Saturday, November 18, 2006

Why most Iyers are ‘not-slim’?

An Iyer by birth and traditions being followed at home, I have met more than enough Iyers to confirm my belief that 75-80% of us are “horizontally-challenged”, or should I just say ‘fat’ without using the politically correct phrase. It wasn’t very difficult to find the pretty evident reason for Iyer-flab. Its not only the special gene which hides in an Indian's body and stores the fat as it comes in but it also is the Iyer's appetite combined with traditions(aka 'reasons to eat' in Iyer lingo!).

Iyers, as a community, believe in ‘pehle pate pooja, fir kaam dooja’. Every occasion: diwali/dussehra or pongal; avani-avatam/skandashshti or krishna jayanti; karthikai or any other day has a specific food item, most of them fried or sweet but all fatty. And if you are thinking, its just on ocaasions, try counting the number of ocaasions/festivals and I am sure the number will be comparable to the number of cricket matches India has lost.

'The Iyer food guide' or 'Eat - The Iyer Way', if written will be the books Iyers will never bother reading because eating is a trait which passes on from parent to child as effortlessly as Rajnikanth catches his cigarrete with his mouth. A minimum of three courses with a 'payasam' (the dessert) round in between the second and third course is the most common sight in lavish food arrangements in any proper joint family, Iyer household and with mamis ever-ready to cook. First course begins with rice with generous helping of ghee, and small amount of dal with Sambaar in tow. Second course is rice and rasam, with chips or papadaam. All this is served with a minimum of four torans/poriyals/kootaans (aka curries). A 'payasam' round (short & sweet) before the third course. Finally, the main course consisting of the famous 'taeer-saadam' (curd rice for the uninitiated).

Christians have the time of Lent, when they give up something for God..meat, alcohol or the likes. Muslims fast during Ramzan. And Ramzan is a whole month. Most North Indian Hindus fast atleast one day a week: for Lord Shiva on Monday, Hanuman on Tuesday, Ganapati on Wednesday, Shirdi Sai on thursday, Santoshi Mata on Friday or Shani bhagwan on saturday. At least they rest on a Sunday(or there might be some fasting for Sun God). 'Iyers and fasting' can never be written in the same sentence (Did I just attempt the impossible??). Even on the amavasya nights, when we think we are fasting, its okay to have 'palahaaram' i.e stuff like dosas, idlis, upma et al.

Anyways, I am not going to change any of that and continue eating food, the iyer-way. And I bet many Iyers will agree. If Popeye was an Iyer, his song would start with something like ...

'I am what I am,
I eat, what I can!
I am Popeye the Iyer man!!'

I cannot agree more when they say, "If you can't fit in the jeans, blame it on the genes" !!


Avi said...

Ha ha ha.. So is this ur swan song to those 'load-shedding' efforts ? Kidding !

Centure in sight ! Way to go dude !

Keshi said...

hahaha good one Dinesh!

Iyer-flab? LOL! Well I know they eat alot of ghee added food. So thats why :):)


Bee said...

welcome back after the blog hibernation

Karthik Kumar said...

Awesome Man....

Truly great research....

hats off

Mina said...

i agree to all the facts stated above !! good read :)

raghav said...

i really dont find anything wrong with the diff courses of the meal.
eating is in no way wrong cause being fat is directly propotional to your activities!!

as far as the festivals and foods are concerned i agree with you.
but every speciality of every festival is best suited for that time and season of the year.

fasting is a part in every brahmins duties...its just that we dont follow them properly.

atlast, the food habits, rituals etc of brahmins are scientific if u ask me...its either understood wrongly or not yet known or just made fun in the movies and so believed so.

ramanathan said...

I do not agree with the Iyer and Fasting issue brought up here. Just because a few of the Iyers corruptly practise the fast, it can not be and should not be generalised to all Iyers. And how did you leave the ekadashi fasting? Nicely written blog though. But I agree to disagree on some points.

Arun said...

Why should somebody be slim and not fat? why is this prejudice?

Dinesh said...

@Avi: Who said anything about load-shedding ;)

@Keshi:Ghee is merely a minute part of the what we eat :)

@Bee: Thanks

@Karthik: Thanks and welcome :)

@Mina: Yup, Aren't we awesome eaters..haha.

Dinesh said...

@Raghav: fully Respecting your views...I would say, the food habits were scientific when the lifestyle was different. When you cut trees for wood and cooked food..when you did sandhyavandanam standing in water in a river when the first rays of the sun kissed the earth...when you did yoga with your guru and when you did meditation and poojai everyday!
Lifestyle has changed almost 180 degrees, but the food habits haven't...thus leading to flab :).
I am in no way against the food habits and I love it as I have put in the blog and this is a satire but what I believe is true(my pov ofcourse).

Dinesh said...

@Ramanathan:Appreciate your comments. Thanks for pointing out the ekadashi miss. Of course, there are people who eat palaharam and corrupt the idea of fasting. Exceptions are always there and this is a satire :). Surely, you can disagree with my pov. Please don't feel offended by my lighter vein :D. Thanks.

Dinesh said...

Arun, a satire. I myself aint 'slim' :) Not being prejudiced.

Łóòň Ġãĺ said...

hahaa good one there ... i havent really come across many Iyers though.

Dinesh said...

Loon gal :) Here is one!

Keshi said...

Happy New Year!


Keshi said...

Dinesh heyy...u asked me how to put Videos into a blog. Well easy!

**Go to ur fav video-code it VideoCure/VideoCodeZone/youTube etc.

**Seacrh for the video u wanna embed

**They provide u the html code for it right there!

**Copy it and bring it across to ur Blog template code area.

**U can change the code to suit ur tastes (pane size, color, height, width etc).

Let me know if u need more help with the coding bits.


Anonymous said...

Hey! I have Iyer friend and he's slim

Anil P said...

Most Iyers I've known were slim :)

Gurusamy said...

nice article ..

Mamtha said...

I'm all smiles reading this post
i quite agree wit u. u've articulated the "Fat in my genes" philosophy of every iyer

uma said...

I agree with some, but mostly we do not practice disciplined eating , starting from Sankaranthi - Jan to hanumath jayanthi - ending in Dec .

If someone keeps feasting and no workout, it is going to show up on their waist, doesn't matter Iyer or not .

By the way , we also have navarathri fasting , ekasadi , and somavara vridam, so many others to include. Not to mention, Ramzan fasting starts @ dawn and ends at dusk , and I assume you know the menu afterwards.

"Iyer household and with mamis ever-ready to cook. " - exactly !! the blog is funny .