English Manglish

This post is dedicated to those English words which we malayalees have hijacked and completely modified such that they mean something entirely different/comical/dramatic!

1.Best!!- No not just the word,there is a special way of saying this too…in the proper sarcastic slang and you have to stretch the word for more impact. Bessssttttt!!! This is used as a reaction especially when something unexpected happens.

2.Scene – This is usually to denote some really messed up situation. Mostly accompanied with ‘Katta scene!’, ‘Scene contra’!

3.Post – This is to explain someone’s plight who has been held up in a situation or has been waiting for long ( mostly an unexpected delay)

4.Dark – This is close to the actual meaning,but this word alone means stuck in a hopeless or tricky situation

5.Freak – This still means somewhat close to original meaning . However this is considered a positive adjective mostly here while original is more in a negative sense.

6.Chunk- Denotes a very close friend ,often accompanied by ‘bro’.

7.Fit – if someone in kerala says he is fit (again stretched as ‘fittt’), then it doesn’t mean he is fit health-wise,it means he is completely drunk!

8.Line – if someone has a ‘line’, it means the person is in a relationship and has a bf/gf

9.Wit – this refers to a comedy or funny incident that one witnessed or experienced

10.Headweight – Someone who is too proud,this is used in tamil too.

I am sure there are so many more English words used in colloquial malayalam slangs, do add them to comments section!

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Love for Pothichoru!

No…i didnt say petrichor, but yes pothichoru comes from the land of petrichor…the word ‘pothichoru’ brings all kinds of olfactory nostalgia to most Keralites like me and unknowingly my mouth starts watering!

For the uninitiated, ‘pothichoru’ is simply a wholesome malayali meal wrapped tightly in a slightly burnt banana leaf (almost like a wrapped up sadya minus the payyasam and plus a fish fry and omlette). Technically pothi means wrapped and choru means rice!After wrapping in the banana leaf it has that familiar rectangular shape,which is then usually again wrapped in a newspaper and then its good to go/carry!

Pothichoru is not merely a tiffin or dabba,its a whole lot of love of all malayali moms! My earliest memory was during my childhood when we used to go for each vacation to Kerala to my maternal native place.We used to go there in the morning and then return by noon to my paternal native place (a few districts apart). My grandmother would make sure she had 5 pothichors wrapped and kept neatly in a bag (one kutti pothichoru for me as I was the youngest) and we used to relish the meal whilst in the train.The train journey between the 2 places was hardly 3 hrs but the ‘pothichoru eating part’ was mandatory and most looked forward to. Its not like we cant stay hungry for 3 hrs and its not like we cant eat from the house just before leaving. Its just that whole process of having it in the train whilst travelling. The aura of pothichoru which is caused by the smells of the banana leaf itself, boiled matta rice (served warm while wrapping),chammanthi (chutney),omlette,fish fry,thoran all blended together is simply irresistible. The thoran (veg sidedish usually beans thoran), sambhar(optional), raw mango or coconut chammanthi and lime pickle are all combined together with the rice. And when we mix/roll our fingers into this potpurri and combine each bite with a little piece of that perfect fish fried in coconut oil it just elevates your senses. People like me keep the omlette for the end to savour each bite of it.There is no fixed number of items or sidedishes,its purely left to the imagination of the creator.

Eating such a meal in a moving vehicle that too with your hands and no plate is a task but one that every mallu has mastered since childhood. It is very organic and sustainable too as it does not create any plastic waste as opposed to all packed food items we consume.With time,the potichor concept has gradually reduced but it continues to remain a very fond nostalgia to many. Hotels have now recently started the concept again, whilst they come nowhere close to the one our grandmoms made, its still a gud way to relive that awesome memory!

PS- Having watched ‘The Great Indian Kitchen’ ,I must say that despite being a woman I have never deeply appreciated my mother or grandmother for their efforts in feeding all of us all day along. Kitchen work is and should not be just for any single gender or age, lets be collectively responsible.Time to abolish the thought ‘When men cook its art and when women cook its their duty’!

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Oru youth festival katha

You know everytime I watch the movie ‘Poomaram’, I am flooded with my own memories from back in 2005/2006(frankly speaking I dont remember the exact year). Yes almost 15 years back, no kidding.

So I had just moved from Maharashtra to Kerala, yes a complete change of culture, language and ofcourse a land with zero friends. I cried and cried while I left Pune after my 10th,but my mom was adamant that I should complete my remaining education in Kerala. It made no sense to me, so, since I was furious with her, the only condition I put forward is that I would stay in a hostel/boarding and that I would NOT stay with my mother. Yes she agreed and rest is history.

