The Bane of being a tamil Iyer Lad

Disclaimer : This is wholly my opinion and does not refer to the opinions of entire class of iyers..If any one of you feel hurt by it i am sorry.i did not intend basically encompasses opinions of my relaives and others.the views represented below may not suit everybody

If not for my caste i guess i would have been in a world of lesser competition and i need not worry about what others are doing.but unfortunately i am on board the ship of tamil iyers and i cannot all of a sudden move out of it.

1)Invariably 99 out of 100 boyz have to opt for engineering that too preferably comp sci/EEE/ECE . right form LKG they have been taught things like A for apple E for engineering I for IIT .non engineers are looked down upon with scant respect unless they manage to complete CA/MCA/MBA.

2)The engineers will have to take up their GRE and goto US after 4 years. Even those who are not interested to leave their motherland are forced to go coz it will tantamount to dishonouring the family name by not opting to do so.Now why the hell didn't i go?? very simple... no aid and high belief's of going onsite within 2 i know the reality and onsite seems a remote possibility.

3) Those who have not gone to the US will have to take up software jobs ,mind you just software jobs and get into an IIM within 2-3 years.

4) you invariably have high performing cousins that you are forced to emulate them while in reality you are a mile behind them in my case i have 7 cousins all of my age group - 2 in US , 2 CA's , 2 MBA's with one of them in IIM which leaves me alone with a software job where i code.if i consider my senior cousins its much worse,none of them are in india.

5)Academics only matter most.If you study well you are a good boy otherwise you are a bad boy(asathu,makku,mandu,arathu..list goes on).

6)Boyz shud not drink or smoke.if they do they are considered as rebels.(times have changed agreed..but in the neo conservative society where i live parents often enquire abt these habits of boyz when they are looking for a proper match for teh girl..)

7)your friends circle must necessarily encompass the brightest boy of the class else they say " un sakavaaasam seriya illai".

8) you are always compared with the well off guyz and when you reach that stage they set u higher goals which are unrealistic to achieve.guyz like me are at the lowest rung in the comparison levels. they dont look upon us like sucess stories.

9) when you are 28 and have just a B.E to your credit then the BE becomes " MOttai" BE becoz of the lack of an PG degree.

10) ME in india is not considered as a PG unless if it is from IISc .

11)foreign MBA is not valued much unless it is from the ivy league.

12)MBA means just IIMs

13) by the age of 24 parents start thinking abt your marriage and you have to make yourself saleable. "Mottai" BE guyz have a tough chance.

14)talking to girls is considered taboo.i never talked much with my class girls till my 8th.if girls called up your home then you were looked upon with suspicion.this was some 10 years my bro hardly gets any calls from guyz.even the generation gap was disadvantageous to us.

15)there are only 2 categories of bridegrooms - US mappilai and India maapilai. US mappilai is most preferred as they can brag abt him like hell even though he might be doing the saME CODING job which the indian mapppilai does in chennai/blore.india mappilai is last choice that too only for girls who are homesick.

16)invariably all girls study BE so they expect the boyz to have a better qualification than them which again puts the "Mottai: BE wala in a soup.

17)Microsoft is the best place to work in and a developer in microsoft is treated with far more respect than a guy in P&G.

18)P&G and HLL are companies which manufacture when you are working in them your job is relegated and perceived to be one of selling soaps.

19) Love marriage is accepted provided the girl is younger than you belongs to the same caste and is of equal social other cases there will always be a frown.

20) BPO is not a good profession.

sole advantage

you have lotta pretty gals out there and if you are a MS grad or an IIM grad u stand a good chance provided u have the looks.

thats it i guess..

hey UMA(cousin) ATB for the IIMB interview..hope u crack it..


Liyer said…

regarding #15 of why US mappilai's are prefered, the reason is simple da. We US mappilai's rule when it comes to housework. How good are you at cooking? Do you know how to light the gas stove?

I can cook and do a good job too. When supplies are down, I can hack up something that's edible.

