Many months back I wrote a post on the legendary "poochandi" who is a character very familiar to kids in Tamilnadu.This terrible "P" word is the ultimate in threat to scare unruly little deviants into unquestioning obedience. You could say that for Tamil kids POO.CH.CHAN.DEE ,( uttered slowly and deliberately in a vicious undertone) is the equivalent of Gabbar Singh of Sholay. Remember?"Pachas Pachas Kos Door Gaon Me Jab Koi Bachcha Rota Hai To Maa Kehati Hai, So Ja Bete; Varna Gabbar Aa jayega."
Exactly what Tamil ammas said to their unruly kids with a remarkable rate of success. And it was not when the child opened his mouth to cry but when he refused to hit the bed or finish up his food or whatever. Poochandi never failed to deliver the goods - 100% rate of success.
Needless to say that generations of children in Tamil households have heard of him but he has never been seen! More the pity,for such a powerful charcter at least deserves the dignity of a scary face to go with his reputation!! But of course, it was left to one's own imagination and you could have your personalised poochandi depending on what you thought was scary enough.
My image of poochandi has been one who had matted hair, brownish, with an unkempt beard, red eyes and dressed in rags. Since he was only used to scare children, he was probably some kind of a cannibal who delighted on young human meat!
And imagine my delight when. thanks to Mathangi, I discovered my own Poochandi's image. It even has my name !!

Help yourself to your own personalised poochandi here

Thanks Mathangi for letting me confront my personal poochandi. It is a childhood dream come true....
24 Responses
  1. her Says:

    Hahaha...Usha you rock!

    I remember very and my childhood accomplice in mischief,one Gayatri, once caught a kudukudupandi and asked him if he was a poochandi and a pullai pudikkaravan and if he had kids in his bag...he just laughed really hard..:P We were such silly brats...

    I always fell for "Rendu kannan" though...think about it...all of us have rendu kan (two eyes)..but as a kid I used to squeal and hide when some said 'Rendu kannan varaan"..

  2. Usha Says:

    heheheheh Mathangi, that angelic expression on your face is really deceptive...
    Hahhah, Poor kudukudupandis, they are another maligned lot when all they did was to sound that dumru and give out some predictions..And you actually went and asked him that..Naughty brat, now I can imagine!!!
    Yes...that rendu kannan was a mystery to me too once I thought about it logically. I guess it was the way they said it that had the effect!!!

  3. Paavai Says:

    thanks for scaring me with poochandis and rendu kannans and kukudupandis - LOL

    the other ones were pei, boodam, pisasu, aavi etc in my childhood

  4. Mohan Says:

    I remember when we used to go to my cousin's house in Mysore during my school vacations, we were told of the "Gummaa!!". Now, if my memory is right, we were told of it being a child-stealer who used to kidnap children who never listened to elders and never ate the food on time (I was a notorious slow eater even in my adolescence)

    This post revived some fine memories I spent in cellar of my cousin's home. It was terrific, that age.

    And name apparently stands for Malevolent Ogre from the Haunted Arcane Necropolis. Too much of a mouthful for myself, let alone the kids..:))

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Well, I'm the 'Ravenous Abomination from the Vile Isle'. The first word at least is true most of the time...I'm hungry! ;)

  6. Ageless bonding eliminates the possibilities of a Middle Age and its blues.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    For some reason, I always thought it was "b"oochaandi. :)

    Nice to have met you finally!

    ~ Shibani.

  8. Usha Says:

    I think I wasnt too scared of the supernatural but P,K and R were rumoured to be real!!!ooooooh......

    Mohan: Gumma is new to me but I guess he is the Mysore version of P/Boochandi..
    Malevolent Ogre huh and Ravi is ravenous abomination ..hehehhe, I love these descriptions!!!

    Krishna, spot on! That is the idea of agelessbonding!!

    Shibani, I guess P/Boochandi is the same!!! and pleasure was entirely mine!!!

