Poruthaar Boomialwaar

I think I came across this phrase in school. Since I chose to study “Hindi” as my second language, I probably didn’t get to study this phrase first hand. “Poruthaar Boomialwaar”. A very powerful phrase that every kid should learn, understand and imbibe in his/her life.

I told Noni that the only thing I want to teach my kid would be “delayed gratification”. I cannot say it is an uninfluenced thought, we all have heard of and seen some version of the marshmallow experiment. But my reasons are slightly different. I have personally felt places where I won just by sheer perseverance and places where I lose sleep simply because I can’t wait. And I have generally seen some form of correlation between impatience and poor skillsets (learning/execution/planning) etc. So I sort of have my own subset of proofs for the marshmallow tests. So one thing I want to teach my kid (if it is teachable) is delayed gratification.

Earlier today, as I was brushing my teeth, I had en Eureka moment! “Poruthaar Boomialwaar” is essentially delayed gratification. So that’s what my history has been trying to teach me all my life. Brilliant moment. So I ran to my wife and explained my eureka. She was pleasantly surprised but she knew the phrase as imparting “delayed gratification” because she had the opportunity to study this in school. But she hadn’t connected the marshmallow tests with this! She asked me why I never realized this so far.

I felt a little sheepish to accept that I had assumed “Poruthaar Boomialwaar” to be one of the many alwaars who wrote poems about the Lord in ancient Tamil Literature. She burst out laughing, but hey,if you had heard about the alwaars in the paasing, you would sympathize with my confusions.

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