Likewise for keeping the house clean et al. (Thanks to our housing department doing routine house check ups ;-)

btw, maybe you're generalizing too much with the iyer bit. Maybe you should make things more specific: "mylapore iyer from vmm". But I know what you're talking about. PS was (and hopefully still is) two steps ahead of you guys.
harry said…
dude..dont generalise it as vmm daa.. i can bet on my a$$ that the theory holds good w.r.t PSS,PSBB,DAV and other likes..of coz mylapore and alwarpet iyers have a special disadvantage..;)
I totally agree with all the 15 points..
I am tam bram from who has lived in kerala. I am neither from "madras"/ or from the big schools..i have all thru studied in govt schools..been a sub standard..student.....had to go thru the success stories of my cousins, my dad's colleagues children are from REC's BITS. It was a very distressing period...everything was associated to academics

I got into a govt engg college in Kerala, with my friends getting a better rank than me humiliation/ forced to go to US..suffered..being an average student it was very tough to start off with in the first semester.

There was a marked change in my attitude when this negative comparison was absent (when in hostel for btech and in US).

That made me more smarter, I may not be the best in academics now, have a nice job in US, but all said and done.. Ill never forget the path I came thru...

Now if i am in this position, purely due to the hours of hard work I have put in, that doesnt mean what people are doing in India is lesser than..

and take my word forget the girl who thinks that people in US are better than the ones in India.
I agree with al the 20 pts :-))
Twin-Gemini said…

Kalakkipotutai pa! Most of what you say is quite true. The competition part drives most of us crazy. It's either relatives or friends whom we are usually compared against.
Anonymous said…
Vijaykumar, why do you want to agonize yourself by keeping the memories of your `path' here?
aarthi said…

Don't understand why you guys have to pressurise yourselves so much. As you grow up, you need to set your own standards for what defines success. If you want to live rest of your lives comparing/contrasting, God save us ALL, not just the tam-brahms!

but one thing's for sure...VMm girls rock! ;)
harry said…
hey aarthi,
do i know you??VMM girls sure do rock esp: my seniors..;-) i am a 1999 passout..dont tell me u r krishna's cousin aarthi..i.e my classmate;-)
aarthi said…
well didn't expect you to think of her first...hehe! but remember 6D to 10 D? that aarthi. so yep, ex-classmate of yours!
so who's the senior you're talking about?? ;)
harry said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Liyer said…

I wouldn't know about your seniors, and normally I'd disagree with ஆர�தி, but I have to agree that at least one VMM girl's the best. And she has a death warrant in your name :-D
harry said…
vijay u gotta see my seniors maan..they truly rock..and u might have wondered whether u cud have tried harder..;) j.k daa.. anyways w.r.t you i bet VMM girls esp the ONE who has a death warrant on me rocks the's she doing daa..??
Vijay Ramamurthi said…
Not sure if u get my point...ur going to compare..only if ur being compared...parents compare...I am not blaming them but thats the reality.
I realized what my limitations are.
Even though not as early as I wud have wished, but better late than never.

But thats not the case with every body, u keep comparing...the later the person comes to senses.

U said, u have to define success as u grow up, very tru..that level is quite heavily infleunced by the environ.
Its quite easy to say all these things, but its quite a diff issue when u ask for a anything( I mean literally anything) and they say u get first rank and ull get it..
its a pathetic feeling.
harry said…
i completely agree with vijai and it seems like there are a hell lot of tamil iyers who have been victimised.. thank god i thought i was alone.. and u guyz know what..the same conditions hold good for even telugu brahmins.. so when did we start this comparison nonsense..and WTF do maj: brahmin juntha study exceptionally well..anybody done any research into this??
Govar said…
LOL! Good one! :)
Govar said…
Your post cross linked from mine. :)
harry said…
geesh..thamks...that means more visitors..:-)..
Jammy said…

I got this link from Govar's page. Nice article. My view points...

1)It is not only about the "IIMs" People still give an exclamation with "You aren't from IIM-A?", or "Why did you go that far when there is an IIM in Bangalore?"

2)People tend to consider only an IIT+IIM as a "good" IIM grad. Comparisons just don't end regardless whatever u do.

