Thursday, September 2, 2010

Living up to my Malluness


     There’s an old folklore that when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon he was shocked to see a Nair tea stall (check out the evidence). Mallus (a certain sect believe that they are the south Indian sardars) generally believe in pompous celebrations and gaiety. We’re earmarked for our drinking abilities (I’ve mentioned this before) and feast on meat like piranha.
      To be knighted a mallu, there are certain precautionary measures to be taken care of;
Rule #1: Should be born in Kerala to mallu parents. Our explanation of native location is pretty weird. Eg: Which part of Kerala are you from? Cochin. Oh nice. Actually not Cochin, about 200 kms from there (Objects in mirror appear closer than they actually are).
Rule#2: Coconut oil is a part of your diet, skincare (for the ignorant, hair is part of skin too), rituals and lubrication (for cranky parts, don’t get me wrong).
Rule#3: What’s in a name? A rose would smell as sweet even if known by another name. People look at my signature and guess that I’m a mallu (Proudly, pumping fists!). Ousepp, Chacko, Govindan could be first names, middle names or even surnames. I’ve had the ignominy of having my last name spelt in at least 10 different ways (for a 8 letter word, that’s pretty disgusting).
Rule#4: The annual census shows that you have to spend some part of your life either in the gelf (the pronunciation came up even before Lolakutty got out of her diapers) or in the states (Philadelphia or Florida; Canadians are not eligible to participate). We would work as paid labourers in either country, but wouldn't budge a muscle in our own state.
Rule#5: Malayali jokes arise from movies in the early 90’s. If you haven’t watched those, you’re going to be part of clueless conversations. The alternate option includes watching Priyadarshan directed hindi movies in the last 5 years.
Original joke: Gafoorkka: Caliphorniyayilekku charakku kettan pona uruvanu, ingakku randaalkummendi benangi njammalathu dubai kadappuram bazhi thirichu bidaam. (Elderly Gafur: yeh boat California ja rahe hain. Aapko chahiye tho dubai coast se hum jaa sakte hain).
The difference: In the Hindi version, the characters burst out in laughter. The hapless audience join in.
Rule#6: If you have it, you have to flaunt it. Be it a benz (we like to call it by its original name), huge mansions, or hairy legs (view permitted with the folding of traditional attire for men), the philosophy is the same. Sreesanth flaunts his shamelessness. We drink Rum or Brandy (or toddy). For the gelf people, Scotch is part of their daily diet.
Rule#7: Marriages are depicted by gold mines. The women are covered with so much gold that the ancient gold diggers would be astonished. We also love to cover everything in plastic. From remote controls to fridges.
Rule#8: The age old recipe to thick moustaches. With the advent of mallu heroes in their folded lungis (no frills version of the dhoti), we are proud of our whiskers. Our heroes also prefer English dialogues in the main scenes (scroll down to the bottom for additional info).
Rule#9: The most disconcerting factor of our language is the usage of 15 dialects in 14 states (each district has a numeric representation for vehicles based on their geographic positioning. KL-1 is Trivandrum and KL-14 is Kasargod. #15 is KSRTC – for the ignorant mallus). Only highly capable linguists can decipher the dialects.
Rule#10: Most importantly, we’re well-informed and have good memories. There’s no other way to recognize your mom’s third uncle’s wife’s second brother’s daughter’s father-in-law at an occasion and discuss old times.
Rule#11: I could have stopped at the last one. It was the perfect 10. But, there’s no way that I could leave this one out. Initially Kerala had 2 political parties. The Indian National congress and the Communist Party of India. And then we learnt English alphabets. INC (A), INC (B), INC (C)… If you didn’t like the leader of your party, fear not! There’s a party with your initial waiting to be created.
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US satellites have recently captured the secret formula for our Ingredient X
      So why is everyone so bothered about Mallus? Wherever I go, people talk about the mallu narrow mindedness, selfishness, oily hair (only Silpa Shetty is allowed shiny hair; humbug! Expect a shampoo to do coconut oil shininess) and of course our rapidly spoken language. People don’t realize that Allepey is just like every other part of Kerala, and culturally rich community. We respect all religions and celebrate our festivals with unity and harmony. And to be honest, I totally appreciate Mr. Tharoor's efforts to get us an IPL team. Maybe we have a MTI (mother tongue influenced) problem. But guess what? It’s because we speak in English, that it gets noticed. On the whole, God’s own country has its share of angels and devils. And our behavioural attributes have nothing to do with our oiled hair.

P.S: Why did the Mallu cross the road? – Simbly
(What did you say? Beggars? Maybe we are poor...coolies...trolley pullers...but we are not beggars! You enjoy this status in life bcoz of our sweat and blood! Let it be the last time...if you dare to say that word once more, I will pull out your bloody tongue!)

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