Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Being a Malayalee

Yes, I am a Malayalee. Don't take me by mistake. I'm no friend of Bruce Lee. Ai em ya zimple Malayalee. :)  (Malayalee  is the term used to refer to the native speakers of Malayalam, originating from the Indian state of Kerala.) 

 But no, I'm not a nurse. Nor am I a doctor or an engineer. Also let me say, my hair is neither curly nor does it drip with 'coconut' oil. Gold does not interest me and I 'm not in the least ambitious of making it to the 'gelf'. I've never draped a kasavu saree nor has my hair ever been adorned with jasmine flowers.Though I'm a lover of books and reading I've never been exposed to Malayalam literature so I really don't know. I'm not a foodie and guess thats why Malayalam cuisine fails to interest me. But I can live on banana chips and fried fish. I don't understand Kathakali at all, for that matter I've never been trained in classical dance or singing. I'm not a big fan of Malayalam cinema, though I secretly admire modern avatars of Prithviraj and some other newbies. I admit it takes a while for me to decipher the written word but I think I can speak in a better manner than the hosts of popular Malayalam television reality shows. My vocabulary and pronunciation is not that great, as my tongue almost always fails to twist in the necessary fashion. Ain't I hopeless?  



The only factor that makes me a Malayalee is that I was born in Kerala, to Malayalee parents and christened with a highly typical Malayalee name and can somehow speak the language though not without grammatical errors. Kerala, my native place only remains to be a holiday destination and visited otherwise when cousins get married or engaged. At every visit I am scrutinized from head to toe. I'm told I don't eat enough. My North Indian friends in college thought I scored better than them, because I eat RICE; the secret of a Malayalee's intelligence quotient. They don't just get it!

But all said, I'm happy to have been born as one. I can always say, I belong to God's own country. After all, we are an intelligent, efficient and hardworking lot (conditions apply). Be it Tiruvalla, Tripura or Timbuktu, we are everywhere. Where ever we go we create a "mini-Kerala" of our own. Maybe, someday we will rule the world. However, I'm not sure if I'd ever like to marry a Malayalee guy who wears a 'mundu' and has a thick mustache and that too at the expense of a fat dowry. Hopefully not. 

Dare you call me a Mallu, call me a Malayalee!

 I have to end with this PJ. You must try reading it aloud...

"How does a Malayalee spell moon? : MOON - Yemma Woah yet another Woah Yenna" :)

Pictures have been sourced from Google Images




80 comments:

  1. Brilliant stuff Jessy mol .. loved it .. Sharing it on twitter and facebook !!

    P.S. - here is my story
    http://sangrywords.blogspot.com/2011/10/murdering-malayalam-guilty-as-charged.html

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    Replies
    1. A Big "Thank You". Read you story as well. Guess, we're all on the same boat!

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  2. people tend to associate a lot of stereotypes with you when you're from a different state. like how my friends kept asking me whether i eat fish and rasgullas everyday or why we love communism so much.

    p.s. i'm a bong in delhi.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you. We're being stereotyped!

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  3. Hahahhaha, you're killing me here!

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  4. i have so many Malayalee friends; they are rockstars. Kerala is perhaps the most beautiful place in India (always wanted to visit the place but never had a chance). i don't understand the language but my friends told me that the storylines of some of the Malayalee movies are exceptional. I personally like Mohanlal.

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    1. That's great! You must visit Kerala when you get an opportunity. Its nice to know that you follow Malayalam movies as well...:)

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  5. Well,jess is it ur own creation???if yes dan i wud say bravo...! It was v.nice 2read.obviously it was nt pj. i cud associate wid u as i 2am a NRM(non residential malayalee). May god bless u

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    1. Of course it is my own...thanks

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  6. This is superb write....and I second you that nobody call me mallu.....I am a MALAYALEE......

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  7. Ai reaally lyked ya zimple post :), no doubt Malayalees have made a tremendous impact in indian sub continent and aboard .Shashi Tharoor being one prominent example.....,
    gud read :)

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  8. LOL, I agree malyali are a intelligent hard working bunch. I have a few very good Keralite friends :)

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  9. Yenda undu vishesham? :) sugam? :)
    I only these words in malayalam Jessy. Hilarious post :) I have a lot of Mallu (pardon me for calling them so) friends and one of them is getting married this weekend in Thrissur. Am off to Thrissur, Alleppey & guruvayur for a three day long trip. I am excited.
    Kerala is indeed god's own backyard :)
    Glad to be here Jessy :)

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    Replies
    1. that was sweet...have a great trip!

