Saturday, 29 August 2015

The curious case of Premam

The curious case of Premam

In Kerala, black is not considered as an auspicious colour. It is not usually worn during celebrations or auspicious occasions. But all that and much more has changed this year, thanks to the movie “Premam”.

For those of you who don’t know, “Premam” is a recently
released much loved Malayalam film with “Nivin Pauly” in the lead. The film was so successful that it inspired many firsts among the Kerala youth. Onam celebration in the colleges are heavily influenced by this film. All the guys will be wearing black shirts and a mundu (dhoti). It has become such a rage that all the colleges look like they are dyed in black.

The movie brought back beards in to vogue. Beards had made an exit from Kerala campuses long before except for a stubble here and there may be. But today, every kuttan, appu and Kannan worth his adolescence is growing a beard.

This movie was a pleasant departure from the-at-times - synthetic-new-gen movies. It had heart, soul and essence of the early 90s of Kerala. Unlike today's campus movies, it showed a smattering of politics too.

Usually, the movies inspire style trends in girls. This was the first time that a movie redefined the style statement of guys on such a large scale on the kerala shores. 

And yes, we guys in Kerala now are a confused and divided lot - to like Malar, Mary or Celine is the question ;)

Friday, 28 August 2015

The real Malayalee Onam

The real malayalee Onam!!!

Today, all the malayalees around the world are celebrating Onam. You read that right. Of the little things we malayalees are proud of is the fact that it is not a festival bound by religion – every keralite celebrates onam. All one need to celebrate Onam is to have watched Asianet at one point or the other in his/her lifetime ;)

Lemme tell you how a real onam pans out. The day before, we would have done a small pooja at home to welcome our erstwhile King, Mahabali – not Bahubali but Mahabali. Today, we wake up to a usual kerala breakfast with an addition of boiled banana – this is a must for onam. There will be a floral carpet and king Mahabali’s clay incarnations just outside the door. We take pictures of it and circulate among the whatsapp groups J. This is followed by incessant forwarding of messages and whatsapp pings about Onams – Ponnonam, Onam anshamkal, Thiruvonam and all the variants.

The relatives start coming home. Television will be ON with a smattering of these programs – a cine actor giving an interview, a “thattu polippan(block buster) film being screened, some onam songs and games, an interview by a  tamil film actor(yesJ ), in the breaks many Malayalam film actors saying “Onam ashamsakal” and such. Once the relatives have reached, we exchange gifts. It is usually clothes for children and the elderly in the family. Then  we have the Sadya(the main lunch with payasam). Right in the middle of the Sadya, we get a call from a cousin who is abroad – mostly gulf. All of us talk about how we miss him/her. He/She will say how they miss the sadya and the usual question – when are you coming next?.

Once sadya is done, all of us gather around the TV and start talking – yes, no one watches the TV but it has to be on. In the evening, there will be upperi (banana chips) with tea. There will be a detailed evaluation on the quality of chips J. Once this is done, all os us go out to some place or the other. Then, an early dinner and back to our homes.

There is a perception that malayalees work really well once they leave the state of Kerala. This has a  slight bearing on the way we celebrate onam too. Outside of Kerala, Onam celebrations are on a much larger scale – with fun and games and celebrations galore J. But be it outside or within the state, Onam is one time when we are at our celebratory best J. Wish you all a very happy Onam!!!!

Thursday, 6 August 2015



Kerala is not a state exactly known for job opportunities. Neither is it famous for the developments which our political leaders bring in to the state. This is one reason why almost every young guy or girl have to leave the beautiful state in search of job and live in constant nostalgia. This is truer for people who work in the Middle East.

But one thing which our politicians love doing is laying the foundation stone. ‘Tharakkallu’ is the Malayalam word for foundation stone. All our politicians do is announce schemes and lay the foundation stone. The schemes rarely pick up. In every important project of the state, you will see it etched in granite – “Foundation stone laid by so and so”. It is a major ceremony. I am sure it is a practice in other states too. 

But in Kerala, nothing gets built over this foundation stone. These days, things have improved slightly. But if we collect all the ‘tharakkallus’ laid over the past years, we can comfortably build an Engineering college. By the way, that is the latest fad in Kerala these days – building engineering colleges!