Posted in close to heart, Interesting Reads

I am woman

Every year, people all around the world celebrate March 8th as women’s day. Every year I wonder whats the point? I mean,  a day for women? Do we really need one day? And what really happens to us women on that day? Do we have to work less or not work at all? Do we not take up the responsibilities we do everyday? Do we just put our legs up and let the other species do all the things we do or dont do? Does the men..every man give us a leg massage and cook abd do the dishess abd take care of the baby(s) abd head to work and treat us special? Is that what the day is meant to be for? Such a lot of hype. I think if one really wants to have a day for women, then on that day, women everywhere should be able to walk on the road without any eyes oggling at her, she should havw tbe right to decide whether she should or shouuldnt wear lingerie, she should be able to hold a drink in her hand without being stared at n the likes. Above all.. here’s a note to the men.

Every woman has a past. Some were physically abused. Some had violent parents. Some had pubertal issues. Some had sexual abuse as a child from their own family members. Some had messed up love stories. Some had been forced into sex in the name of love. Some had been drugged. Some were date raped. Some had been viciously photographed on bed. Some had been blackmailed by their ex-boyfriend. Some were in an abusive relationship. Some had menstrual problems. Some had a broken family. Some had a divorce. Some had an obesity issue. Some had financial droughts. Some had drug or alcohol addiction. Some had a few unsuccessful suicide attempts.

If you see a woman, who went through any of these but had already wiped her tears, tied her hair up, masked her sorrows with a divine smile, stood tall and strong, started walking towards her future because she still has some hope left inside her and has not given up on the concept of love that still exists in this world, do not stab her with her past. Do not confront her. Do not slap her with more abuse. Give way for her and walk beside her. Make her believe in the goodness this life has. Teach her to trust. May be hold her hands and walk for a while. You’ll know how sweet that soul is and how strong her hopes are! You’ll be amazed at how she carries herself after all her energy has been sucked out.

She need not always be only the woman next door or from a different home. She could be your own friend, your own sister, your own girlfriend, your own wife, even may be your own mother. Do not judge her by her past. Gift her the peaceful future that she deserves. Hold her hands against the world, which knows only to judge. Give her the love that she always yearned for. Most important convince her thay what lies ahead of her is much better than what she left behind.

Men, most of us dont want to be superior than you and it really isnt what we are after. Give us the space to chase our dreams like you do. Taking care of the family, helping you realise your dreams and making you go after them will all be taken care of even if we do have a job! Give us the respect we deserve and stop treating us like your own-unpaid-butler/maid. Give us the love. Hold our hands. Hug us. Stop thinking about what the world will say or think. Let us, women too, live.

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Posted in Interesting Reads

The “Ittotte” Story

First things First. “Ittotte” in Malayalam(My mother tongue) means shall i put it here. Trust me, this one is a nice read for anyone who is looking for opportunities.

“As we waited at the signal for the lights to turn green, a lottery ticket seller approached the car and pushed a bunch of tickets in front of me. I tried to shoo him away but he would not go. Muttering under my breath, I waited for the light to turn green and so that I could just speed away. I hate people, esp youngsters begging and selling things on the street!

That was when I heard the ‘Ittotte?’ story for the first time.

Once upon a time, on a tree by the roadside, there lived a wizened old madman. He would threaten passers-by, with a heavy sack in his hand, asking, “Ittottee?” which in Malayalam means, “Shall I drop this on you?”

The passers-by would all hasten away, fearing that he would indeed be mad enough to actually drop the heavy sack on them.

Until one day, a boy took on the old man and agreed that the sack could be dropped down on him.

The old man in surprise asked the boy once again, if he was sure that he wanted the sack to be dropped.

The boy nodded in affirmation.

“Are you very sure?” The old man asked repeatedly “It will hurt you”.

“Very sure, very sure. Drop the sack down”, the boy said categorically.

The old man dropped the heavy sack. Very carefully though, ensuring that the sack did not really fall on the boy and hurt him.

The boy was a bit surprised that the ‘madman’ had not thrown the sack down on him, but let it down so gingerly.

“Can I open it?” he asked the old man.

“It’s yours” the old man answered and smiled wryly.

The boy opened the sack and found it was filled with gold and precious stones.

Not sure of the wrinkled old man’s intentions, the boy looked up quizzically.

“Take it take it” the old man said “I’m glad that I found at least one person who has the good sense to receive what I have for him, before I die.”

This is what the story taught me, as I complained about the nuisance of the vendor – that we are only what we see, and that we get only what we agree to receive. Where everybody else ‘saw’ a threat in the unexpected sound of “Ittotte?” from above, the boy saw an opportunity

Many of us similarly, choose to flee from our good fortune, because success too often appears scary.

We are all hearing the question “Ittotte?” loudly and clearly in many different ways, everyday in our lives from equally unfamiliar and odd circumstances or moments.

What does it take to learn to say yes and not run away from our ‘Ittottee?’ ?