  9. Visithra Says:

    hehehe we had the malay ones and the english ones as well - one too many ghosts - yet i loved reading freaky ghost novels under a torchlight in a dark room ;p hehehe

    this was mine - Villager-Injuring, Scientist-Impaling Terror from the Haunted Ruined Abbey - hehehe i love it ;)

  10. Bijesh Says:

    my personal poochandi was "pin-bat'. I don't where my cousin conjured that name up, but I do know that I was scared silly by that name... :)) ha, ha such pleasant memories

  11. Mahadevan Says:

    Thanks to the fear of Poochandis in our formative years, we are a bit disciplined now. Is not nuclear threat, Poochandi writ at large?

  12. Hahahaha!!

    I HATED sleeping in the afternoons when I was a kid and my aunt scared the _living daylights_ ;) out of me that 'B'oochandeee would come eat me up! I'm still a little scared of him!! :D

    I loved your U.S.H.A monster, though. :) :) :)

    ps - yay! you met Shibs!! :)

  13. Oh and this is the
    Vicious Abhorrent Investigator Snatching, Hitchhiker Nabbing, Abomination from the Vile Isle.

    Muhawhawhawhaw!! :D

  14. Usha Says:

    Village-injuring, Scientist Impaling Terror! ROTFL.This is getting better each time!!

    Biju, tell me abt pin-bat. what did it do? I like to compare my poochandi with others and see who is worse!

    Mahadevan, I am actually not for instilling these irrational fears in kids. There are other non poochandi ways to cajole or discipline children, I feel. And I wish nuclear threat was as non existent a threat as Poochandis.

    And Vaish!!
    Vicious Abhorrent Investigator Snatching, Hitchhiker Nabbing, Abomination from the Vile Isle,
    Yes, I met the elegant sweet Shibs at the AF - at last!! Among other things we exchanged notes on Shadow Kempegowda and Sabapathy Iyer!! and Anita told us about a Tommy krishnan - boy, that was fun!

  15. Mahadevan Says:

    I agree with you Usha that we should not instill irrational fears in kids' minds. But, on many occasions irrtionalities have been the guiding force, may be, they have been found to be convenient. Poochandi is one such convenient tool. Kudos to you for focussing on this concept in your post.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    poonchandi, hmmm lots more. Kudukupandi was a terror as well. completely agree with lioness on rendu kannan. same here. Never have questioned about rendu kannan factor. hehe

  17. Pradeep Nair Says:

    My parents for some refrained from using the Poochandi device to discipline me. I don't know if it was good or bad. But my wife and I used to invoke "Tan-Tan-Baba" to make sure our son didn't keep himself awake too late into the night!

  18. Mohan Says:

    Art Quote of the Day
    Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life.

    Jean Paul Richter

    Wow....found this on left side of ur blog..

  19. Shashi Iyer Says:

    i'm a copy cat. but what the hell can i do? you do rock! :)

  20. A.R.Malik Says:

    Missed the Tamil references but the bogeyman theme is universal. For the millionth time- u rock!

  21. Bijesh Says:

    He he he. Usha, pinbat did nothing but scare the hell out of me. I figure my cousin used it to his advantage.

    I guess I was too young then to remember anything but the name. :) All I know is that I pictured him dressed up in metallic armour and stuff, with a mask and probably a Viking headgear. I think he also carried a spike-studded club...

  22. Usha wrote:
    My image of poochandi has been one who had matted hair, brownish, with an unkempt beard, red eyes and dressed in rags.

    No wonder, it never worked on my daughter ;)

  23. Usha Says:

    The RF: hahahah...doesnt she have her own version?

  24. laa Says:

    This morning on my way to work, I suddenly started wondering about the origin of the word "poochandi", did a google, stumbled upon your blog. So poochandi is alive and active in these web pages but I still need get to the origin. Will get back when I do :)