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Janaki Maami

May 9, 2010

It’s Mother’s Day today,  a fact I wasn’t aware of when I made this comic. Mother of all coincidences, eh ?

Easter egg hunters, connect the comic to Lawrence Fishburne.

68 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2010 9:57 am

    This is so good! Speechless.

  2. May 9, 2010 10:01 am

    Awesome. Oh man and the detailing and everything within the ‘art’ part… Mindnumbing!

    Matrix reference was pretty simple right? The blue pill and red pill. Or is there more?

  3. May 9, 2010 10:12 am

    Excellent work Jai. The matrix reference is clear for all nerds to see (like me).

  4. May 9, 2010 10:24 am

    Beyond Awesome !

    Game 6 even began at 00:30 IST and lasted just an hour on that fateful day in 97. I could totally convince myself that this really happened.

    Red Pill – Blue Pill was too aaabvias BTW 😉

    • May 9, 2010 10:52 am

      Ha! I did my research, you see – I read up on that game :-). The original plot had Janaki maami drawing an early morning kolam at her doorstep when the story opened, with ‘Kausalya…’ playing in the background. Had to abandon that idea in favour of factual accuracy.

      OK let me twist that Matrix question up a bit.

  5. May 9, 2010 10:54 am

    Awesome !!!!!

  6. May 9, 2010 11:24 am

    wah wah, watay deep blue connection, and then the blue pill!

  7. Poornima Kishore permalink
    May 9, 2010 1:05 pm

    Awesome!! Simply no words!!

  8. May 9, 2010 1:23 pm

    Awesome! 😀
    Mr Srinivasan looks like Simpsons btw!

    • May 9, 2010 6:38 pm

      The Homer resemblance was intentional, BTW.

      • Sai permalink
        May 12, 2010 9:39 am

        that makes it even more god level.

  9. Santhosh permalink
    May 9, 2010 1:24 pm

    WHOA! What can I say! This has all the makings of a great short story. A plot, details, more details, some more details, loads of references of all types and to end it there’s a twist!

  10. May 9, 2010 2:56 pm

    Awesome 🙂

  11. May 9, 2010 3:54 pm

    Sooooper!! Really nicely done esp the easy chair and plastic char bit 🙂

  12. Tyler Durden permalink
    May 9, 2010 4:10 pm

    Since the red-blue pill connection has already been taken, here is another. Laurence Fisbhurne made his debut (or at least, got his big break) in Apocalypse now, which starred Marlon Brando, whose directorial credits has just one film – One Eyed Jack – which was originally slated to be directed by Stanley Kubrick, who went on to direct 2001: A Space Odyssey which had an AI system named HAL as a lead character, whose name was supposedly a reference to IBM (the “preceding letter” theory often abused in school quizzes) which designed Deep Blue which was so whooped by Janaki Maami.

    And scene.

    [The pivotal connection of One Eyed Jack was shamelessly wikipedia-ed.]

    Awesome story as always.

    • May 9, 2010 6:37 pm

      Wow.In Kannada, there’s a popular street-lingo expression “Saar nimm paada Xerox!”
      Translates to “Hon’ble Sir, flattered as I am by this sheer display of your knowledge of the subject, may I ask for a photocopy of the soles of your feet, for subsequent worship?”

      • May 9, 2010 8:58 pm

        In Coimbatore, they say “indha kusumbu dhane venamnradhu” which loosely translates to “His Creative Highness, Mashter AR-fu Mashter, Jai Higher asking for jeraaks when there is a biggu queue waiting for self-same person’s jeraaks ?? We are all only witnesses I say”.

        On the same connection note, Fishburne stars in the new Rodriguez produced “Predators”, starring, ermm, the eponymous predator which fought an Alien in the downright-dumb “Aliens vs Predator”, the Alien of which was a direct descendant of the one from the Sci-fi classic “Alien”, directed by Ridley Scott who also directed “Blade Runner” which was used as a motif his epic Superbowl ad “1984” in 1984 for a company owned by Steve Jobs, four parts of whom was added in a cauldron ages ago where an infant was supposed to have fallen. Wait a second !!!

  13. May 9, 2010 4:25 pm

    *nod* at the washing machine in the living room.. err I mean, Hall.

    • May 9, 2010 6:33 pm

      Glad you noticed. Several other such ‘middle-class’ nuggets in there. For example, the popular balm next to the photoframe in the last panel…

  14. May 9, 2010 4:27 pm

    First time on the site. Excellent art-work. And awesome story line. 🙂

  15. May 9, 2010 5:40 pm

    detailing down to the pictures of gods hanging from the wall, awesome

  16. vijee permalink
    May 9, 2010 6:03 pm

    Ob Blue Pill had me go off an a tangent — viagra etc.

    So this Red/Blue is something from the Matrix is it — saw it only once and was very underwhelemed…

  17. May 9, 2010 6:33 pm

    Morpheus, god of dreams.

    BRILLIANT comic! You, are The Ingamaster, Iyervaal! *bows reverentially*

  18. May 9, 2010 7:41 pm

    Lovely. The detailing is exquisite. Reminds me of my Athai’s houses ( lest I tell everyone 😛 my house was like this when Pati was there!)

  19. Corporate 'Ho permalink
    May 10, 2010 4:24 am

    Crane dipping into red liquid matter on the TV – Check
    Murugan Calendar with black and white tear off leaves, with round black dot for amavasya – Check
    Washing machine in hall – Check
    Bar on the door to keep out the baddies – Check
    Extension chord – Check

    …the list goes on and on. Brilliant attention to detail, loved it.

  20. naren permalink
    May 10, 2010 5:07 am


  21. Arun permalink
    May 10, 2010 5:09 am

    This is brilliant! Bloody Brilliant!

  22. May 10, 2010 5:11 am

    what exquisite detailing! such a refreshing thing to see in this era of stick-figure comics.
    and ay-bee-yathhula. makes me laugh each time i hear something like that. i find it very funny when my dad says ‘systaththula edho praablam’.

  23. May 10, 2010 5:16 am

    samma 🙂

  24. Sneha permalink
    May 10, 2010 5:25 am

    Iyer saar! brilliant perspectives of the rooms – couldnt help noticing sarees, towels n dhotis drying in the hall:) suitcase on the godrej! i remember that little red bird oscillating and drinking up red liquid sitting on the tv – we had one such looong time back! too much!!

    • Meera permalink
      May 10, 2010 5:49 am

      The oscillating bird! That detail convinces me it’s tough to disown TB origins however much one pretends to be a background-less Indian.

  25. Sneha permalink
    May 10, 2010 5:26 am

    IBM = Idly Batter Machine!! ha ha ha !!

  26. May 10, 2010 7:26 am

    Loved, loved the attention to detail.

    – the oscillating bird on table,
    – the extension cord

    It could have been any middle class family from palakkad agraharam:-)

  27. May 10, 2010 8:31 am

    The 1 billion Idlis number is very convincing.

    (Avg. Population * Avg. Idlis Per Person * Years since Advent of Wet Grinder) roughly falls in that region.

    Can’t find a single thing in the story or the visuals to complain about. Just perfect !

    • May 10, 2010 11:48 am

      🙂 The figure looks straight out of a Google interview, eh?

  28. Shamit permalink
    May 10, 2010 8:37 am

    The self-professed chess wizardry exists in many families…!! Well captured and connected to IBM Deep Blue! 🙂

  29. May 10, 2010 9:59 am

    Jai ho, maharaaj. Well done, laddie. I am always loving it. Yes, esp. things like bedside balm. 🙂 You are too much. I must stop.

  30. SaiSatish Vedam permalink
    May 10, 2010 10:12 am


  31. Malavika permalink
    May 10, 2010 1:10 pm

    Awesome as usual!! And I.B.M 3G – pure giggleness.. and btw, saar neev nim paada xerox maaDi courier maDtiraa?

  32. Nav permalink
    May 10, 2010 2:29 pm

    Blue Pill jai ?…you Naaty..As usual, wonderfully creative

  33. Poornima permalink
    May 10, 2010 2:55 pm

    IBM – Idli batter machine! lol
    Fantastic one

  34. Saparya permalink
    May 10, 2010 7:26 pm

    Simply brilliant story-line!

  35. mythri permalink
    May 11, 2010 9:43 am


  36. supraja permalink
    May 11, 2010 11:02 am

    Awesome!!….and every minute detail I can possibly think off….is there!!….

  37. Revs permalink
    May 12, 2010 11:16 am

    Daily sheet calendar with Murugan with Vel photo, extension cord, washing machine, the row of umaachis hanging at an angle from the wall, one easy chair, pettis on top of the cupboard. Wowwww! You are the man!!
    The reminds me so much of thatha paati’s house in trichy. No wastage of any flat space. Top of TV, top of washing machine, top of cupboards..
    Besh besh rhombha nanna irruku!! 🙂

  38. May 12, 2010 2:58 pm

    Right.. How do I put this as subtly as I can?

    Your strips kick ass!

  39. May 12, 2010 4:32 pm

    Awesome…the whole package is awesomeness personified!! 🙂
    As you mention in the comments “nimm padda-du xerox kodi” 😉

  40. May 13, 2010 5:22 am

    This one is really original , fresh – reminds me of chennai ! fantastic man ! Keep up the good work !

  41. May 13, 2010 1:19 pm

    Simply fantastic. Enjoyed every bit of it Jai. Hats off! 🙂

  42. May 14, 2010 7:20 am

    vadiya hai

  43. May 14, 2010 9:49 am

    you rock!

  44. May 26, 2010 7:19 pm


  45. Rama Ravi permalink
    June 2, 2010 3:16 am

    Sooper Doooper Lo.
    IDLI BATTER MACHINE…Zimply Superb…hahahahhah

  46. June 2, 2010 7:09 pm

    blog hopped here… this is brilliant stuff… totally loved it. Adding you to my blogroll..

  47. vidya permalink
    June 4, 2010 1:58 pm

    awesome! especially the rani muthu calendar, ravi varma saraswati and the plastic chair in the hall! not to mention the showcase!

  48. June 6, 2010 2:24 pm

    😀 😀 great!!! great work!!! 🙂

  49. Vimiracle permalink
    June 7, 2010 12:29 pm

    For that matter Iyer, this may seem like a stab with a feather after all the glowing comments. But Janaki Mami seems like a ‘retired-strict-CBSE- mathS-teacher’. I wish her features were softened to be the janaki mami that would goad an obese kid to eat another idli. Rounder face with a round pottu maybe? Six stone diamond-thodu(sp?) would help too!! Her chess game win would be shockingly sweet that way.
    Srinavasan mama ( sine I have so specifically described JM) is the malleswaram early morning walk to the temple with other men whose sons are in amayrica crop of men. He can be heard telling natarajan mama the following day ‘ these fellows in amayrica, I tell you, what would they do without us Indians? Mcdonaalds-la $3.89+2.90 calculator-la pannaran-natarajan sir. Lousy chap!
    Haha.. Keep up the amazing work!

  50. Deepthi permalink
    June 11, 2010 10:38 pm

    Love it! Love it! I am a tamil iyer myself. Love it!

  51. Jaisree permalink
    June 23, 2010 7:36 pm

    The idli batter machine with the 3G there and 1 billion sold looks like a slight reference to Apple Iphone sale

  52. Jaisree permalink
    July 12, 2010 4:00 pm

    I also like the swinging bird on the TV, The Abbreviation for IBM (Idli Batter Machine) ..
    The bulb on the wall, the calender with lord Muruga on it, the cloths being dried inside (May be the Madi thuni) …Great attention to detail! Did you actually base it out of an existing house ??? There are too many cliched Middle class home details in it…

  53. July 14, 2010 10:27 pm

    One of the sweetest stories I’ve seen illustrated with such intricate & exquisite artwork. I hope this leads to some kind of reward for you. Monetary usually works.

  54. July 18, 2010 10:57 am

    Seenu mama’s ranting on america la, ‘ay-bee-yathla’ work panra son was too good !! And 3G – 3 times the grinding power.. Gosh!! Speechless! Keep em coming 🙂

  55. Rags permalink
    August 18, 2010 6:22 am

    What a niceu, alla alla, iddu chindi chitranna, naayi moosaranna I say, bhaari kilaadi research maadi haakidhirra saar. Nextu by popular demandu, Philadelphia experimentu baaagey ondu comic maadi saar.


  56. Pappu permalink
    September 4, 2010 6:45 am

    The sheer amount of detail……
    Brilliant,simply fucking brilliant

  57. Sanjay permalink
    September 14, 2010 4:51 am

    swaamy, pls to put boldface disclaimer about serious productivity losses if landing here for the first time during working hours…feet touching.

  58. Maya Misner permalink
    October 1, 2010 5:46 pm

    Jai – I realize I’m a bit late to this party but I very much enjoyed the strip and all the delicious details. Initially I thought it was an oonjal hook on the ceiling (which Madurai municipality probably made mandatory in their building code!) but comments suggest it’s a naked bulb? Mama’s cut-banian was a treat as well! Can’t wait for the next chapter in JM’s adventures.

  59. October 19, 2010 5:20 am

    Words are failing, J!
    How did I miss this?
    Stunninga iruku.

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