Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Being a "Fraud Mallu"

Note : I hope none of this hurts anyone, and am proud to be a mallu billi:)

My father moved to Delhi in 1972 (he got a job in the Central Goverment there; I guess he didn't follow the very mallu tradition of going to the Gulf and am pretty happy about that). My parents got married in 1981 and after that my amma too moved to saddi dilli.Before that my dad used to stay with (surprise surprise) other Malayalees.(I find Mallus and Punjabis similar to crocodiles : they tend to be very "regionalistic". Whenever they meet another of their kind (read Malayalee/Punjabi), there is this instant bonding that takes place..its something so inevitable..followed by the other inevitables,for example THE question "naad evide?"(where's your place)...Anyways, this obviously meant that my sister and I were brought up (not born) in Delhi itself.[ Place of Birth : Bekal, Hosdurg ]

We used to get a summer break of about one and a half months (which increased to two later once mercury started rising year after year) and we would go to Keralam then. We didn't spend the entire duration there because of two reasons : parents don't have summer breaks and the fact that we used to get a mountain load of "holiday homework". Now that, used to be some task. We (as in didi and me) would try finish off as much as possible before leaving but most definitely, the night before school re-opened used to some fun!

Our most (and only) used mode of transport was the Indian Railways, so that equated to two and a half days of travelling:).

Mangla Express in the months of May and June (towards Kerala) = 108 crores of Mallus travelling with their *2 kids + loads of delhi roadside maal (on demand or as gifts;) ) + kaaapiiiii...

Mangla Express in the months of June and July (towards H.Nizamuddin) = 108 crores of Mallus travelling with their *2 kids + chaaks/cartons bursting with thengas,chakkas,banana chips,par-boiled rice,..... + kaaapiiiii..

These journeys used to be pretty fun (except for the heat part) because we'd meet other kids and angane jolly adichita we'd not know the time go by...but that would be max for a day(kids tend to be a restless lot)..because after that is when the kid starts the chant : "Papa,kab pahunchenge?"..It used to be much worse for us as Kasargode used to be the second last stop then..(As Murphy had it, Cochin became the last one once I went to CUSAT:):)..kismet mein likha hai,ab kya kar sakte hain..).

Finally after the two and a half days of sitting in the chukk-chukk vandi..we make it to our birthplace..(Actually when we get up on the third day, it's pretty awesome cos Kerala has started then and it's so,so green and pretty outside..)..In the station, we'd have my Ammamma, Achamma , "Mooch waale*" uncle, and mama(depending on whichever one is town then)..and it used to feel so good.

We'd always go to my Achamma's house first(thank God for that as it's close to the station) and rush to take a bath(trains can make you put on weight - one to two kilos of dirt i.e...yuck!)..after that, begins the fun..

attack no. 1 : reshu(my sister) ethra melanjnu..(yes my dears, believe it or faint..my sister's skinnier than yours truly)...chota ethra karathu...blah blah..blah blah..

attack no. 2 : a mountain of boiled rice(which you better finish) and food cooked in coconut oil(boy-oh-boy..that was ultra disastrous..but as they say,what goes around,comes around..well,it did! 4 years in CUSAT and living next to chetta who used to prepare his oh-so sumptuous delicacies(read meals with fish fry cooked ONLY in coconut oil)..the very smell would make us nauseous and its still true for my sister who shrieks loud enough to break any glass even if she gets a whiff of it.

attack no. 3 : say parram(banana)..(i say)param...parrrram..rra..rraa..(i say)param...fine,say palla(tooth)..(i say)pella....[background score : peals of laughter]

Hmm, I won't say I've improved much after that but I think parram is now quite manageable:). Another thing that they'd do is make me talk:)..and obviously, ALL of it had to be in mal. Come to think of it, I feel like a specimen cos they'd make me stand in the centre and make me talk(the "make " part's not all that difficult). That's when my Achamma would turn chinki..(thanks to laughing too hard). Of course I used to get new pet names each time I'd visit. The two best ones would be : "thota vaadi"(touch-me-not) and "jagajilli"..(my sister was "vadivellu" and "nongal"(a variety of fish which has only bones);))..

In my ammamma's house..it used to be a different story altogether..there my sister and I just could not keep our feet on the floor because of the poyia..so we'd walk with clawed feet and that was another "hahaha" topic there(it still is)..but it used to be loads of fun there as it's a joint family and have loads of cousins there..we'd all sleep together, go play in the beach and also get up with pain(=lice) which would be so,so difficult to get rid of....

Also,a visit to Kerala would mean a visit to the local doctor there cos (God only knows why), the bludy mosquitoes had some weird kind of affinity towards my sister and me and we'd get these bites which would end up turning into mini balloons..so odomos was a good friend to carry those days..thankfully their louve seems to have died now..

When I got admission in CUSAT, I really don't remember being very apprehensive (but then I rarely am)..but that meant leaving familiy, friends and Delhi. Also, it meant going to where I came from (literally). It is but obvious that when you have been in the same place for all your life, you get used to everything like it is there. I'd be lying if I said that I absolutely had no problems in adjusting in Kerala. Different people, different thinking..( I'll be writing about this for sure,so will leave it at that)..

But then honestly speaking, I did not turn any bit more Malayaleer in those 4 years(my Baby Elamma though begs to differ on that count). My roomies were all fraud mallus too(birds of the same feathers,flock together..very true), so speaking in Mal was almost never..So whenever I used to go to Kasargode per Sem,i used to hear about "naal kollam ayitta ippallum malayalam padchitila(4 years and you've still not learnt to speak malayalam)..hmm...

