Anand Fadeout

Mdeii Life - Anand Krishnamoorthi's blog

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Fat Naked Men on Motorcycles

All of this morning, the streets of South Chennai were swarming with fat naked men riding motorcycles. I was one of them. This annual event though isn�t a European-style gay parade, or even an attempt at �Rio�, but the Brahmin exercise of changing the sacred thread. It all starts early in the morning when grandfathers, fathers, sons and grandsons take off their clothes, have a cold bath, tie a loose piece of an almost transparent thing called a veshti around their waists, liberally douse their bodies with ash, sandal etc, carry along old pieces of ornamental silverware, and get on their motorcycles.

The bike-ride is the crazy part. You see men of all shapes and sizes riding motorcycles of all shapes and sizes (actually some men modestly wear shirts and drive around in cars as well�but they are not quite visible and therefore not considered for this blog-post). The main thoroughfares of the city are taken up by these vicious sacred-thread gangs. They block up traffic, distract little-old ladies on their morning walks, and generally are quite a scene on the roads. If religion weren�t involved, the cops would actually get very flustered by this immoral exposure in public. The really nasty bikers are easy to spot; they are the ones with long hair flying briskly in the wind, riding really fast. Sitting astride on the motorcycles and travelling this fast causes the wraparoundthincottoncloth to ride up the legs slowly, first revealing the shins, then the knees and finally the thighs. (I was actually whistled at by some old ladies from their third floor flat balconies on 9th avenue).

Finally, all these fat naked men drive to choice locations, sit down in groups, mumble in Sanskrit, occasionally rock to the side and fart, and change their sacred threads to sudden high-pitched chants of Yagnopavitham: paramam pavithram �. After the ritual all the younger men get back on motorcycles to visit the older men�s houses, fall on their feet Abhivathaye�, and extort ten rupees from each of them. Of course, one has to learn to bear the humiliation of seeing the old ladies sitting on their sofas eyeing you lecherously.

Then the ride back home is a lot more hurried because this ritual has involved Palagaaram only, in the morning. (All of us do our Tharpanam�obsequies to all our dead gods, their dead consorts, and the holy scriptures�yes they too are considered dead: so this involves fasting). The ride home assumes a significance that involves a rumbling inside the bellies. Once back home, we break our fast, fart a lot more, scratch our backs with newly acquired threads, and crash.

My day isn�t over yet. I am planning to spend today�s �prostration-collection� at the Chennai bloggers meet.

11:19 am


Comments to Fat Naked Men on Motorcycles

And those morons who have an uncanny knack of putting the thread into knots within minutes, making the whole torture last even longer......

by the way when was it?..I missed it!!!, and anyways dont' have one either on my back or in my apartment to change!

posted by Blogger Nilu 

12:13 am, August 30, 2004

That is so true.. seriously.. and have you noticed how these Aiyers once on their motorbikes begin to think they are a part of the Ferrari team? The way they drive.. drives ME crazy!!

Wish Brahmin guys find some non-transparent material to wear as a veshti.. it looks really gross..

posted by Blogger Unknown 

2:05 pm, September 16, 2004

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