Wednesday, 16 December 2015

24 Hours!


24 Hours!



        Twenty four hours is a significant duration of time in God’s own country. It is as much time our officers take to crack a case in Kerala. Yes you read it right. Our police force is at par with the Scotland Yard police force. Within that time, we prove crimes in Kerala; however hardened a criminal is or however twisted a crime is!

        Now how did we arrive at this time frame? Did we do some sort of analysis? Is it some sort of a global benchmark? Of course not! We arrived at this 24 hours with the help of movies.


        Right from as long as Malayalam movies with police officer protagonist have existed, there is one constant dialogue that rings in the theatres. “24 manikoorinullil, ithu njan kandu pidichirikkum” ( Rough  translation ~ I will crack this case in 24 hours). Be it Suresh Gopi who kind of is the Gold standard in Malayalam cinema Police officer roles or the new gen police officers, every one sticks to 24 hours rule. If the movie is a political drama, there will be at least one scene where the home minister generously gives 24 hours’ time to a police officer.

        Now what will happen if a Hartal is announced in between this 24 hours duration? What a question! Ofcourse, we push the deadline and tune in to Asianet with a plate of Porotta and that which must not be named!

Monday, 5 October 2015

I ate beef cutlet

I ate beef cutlet


        You might be wondering what is so special about this blog. Even I never thought the title of this blog will ever be controversial. Sadly, that is what we all have come to.


        Do you realize, Kerala is one of the few places in India
which doesn’t judge you if you tell the title of this blog out aloud? A couple of reasons. One, we are educated enough to understand that what one eats is his/her personal choice. Whatever my religion is or of that of the person who eats it has nothing to do with that choice. When I say educated, it does not mean the number of people with a degree from a university. By educated, I mean the ability to embrace pluralism – ability to understand another person’s view point.

        Secondly, the social fabric of the state is such that we have all the three larger communities living at peace with each other. Not only at peace, but with much love also. I think one of the reasons is the fact that we all have friends in all the communities. So the thought of a person is good or bad just because he/she is from a particular community does not cross our minds. We celebrate all the festivals without thinking of which book it originates from.

        The good thing is that in Kerala, we are still free to eat what we want. We all love the biriyani from Kozhikode, the beef curry from Kottayam and the sambar from Palakkad. We will continue to love these dishes. Along the way, we will continue loving the people who make them too J.

P.s. Is eating beef cruelty towards animals? Yes. Should we stop it? May be we should start trying. But reason should be that and not anything else. Having said that,  isn't eating chicken and mutton also cruelty? Should we stop that too? I'm an ideal world, we should.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

The curious case of Premam

The curious case of Premam


In Kerala, black is not considered as an auspicious colour. It is not usually worn during celebrations or auspicious occasions. But all that and much more has changed this year, thanks to the movie “Premam”.

For those of you who don’t know, “Premam” is a recently
released much loved Malayalam film with “Nivin Pauly” in the lead. The film was so successful that it inspired many firsts among the Kerala youth. Onam celebration in the colleges are heavily influenced by this film. All the guys will be wearing black shirts and a mundu (dhoti). It has become such a rage that all the colleges look like they are dyed in black.

The movie brought back beards in to vogue. Beards had made an exit from Kerala campuses long before except for a stubble here and there may be. But today, every kuttan, appu and Kannan worth his adolescence is growing a beard.

This movie was a pleasant departure from the-at-times - synthetic-new-gen movies. It had heart, soul and essence of the early 90s of Kerala. Unlike today's campus movies, it showed a smattering of politics too.


Usually, the movies inspire style trends in girls. This was the first time that a movie redefined the style statement of guys on such a large scale on the kerala shores. 

And yes, we guys in Kerala now are a confused and divided lot - to like Malar, Mary or Celine is the question ;)

Friday, 28 August 2015

The real Malayalee Onam

The real malayalee Onam!!!


Today, all the malayalees around the world are celebrating Onam. You read that right. Of the little things we malayalees are proud of is the fact that it is not a festival bound by religion – every keralite celebrates onam. All one need to celebrate Onam is to have watched Asianet at one point or the other in his/her lifetime ;)

Lemme tell you how a real onam pans out. The day before, we would have done a small pooja at home to welcome our erstwhile King, Mahabali – not Bahubali but Mahabali. Today, we wake up to a usual kerala breakfast with an addition of boiled banana – this is a must for onam. There will be a floral carpet and king Mahabali’s clay incarnations just outside the door. We take pictures of it and circulate among the whatsapp groups J. This is followed by incessant forwarding of messages and whatsapp pings about Onams – Ponnonam, Onam anshamkal, Thiruvonam and all the variants.

