Now, these strangers are people who were mild-mannered and silent until they heard your announcement. But after the secret door opens they tell you the scariest of details. They discuss all that they ever knew about pregnancy. Like "my wife's sister had a discombobulated cervix" "Susan's egg formed in the fallopian tube" "you know how it works right..the egg flows down from the ovary to the uterus" " it attached to the uterus wall near the cervix" " one of my friends had a partial placenta previa". The desi male's brain cannot comprehend so many tubes, pipes and complicated mechanics going on there. The thamizh boy has one word for all these scientific jargon.
Down under. Somewhere down. Down there. It not much of a word. But it is simple, humble and has a lot of love. If you feel a question is too personal (or too 'teginigal') you can simply say 'ya ya vayathula keezha baby form aagum' and leave it at that. It can explain many things, which half-baked science experts, who can google very fast, cannot. Simply saying 'kizha anga engayo' can answer all questions. Take this very real conversation for instance with a google-searching desi engineer.
Stranger: Do you know where the placenta has attached itself.
Stranger: You know my friend had a ectopic pregnancy and ruptured one of her fallopian tubes. How is the pregnancy facilitated ? Is one fallopian tube enough?
Me: It is facilitated 'Keezha anga engayo'.
Stranger: Does the cervix have to dialate 10 cm before the baby comes out?
Me: Baby comes out from keezha.
Stranger: Dei keezha seri da. Keezha enge?
Me: Adhaan da. Keezha anga engayo.
'keezha anga engayo' is a fantastic PG-13 phrase to respond to several over-enthusiastic questions that seem intrusive. In fact it is very dignified and impersonal. It gives out enough detail to let others know that you won't fail in Geography but hides a lot of Carpentry, Engineering Drawing, Physics and other difficult 12 mark questions out of it.
We always knew that women are comfortable discussing this with other women. Here is another surprise - once the wife is pregnant, other women feel the need to dole out advise to the wife in front of the husband. Now men get to hear the gory details of the whole pregnancy process. What horror!?? They discuss it as if they were discussing computer hard drives. Little do they know that they are committing the sin of taking a 40-year patron of Woodlands drive-in restaurant to its kitchen and let him see the gory details of how his favorite food is cooked. We don't want to know how it all works and how things are made. For men it is sex. It is sacred. From Emmanualle to Erika Eleniak - the various goddesses have symbolized this sacredness. Don't spoil it for us. Mr. Johnson has spit so many times into the sunlight and into plastic covers. He had no idea that if he spit 'keezha' he'd potentially be slaying a holy cow. If he had he would have thought twice about it.
I fell victim to this 'get biology knowledge' mania. I got caught up in accumulating useless knowledge under the assumption that" a modern husband who is progressive mannangatti etc has to know all these details to be perceived as supportive". I mean what is the point of doing "viradha homaam" on the morning of the marriage if you cannot have a intelligent conversation with the Radiologist? So I tried my best to learn the pipes, the different containers and the whole flowchart diagrams. Every 'aaspathri' has wall-size pictures and diagrams. You can't miss them. It is sort of like trying to look at the source code of a video game you are playing.
But I kept saying the wrong things. Kept confusing one pipe and the other. Mixing up containers. Kept saying there were two uteruses and one ovary. Just the way all Chinese people look the same to people from Mannargudi, to men all female body parts pretty much looked like "keezha". The 'illustrative' videos to get the man up to speed were all hazy. Apparently the doctors are used to over enthusiastic men who pretend to be mild-mannered software engineer during the day and super powered gynaecologists during the night - capable of jumping tall ovaries in a single bound and stop speeding sperms. So they never cared to describe what the hell anything meant.
Meanwhile at work and at many social gatherings people are bombarding you with unheard of words. I am not a prude and don't get offended that easily but my god! are the details awful. It is almost as if there are two worlds out there. One is a world where people don't talk about reproductive organs in gory detail. The other is where they see you enter into the "parents world", see you get access to some sort of privileged member club benefits. In this world complete and total strangers discuss the most intimate private body parts in a matter-of-fact way. The transition is sudden and if a person is caught unawares he is in for it.
The modern desi living in amrikka needs to know pages and pages and volumes of stuff that the SBI officer 20-30 years ago simply referred to as - "keezha anga engayo" or "edho ladies matter saar yaarukku theriyum"