Mod Mallus

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This article has been submitted by Sarada Mahesh for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.

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!

“BLAUDY FUL!”

“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!”

6 COMMENTS

  1. So  refreshingly caustic, wonderfully nasty but most of all, undeniably true! I’ve been screaming the SAME things to various Mallu relatives for years now. Absolutely love it, three thumbs up!

  2. This is so true. I go for vacation to Kerala every 2 years or so. (We live in UAE). 
    Each vacation something worse happens.
    First it was the Tamil music blaring from everywhere. Not that I have anything against it, infact I love it, my mother being from Chennai, I’m quite fluent in Tamil too. But what annoys me is that in Kerala, my cousins were singing those songs with bad accents and mispronouncing the words such that they become bad words or insults!

    Next vacation, when I spoke to my cousins in Malayalam, they replied to me in broken ‘Manglish’. It took me all of my will power to stop bursting out into fits of laughter!
    Later I heard them speaking to each other, “I don’t think avalku anything ariyum.” (where ‘aval’ was me). The other replied, “athey, simBly posing Vonly. Aval nammala mari alla. She doesn’t know English at all.” 
    I just pretended not to hear and walked off. But I made it a point to speak to them from then on, only in proper British English. Later I heard them speaking to themselves as if I wasn’t even there. One was saying, “enthu English-a avval speak cheyinu.” The other replied, “That is accented English. Paksha nammaluda English accent-less annu. Be happy.” 
    This time, I couldn’t control myself. I started laughing so hardly.

  3. hahahahah 😀 so true! it’s happened to me MILLIONS of times! actually, it continues to happen to me, which is what encouraged me to write this article. 😛 good to know that i’m not alone! :O

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