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The waves

As the Wind Blows

Name:
Location: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

07 June 2003


Yesterday we, I mean my family, hit upon a real treasure trove when we tried to clean up an old cupboard. What immediately interested was a small bundle of sepia toned papers neatly folded and almost breaking in the folds. Tucked inside the bundle was a stamp paper. When we pulled it out to check out, we found the date of the seal as 20, November, 1873!!!!! Yes. The document was a 19th century stamp paper and the Tamil written in it certainly is not the lingua franca today. Despite our hard efforts to try to understand the Tamil words, they hardly made any sense. We presumed that it was written in “grantha” with just a sprinkling of few words having any resemblance to modern day Tamil.

I decided to preserve some of my own archive material – old letters and greetings or current Tamil magazines – for posterity. Who knows - a century later my great grand children could discover them and try to read the “strange” Tamil used in the 20th century!!! Particularly some of the madras Tamil used in magazines :-)

And our family archeological expedition gave us an insight into the escalating graph of inflation over the past 7 decades. In 1937, our parents got married in a princely sum of Rs. 2500 ( with a clear margin of Rs. 141 left after total expenditure, for performing more functions in future after the five days wedding ceremonies!). The wedding saree – kooraipudavai cost my grandfather a cool Rs.30!! and the traditional diamond ear rings were Rs.110!!! To find out the scale of inflation, you can workout your own calculations with current market prices !!!

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