Most people would have experienced this. You are attending a wedding or some other function in the Mangalore/ India, when you see someone you have never seen before smile at you. Just when you are looking around to see whether she is smiling at someone else, she walks towards you. "Haava kona mhonu kalle ve??" she asks. You have two options, either you say yes and risk the chance of her asking you something you have no clue about or JUST SAY NO! You decide on the latter and shake your head from side to side. "Haanva Manohar bappale ajjale bhaineli nathi". You hurriedly start scanning your brain for a face for Manohar bappa and you draw a blank. Meanwhile she starts talking about a whole lot of other relatives and how she stays next to Ammani pacchi and what not. In the meantime your eyes glaze over and you zone out. Time stops for you and breathing becomes difficult.

All of a sudden she says "Kasturi mai thai assa. Tigelaggi ullonu
etta" and she vanishes. You look at your watch and try to figure out
why you have no clue as to what happened in the last 1 hour. These
kind of episodes have happened to me so many times that now whenever
I have to attend any function in Mangalore I spend the previous day
planning out my strategy. I make it a point to see that I am always
with my mother and if possible with my other aunts. This, so that if
possible I can hide behind them. Also, if I see new faces somebody
will always be around to make the appropriate introductions. Most
often than not this strategy works. What really gets to me is the
complex names assigned to relatives such as dhuvdi and mevno and
bhaccho. It took me a lot of time and diagrams to decipher these
complex names and who they refer to. Given a choice I would have
preferred to call anyone and everyone my uncle, aunt or cousin. But
no, people won't let you get away so easily.

"Tu Babbanule bhacchi nave" - nod head although it is spinning like crazy, have no clue as to who babbanu is. To my husband "tullege mevnele shikhunu jalle ve" - blank look, what on earth is a mevni. "Tugeli jaava mysoranthu assa ve" - look of absolute panic, do I have a jaava??. "Tuggeli phagarmai america chamkali khai nave" - get me out of here!!!!!

I have people give me comical looks when I explain my relatives.. like "Haanva miggele bamnale bhainile gharkade doni disaka rable". "Tuggele nananda kodialanthu assa ve?" "Makka nananda na". Dialogues like these have made me the butt of numerous jokes amongst my relatives. I am still lost after five years of marriage but not as lost as I was five years ago. Give me easy words such as dhuva, putu and soona anyday. My only prayer would be that someone would come out with an English/ Konkani dictionary or if such a thing already exists maybe I would get my hands on one.

Then, if someone asks me "tuggelo bhayyo atta khai assa?", I can open my little book ,"eka minute. B....Bh..... Bhayya... ..aha Bhayyo. Migelo bhayyo mysoranthu assa" and give a look of triumph. Once you get a hang of it these titles are not that complex but living so far away from home one is out of touch with these things. With the result, when you go home and attend some functions, you need to refresh your memory or give blank stares when someone mentions unfamiliar words.

The best case scenario - practice on your relatives here. For example if your husband's younger brother lives near by, always refer to him as deru and his wife as jaava. Of course, they will think you are nuts and not let their kids visit you but atleast you are not forgetting these main words. If worst comes to worst, do what I do.

Tell everyone you meet "Haanva tugele lekthali" and let them figure
out all the complex details.

Next Bhajan

Shanthi and Ravindra Pai are hosting the November Bhajan at their residence. Thank you to the Pai's for helping us preserve the HAAS Bhajan tradition.



Saturday, November 18th, 2017

3:00pm to 5:00pm



Pai Residence:

1331 Mardi Lane

Houston, TX 77055


Please RSVP by November 4th, 2017 at



If you would like to host bhajans on any of the months listed as OPEN in the 2017 calendar, please contact HAAS committee secretary, Archana Rao at

Upcoming Events

Satyanarayan Puja 2018


When & Where: 



If you would like to sponsor / co-sponsor this event or any events listed as "HAAS*** " in the calendar,  or if any questions, please  contact HAAS committee or email at

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