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  10. Malayalees are often the butt of many jokes. I've heard a lot about them, because my mom was a nurse & everyone sorta hated them there. They were lazy, greedy & used the hospital in Bombay as a hostel till they could go to the gulf. I'm not stupid however, & know that this is just a certain section of society (we have these types in Goa too where I come from! :P)
    I went to Kerala twice, Cochin for just one night & Kovalam for a few weeks. Our simple experience in Cochin was awesome. Kovalam not so much, although the place was beautiful. I think it's great to embrace the place you come from, despite all it's quirks & idiosyncrasies!

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    1. Cochin is a nice place and there are people from different parts of the country residing there which makes it a mosaic of different cultures.

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  11. woww great Jess :)u made me smile... me as a malayalee girl have some of the factors which u described... but yaa ofcourse we are being stereotyped... & i hate when sum1 call malayalee 'a mallu'.. great work jessy :)

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  12. LOL, jessy.... 'simbly' awesome post! :D

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  13. thats a mallu who is not a mallu yet a mallu and thats Jess :))

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    Replies
    1. I like the way you've framed it...:)

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  14. That is a delightful post, Jessy. I am a UPite and relate more to Mumbai where I was brought up than UP. I don't have bhaiyya (or behen) accent though my Hindi is pretty good :). Since, I came to live in Bangalore, I came in close contact with Malayalees. And, some of them distinctly have many qualities that you have mentioned. I have visited Kerala, Vythri. And, it is an awesome place. I plan to do the backwaters too. Stereotyping -- take it with a pinch of salt! It is a typical quality of us Indians.

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    1. Thanks Rachna...great to know that you have visited Kerala.

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  15. Hi Jessy

    I grew up till my 7th std in Kerala, Kozhikode to be precise and so I can read, write and speak Malayalam....Loved the first para on what all you are not :D

    One thing I find about Mallus is they get absolutely exhuberant when they come across another Mallu especially in a foreign location. A kind of kinship which is very unique :)

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    Replies
    1. So you seem to be better off than me...:)
      And yes the kinship is unique indeed.

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  16. Awesomeu u are, undoubtedly, Jessy...!!We went to kerela last year and saw God's own country---Land of writers, communists and holiday-makers!
    Oh, backwaters was just too good--the taste of 'meen-fry'and Apam with stew still lingers....:D

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    Replies
    1. Thank Panchaliji...not to forget the land of innumerable hartals as well :)

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  17. Hi Jessy

    Greetings! Interesting perspective.

    There were segments that were funny, thought provoking at other places.

    A no-holds barred declaration of allegiance to one's domicile .... You must listen to "I am a Malayali" - check it out on YouTube.

    Keep writing.

    Best wishes!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you...and yes I've heard that one...

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  18. Hey Jessy!!
    Stumbled on your blog from Indi and am so glad I did. Am totally loving your blog :D
    This is such a hilarious post. I spent 8 years of my life in Kochi and I love Malayalees, they are a set of delightful people with an amazing sense of humour. Am your newest follower :D

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    1. Thanks a ton Swarnali for going through my blog...Keep visiting! :D

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  19. That was nice humor Jessy-i would like to red more such posts.

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  20. A perfect 'wow' post ! Though I do not much about Malayalee culture or even heard jokes cracked on Malayalees but surely this is a wake up post for people who do so! And yes, your post recalls me, I am yet to visit "God's own country". Well, to confess, I had this feeling Kerela people are fond of Dubai and love working there ( first preference) :) just kidding ! again, a very nice post !

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  21. Lovely post. Very funny though. I have many mallu frnds, oops sorry Malayalee friends and we have a gala time talking about how words are pronounced etc. You've definitely piqued my interest :)

    Here, my passion for cinema - http://movieroundup.in/ check it out sumtime

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting...I'm glad you liked it...Yes, I did go through your fabulous blog...:)

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  22. Jessy Mol! Good stuff. I share your pain and here's my take http://www.sobertooth.com/2012/02/being-mallu.html

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    1. Thanks Rohit. Read yours as well. I'm relieved to know that there are many others as disillusioned as myself:))

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  23. Hey Mallya Lee!! :))

    That was lovely reading!

    Stereotyping is our national pastime huh? :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you magiceye. Well, yes it does look like :)

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  24. You make me proud to call myself as a Malayalee....