Opportunity does not come before us with a placard reading ‘your opportunity’ written out in big fat bold letters. It most often seems quite threatening like the ‘Ittotte?’ man in this story.

Thinking about it today, I wish I knew from which little book was this little thought revealed? Or was I destined to hear it, because I often run away from the opportunities life presents?

I wish I knew…”

Posted in Interesting Reads

If men could menstruate-Gloria Steinem

Living in India made me understand that a white minority of the world has spent centuries conning us into thinking a white skin makes people superior, even though the only thing it really does is make them more subject to ultraviolet rays and wrinkles.

Reading Freud made me just as skeptical about penis envy. The power of giving birth makes “womb envy” more logical, and an organ as external and unprotected as the penis makes men very vulnerable indeed.

But listening recently to a woman describe the unexpected arrival of her menstrual period (a red stain had spread on her dress as she argued heatedly on the public stage) still made me cringe with embarrassment. That is, until she explained that, when finally informed in whispers of the obvious event, she said to the all-male audience, “and you should be proud to have a menstruating woman on your stage. It’s probably the first real thing that’s happened to this group in years.”

Laughter. Relief. She had turned a negative into a positive. Somehow her story merged with India and Freud to make me finally understand the power of positive thinking. Whatever a “superior” group has will be used to justify its superiority, and whatever and “inferior” group has will be used to justify its plight. Black me were given poorly paid jobs because they were said to be “stronger” than white men, while all women were relegated to poorly paid jobs because they were said to be “weaker.” As the little boy said when asked if he wanted to be a lawyer like his mother, “Oh no, that’s women’s work.” Logic has nothing to do with oppression.

So what would happen if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?

Clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, worthy, masculine event:

Men would brag about how long and how much.

Young boys would talk about it as the envied beginning of manhood. Gifts, religious ceremonies, family dinners, and stag parties would mark the day.

To prevent monthly work loss among the powerful, Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea. Doctors would research little about heart attacks, from which men would be hormonally protected, but everything about cramps.

Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of such commercial brands as Paul Newman Tampons, Muhammad Ali’s Rope-a-Dope Pads, John Wayne Maxi Pads, and Joe Namath Jock Shields- “For Those Light Bachelor Days.”

Statistical surveys would show that men did better in sports and won more Olympic medals during their periods.

Generals, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation (“men-struation”) as proof that only men could serve God and country in combat (“You have to give blood to take blood”), occupy high political office (“Can women be properly fierce without a monthly cycle governed by the planet Mars?”), be priests, ministers, God Himself (“He gave this blood for our sins”), or rabbis (“Without a monthly purge of impurities, women are unclean”).

Male liberals and radicals, however, would insist that women are equal, just different; and that any woman could join their ranks if only she were willing to recognize the primacy of menstrual rights (“Everything else is a single issue”) or self-inflict a major wound every month (“You must give blood for the revolution”).

Street guys would invent slang (“He’s a three-pad man”) and “give fives” on the corner with some exchenge like, “Man you lookin’ good!

“Yeah, man, I’m on the rag!”

TV shows would treat the subject openly. (Happy Days: Richie and Potsie try to convince Fonzie that he is still “The Fonz,” though he has missed two periods in a row. Hill Street Blues: The whole precinct hits the same cycle.) So would newspapers. (Summer Shark Scare Threatens Menstruating Men. Judge Cites Monthlies In Pardoning Rapist.) And so would movies. (Newman and Redford in Blood Brothers!)

Men would convince women that sex was more pleasurable at “that time of the month.” Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore life itself, though all they needed was a good menstruating man.

Medical schools would limit women’s entry (“they might faint at the sight of blood”).

Of course, intellectuals would offer the most moral and logical arguements. Without the biological gift for measuring the cycles of the moon and planets, how could a woman master any discipline that demanded a sense of time, space, mathematics– or the ability to measure anything at all? In philosophy and religion, how could women compensate for being disconnected from the rhythm of the universe? Or for their lack of symbolic death and resurrection every month?

Menopause would be celebrated as a positive event, the symbol that men had accumulated enough years of cyclical wisdom to need no more.

Liberal males in every field would try to be kind. The fact that “these people” have no gift for measuring life, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.

And how would women be trained to react? One can imagine right-wing women agreeing to all these arguements with a staunch and smiling masochism. (“The ERA would force housewives to wound themselves every month”: Phyllis Schlafly)

In short, we would discover, as we should already, that logic is in the eye of the logician. (For instance, here’s an idea for theorists and logicians: if women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn’t it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? I leave further improvisation up to you.)

The truth is that, if men could menstruate, the power justifications would go on and on.

If we let them.

Posted in Interesting Reads

After a while

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…

                                      – Veronica Shoftshall

Keep this in mind but don’t forget to enjoy!!! And with this my dears, I wish you a very happy weekend. For those on the other side of the world, like my man, whose weekends have already started, hope you are having a great weekend 🙂

Posted in Interesting Reads

Mayonnaise Jar and Two Beers :)

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers . 