The relatives start coming home. Television will be ON with a smattering of these programs – a cine actor giving an interview, a “thattu polippan(block buster) film being screened, some onam songs and games, an interview by a  tamil film actor(yesJ ), in the breaks many Malayalam film actors saying “Onam ashamsakal” and such. Once the relatives have reached, we exchange gifts. It is usually clothes for children and the elderly in the family. Then  we have the Sadya(the main lunch with payasam). Right in the middle of the Sadya, we get a call from a cousin who is abroad – mostly gulf. All of us talk about how we miss him/her. He/She will say how they miss the sadya and the usual question – when are you coming next?.

Once sadya is done, all of us gather around the TV and start talking – yes, no one watches the TV but it has to be on. In the evening, there will be upperi (banana chips) with tea. There will be a detailed evaluation on the quality of chips J. Once this is done, all os us go out to some place or the other. Then, an early dinner and back to our homes.


There is a perception that malayalees work really well once they leave the state of Kerala. This has a  slight bearing on the way we celebrate onam too. Outside of Kerala, Onam celebrations are on a much larger scale – with fun and games and celebrations galore J. But be it outside or within the state, Onam is one time when we are at our celebratory best J. Wish you all a very happy Onam!!!!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Tharakkallu

Tharakkallu


Kerala is not a state exactly known for job opportunities. Neither is it famous for the developments which our political leaders bring in to the state. This is one reason why almost every young guy or girl have to leave the beautiful state in search of job and live in constant nostalgia. This is truer for people who work in the Middle East.

But one thing which our politicians love doing is laying the foundation stone. ‘Tharakkallu’ is the Malayalam word for foundation stone. All our politicians do is announce schemes and lay the foundation stone. The schemes rarely pick up. In every important project of the state, you will see it etched in granite – “Foundation stone laid by so and so”. It is a major ceremony. I am sure it is a practice in other states too. 

But in Kerala, nothing gets built over this foundation stone. These days, things have improved slightly. But if we collect all the ‘tharakkallus’ laid over the past years, we can comfortably build an Engineering college. By the way, that is the latest fad in Kerala these days – building engineering colleges!


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Vim & Kerala

Vim & Kerala


Recently, I was having tea with some of my friends. One of them is from Tamilnadu and some are from Calcutta. During the conversation, I realized we Keralites have a long standing relationship with Vim! How I realized it was when I cracked a joke regarding Vim and only my malayalee friend laughed. The others did not get it.


For those of you who have stayed long enough in Kerala or know Kerala well, you would have already got the joke I am referring to. For others, let me explain. The joke goes like this. In Malayalam, it is “Enikku Vim kalakki Kodukkan thonni!”. In a bit of pretentious English, it goes like this “I felt like offering a drink laced with Vim!”. This sentence doesn’t ring a bell in any other part of the country. Only people from Kerala get the context of it.

The context is that if there is a person whom you are not very fond of and you want to exercise that displeasure, one of the ways of conveying the displeasure is by saying the above statement. Here, the intention is not to kill the person but you dislike the person enough to create a large degree of discomfort or an upset stomach J.


We Keralites are very good hosts. But during a visit to kerala and you hear ‘Vim’ in the conversation, just be a bit careful will you? J

Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Question to Gulf Malayalee

The Question to Gulf Malayalee


A large population of Kerala is in Gulf so much so that at least one member of the family will be somewhere in the middle east.

A person coming from gulf is an occasion for the family. All the members will go to the airport to receive him/her. Although the anticipation of what is there in the bag of duty free shoppe bags is always there, as much is the love for the person J.
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The ‘gulf malayalee’ or ‘pravasi’ (in a more refined Malayalam) faces this perennial question right from the moment he/she lands at the airport. “Enna thirichu?” which means when is the return date?. Every single person; be it a friend, a relative, an acquaintance or even the local shop keeper will greet the gulf malayalee with this question J.

