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It’s this weird, unnecessary and random observation that I have made, but I couldn’t help it, I just HAD to share it…
Every evening at 8:00 pm, my Mother turns on the TV and suddenly, I hear a scream that makes me get the goose bumps,” Idea Star Singer- Season Whatever!” And for those of you who know me and my ‘singing abilities’, no my goose bumps are not because it is a singing competition, but because of the desperate accent that the woman puts to announce it.
‘Manglish’ as it is popularly known, has become the ‘trend’ of Kerala. English words are used quite frequently in Malayalam conversations. Recently, I was talking to my relative from Kerala, and this is how the conversation went,” … zo ippo, my left kyi is hurDing… nyaan KonfuZed anna ippo…” (Translation for the benefit of the confused non-malayalies: … so now, my left hand is hurting… I am confused now…) my jaw dropped and I was speechless throughout the conversation. Not only could I not understand the Malayalam, but also the desperate use of English words made me shocked. And to top it all, the accent, and the desperate failed attempt at Manglish got me in a state of shock!
Okay. Let us forget language for a while and move on to culture. One Sunday evening, two weeks ago I think, my Father was switching the channels and came across an awards show. Smoke, screaming, music… wait… I THINK it was music… there WAS a loud noise… so by default, it was music… moving on… girls and boys ran onto the stage from all sides. The boys were… were… were semi-nude… shirtless, to be exact. Well, yes, in Kerala, that was normal. But the pants… they were outrageous! PINK pants…. and BLUE shoes! The girls were in strapless shirts, FLORESCENT in colour, and were wearing WHITE pants with BLUE shoes. Ha! A perfect recipe for puke! Suddenly, out of the BLUE (sorry, but I tend to exaggerate a lot!) came… a… a… a ‘superstar’ (of whom honestly I’ve NEVER heard of!) Her dress was the cherry on top… a BRIGHT PINK, glittering gown, along with a RED wig that was being worn by her and white… white… white SHOES! Yes… white SHOES! I really don’t know if I should focus on ‘white’ or on ‘shoes’… both made my jaw drop (yes, my jaw DOES drop a lot, doesn’t it?!)
The movies aren’t spared either!
“WHAT YOU DHINK OF YOURZELF?!”
The latest I’ve heard is that it’s become a ‘shtyle’ to jog every morning in Thrissur in front of a temBle. I can just see it now- mallus in lungis sweating it out, trying to listen to English muZiK on their ‘iBod’.
To all the patriotic Keralites: No. I am NOT trying to mock Kerala. Hey, I’m a mallu too you know! What I’m trying to point out here is the fact that each and every one of us (I hope) likes the ORIGINAL Kerala culture better. The smell of jasmine, the head baths, the white sarees, the gossiping MEN… I, for one, like THAT Kerala better than the so-called ‘Mod Kerala’- a desperate attempt to modernisation.
I’d like to wrap up with a statement that I overheard while holidaying in Kerala during the summer that completely goes against this entire article that I’ve written. Note: This statement is from a conversation between my grandmother and the neighbour (translated to English, once again, for the benefit of the non- malayalies.),” … and yes! Did you see that girl? XYZ’s granddaughter! It seems, she was going to the druggist’s store. Do you know what she was wearing?… JEANS!”