituals and important interesting items as ‘Maalai Matral, Oonjal, and Thirumangalya Dharanam’- each and every thing was carefully followed and performed.

The guy’s parents came from Germany. They decked themselves as pure Tamilians in Dhoti and Sari. They also applied Chandan and Kumkum. They participated and enjoyed each and every moment of the marriage.

Their eyes and tongue watered tasting Masal Dosai and Onion Chutney. Our people enjoyed the mixed taste of bread toast made for them.

The world has changed a lot. The attitude of people has taken up a new turn. We trouble ourselves unnecessarily thinking that there is no respect or real love among the family members. But that is not true. Sattanadar of those days and the Germany parents of this day prove that selfless love still prevails in this universe. Sattanadar and the German parents will be throned in our heart for ever.

Let me meet you soon with more interesting ‘Aaha’ incidents!