So coming to my 11th std life in Trivandrum, I slowly and steadily made friends in school as well as in the boarding home. Yes it was the typical boarding types you may have read in the Malory Towers series. Long hallway, dormitory, huge study hall, prayer room, mess area, restroom area etc.

Anyway now coming to the Higher secondary school sub district level youth festival in Trivandrum, this would further pave the path for district and state level youth festival in Kerala. So since I had just landed from Pune and since my Hindi speaking skills were good, I was forced by my principal to try a hand at Hindi elocution. I was terrified, not cause it was in Hindi but this was something I had never ever tried before. I mean dance was(is) my jam but hindi elocution?! I finally gave in as you know I could not say no to my principal. So I was trained with an ex student from my school who was a really strong and capable young lady. She was then studying at All Saints college(I think!) Anyway she trained me for days and days . The poem selected was ‘Khooni Hastakshar’, written by GopalPrasad Vyas, it was a tribute to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose. Mind you the poem was in itself quite difficult to memorise plus my trainer was particular that I had the right emotions while reciting. She said it was not mere reciting, she wanted me to actually feel each and every line. And so I did. I memorised it thoroughly, with the right emotions and right gestures. I almost became Netaji myself whilst reciting it. So much so that it was exhausting to recite it completely even just once.

And FINALLY the day arrived. The youth festival location was bustling with activity, young girls and boys, most of them decked up for their performances in various dance events, some just loitering around (bird watching) while some responsible ones arranging and running the whole show. I found the venue for Hindi elocution quickly. So there were about 25 or so registered for the event and I remember I was among the last ones to perform. Initially when it started there was hardly an audience and I felt maybe its because nobody is interested especially in Hindi recital. But by the time I was called on stage, I could see a jam packed audience, I almost freaked out. But then I composed myself and thought to myself that all the days of rigorous practice was for this one day. I didnt care to win but I wanted to give the best performance of my life. And so I started. I don’t know if it was my tone, my dramatic gestures or my emotions, I had the audience hooked from the very first line. Till then the audience had never seemed interested in the event, but when I ended my khooni hastakshar, the entire audience broke into an applause, so did the judges and I knew I had performed reasonably well. I went back to my seat and everybody around me (strangers, teachers n students from other schools all congratulated me) I was pleased because one I had no idea I could ever pull this off and I had just done it and two I respected my principal and my trainer too much and wanted to genuinely make them proud.

And so there was another performance or two and the program ended, curtains were down and I saw the judges discussing the results. And Lo, a man walks in from behind and talks hurriedly to the judges. They all discuss something for a while and again the curtain opens and there appears another contestant. He has all this makeup on, I realised he had just come from another dance performance. His chest number for Hindi elocution was way before mine but they allowed him to participate. I obviously wasnt bothered but then people around me started mumbling. And then he started his poem. Yes, it was again, Khooni Hastakshar. I was dumbstruck, quite disappointed that he had chosen my exact poem. But tats not the point. He recited it in one stretch with no emotions, no tone change and even some wrong words. It actually looked weird cause here he was saying a very serious poem asking for fighters to join in the war for independence and his face was dressed up like a kathakali artist. If we have to compare our performances, the only similarity would have been the actual poem but our ways of presenting it was truly poles apart. So he ended, the crowd hardly gave any reaction but I clapped because although I hated his performance I knew how difficult the poem was to memorise and I also admired him for reciting it despite the whole makeup avatar.

The results come in and I was awarded second. I was shell shocked, no not because I was second but because the kathakali guy won the first prize. I was furious, because I was willing to lose to just about anyone but him. Because he didn’t deserve it, he had ruined the poem and Netaji would definitely never have accepted the tribute had he heard his recital. Those around me were shocked too and urged me to file an appeal. Now an appeal is like a third umpire call in these youth fests and believe me, its quite a process. Everybody in that audience asked me to file an appeal. It was then I heard some flying news(udti khabar). Our boy was actually a favourable one for some overall trophy for max participation (equivalent to Kala pratibha types) and he could win that only with those crucial 10 or so points from Hindi elocution. Yes it was all fixed and he would have won the Hindi elocution any which way.