Ofcourse, no harm intended .It is just that it is the opening line to strike a conversation with a gulf malayalee. One might think that is not a justification at all. There are many other things to talk about in this world. But to understand its reasoning, you need to be a malayalee J.

Keywords : Malayali blog, Malayalee blog, Kerala blog, Mallu blog, Kerala, Malayalee, Namaskaram, Malayalam, Onam, God's own country, Back waters, Coconut, Coconut oil, Coconut trees

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Ranjini Haridas & Anakkattil Eappachan

Ranjini Haridas & Anakkattil Eappachan


        These days, the kerala tea table conversations feature this lady, Miss. Ranjini Haridas quite often. For those of you who do not know her, she is a television anchor from Kerala. Now why should she feature in Pink Lungy? The reason is that she is so damn popular in our state!


        She is not your typical quite well mannered demure television anchor. She is gutsy, free spirited and unconventional as far as social norms are concerned. To borrow a few words from Eappachan of Lelam film, she is outspoken and irreverent. I think she is very similar to Eappachan. He also never behaved as per the social norms. Remember the scene between him and Jagannatha Varma?

Now, these are not exactly the qualities which the audience are used to. Add to this, her lack of perfect Malayalam diction. Like audience in other parts of the country, it took some time for the Kerala audience to get used to her.  But now I feel people have begun accepting her for who she is.


        You may like her, You may dislike her. But she is damn good at her job. Should she bring down the decibel level a few notches? I personally think she should. But then again it is her personal choice and as long as the audience like it, why should I complain?

Friday, 19 June 2015

Nale aanu, Naale aanu

Nale aanu, Naale aanu   

        Till the late 1990s, the heading of this blog used to be heard across Kerala, particularly in crowded bus stands. The English translation is “It is tomorrow, It is tomorrow”. The ‘it’ here refers to draw of lottery tickets and finding out who the winner is.

       It seems most of the malayalees are firm believers of luck. Why else will we have so many lottery agencies across the state? Even the state government (a rare scenario again across the country) owns a lottery establishment. There used to be a time when this business was so good that ambassador cars used to go around making the above announcement.


        The lotteries gain attention especially during festive season. For instance, there are Onam bhagyakuri (lottery’s Malayalam) , Vishu bhagyakuri et al. I think the politicians should adopt this naale aanu naale annu as their tagline since it is also reflective of the development opportunities which the politicians promise but never bring in to the state.

       When one talks about Kerala lottery, one cannot help but remember the laughter-riot sort of a scene from the movie 'Kilukkam' between Revathi and Innocent where in he says 'Adichu Moleeee...'


Monday, 15 June 2015

Who is Tintu Mon?

Who is Tintu Mon?


                      When you visit Kerala, you will hear this name, quite often – Tintu Mon. Who is TintuMon? He is a mythical little boy who has admirers across Kerala. He is funny, smart and suave.


                     Tintu mon was created by the famed catoonist, Mr. B.M.Gafoor. If I remember right, ‘Tintu mon’ was first popularized in the main stream by the celebrated malayalam cine actor, Mr.Innocent. In one of the olden movies, he used to mention master Tintu mon in a funny manner.As per Innocent, Tintumon usually studies in Nadathara LP school. Because of his intelligence, he is stuck in UKG forever , UKG – B to be specific.

                 These days, almost all the jokes that are being told in Kerala has Tintumon’s presence. He even has a girl friend, Dundu Mol. Mon and Mol are endearing terms used to refer to boys and girls respectively.

               Tintumon is someone who believes in technology due to which he lives through facebook posts, whatsapp forwards and even sms jokes.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Shoe flower & Kerala

Shoe flower & Kerala


Many of you would have seen shoe flower – the beautiful red flower with broad petals. It is called Hibiscus if I still remember my biology lessons from school and in malayalam, it is called 'Chembarathy'. This plant’s leaves are said to be very good for one’s hair. In Kerala, people use it regularly for hair care.

You might wonder as to what is so peculiar about shoe flower in Kerala. Usually, after a temple visit, people keep flowers either on their hair or just above their ears. But if you choose to wear a shoe flower over your ears, the whole meaning changes drastically! It indicates that you have lost your mind. In less euphemistic terms, you have gone mad! Such a harmless flower and see what damage it can do to you!

