The word ‘Malayali’ has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? After all, we are special beings from the South. And as Malayalis, we have an understanding, something like a bro-code, that only we can make head or tail of. See, no matter what you do, you can never lose the Malayali within you.
Which is why we relate to strange things that even Einstein wouldn’t be able to comprehend. So as true Malayali myself, I decided to list down 10 things only Malayalis can relate to.
1. Samaram (aka Hartals) = Holiday
For Keralites, Samaram is like a part and parcel of life. For school-going kids, it means a holiday. And for people participating in Samarams, it means protesting and pelting stones at anyone who’d cross their furious path. I am pretty sure that Kerala has a world record for the most number hartals in a year, a month, or maybe even a week – sure, it’s a possibility. That said, we Keralites (at least, most of us) have the ‘Samaram Syndrome’ where we can’t do without Samarams because, all said and done, Samarams are the only solution to Kerala’s problems (sarcasm intended).
2. Drink Them Sip-Ups
When I was in school, my friends and I would wait for the last period to end only to get hold of the precious, colourful thing called sip-ups. For the uninitiated, sip-ups are sweet, flavoured iced drinks that came in an elongated plastic cover. It was cheap. It was tasty. Damn, we didn’t even think of ‘calories’ at that point in time. It was like the Coca-Cola and Pepsi of our generation.
3. ‘Ayila, Challa, Cheymeen’
Around mid-afternoon, you’ll hear cries of fishermen selling freshly caught fish in the streets of Kerala. They all have the same tone – no kidding. Since we all love our meen curry and mathi fry, their calls are our only hope for a great lunch. I remember giving my mom the I-want-fish-for-lunch look, every time a fisherman, who passed by my house, yelled ‘Ayila, Challa, Cheymeen’.
4. We’re addicted to Parotta and Beef
Parotta and beef are soulmates made in heaven. Ask any Malayali what their favourite food is, and their befitting reply would be parotta and beef. It holds the same staple status as Mumbai’s vada pav, barring any religious sentiments. Anyone who visits Kerala for the first time will be fed parotta and beef, even if it’s the first meal of the day. It’s a proven fact.
5. Malayalam movie dialogues are part of our life
Anytime a Malayali talks about Poland, a fellow Malayali will go, “Polandiney patti oraksharam mindaruthu”. Very often, we communicate through movie dialogues. It sounds like morse code to outsiders, but we Malaylis know what it actually means. And very often, we throw the dialogues around like it’s part of our dictionary. The emotions that a well-crafted dialogue can deliver is a unique thing in itself. It’s a way we express our emotions and our love for our movies in everyday conversation.
6. Vere Level, Bro
If we find something mind-blowing, our sentences always end with ‘Vere Level, Bro’. It basically means marvellous in whole different level. So if I happen to see a killer movie, I’d say, “Damn, that movie was vere level, bro!” It’s a slang we cannot let go of.
7. Pazhampori Is To Die For
Out of all the snacks we love to gorge on, it would the good ol’ pazhampori. The crispiness of the outer layer coupled with the sweetness of the moist banana is just pure wonder. The texture is on point. The taste, absolutely reminiscent of the evenings after school. It is, undoubtedly, a brilliant invention. At this very moment, I miss Amma’s pazhampori.
8. Tuitions Were The Best
The best time spent during our childhood was not during school. It was what happened after school – tuitions. Oh man, it was the only time lovers spent time together, boys and girls openly shared secrets, and snacks were burgers and fries. It was like a mini version of college, where freedom lasted for a good 2-3 hours. Those were the days!
9. Oil Head Massage
Growing up, our mothers were the masseuse in our lives. Not only would they make oil themselves, but gives us a head massage that warranted a 5-star rating. For the past 15 years, I’ve been using hair oil made by my mother using natural ingredients, and it’s the only way to keep my hair from dying a slow death. I know you can relate to this. Now go put that oil your mother made for you.
10. Mazha Vannal, Popy Kuda!
Kerala always looks spectacular during the rainy season. And when the rain sets in, Popy kudas would be what everyone had inside their bags, more often than not. Everyone would get their hands on the latest launch of Popy kudas, and basically show it off to the rest of the class.
Do you think we missed something? Tell us more in the comments section.