“The Iyer you go, the harder you fall” ~ Oscar Wilde on Iyers
“I...? errrrr...!!!” ~ An Iyer on Iyers
"The Iyer you go, the Iyenagar you become" ~ Arjun.B
Iyers are a community of confused people who are blatantly unaware of their roots. Headquartered in Tamil Nadu, India, but with points of origin ranging from Bomb-bay to Bangalore to Calcutta, Iyers are found all over the world, infiltrating all types of organizations and nations. So confused are they that some NGOs offered to invent a language called Esperanto especially for them.
Origin of Iyers
Indian tradition narrates a remarkable story for the origin of Iyers. Ages ago, in the Vedic period, in North India, there lived two siblings Vindhya and Agastya. Vindhya, ever since childhood, wanted to grow tall in order to be a great Vedic Basketball player. She heavily relied on a diet of Vedic Complan to match her desires. Her little brother Agastya grew envious of her and depressed with his own height. He devised a brilliant plan. Agastya approached Vindhya and told her that he is going on a commercial trip to South India and hence requested her not to take Vedic Complan till he returns, as otherwise he would be unable to identify her when he comes back. Vindhya, being pea-brained, accepted his request and thus the shrewd Agastya went to South India and never returned. Thus poor Vindhya stopped growing and remained the same height ever since. In South India, Agastya established his family and thus the first Iyers were born.
Iyers trace their ancestry to eight "different" Maharishis, thus classifying each family of the rishi as a gotra. The eight rishis include Agastya, Gautama, Vishwamitra,Bharadvaja, Jamadagni, Vasishta, Kashyapa and Atri. However, one other rishi named Koundinya started a conspiracy theory stating that all these eight rishis were one and the same person, affected by schizophrenia. If the above claim is true, that would be the worst case of schizophrenia in the entire history of India.
Rituals and Ceremonies
Iyers practise a ceremony called Upanayana, which is primarily used to confuse the initiate before being accepted into the Iyer community. In this ceremony, the youngster is required to wear a sacred thread on his body, after which he is known as "twice born". The same ritual can be repeated again, this time by tying the thread on his right hand to become "thrice born" and so on. One Mr.Mani Iyer from Palakkad is reputed to hold the Guinness World Record for the Most Number of Births by wearing the sacred thread on 37 parts of his body !! How many times were the ancient Egyptians born then??
Iyers primarily use the thread to scratch their backs (mudhugu sorinjifying). Other uses are using the thread as a "cloth support" to ensure that t-shirts do not come in the way when sitting on the potty. This is a delicate procedure, and is one of the first things that newly born iyers learn. A vague few hold onto the thread and utter gibberish for an hour or so a day.. scary shit.
Iyers have a mad frigging obsession for Thayir Sadam (aka Curd Rice aka Yogurt mixed with rice boiled the previous night). Although the men of the newer generation have adopted this slick (and most times slimy) dish as a hang-over repellant, an Iyer meal typically ends with this delicacy. One can find million other stuff to eat in an Iyer's home:- Sundal (pulses cooked in a style which is never the same the second time around; Known for its anti-acidic capabilities,which is the driving bases of the Indian Gas Factory), Sambhar* Sadam (Hot sambhar mixed with cold rice or vice versa), Paruppu (Dal mixed with lot of turmeric powder), eggplant Gotsu (Inexplicable delicacy(!)), Ghee (Although not accepted as a dish in vedic scriptures, consumption of ghee by a brahmin is more than the world average consumption of marijuana), Beetle-leaf and Nuts (Nectar of which is the Ambrosia of Brahmins; Not to be mistaken with cows chewing on grass) and million other uppers, downers, screamers, laughers and knock-your-socks-off, stuff.