Even in films, there are scenes where this quirkiness of shoe flower gives rise to a few laughs. In the film ‘Kalyana soungandhikam’, the lead actress, Divya Unni wears shoe flower all over her hair in a scene as advised by a fake guruji played by Dileep. This scene had the theatres erupting in laughter. Another famous scene from the film ‘Manichitrathazhu’ between Mohanlal and Pappu is shown in the picture here.


When you visit Kerala, whatever happens, DO NOT wear the shoe flower  :)

Keywords : Malayali blog, Malayalee blog, Kerala blog, Mallu blog, Kerala, Malayalee, Namaskaram, Malayalam, Onam, God's own country, Back waters, Coconut, Coconut oil, Coconut trees

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Elixir of Kerala : Coconuts

Elixir of Kerala : Coconuts


          There will not be many places on Earth where people bathe and cook with the same oil. But we do – with coconut oil J.


It even goes in to our head- hair, I mean. We light lamps with the same oil and fry the chips too! Scrambled eggs is made out of it and so is the foo yung.

    Don’t even get me started with the source of the elixir – the Coconut. We use it in all ceremonies ranging from poojas to final rites. We start a new car breaking a coconut and enter a new house the same way.

    There is some luck even associated with the way a coconut breaks. If it breaks in to two even halves, it’s a good sign apparently.

    One of the greatest domestic crises that Kerala faces these days is that there is no way to get the Coconut down from 8 feet above! People who can climb coconut trees have become an endangered species.  It will not be an exaggeration if I were to say Coconut makes our lives go around ;).

Keywords : Malayali blog, Malayalee blog, Kerala blog, Mallu blog, Kerala, Malayalee, Namaskaram, Malayalam, Onam, God's own country, Back waters, Coconut, Coconut oil, Coconut trees

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Thadassam

Thadassam

Malayalam television was not as happening in the early 1990s as it is today. All we had was DD Malayalam. At times, the transmission used to be disrupted. And the screen which used to come was named ‘Thadassam’ J. It means interruption. Unlike today, TV did not cause thadassam to our lives however.


   Once a week, there were ‘thiranottam’ (letters from the viewers), and ‘Chithrageetham’ ( Song on demand). ‘Varthakal ‘ (news) was exactly half an hour unlike today when every minute is news!

There were very few Ads. Some of the olden serials were ‘Innocent Kathakal’’, ‘Mahatma Gandhi Colony’, ‘Nishagandhi’ , and ‘Shamana thaalam’ (One or at the max two in a day). To be fair to them, some of them were good. A defining moment in Malayalam television was when we got our own never ending serial called ‘Sthree’ which had perennially elongated episodes. Whatever happened after that emulated ‘Sthree’ and is effectively blocking the prime time malayalee television these days.


    There were a slew of epics too – Shri Krishna, Jai Hanuman, Ohm Namah Shivaya and so on which typically started and ended with teen teen ti teen (cos Britannia were the sponsors) ;).

Keywords: DD Malayalam, Kerala, Malayalam television, Malayalam, Malayalam blog, Kerala blog, mallu blog, funny mallu blog, funny malayalam blog

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Kili

Kili

        There are two types of buses in Kerala – private buses and transport buses (yes that is how state Govt. owned buses are called in Kerala) .All transport buses have a driver and a conductor like all buses in the country. But the private buses have one more person to take care of it. This blog is about that person.


        The third person of the bus is called a ‘Kili’. The literal meaning of this word is bird. How this person came to be called ‘Kili’ is not really known. Now, let us look at the purpose behind the existence of this person. This person is there to ensure that the people get in to the bus in zero time. He stops the bus with a single bell and makes the traveler get down before the bus stops. He starts the bus with a double bell and ensures the bus moves just when the last traveler has his/her foot on the footboard. Many a time, some ‘Kilis’ get in to trouble for getting a tad bit too pushy and shovey especially when the women folk get in to the bus.


        Having said all this, there are also kilis who are kind enough to help elderly people get on and alight safely from the-always-in-a-hurry buses J.

Keywords : Malayali blog, Malayalee blog, Kerala blog, Mallu blog, Kerala, Malayalee, Namaskaram, Malayalam, Onam, God's own country, Back waters, Coconut, Coconut oil, Coconut trees