Thursday, May 22, 2008

10 Mallu things


{This post is a tribute to 25 years of my existence in this universe as a proud Mallu.}

We might speak English differently, we might belch after lunch, and we might be different wrt to the world when it comes to our definitions of sexuality but ultimately the bottom line is that you can hate us, you can love us but you just can’t ignore us.

This is a list of ten things that any Mallu can easily identify with. The writer claims that it bears no resemblance to anything dead or living and any similarity is coincidental.

So start reading, please………

1. Gold jewellery

Any non mallu coming to Kerala would be amazed to see the number of gold shops existing in each and every small village from Parassala in the southern tip to Manjeswaram in he north. Mallus have been investing in Gold since the Stone Age as he is sure that the price will shoot up (thanks to an inflated demand caused by Mallus themselves especially those who reside in the Middle East.

Gold rules Kerala and companies like Alukkas, Atlas, Josco, Alapatt, Malabar Gold, etc are family names here. Some of these family groups like the Alukkas have split the business amongst brothers territorially and the family tree is more confusing than the family tree of the Buendia family in Gabriel Marquez’ 100 years of solitude.

2. Liqour

Vijay Mallya should have invested in some Kerala team with Sreesanth as captain. He could have won IPL with ease because Mallus are true to their liquor and hence will be true to the one who makes liquor for them. Statistics say that Mallus drink more liquor than the rest of the nation on Onam day.

All liquor shops, bars are closed on the first day of every month to prevent people splurge on liquor but it results in queues that run for kilometers in the wee hours of the 30th and the 31st. When the intellectual crowd of the North and the metros guzzle beer and vodka, Mallus only believe in hard liquor like rum, brandy, whisky.

3. Strikes, Hartals

We love to strike, be it in college for no reason whatsoever or in the office demanding our rights. Hartal is the new mallu euphemism for bandhs as bandhs are banned by the Kerala High Court. Yes, all these legendary rules (ban of smoking in public places; ban on bandhs, Private education bill) are made by the Kerala High court but that doesn’t mean that we have to follow them!

4. ‘M’ Magazines

We have almost cent percent literacy thanks to the novels that have been appearing in Mangalam & Malayala Manaorama & Manorajyam weeklies for decades. These stories, which can be called the precursor to the mega serials still is a craze for the average Malayalee. Novelists like Batton Bose and Kottayam Pushpanadh opened the world of incest, bigamy, righteousness and all those sins to the hapless god fearing Mallu population.

5. Rubber chappals

Bata chappals especially the one with the white sole and blue grip is ubiquitous in the state. It defines protection and comfort for the modest Mallu. To view this phenomenon, go to any temple on a morning and observe the long line of footwear, trust me, nine on ten would be Bata.

6. Parotta egg curry

This is one dish that is only seen in Kerala and in some parts of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the tastiest dishes made my man and is light on the stringent Mallu’s purse. This same dish has been exported to the North and is famously called the 'Kerala parotta'!

7. Die hard Communists

West Bengal may be ruled by the left for over thirty years but the true Communists of Kerala are a rarity. Go to any small village in the state, you find the quintessential old man tucked in a dhoti, smoking a beedi, a Deshabhimani(party newspaper) rolled in his hand. He is the quixotic Comrade who still believes that all other newspapers are funded by the CIA (this has been a Communist propaganda right from the 1950s) and he would go to any length to prove his party ideology……Lal Salaam sakhave (red salute, comrade)

8. STD Booth cum photostat cum real estate agencies

We move with the times. When STD became popular after the trunk dialing era, we set up STD Booths in every taluk. After that, when Photostats became the order of the day, we renamed it ‘STD and Photostat’.

When we realized that the penetration of mobiles killed the STD booth, we quickly converted it into mobile stores, mobile repair centers and of course, how can I forget…real estate agencies. Who said that Mallus are not modern?

9. Soft porn

All my non Mallu friends complain that Mallus have skewed sexual tastes. But the fact is that we are the first ones to adapt and absorb a new trend. We discovered Silk Smitha who later became a rage in the early 1990s and we discovered Shakeela in the early 2000s and thanks to globalization (sorry I have to use this word, I get paid for it) she became famous all over India. Her videos have been dubbed in Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Bhojpuri, etc, etc.

Mallu porn is in high demand across the globe. Key words like “fat mallu”, “mallu aunty” tops the lists on Google Search and we are proud to shape the fantasies of youngsters from Bhatinda to Siliguri

10. InternationalAirports

Imagine this. A state with just 140 MLAs as compared to 500 in UP; just 14 districts as compared to 32 in Rajastha has three, no FOUR International airports. Trivandrum, Kochi and the Kozhikode airports are as busy as Chowpatty beach on a Sunday and we are going to have a new International airport at Kannur, barely 100 km from Kozhikode.