    Love your post, jessy

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  25. I am a Telugu. I face a similar situation like you. Not well versed with the Telugu culture. But I watch telugu and malayalam movies I love them. Kerala remains to be the only south Indian state I am yet to visit. I would love to visit sometime.
    Well written Jessy. Can connect with the post. :)

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    1. I'm glad you connected...Thanks! :)

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  26. hey mallus can call u mallu....(kinship)
    i'm exactly like u i think....minus i'm not kerala born,nor do i speak malyalam....i can understand only when my mom dad are talking...
    but i'm proud to be a MALLU :-)

    thanks for this nice read.
    anu

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    1. Thanks Anu! Cheers to being a Malayalee. And good Lord, you blog in Hindi? Absolutely terrific!! :)

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    2. i'm born and bought up in M.P.
      so there is nothing extraordinary...
      hope u understand hindi to appreciate my poems
      :-)

      anu

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    3. Oh I see...yes I do...so no worries! :)

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  27. Hey, Very well written. I am a half mallyalee and the title was so enticing, could not resist a read. Although, I cannot read, write or speak the language and have been a non resident since birth, I completly relate to all of this.
    Again, it was a fun-read.
    Cheers. Keep writing!!

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  28. Yeah.. i remember reading that "Malayalee" joke, many years ago.. :)

    I am Tamil, and we all get stereotyped on many issues, that we hardly co-relate with, as individuals.

    Well, written post.

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  29. A superb write up..like it a lot..

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  30. Superb one :)

    I'm a big fan of Kerala. I really like the place, ambiance, the people-Everything about is so welcoming and nice. And I love Malayalees even more. As far as I've seen, they are really kind. But every state and culture comes with its own stereotypes. It's up to us to get stereotyped or break free from it :)

    Nice post and keep blogging :)

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    1. Thanks Sowmya...glad to hear that your love Kerala and Malayalees as well...:)

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  31. and so with this PJ, the defense rests :)..btw I'm a big fan of Lola Kutty and Baby George :D

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  32. Brilliant post, Jessy...I liked the way you expressed your thoughts.

    "Can live on Banana chips and fried fish" --- Very true, only those who enjoyed can realize it :)

    Just posted one of the Kerala's amazing hill station "Munnar" in my page, looking forward your comments :)

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    1. Thanks, sure will go through your post..

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  33. So why do you not like when someone calls you a Mallu.. im a Mallu too.. and I don't think its offensive.. :)

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    1. I don't find it offensive or derogatory...just that I'd prefer being called a Malayali :)

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  34. In the same boat! Loved it!

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  35. 22 years in Kochi ( i.e all my life ) and in love with the place. That might be why I hate it when people write about my homeplace and our pronunciation. I've been to different parts of the country and I found the english no better. But i suppose a writer has to cater to the needs of her audience as well. Considering that, the article is a success. And I loved the way you presented the details.

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  36. Hey , iam in Gelf. When some one ask to malabari ( here malayali known as Malabari) regarding from which country , he will suddenly tell , I am from Kerala.

    Read this : http://jidhu.blogspot.com/2012/08/malayali-gulf-diaspora.html

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  38. English words murdered by Keralites (Malayalees) and other Indians:

    kangaroo (the worst offended word Malayalees/Indians pronounce as “kanGAROO” instead of “KANgaroo”)

    mixed, fixed (pronounced as 'miksed', 'fiksed' instead of 'miksd', 'fiksd')

    bear, pear (pronounced as ‘biyar’, ‘piyar’ instead of ‘beye’ and ‘peye’)

    beer (pronounced as "biiir" instead of "biye")

    auto (pronounced as "aaato" instead of "otto")

    Queen (prounounced as “kyuun” instead of “kween”)

    form (pronounced as ‘farum’ instead of “fom”)

    biennale (pronounced as “binale” instead of “bienale”)

    place names – Ohio, Seattle, Utah (pronounced as “ohiyo, seetl, ootha” instead of “ohayo, siyatl, yuta”)

    Tortoise (pronounced as ‘tortois’ instead of “totis” )

    turtle (pronounced as ‘turrrtil’ instead of “tutl” )

    Mascot Hotel (pronounced as “muskat HOtel” instead of “MAScot hoTEL”)

    heart (pronounced as ‘hurrt’ instead of “haat”)

    bass (pronounced as ‘baas’ instead of “base”)

    twitter (pronounced as “tyooter” instead of “twiter”)

    birthday (pronounced as “birthaday” instead of “buthdei”)

    garage (pronounced as “garej” instead of “gaRAZH”)

    chassis (pronounced as “chasis” instead of “shasi”)

    divorce (pronounced as "daiverse" instead of "divors")

    February (pronounced as “fibruari” instead of “februari”)

    one (pronounced as "onn" instead of "wun")

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  39. pizza (pronounced as "pisa" instead of "pitza")

    our (pronounced as "avar" instead of "aue")

    flour (pronounced as "flower" instead of "flaue")

    alarm (prounced as "alarum" instead of "alaam")

    volume (books) (pronounced as "vaalyoom' instead of "volyum")

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  40. very well written. Can relate to this very much. Here is an interesting link http://www.behance.net/gallery/The-Malayalee-Alphabet/9958061

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