Philtrums and Parafiltrums

There is something about parenthood that messes up the pride gene. Humble people who never looked to anyone for a bit of credit will find themselves boasting freely of their offspring. In fact, it is rumoured that folks coming within 500 yards of my parents’ house run a considerable risk of getting trampled by the band. If blowing the trumpet means boasting, watching my father at it, can be nothing short of a band. I assure you, if all you are doing is looking to kill a couple of hours, please drop by my parents and ask how his children are doing. I hear he has the course split into three equal parts. After 1/3rd of the course is done, coffee is served. The second 2/3rd later, snacks and water, and if you have survived the last portion, you are invited to a free meal with an added bonus. The bonus has a wonderfully sweet surprise element to it – you get an encore anytime you ask for it. Free of cost.

Boasting about one’s offspring takes various forms: some like to go for the audio-visual aspect, some not. For example, folks coming to visit my in-laws would do well to leave their spectacles at home. For their course, contains lots of pictures from tattered albums, and include complete latitude and longitudinal elements to every feature in the album. It is a bit like reading the National Geographic with poor pictures.

I blog – so, that’s where I boast. What am I here to gloat about? One day, the daughter and I are enjoying a perfectly normal evening stroll, and discussing matters of importance in our lives like chocolates and cycling, when she dons a serious look on her face and asks me, “Amma – you know everything right?”
There is something about flattery, I filled out a little, and said modestly, “Well…not everything, but … What’s up?”
She looks at me, casually brushing the area between her nose and upper lip, and says, “Umm…I have a Science question.”Β  The one opening she knows will get her full answers from my side. I unwittingly encourage her to ask away throwing in a quote about the thirst for knowledge.

“What is this area called?” she asks.
“Eh?” I falter
She is still stroking the area between the nose and upper lip, and asking me what the bally thing is called. How am I supposed to know? I don’t exactly notice the area everyday. It is just there. I suppose it serves a purpose: something like preventing food from going straight to your nose when you stuff your mouth. But apart from that, I have little knowledge. I wasn’t always the best at Biology.

“Eh…mustache area?” I answer, to which she gives a loud laugh that sounds like a waterfall pounding on tins below and says, “Then, the cheek is the kissing area?” (Yes, she is young – she still thinks I know everything remember?!)

So, I ask you – what is that fertile piece of land between the nose and upper lip called on your face?

I suppose I did the right thing, by admitting that I haven’t the foggiest clue, and the pair of us set out to look for the term. Thank heavens for Google. I don’t know what we would have done without that marvel. Apparently, that hideous thing where caterpillar sized mustaches grow on men is called the ‘Parafiltrum’, and the canal is called ‘Philtrum’

Philtrum – humph, Parafiltrum – humph again. Even wikipedia doesn’t have a link for it as of today (

15 thoughts on “Philtrums and Parafiltrums”

  1. Haa..haaa. I was expecting about how my brother got a 50 paise tour of Lovedale when all he wanted to do was to roam around Ooty πŸ˜›

    I think the kid is VERY smart and you should boast! πŸ˜›

    1. Next time….next time. You brother still remembers his dose because my dad pitched it really strong – maapillai to be’s brother always gets special treatment.

  2. Appadi podu!! I am not surprised.. Need to talk to her about it next time.. πŸ™‚ Want to get her version of it.
    The whole of Jaynagar knows about My Dad and his daughters.. LO πŸ™‚

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