A to Z Challenge

O for Oodal

Oodal

Language: Tamil

Meaning: The exaggerated fake sulking / anger that happens within two lovers, especially after a tiff.

Any emotion is exaggerated between two people who are in love. Romantic love has a tendency to exaggerate both the good and bad emotions. Be it little shared moments, or simple things as ‘good morning’ texts, everything appears new and fresh when two people are in love with each other. The initial ‘mad over each other’ phase is the best and most interesting part, the one that often gives a lot of memories to get over the rest of the years of togetherness.

The intention between petty fights that are blown out of proportion is basically an attention seeking exercise, to make sure that your other half’s focus is on you, and you remain the centre of their attention at all times. But care must be taken that this is done in a limited way. When a woman (or a man) sulks and shows fake anger over some innocuous thing, when there has been a fight, they automatically expect the other person to pacify them by all means available, thereby showing that they care and their love trumps everything.

Not to be overdone, and stopped with an affectionate kiss and make up strategy, oodal actually strengthens the relationship between the lovers.

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Flash Fiction #15

“… and the silly fight was what strengthened their relationship in the end.”

Oorvashi finished her reading session with a happy sigh. She looked up at her audience, the people who had gathered for a reading of her book. With a slight wave of her hand, she put the book away and sat expectantly for the questions to begin. She experienced an easy camaraderie within the first three questions and she deftly answered them without revealing too much about the book’s plot.

Suddenly, a reader at the back of the hall raised her hand and asked in a soft voice that carried, “I have a question about the ending line.”

“Yes?” Oorvashi nodded, her gut telling her she would find this a difficult question to field.

“What is your opinion on including words from your native language in the book? To keep the nativity intact, I mean. I have always felt writing a story about Tamil characters in Chennai in pure English is an injustice to both the languages. English and Tamil. Same goes for a story geographically based in an Hindi speaking area… Simply put, using a few words that are missing in English but are fit for the scene wouldn’t ruin the novel…”

“I have always prided myself on writing in good English. Including vernacular words will ruin my sentence structure and unnecessarily increase word count, including a glossary and all, and considering I want my book to be understandable to people across the country and hopefully the world, I limit myself to English only. There is nothing this language doesn’t have…”

“I disagree.” The small woman said mildly, “I think using a few words occasionally would only perk up the interest of the reader. Who says no to learning new words that might suit their purpose? They might even suit the place better. Consider, for instance, the last line of your story. Don’t you think ‘oodal’ would have served the purpose better? It is one of the beautiful words from your mother tongue that English doesn’t have!”

Oorvashi was stumped. She did not want to accept to this complete stranger that she did not know what oodal meant. She gave a weak smile, nodding to show she agreed. The woman, however, seemed to realise further discussion was futile. She smiled softly and sat down. Maybe it was the meaningful smile that made Oorvashi come home and search for the meaning of the word. Clicking link after link, she was amazed at just how many wonderful words Tamil still had, left unexplored.

Research led to her interest becoming a passion, and within weeks, she had a new treasure trove of words. Resolving to convert her reading to writing, she began her next new story.

“Kadhalil Oodal” she titled it. Little fights in love.

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