Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Prayers from a Mallu

Mallu:- Proper noun. Slightly derogatory term used for Malayalis aka Keralites who display behavior said to be characteristic of their community. A typical Mallu will
  • be very laidback, and thus peace-loving and detests violence most of the time. Being lazy, we will-
  • jump in at every opportunity which claims to make big money easily,
  • have an opinion about everything- about that girl next door who flirts too much, that auto driver who charges more and more every next time, about social media, USA's foreign policy, Manmohan Singh, in short- EVERYTHING. Hell, even that unemployed bum has an opinion about why no one's doing anything about global climate change.

  • We Mallus are worldly, well-read (at least 95% are), intellectuals, or pretend-intellectuals (but even they will know all the facts and are updated on the news and goings-around) and sometimes even other-worldly (might as well make some money off other-worldliness while we are at it!
  • There's a running joke about how there will be a Mallu in every nook and corner of the Earth. (You've definitely heard the joke of how when Neil Armstrong landed on Moon and saw that there was this Mallu running a tea-shop there,right?)
  • We LOVE hartals. Whether we support the cause or not is an entirely different thing. Which is why, come every other unknown political party who claims to have been offended by so-and-so or such-and-such situation and declares strike or hartal- we CELEBRATE them. We cheer each other with "Happy Hartal!/ Hartal days are back again!" texts. No, I swear this is true. I can personally vouch for this being 100% reality, cos I celebrate along too!        Back in school days, we'd students strikes practically every other day. Ergo, we'd go to school, get taught for a period or so before the school gave in to the student-strike that came strutting in from the other school next door. Then us girls would all hang around our empty classrooms, schoolground, munching away happily on snacks and yummy lunches, before finally going home in the best of happy  moods. Tee hee! So you understand that protests are pretty much in-built into the Mallu system.
           Upset about the grades? Protest march. Teacher being partial to some student. Gherao him. Exam papers may have been leaked? Boycott college for days. You want an upgrade on paycheck? Strike! Pissy with the govt? Strike! Hartal!
This poster is pro-hartal and reads "Yay Hartal! Hartal wishes to all". I know, we're a crazy fun lot

And this last characteristic brings me to the topic. By now you've a fair idea of what to expect from a Mallu and the fact that I'm a Mallu too. =D
And like at least some of my readers know by now, I'm working at IIM-Kozhikode currently. Yes yes, thanks for the congrats and thumps on my back and everything. It's amazing and lotsa fun working there too. But! The one drawback of it all is that I have to work 9-5.30 Monday through Saturday. Which means I get just one measly holiday a week. Barely, hardly, not at all enough.

I'm reduced to waiting for general holidays which don't happen much. The only other alternative where we get holidays would be when there're vehicle strikes, hartals or the sort happening and you can't make it to work.

And me being me, always ends my prayers these days like this,
"God, please let a hartal happen on Saturday or Monday so I can have that extra day off."

Absurd you thinketh? Well, God sure did answer my prayers last week. Only that it was limited to that particular municipal corporation my hostel is in and which meant, yeah I got my day off thank-you-so-much, but that the IIM administration marked it as leave taken by me since there was no hartal as such where IIM was. Dang!

So this week around, I prayed more specifically.
"Dear God, please give me a hartal more than six hours".This time around too God was gracious enough to answer my prayer. Only, I got a Hartal in my district alone. IIM will be able to function anyways and everyone else will turn up for work. All but me. =( Which obviously means they'll once again mark me down as on-leave.
But on the bright side, I already was home all of yday since it was a general holiday. And I got to stay back today too. So it's Sunday,Monday and this Tuesday. Chock-fulla holidays! Though I'll be paying the price for today. Hmph.

Next time around I'mma pray with the wording so correct, connotation and implication so accurate that I'll land myself an awesome hartal-holiday. Just you wait and watch!


Dee........ said...

A brief history and definition on MALLUS :P
fun reading it...
you working at IIM ??
Sweet jesus :)

Mohua said...

hahahaaa.... i was laughing my head off.. on each word, on each line!!! loved, loouuuvveedddd it!!! i feel like m a mallu by soul! :P
P.S. can u pray for Delhi too? i only get the national holidays, and there r no hartals out here. can we import some mallus here (starting with u?)so that we can teach them to enjoy life a bit slower??

Mr.Jovita said...

*LOVE* from a fellow mallu :)


Mr.Miglani said...

This is Funny yet sweet somewhere !!
I wan laughing even In my office !!! I have mallu friends < i will refer them This !!


Saru Singhal said...

I think Mallus are adorable. I have many Mallu friends...:) If I share this post with them or even mention that I read your post, they will take pride in it for sure...:)

Aysh said...

This was interesting! If I'm honest I had no idea what mallu meant before this!

Unknown said...

lol....loved it..dint know much about mallus till now:p loved the post

Chintan said...

:) I haven't had many mallu friends and interactions either. But, this was kind of a funny post....


Anonymous said...

Lol. Funny. And. I empathize. This post (all except the student stikes part- Now why didn't we have that???), rang true with me. No. Never studied/lived in Kerala. But am a Malu from a land which has people very much like the Malus- Kolkata. Stikes yes! Student strikes- not heard of- not in schools and private colleges. Sheesh!

Azra Raphael said...

@dee-yup. at IIMK and lovin' every bit of it!

@mohua-will pray, but not sure if they know how to chill! ;) kidding of course!

@jovita-love ye too compadre!

@rahul and saru- thanks! and do share! =)

@ayesha, alka and chintan- good to know that im the first to introduce the mallus =D

@choco-kolakatta? that's nice! everyone always says kerala and kolkatta are a lot alike. coconuts, seaside, communism and intellectuals. plus more i guess=)

Red Handed said...

hahahahahaha! Being a Malayalee, I have to nod to just every point!!
and I am always waiting for the next harthal!! :D

I'll try 2 be truthful said...

For some reason I used to always think of you as a college going kid from dubai!!
waise *thumps u on the back*

and what a post! at first I thought, why the sudden discourse? then realised the motive . hehe
back in kolkata we call hartals, bandhs, and I really miss them.

Here's to bandhs and un-announced leaves :)

Madhusha said...

Raphael: I think mallus are rellli cute. I have some mallu frends and adore them :)
And your post is like this ultra cute and honest post. Loved reading it.
Also, what are u working as in IIM-K? :)Pat on the back :)

debajyoti said...

super hilarious!!!!! u know what? although i m not a Malayali, i have all these traits :D

and even i love strikes. it was an awesome read.

Revacious said...

lol.. from all the newspaper articles, spoof songs etc I've read/heard, mallus also seem to be really good at laughing at themselves- which, in India, is pretty rare & hence awesome :)

Red Handed said...

Thankyou sooo much for the tag!!!!!!!!
Means a lot!!!
btw even I hate weddingss!

R. Ramesh said...

wow exhaustive n interesting buddy:)

Anonymous said...

hahah, that did exhaust me! ^
great blog, definately following.
care to follow back if you like mine?

Life Unordinary said...

why no new updates on your blog?