All of your points can be generalised to Tam-Brams as such and not just to Iyers;)
harish said…
LoL! Very true! Jews here in US are kinda synonymous with Tam Brahms in chennai!
harry said…
i am sorry i did not generalise..i tht that iyengars were a bit more open minded and besides being an iyer i did not want to generalise..these are sensitive issues..;-)..i am happy that u guyz liked it..never expected so many ppl to concur with my viewpoints.
LI said…
Hari ,
This was a nice one
;-).Amusing Read ;-)
Anonymous said…
Hilarious and realistic!!! But don't u think that indian men iyer/iyengar/whoever will have a pblm if the girl has more alphabets behind her name than his?
Vivhyd said…
Hey haripi.. came across this blog .. good one. Agree with most of it. The fact that there is peer/family pressure is the best.. ennoda paiyan US le irukan.. onnodae enna panran?? is the most frequent quest...
Anonymous said…
Girls also feel the pressure that you are talking about. I raced to get all the alphabets after my name that I could muster. I got an MS (math)from IIT, MTech (CS) from IIT and a Ph.D (CS)from the US. At the age of 28 I realized that I had studied myself out of the range of any Tamil Brahmin Iyer! No one wanted to marry me. Fortunately I found a nice American man to marry who has "only" an MS in CS. I am sure my parents had to hear "odipoyitta" words a lot.

My husband isn't hung up about my degrees but I am still reluctant to tell my relatives that he has only an MS. Bad habits are hard to kill.
Several gens down and the talk is still about PSSS/PSBB/VMM and of course Ram Kalia's DAV. I passed out from P.S in 1992 with pretty decent scores but ended up doing the cardinal sin of following my passion i.e joined the Fauj(Armed Forces).
Most commonly heard comments
a) Avanukku samarthyam poradhu. I also think he likes to drink, they tell me its easily available in miltry(read military)..
b) whenever an effort was made to stall an unwanted discussion on marraige. Ededavadhu panjabi ponnai love panran pola iruuku. Illatiyum, miltry payyanukku ponnu kudukarathu pathi yaarvena yosippa...

mylapore mama (mm) : where are you now?
me : I am in Lonavala
mm : where is it?
me: near bombay.
mm: oh is it,
me: ya its a hill station
mm: Hill station? and Navy? how is that possible
me : Lonavala also has a huge naval training base.
mm: how interesting, my son is also in Norfolk, its in virginia. You may not be aware, there is a US Naval Base there. Thats on the east coast. My other son is on the west coast.
me : Thats very nice
mm : where else will you be?
me : I was in Bombay before, now i might be posted in Delhi
mm: what is the navy doing in delhi
me: The Naval headquarters are in delhi
mm: oh is it? When i went to the US, I went to the see the Pentagon, thats were the US military headquarters are.

Looks like the first stop after Mylapore is New Jersey!!!!!!!
For more views on Iyerisms, please visit my blog at
Anonymous said…
This is hilarious. Keep blogging
Cure for ennui said…
hahhahha! absolutely hilarious! You've got good insight! Well thts true I'm in the field of advertising and all my relatives think I'm a model hehheh thts all they know abt. the profession!
Bala Pillai said…
Cure for ennui,

Why do Iyers with acumen like you allow brain-dead Iyers to rule? No cojones?
Anonymous said…
you guys are out of your mind! I am a TVM Iyer girl married to a Bihari , and that too 30 years back! I am a Ph.D and hes an MBA. We have the best of both worlds! Sure you've got to be strong but you'll be surprised how people get used to the idea and the best part is they dont expect "ANYTHING" from you. Actually they treat you as some sort a beloved outcast, which kinda suits me just fine!TVM Iyers are the kindest,warmest and most forgiving people on earth!
Viswajith said…
Then dont bother abt wotever comparisons ur family and parents are making...if u r able to come to dat scenario say two yrs into hostel life y not before dat? u r the same person after all...US guys act more responsibly in gen coz most of them have faced the toughest possible situation easily...
Anonymous said…
i agree to all those and i am proud of the fact that i am doing journalism wit some success in it, at least as much as i can at this stage, in spite of the fact that no one supported me completely, and i dont give a damn to wat those tambrams relatives say, and i dont think its wrong to generalise these 20 points. those who agree wit it have either seen failure or have had the guts to go do wat they want, and those who go against this are losers who have bent down to the pressures of our uselessly materialistic society...
Kaushik said…
very nice..and funny :)
and in the love marriage u missed on the 'Gothram' part!

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