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Kurumbi

I just love putting Mallu words out there knowing that only a small subset of people reading this would get exactly what I'm talking about. And no matter how hard I try, the essence of some of these words would totally be lost in translation, which, I think is the beauty of it.

'Kurumbi' is something my mother has always called me from the time I was young whenever I did something remotely selfish, cunning or naughty. Basically, whenever I behaved like a spoilt and entitled piece of shit. But it was also a term of endearment, for I couldn't really get away with serious selfishness or cunning. The fact that I grew up with the totally made up yet immensely popular selfish-single-child-syndrome is a completely different matter.

Some examples of 'Kurumbu' which awarded me the 'Kurumbi' title are:

  1. That time when I slithered my way up to my dad and favourite cousin as they were walking hand in hand so that I could break them up and hold each of their hands myself - I never liked sharing my parents with my cousins and friends no matter how much I loved the latter party.

  2. That time I employed an accusatory tone to imply that I wasn't too pleased when my mom was on another call while I was trying to get in touch with her. I kept calling her so she would notice the beep-beep-beep of call waiting because surely, no one else was important as her only daughter?

  3. That time I rolled my eyes at the priest who was performing my wedding ceremony because he was taking too long to recite all the hymns. Like, "Just get on with it ffs!"

By now, I'm sure you get the general meaning of the term and approximately the right instances to use it. The funny thing, however, is that even when I'm not with my parents, this term involuntarily pops up in my head when I do something deserving of the title.

For instance, this morning, I found myself out the door with Shane because there was a lot to get done today and I needed minimal distraction. My plan was to work from my go-to cafe, the one place where I've found myself to be most productive. The regular injection of amazing coffee might be contributing to this but whatever.

Shane didn't have enough time to get breakfast with me so we split up and went our different ways eventually. But what I forgot was that it's festival season in Edinburgh and the place is swarmed with tourists. So the minute I entered this quaint little cafe, I was disappointed to see that not only was my favourite table taken but almost all the tables were occupied. I quickly grabbed a corner seat that can't even hold a plate of food, a coffee mug, and my laptop at the same time and decided to take my laptop out only once I was done eating. Pfft, life is SO hard sometimes.

While I was sat there, I had a perfect view of all the tables and could scan, map out and calculate which of the tables would be empty soon and how soon I could make it there. There were two spots opening up and I had my eye on a particular table which, though not my favourite spot, was moderately comfortable for my needs - I like having an empty chair to my side where I can dump my bag and other accessories and this was one of the few that had two chairs on one side. But just as I was getting ready to grab my spot, a woman who came in with two other people got to the other spot, the table I didn't care about. And this affected me only because she took a chair from my table! Fine, I accept that I wasn't at the table yet but she took the chair that I had mentally assigned for my belongings. I don't know if it would have annoyed me more had she decided to sit at the table I chose for myself but to see that I was this close to getting what I wanted until this bitch came sweeping in, smiling at the other two morons she was with, completely unaware of my existence but still bent upon ruining my life...

And there it was! The second I muttered "Bitch" under my breath and glared at the back of her head, the word 'KURUMBI' popped up in my head in all-caps. And it wasn't necessarily the endearing kind but the reproachful one. I mean, here I was, trying to make a complete stranger's head explode with the power of my mind for doing absolutely nothing to me on purpose. What in Christ's name is my problem?

And the second I realised this and began to smile to myself about being a total nutjob, my favourite spot in the entire cafe opened up.

I'm typing this post out from that very spot on a busy day when I should be getting shit done because for the past few minutes, I've been thinking about what Shane would have had to endure if he'd decided to get breakfast with me. It's so funny what my loved ones have to deal with on a daily basis. Funny to me, at least.

Here's a candid from a family function where the photographer captured me in my natural state of 'I can't believe I'm surrounded by complete morons' (Shane being the only moron in this case):

So on that note, I hope you have a wonderful weekend where you don't try to make other people's heads explode like watermelons with tiny dynamites in them with the power of your crazy minds ;)


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