Fiction Fragment: The Tamil Economy

In Madras, a group of very old women with sharp tongues discussed the perils of extinction. What if in ten years from now, no Maamis were left? Maamis are the very core of the economy in Tamil Nadu. They buy tonnes of jasmine, which keeps a lot of people very happy. They provide matchmaking services for jars of pickles, which keeps other people happy. Their decision to buy a specific sort of rice grown in one particular nook of the Cauvery delta, determines the price of the paddy crop for that season. So much so, that the Maamis decided at one point to be very kind, and picked the rice of the month through a lottery system. Even the IT sector is completely dependent on them. It was in fact the Maamis that urged their children to “study computers”. IT giants get nightmares. What if the sharp tongued wits decide to spread the rumour that studying fashion was better? Where would they go look for engineers then?

This threat of extinction would shake the very foundations of the Tamil economy. They sent a team of delegates to Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya. His wife had recently died, and he must really feel for their cause. The idea of a television contest was floated. They would put out a call for potential Maamis. Twenty contestants would be chosen and divided into two teams. The teams would be given a task every week, with a team leader. The losing team would have to come back to the board room, where Sir MV would say “You’re Fried!” or “You’re Bonda!” to one of them. The winning contestant would become the Maamiprentice. She would develop a Business Plan to recruit more Maamis. Television would add glamour, and more young nubile girls would join the force. World Domination was at hand.

The TV slot they were given, unfortunately, clashed with the World Naked Bike Race (WNBR). Panic spread. Phone calls were made. The Maamis, decided to use their government contacts. After much lobbying, it was decided that the race would be renamed World Baked Bike Race (WBBR), and that the bike racers would have to bake two batches of cookies, after every 100 kms. Since baking is against Tamil culture, the people would instead watch The Maamipretince. Tamil Economy was safe once again.

Note – This rather absurd piece to go in as an entry in this marvelous contest.


This entry was posted in Poetry and Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Fiction Fragment: The Tamil Economy

  1. dipali says:

    One grin on face, refusing to depart!


  2. Nilu says:

    You forgot to mention how thayir saadham eases supply side constraints.


  3. Deepika says:

    Truly hilarious!!!


  4. Hee Hee. Thank you for humoring me. I can already feel my fever disappearing. I bet B Thatha will approve too.


  5. The Piker says:

    By bake was there any reference to the Tamil ‘beku’ (as in ‘nee beku madiri iruka’ as in foolish/clowny… you get it)


    I know, I do come up with such ‘kadis’


  6. rishabh says:

    reviving the dead are we?


  7. Ashok says:



  8. thathupithu says:

    Utter Nonsense what the hell do u aryan know abt tamil culture.. rot in the london hell …


  9. mumbaigirl says:

    Hee hee. That’s a good one. Also liked the Asal Tamil Penn blog.


  10. Sriram says:

    You forgot the maami’s mess. The one in Tiruvanmiyur stood against American imperialism like nobody can. As the Iraq war broke out, the hung a notice board outside the mess which read

    as a token of our protest against the American invasion of Iraq the following items stand cancelled from our menu – American Chop suey, American fried rice…

    GB would have peed in his pants I think.


  11. avataram says:

    Thatha said Nalla pustakam about the book you will get. Since I wasnt sure he said Nalla or Nalu pustakam, I am sending you three more.


  12. Nilu says:


    unakku innum pathhu $ oru paper vangi kudakka vakkilla, ithula moonu pusthagam vera…..


  13. pacchai milagai says:



  14. tinkertoon says:

    now didn’t you miss out on those brownie points (why brown??) by not having any references to a turban? was it oversight or a deliberate attempt to keep ’em out ?:)


  15. Miss Million says:

    I dont know much about tamil culture and society. but your piece made me laugh!

    Mission Million by 2012


  16. heheheheheh!! what about all the rumor mills that survive thanks to the masala mamis?