Mallus may have the highest rate of literate unemployment, but that doesn’t prevent us from flying to the Gulf.

Well these are just some random thoughts and I request fellow Mallus to keep on appending the list.

Jai Kerala

(I am not a Raj Thackeray, but just a random Mallu preparing to go to Thackeray’s Mumbai for earning my bread and butter)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tashan : the Torture with a capital T


Tashan is a tribute to the 1970s, the time when tinsel town was ruled by Ajit, Pran, MN Nambiar, Jos Prakash and other cult villains who had alligators for company and flaunted the quintessential circuit board with techni- color wires which were used to torture the hero, his girl friend and (how can I forget) the hero’s all suffering Maaa.

Tashan would have been a blockbuster if released in the 1970s but in this globalized era (sorry, my company pays me for using globalization in every sentence) where there is a free flow of culture and ideas, it’s anachronistic. How can one tolerate a movie in which the villain actually killed the heroine’s dad (dad is lovingly called Tiger by everyone!!!) and she also happens to be the childhood sweetheart of her abductor who apparently acts gay (meaning uninterested in girls) since he is lost in those childhood memories. WTF?

The film revolves around the style of the four characters: a sleek suave Saif Ali Khan, a “gavaar” Akshay Kumar, Anil Kapoor a don whose costumes are inspired by the Bappi Lahiri Evergreen Collection and Kareena - a Bharatiya Naari turned super sexy damsel.

The story is non existent and the screenplay is insane. The director Vijay Acharya suffers from Tarrentinomania which in medical terms means “creative constipation caused due to excessive watching of Queinten Tarrantino movies”. Kareene Kapoor uses a sword like Uma Thurman in KILL BILL and Akshay Kumar kills hundreds of Kung fu masters in a single blow in what can be called the worst tribute to Queintin Tarrantino

The top three scenes in the movie (in no particular order). Trust me; I had a tough time making the decision.

  1. The grand finale is in some arbit den in rugged Uttar Pradesh . Akshay Kumar is wired to the circuit board, Saif comes and starts killing the villains almost starting a mutiny of sorts. But, Anil Kappor being the dangerous villain he is, captures Akhay and Kareena again and is all set to blow their as*es off and bingo comes Saif Ali Khan in a Yamaha speed boat. Vroooooooom….. Speed boat, in a barren land??[Pardonable, since the director had written the script (if there was any) for Dhoom1 and Dhoom2]
  2. Kareena Kapoor comes to Haridwar to deposit sweet papa Tiger’s ashes in the holy Ganges wearing a Balaji Television inspired white salwar kameez. She sees the villains searching for her and instantly runs for shelter after covering her face with her shawl just like a typical Bharatiya Naari in distress. In the next scene, we see her in the river wearing a skin tight anorexic pair of jeans. I’m speechless!!!
  3. The trio of Akhay, Saif and Kareena are in quest of the 25 crores which has been carefully kept in Rajasthan, Kerala by maam Kareena itself. They travel through the length and breadth of the country, driving a TATA lorry thought the dusty highways of Rajasthan, a MAHINDRA voyager and finally in a Kerala houseboat…..and the last briefcase containing the money is delivered by a couple of Kathakali dancers….This is what we call Incredible India!

Anil Kapoor is one actor whom I respect from the bottom of my heart but this dreadful don character almost made me puke. Anil Kapoor’s dress sense is more pathetic that Vidya Balan’s costumes in Hey Baby…U can imagine!!!! Giving him serious competition are his sidekicks who wear identical lungis, goggles, silver chains and stupid shirts and mouth illogical sentences like “He is like Geoorge Bhuush”….Even stupid George Bush would sue them.

And yes…..about the oomph factor; I almost forgot. Kareena does a Bo Derek, comes out of the water in a bikini for a total time period of 5 seconds desperately trying to be hot but I definitely feel that the Serena Williams look-alikes in the “Chaliya Chaliya” song were far sexier than Bebo.

I would suggest that everyone download this movie from any Torrents site, fast forward to about 50 minutes, see Bebo flaunting her figure in her bikini and immediately Delete, no Shift Delete this piece of trash.

Hindi movies always puzzle me: I thought that Dhoom would be the height of insanity, but then came Race and now I have been served Tashan. Poor me

A disillusioned critic