There’s a lot of talk out there that mallus behave better outside their home state. There are also rumors that we work better outside our home state. This would logically mean that take a mallu out of his prawn state and he will be a more productive person. Thing is I cannot refute these statements. Because in my case that’s probably true.
I don’t understand politics. Technically that denies me my mallu citizenship to a large extent. When I was studying law, I was selected as the class representative for SFI , the student wing of the communist party. To this day I have no idea what that was all about. I found it strange that we were so concerned about something happening in Poland, while I was positive that most of my college leaders would not be able to point out where the hell Poland is if I had given them an atlas.
Two years in Kerala made me certain that I was a total misfit there.
My appearance didn’t help my case either. I was going through a phase of self discovery which involved sharpened canines, black clothes and long hair dyed one side blonde. Mallus can’t handle surprises. This is why you do not have UFO sightings in Kerala. No self respecting aliens would ever land in this place.
If you are different, you are screwed. That’s until Mohanlal or Mammootty adapts the style in their next movie, then, you are accepted. It requires the super star certificate of approval. Anything is tolerated once it has appeared on mallu celluloid. Fashions are made and destroyed there. We are the only state where it seems that our women apparently wear floral hats to confirm that the attire is indeed western. I guess jeans and t-shirt on a woman is vulgar but dressing her up in a tent made of curtains and capping her with a plastic hat with flowers in it is style. Truth be told, I have never seen a single mallu girl in the attire mallu movies suggest the snooty convent educated girls wear.
20 years ago, I was way ahead of my time in Kerala. It was not yet exposed to the gothic.
I did try to conform but wearing a lungi without a shirt seems to be something only Velluchettan or Sunnychettan can get away with. With my man boobs, I looked like Shakeela chechi with a wardrobe malfunction.
Of course I wasn’t productive in my home state. I was busy trying not to get beaten up by the valiattens who somehow seem to have no other aim in their life other than to be offended by me and my ways.
That’s what I love about my Keralan brethren. This overwhelming concern about others that seems to over flow into their actions. They see a guy in low waist jeans, they just can’t stop themselves from pulling it up and to give the object of their concern a thwack out of sheer brotherly love. They see a young couple on the road, their relationship is a matter of concern to them. If you plan to have sex, better consult the chettans in the nearby bar or at the ‘junction’ lest they have a say about that too.
This is all of course done in the name of protecting my mallu culture.
Apparently, its fine that a girl can be molested or raped on the streets and still have to fight for her dignity while the justice systems crawls along to bring the accused to some sort of justice. This will probably in my ‘culture’ be confined to heated discussions over paruppu vada and chai at the tea shop, or will become the material for yet another parody at yet another tiring comedy show on Asianet. Funnily nobody thinks this is worth a beating. May even earn a smirk directed at the victim but never a beating.
Apparently it’s okay in my culture for the politicians spend their term looting, slinging mud at each other, behaving like morons, making a mockery of its people. Nope, this is not worth your ire. This lotscan be handled at our celluloid fantasy level by an avenging Suresh Gopi spouting his machine gun fire English and his forearm sized Shiiiit!
But stand out, walk a different path, sing a different tune or dance to a different beat will get your undivided attention. You know what I think? What you need is a ‘Sheik Down’.
I am in an Islamic country where my wife can go for a midnight jog around the park without worrying overtly about her safety. My children are probably safer here too. As a husband and a father, nothing is more important to me than the safety of my loved ones. Our women are not required to keep themselves covered head to toe. Modesty in clothing is just that. It’s left to the individual to respect that and 99% people do and nobody beats up the 1% . I still wear black and by my Keralan cultural standards I will probably still raise a few eyebrows there, but here I am seen for what I do, not how I express myself.
I may not agree with all that goes on here but I am here as a guest. I fulfill a need, my role is defined. I have no problems with that. It’s a mutually accepted business contract and I love what I do. You bet I am productive. As for good behavior, well, it’s just a matter of what they don’t know can’t hurt them.
So, here’s my solution, to get the best out of a mallu and for the greater glory of our beloved state; send all the mallus to other countries and put up Kerala for rent. Hell, we can even lay down our own cultural rules to the new tenants. That way we can still keep our Onam.