Thursday, July 26, 2018

“Cousin “the english word which murdered many Indian words indicating relations .

“Cousin “the english word   which murdered many  Indian  words  indicating relations .


With   “we  two and ours two” , becoming “we two  ours one” and slowly   further slipping to “we two and ours none”  , the  endearing  words  used to indicate  many close relation ships   are  slowly  vanishing from almost   all Indian languages.

 Added to this  is the english conquest of all languages. Suddenly  the names of  all relations   changed in to “cousins” .All our   relations except  our siblings  were   our cousins .So there  was need for words   differentiating  cousins.The endearment which those   words lead  have vanished.

Ammanchi (a cousin) is one such tamil word indicating maternal  uncle’s son   .It seems  it came from the word “Amman chei”(son of the uncle).
         My grand father was the last  child of a family .He had five   elder sisters. I understand that he  built a tiled  house  in Puducode  Vadakke  gramam some  120  years back  taking lot of loan.Few years later   Vadakke gramam got fire   and his tiled house  turned in to ashes.Naturally  he lost everything and  suddenly became very poor. Kamakshi was  one of his elder sisters , who lived in  Chelakkara.She  took her brother   and his family to Chelakkara .

     Though he had three  sons  and three daughters  , two of his sons died young   and my father  was  the only son who survived.He was the only Ammanchi  to the children and grand children of all his five atahais(maternal aunt) .He was a treasured and very close   relation to all of them .Though he was poor compared to many of them, Since he was   their only ammanchi ,they loved him a lot and he was the most important guest  in all their functions  in their houses. He was  ammanchi to three  generation  of his Athai’s children.

      I was   the eldest  son of my father and so  all these  three generation of children  used to call me “Ammanchi  Kutti”. The next generation   also knows me  by that name only .Even today  If you tell hundreds of members of that huge    family   about P.R.Ramachander  or Raja  they would not understand . To them I am   their own “Ammanchi Kutti”. If in spite of nearing 80  , I am  called   by a three  year old  as “Ammanchi Kutti” , I will   certaibly  recognize  who that baby is.

  Here is an group photo  ,for majority  of whom  I am Ammanchi kutti.

No comments: