Feb 6, 2006

Boom boom booooom

I recently heard this old Tamil film song…
“Boom boom boom maatukaran theruvil vanthandi….doom doom doom melam kotti sedhi sonandi…(very crude translation : the boom boom boom cow-man came on the streets …doom doom doom-he drummed and gave the tidings…).It woke up some sleeping memories.
In my childhood, for no reason the distant sound of the boom boom maadu (cow) will send shivers down the spine… this was utilized by elder bullies (read parents) “if u don’t finish your breakfast (read idlis), I’ll call the boom boom maatukaran”…(poochandi threat was reserved for dinner)…
Actually, it is only a harmless but holy temple cow. But its bizarre attire, its sharped horns, its violent head shake backed with the eerie drum will give chills to any kid.

The 'cow-man' would stand at the doorstep and make a boooing (cant think of a better word) sound by scratching his stick across his drum in a curious rhythm. The People of the house run to ask questions to the intelligent cow - which would shake its head vigorously …and this shake would be interpreted by the 'cow-man' for an answer. So it was sort of an advanced method to know your future, if you’ve got one. And of course a complicated method at taking alms!
The boom boom madu is another dying tradition now.
Iam sure many of today’s city kids many not understand what a boom boom maadu is… Just wondering what today’s bullies use to threaten their kids into eating idlis…………

(Photos: from the net - maybe the last surviving boom boom madu @ the meenakshi temple )


  1. Anonymous2:58 PM

    somehow,Iam not happy to hear that he still exits...(no, iam not afride of his sound anymore)... i feel it shows that some superstitions die hard....

    but in Madurai..what used to be a weekly visit in good old days has thinned down to once a year...

  2. To be frank, I'm still afraid of his sound and his fore sayings which I think will never be good for us, but for himself...:-). But I dont see him roaming around now a days. May be veda is blessed..:-)

  3. I’ll call the boom boom maatukaran”…(poochandi threat was reserved for dinner)…

    lol different food timing different bootham??

    heheh poochandis still being used ;)

  4. ...trinelvellila there are lot of theives ( aka poochandis just to make me eat my dinner).. I was afraid of the watchman...and I WAS SOO AFRAID OF SLEEPING NEXT TO THE WINDOW.. cha.. bad memories..

  5. Anonymous11:00 PM

    Yes, everything reminises my past when the boom boom madu used to bring me surprises and make us come running to th everandah to watch this colorful animal!

    BTW Ashok, did ya take these pics yourself? Too good!

  6. Anonymous4:11 PM

    Something to add..The myth is that one of the gods(i think Lord Perumal) took the bull of a bull and has got a temple for that incarnation somewhere in Chengulput dt(i think the name of the village also sounds like some ..koil).so these guys buy a bull from that temple and take it around as a good omen for people..


  7. This is so strange, just a few days ago I have been thinking of gudu-gudu pandis. haven't seen or rather heard them anywhere except in Madurai.

  8. Ashok,
    Gudugudu paandi is very much present even today. But in olden days, they come early morning (4:00 am or so) during Brahma muhurtham and used to only say good words like the usual nalla kaalam porakudhu). I feel that it was a healthy superstition worth the buck or two that you call alms, to hear motivated nice words in the early morning. There can't be a better way to start a morning. However as you say the gudu gudu paandis are not authentic. They come a t 8:00 am and if you don't give them money, they start cursing. Thats what our generation got to witness. Thus I empathise with your fear. I have picked up a few quarrels with the gudugudu paandis when they visit my area. Ofcourse they also used to play the nadaswaram which has been reduced to the abaswaram (mainly MGR songs). In all it is still worth the 5 bucks.


  9. boss..u r rite..veda is blessed

    visithra...still used?

    Tp...lol..have u come out of it atleast now?

    Praveen...not all of them. Few r sent by my friends

    Tilo...ya,very rare to see nowadays.but they still roam around in the crude form rajesh explained...

    rajesh...u quarrel with them?

  10. yes, I hate them playing those
    MGR songs, especially "Poo mazhai thoovi, vasanthangal..." in abaswaram. Most of the time, I wait at the street end when I hear the sound of their natha-swaram (not nadaswaram), I make sure they don't enter the street and continue the mayhem for the next one hour - stopping at every house in the street. Whatever it took to keep them away, I did. It included taking a few curses. But never did I mind all that, to avoid listening to their tunes.