My journey in tracing the roots begun long ago. I don’t remember when exactly, but I know how I strained myself so hard to know the truth. This word is so popularly used by people in TN, especially in Chennai, where you can see even North Indians using it so commonly. The only difference is that they make it sound as if it ends with ‘ae’ instead of ‘a’ or ‘ai’, which is how it is normally pronounced.
Hmmm. By now you all may have guessed that word. If not, you either don’t belong to Chennai or you are a soul which is totally detached from the outside world. Anyways, let me give it here, as a part of my mission to enlighten people with my knowledge.
Mokkai is the word. Imagine how handicapped people like us would be without it. Mokkai is such a beautiful word, which can be used in any context. Some of the classic examples are:
Q: “Hey what’s up?”
A: “Fan, light, ceiling, the next floor and terrace”
Q: “How was the class macha?”
A: “Mokka da, semma mokka”
Fact: ‘macha’ is more commonly used among girls
Q: “OOoiii un peru enna?”
A: “nnna, Tamil Naatlaye ennai paathu peru ennannu kaetta mudhal aalu ninnga thaannna”
“E dandanaka E danakudaka
May maasam adikudhu Veyilu
Marathula irundhu koovudhu paar Kuyilu
Thar le poduvaanga Roadu
En mokkaya kaetutu nee thalaypichuttu Odu
E dandanaka danakudaka diyan diyan dish”
Coming back to the etymology, I think Mokkai could have evolved from Mottakathi. It is nothing but a blunt knife. It has always been our habit to associate knife and saw (rambam, arukuraaru) with a form of speech that is boring. Since rambam sounds like a word that is used by the elites, there evolved a new word, Mokkai.
There is soon going to be an IIM in Chennai.
Indian Institute of Mokkai Management.