So I was advised against an appeal by some wellwishers who told me that this was anyway a fixed affair and there wouldn’t be any point. So yes I let it go. (Let it go, let it go…) I even went on to see him win the overall trophy. Mind you his dance performances were really good. He went on to participate in district and state level I think but I am not sure if he won there.

So after I watched ‘Poomaram’ movie, I suddenly tried to search this guy on fb after almost 15 years. But I was not able to track him perhaps because I don’t remember his name and I am not even sure of the year. I think I heard many years back that he is a doctor now residing outside India.

Well it’s not like I have any bad feelings from this whole episode, but it’s just that this movie refreshed all my dormant memories. Youth festivals are truly a very different n fulfilling experience in student life, and something that only those who have experienced it atleast once can relate with!

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The Non pluviophile

I bet 80% of you already dislike me after reading this title!

But stay a while and read it through, will you?……….please?!

So yes I kind of dislike the rains……no, I didnt say ‘hate’, I said ‘dislike’, but not ‘hate’ coz thats too harsh…..for example…I ‘hate’ terrorism and I ‘dislike’ the rain. So theres a huge difference.

Now that thats clear, coming back……I think I have never really been a big fan of it…even from childhood. I often get told ‘How are you even a mallu (keralite/malayalee) if you dont like the rains?!’ I understand…but maybe all the upbringing in the North has made me like this. I actually love the summers…the sunlight,the brightness,the shine,the light…as opposed to the wet and dark. And I recently googled out that there is a term for such ppl too..Heliophiles😊😊! I know it sounds a lil lame…but yes it does exist.

But hey I do know there are millions who love the monsoons….esp in those places that see very less rainfall in a year…and ofcourse the farmers who actually worship rain…not to forget those affected by drought and heatstrokes.

Surely you may have said in your mind to me the famous proverb ‘you dont know the value of your eyes unless you become blind’! But no its not that and my sincere respect to the raingods for their grace on us🙏. I really do mean it.

My post should actually get over here because I dont have a lot more to say on the rains…but then I dont think I am done. There is just one more thing I want to share with you…which are actually nothing but some life lessons I have learnt as a result of all this –

1.Not everybody is the same-You may be from the same region and speak the same language, but your preferences could be completely different from another’s. So dont judge! To each their own 😊

2.Your hard phase is temporary-Summer is followed by Monsoon which is again followed by Summer….Your sad/hard/difficult phase will come and go.Nothing is permanent…not your life and certainly not your situation!Change is the only thing constant in this world😊

3.A part of someone you dont like should not prejudice you to dislike the whole person– I may not like the rains but I am a beach lover (obvious from my earlier posts), but both revolve around the same element- water. You may meet a lot of ppl in life whom you disagree with on certain stuff, but then again dont assume things based on some topics or discussions!

4.There are a lot of things we dont know about others and their situations, so respect and try to understand one another. I may have no idea what the farmers and their families go through with even a single day delay of the monsoons.The growing number of farmer suicides should hurt you,me and everybody. Lets not be irresponsible and indifferent towards those in pain and difficulty.

5.You may be thinking that this post actually has nothing to do much with the rains and that brings me to the last life lesson I have learnt –Dont judge a book by its cover and dont judge people by how they look or seem to appear.

Love n luck!😊😊

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Turning 29!

I think I have officially reached the ‘writer’s block’ of my life. Sort of clueless with what’s happening and kind of still just going on with the flow. I happened to turn 29 a few days back n tat has just added to my misery. A clueless 29 yr old woman I hav turned into! 😊😊😂😂

For what its worth, belated happy birthday to me!How fast time flies…The other day I was chatting with my bestie when we got around discussing the past. A lot seemed to have happened in other ppl’s lives during the past 5-6 yrs, each of which maybe even those concerned ppl may not remember but my bestie and I do! Reason being ‘the subject matter ppl’ having all moved on in life with higher studies abroad or marriage n kids etc etc. Thats when I realised that I probably remember everything about everybody else in the past yrs because I havent progressed in my life. I continue to dwell in the past. A past where nobody exists but I. A past that sort of now has become the only driving force in my life due to good n intact memories. I wish to tell myself tonight ‘Hang in there’!😊

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Being a girl in India!

A girl cannot be in her office floor alone on a weekend, a girl cannot be traveling in bus at night with a male friend, a girl cannot hang out with male friends in the park, a girl cannot wear jeans, a girl cannot go to church safely, a girl cannot travel in a train compartment all by her own, a girl cannot be returning home after work in a car alone at night…

What the fuck CAN a girl do in this country?!

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