One of the best times are when people,assuming that you are a northie,say something about you in Mal.It has happened in my first year Engg.,Maths class when my Sir was royally bitching about North Indians and how they don't value their parents money, don't have no manners etc. etc. and it was only in his last class that he found out that we{Dhiv(ya)-ex roomie and I) were mallus:)..Boy,you should have seen the look on dear Anoclit Sir's face..he was so shocked.Then they were times when we needed to go to the SOE office and we'll be speaking in Mal but then why,why would anyone "listen" to the words..it's funny how people actually HEAR what they want to..and so all replies directed at us would be in Hindi:)..

But honestly speaking, what I enjoy the most is the look on people's faces when I tell them I'm from Kerala..it's too good..First I make them guess, and the most common ones would be UP, Punjab(Kashmiri once..OMG!)..and when I let the cat out of the bag(sorry about using this, but couldn't help it..sheepish grin:))..they are like..WHAT?! I don't know what they expect a Mallu to look like..Anyways, this is usually followed by the "Are both your parents Malayalees(and I think of both my paavam parents faces..)"..and i'm like what the ...ya..ahuh!

Coming to something that irritates me to the core..the unconscious manner in which an "H" is added to all names in the South in almost all places possible..I think I must have tried till my 3rd Sem to correct my teachers etc. that I was Deepti and NOT Deept(h)i..but the why,why would anyone ever listen to that..After that I simply gave up..(Btw,I still face the "H" problem:P)..

But then "fraud" or not..I love being this mix..You get the best of both worlds you see;)(not necessarily at all times..but chalta hai boss)..Call it a hybrid breed or whatever, its fun:)!

Before I end this, I would want to add this for Bones sake : "Shundari,shundari onnu orangi vaa..."(People,you should hear me sing this;))...




22 comments:

Anonymous said...

very original, gts funnier toward the endin, keep postn

Deepak said...

So you finally found a name! And a good one at that.. :)

Really good post to start off with, keep 'em coming... :)

KaMiKaZe said...

Coming to something that irritates me to the core..the unconscious manner in which an "H" is added to all names in the South in almost all places possible..I think I must have tried till my 3rd Sem to correct my teachers etc. that I was Deepti and NOT Deept(h)i..but the why,why would anyone ever listen to that..After that I simply gave up..(Btw,I still face the "H" problem:P)..

loved this part!! i face the xact same problem!! LOL

good post re...keep them coming :)

Rajganapathy said...

Good one....Keep going

Rashmi said...

Really good gudi...could not stop myself from laughing and remembering the fun we had......:)

StandingTall said...

Oye kashmiri...oooops mallu;)
Great narration...continue writing..eagerly awaiting more

Anonymous said...

till i joined college it was very much the same boat.......nice narration....actually took me back memory lane....

I would have preferred Deep ....to this name...neways....keep the blogs coming

d_grail said...

lol....the H factor has become quite d albatross around my neck!!!

dHivya

Anonymous said...

It’s really nice.


After seeing Transamerica as your favorite movie in orkut I thought you as a freak.


But now, you look like a normal girl only. :)

sree said...

i could read it with a smile..

good work

sree said...

i could read this with a smile..

good work :-)

john said...

sweet!

absessive said...

gud 1... an' i agree to the 'h' part in the end... In kerala i'm Ajith... c'mon i dont need that h (my parents didnt name me that way now, n for christ sake itz Ajit!) but well right now i've had to keep the mallu name with 'evil h' in license, college id an' RC book... sad huh... an remember this is after i spent hours arguing y i dont have an h in my name, and havin the ppl who make this promise me not to put n h!
i'm gettin' used to it though...

chek out my blog http://theprojekt.wordpress.com

SATAN said...

nice..

Mahesh Kasaragod said...

I read it with atmost interest as it referes my place too. Deepti u have done a great job keep it up.

maheshanair@gmail.com

Chandy.......... said...

well.... way u have put in the words wr nice ...when i read the first post i.e one before this i really thought it was boring but...this it's just too good... keep writing girl...and i remember u speakin mal...well its not tht bad ;)

Nishant said...

Hello there , you are awesome...it seemed like Richar P fynmann himself is describing his exp..Great work. I am looking forward for some more post ..
Regards

Anonymous said...

"I find Mallus and Punjabis similar to crocodiles : they tend to be very "regionalistic". Whenever they meet another of their kind (read Malayalee/Punjabi), there is this instant bonding that takes place..its something so inevitable..followed by the other inevitables,for example THE question "naad evide?"(where's your place)"
Good post but I would like to differ on the above- what u have to say about Telgus and Tamils? They are too much into themselves -moment they see someone of their land, they start talking in their language n r best frdz very next moment. Thats completely insane in my words. I have never seen this even when two Britishers, Canadians or Americans even doing that way. Haven't seen any two punjabis to be seen this way that they start in punjabi..what do u say?

Anonymous said...

u won't believe
Hd read this almost 20 times.... n m still on the train...
Looks u didnt think much to write..U kept on writing spontaneously flowing ur good time.. Nani ghar is always good na.. and the train travel.. Atleast i miss 'em... This blog evn makes me feel like adding up a lot things... kaas ye wikipedia types hota.. :p..

its was good.. and it shows another side of urs.. vch i used to see in d 1st yr.. phir nahi.. :(...

Anonymous said...

do i really used to ignore u...??..

OB.. wsn't that so LS :p... neways.. try to write something on ur CUSAT life engendering the same mood... segregating yr wise... wud love u read it.. eagerly waiting chiru :*

Piyush said...

good post!!
:-)

The_Wanderer said...

mole, its "pazham"... :D
good stuff! keep it comin...u never told me bout ur well-hidden intellectual side! or maybe i was too busy concentrating on the excess of external beauty :D