Rules That Expose The Double Standards In A Malayali’s Life

How often do we come up with instances where we painfully learn that a set of rules are not applicable universally? Okay, don’t even bother to answer that. We all grew up in households where brothers and fathers had one set of rules, while mothers and daughters had another set of rules. Hopefully, we don’t recreate the same mess we grew up in! Here are a few of the double standards we have come across in our life.

Pottanum poy, mandanum poy pakshe boat maatram kitteela!

You get the admission letter to the college you were set to go to. You’re excited. You chose this college 50% because the course ‘sounded nice’, 20% because your seniors posted real cool stuff from campus and 30% because it was seven hours away from home. Did the happiness last?

Also Read: 6 Malayalam Movies That Perfectly Captured Your ‘College’ Life

Enjoyment and all is fine but do not forget that you left veed not for weed, but for securing your future. Your photos, phone bills, report cards, end semester results, canteen bills, account statements are all under watchful eyes because ‘yogakshemam vahamyaham’ (Nope, this is not a LIC plug-in). You have the ‘freedom’ to choose organisational management or biotechnology as your elective (athoke monte/molde ishtam pole!). But we’ll decide the college. We’ll decide the course. The rest is up to you. 

*Frantically googles “universities with gate pass, curfew, separate buses for boys and girls, strict teachers, stricter wardens, progress report e-copies”

Le Google: Did you mean ‘PeeChee Thoman’s entrance coaching’?*

Rusk thinno, pakshe risks edukkalle!

Many of us dream of starting our own businesses and turning them into unicorns. And my oh my, do we end up as unicorns, literally – fancy and non-existent!

Also Read: Why Are Malayalis Yet To Accept The Concept Of ‘Gap Year’?

While the idea of ‘swantham kaalil nikkaan padikku’ has been punch stamped into our psyche since birth, there is a list of ‘kaalukal’ that you can stand on. Government jobs, IT sectors with at least 50k salary (yup that specific), government jobs, IT jobs, government jobs etc. (gosh so many choices and yet you crib about it! Pfft!). And let’s say you finally land up in a decent private firm and everyone is happy until somebody makes the headlines with his/her startup success- “Kand padikk 23 vayasse ullu, kodikala shambalam!”

*Insert cricket noises*

Ashokanu ksheenam aawaam, poy paisa indaakk angod!

Work, eat, sleep, and put your money in an FD. Instead, if you invest your money wisely, retire early and decide to live your life, how do you think naatukaar will react? “Adwaanikkaatha paisa nikkilla kutta!” You see, azhinjaattam and all is fine but who will save for the forthcoming kunjikaal and the kaalukals to come after that?

Do whatever you want with your money – trips without drinks, parties that end at 6 pm (sharp), fashion upgrades that don’t include experimental haircuts, short dresses and unnecessary mudi valarcha – but put 3/4th of your salary in a bank account, safe aaitt because apparently swargam is full of discount stores.

Also Read: Why Do Malayalis Think Of Bangalore As The “Sin City”?

Financial independence is not just you earning your own money but also you being completely responsible for it. 

Look illa nne ullu, enikk 26 vayassaay aunty!

You are allowed to look tubby and cute until you are 6 years old. Till then, you are fed until you burst. And if they feel you’re not eating enough, they give you ‘lehyam’ to induce hunger. Sometimes this backfires. And you end up being perpetually hungry post 20. Know what? Just blame it on them. 

And if you are one of those who never gain weight despite binge-eating, no matter what career you choose you will never ever ‘look like it’. Meh. Secretly, this is a gift people pray for in dreams they never tell anybody about so shush and eat your way out. There is nothing but pity to be felt for the moms who have had to transcend from “kochin onnum thinnaan kodkkaarille?” to “chor onnm adhikam kodkknda tto!” in a decade. So for all those who get pointed at for hanging around with more kgs or less (than what is ‘ideal’) – you will never be able to silence wagging tongues. Oru cheviyilude kettittu matte cheviyilude purath viduka!

Also Read: Mocking Men For These Things Should Be Illegal

To the ones reading this. These are not as alien as you might have thought at the start of this piece. It starts from a place as simple as your head and then of course home. It’s easy to frame rules and easier to make others follow them. But it’s always difficult to walk along the same path. It becomes even more difficult when the rules are in the head – unsaid, unwritten but alas never unspoken. With all the legacy and paarambaryam we are handed down a dirty bag of stigma and prejudice. Stop and a sniff before you open and dump it on yourself, won’t you? 

Aashna Praveen
Mostly seen pondering about things around me. Every person I meet, every object I see is a study specimen that I save in my mind log for later. I might end up making you famous, so think twice before you appear before me. *Insert tongue sticking out emoji*

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