I am an easy going chap.
You can cross the street, push past me rudely and walk on.
I won’t do anything. I will probably say 'excuse me' on your behalf.
You can cut me in a queue and I still won’t react.
But call me a Malabari; you will carry my knuckle print on your face and have a new organic locket to match the cast you are going to wear - your teeth.
I am from Kerala and you can call me a Malayali, a Keralite; hell, you can even call me a mallu, but Malabari is where I draw the line.
Just thought that you should know.
Time for a lesson in history and anthropology.
Malayali, the official name of a Keralite, (no, not the stuff that kills Superman - that’s Kryptonite) comes from the combination of two Malayalam words (this, for the slow ones out there, is what we Malayalees speak). Mala, meaning mountains and Aal meaning person. Kerala is mountainous due to the Western Ghats. So technically we are mountain people. The northern part of Kerala was called Malabar. You don't have to be Einstein to figure out why.
So technically I should not get offended when I am called a Malabari by a person whose mother is known affectionately as man's best friend. But I do.
It’s like calling all Americans George Bush.
It’s insulting. You can’t pinpoint why but you know that it’s not meant in a nice way.
Last week I was on the phone with a client and in the course of the conversation he said something about me being a malabari. So, I corrected him by saying:??'Not a Malabari, you mother f*****, a Malayali'
Don't know why, but I find comfort in correcting people and leading them to knowledge.
The thing is that by now you would expect everyone to know this. After all, every single human in the world would have had at least one interaction with a Keralite. We are the humanized version of flu. We are everywhere. The last I checked, we have even declared God as a mallu by naming our prawn of a state, God's Own Country.
If you look into your family tree, you are bound to find a mallu somewhere there, probably in a lungi and definitely without a shirt. If you have a penchant for growing your mustache and sporting chest hair (this applies even if you are a woman), you can officially celebrate Onam and call your best friend polayadi mon.
But our dead give away trait is that we laugh the loudest at ourselves because we think the joke is always on someone else and we just don't work well with each other.
Yep. Welcome to the club.
I guess we are too globalized to be so localized.