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else—the small stuff. ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

‘Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’  The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.’

Posted in Interesting Reads

Salary negotiation-Do’s and Dont’s

Keep this in mind when you attend your next job interview or when you are due for your next appraisal. Either ways, good luck!

The EHS post

salary-negotiation-tips-for-nonprofit-professionals-300x204All work and No pay makes Jack a dull boy.- Anonymous

The overwhelming reason candidates decide to explore new options is to get a better salary. At the same time most candidates are not sure – as to how to approach this tricky topic. Some are upfront about it and risk loosing their candidature. And there are some who are too nervous to even discuss this topic.

How does one go about managing this delicate issue of negotiating ones salary ?

Here are a few simple tips, to overcome the butterflies in your stomach and negotiate your salary in a clear and confident manner.

Homework helps.

What is the likely salary for the position you are applying for ? You must keep in mind that organizations base salaries on what they pay currently to fill similar roles. Some homework to find out the going rate for the position can be…

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Posted in Interesting Reads

Finding the Job of your life- An HBR Blogpost

Let’s face it. We all think about it. At times we think of little else — even if only rarely and in certain settings do we feel free to admit it. The conversation often begins furtively, the question murmured as if slightly shameful or out of place. How can I get more of it at work?

Meaning, that is.

Meaning at work, in work, from work. Despite work even. Meaningful work. However you put it, we crave meaning more than ever.

It may be because we are freer. If we’re fed up of soulless work we are told to take charge of our career, find our vision and carve our own path. But what if we can’t see clearly? What if a path that looks promising actually leads nowhere?

It may be because we are too focused or not focused enough. We feel stuck on a narrow path and we wonder what lies beyond it. Or we hop between jobs without commitment or a clear direction.

It may be because we are more exposed. Courses, networking events and social media may not open so many doors but they provide plenty of windows — into a myriad of new neighbors’ lawns whose grass often looks greener. Take Facebook. Everyone has fulfilling lives there. Their colleagues are helpful and fun, their partners attractive and caring, their travels exotic and food delicious. Their glasses are full. Children always smile and never have tantrums.

Someone always seems to be pulling it off. Whatever ‘it’ is. So why aren’t we?

The more we reach for meaning, the more elusive it becomes. Interrogating its nature, what it may look and feel like, makes it more mysterious. Thinking about meaning only deepens our longing.

When you look at it that way, meaning is like love.

Yearning for either turns some into poets and drives the rest of us on a quest to experience it.

But when it comes to love, most grown-ups realize what that quest will take.

We long ago gave up the fantasy that a Prince or Princess Charming will show up one day to sweep us off our feet. We know that finding love takes more than hopeful waiting. It takes building a relationship with somebody to share love with.

Love, the sentiment, is a consequence of having found our somebody. It begins when our desire for love morphs into desire for a person . In fact, when we are in love we may not even think much about our desire for love. We’re too busy doing what lovers do — holding hands, writing letters, promising, being consumed and scared and comforted, raising children, fighting, making up, making out, having a laugh.

When it comes to meaning, however, many grown-ups still believe in a version of the handsome prince and perky princess.

We call them “dream job” or “fulfilling life” and imagine them to be out there — at the other end of the marshes of torment, waiting for us to wade through a forest of doubts. Ready to understand us perfectly and delight us ever after.

That very belief keeps us confused and stuck.

Meaning, like love, is a consequence. Not a destination. It is the sentiment we experience, usually in passing, when we’re engaged with activities, people, or purposes that keep us busy and make us feel alive. It is not the big warm light at the end of the tunnel. It is the tiny LED that signals “life is ON.”

If meaning is what we seek, then, the best we can do is to find something so engaging that we stop thinking of meaning. How? The same way most of us go about finding our somebody when we are looking for love.

Yes, fantasizing, getting advice, and taking to the Internet are all well and good. But sooner or later you have to play the awkward, exciting, unpredictable game.

Dating.

In her landmark study of career transitions, Herminia Ibarra echoes the psychoanalyst Adam Phillips’ view that flirtation — a form of experimentation suspended between imagination and commitment — is the royal road to explore potential interests and discover who we are, not only when it comes to romance.

On a first date you rarely ask yourself, “Is he or she the one?” Ok, maybe you do, and you might be able to tell if someone isn’t. But you are more likely to wonder, “Is this going any further?” or more precisely, whether and how you would like it to. The latter question is far more useful, for three reasons.

It is (more) answerable. It is impossible to know in advance if a job you are considering will be meaningful. You can tell if it is attractive, which does not hurt — but this offers little real guidance. It is possible, however, to sense from a project, an internship or even just a meal with potential colleagues if that attractive job may be worth pursuing further.

It reveals what you want (and what you are prepared to give). Considering a concrete option, as opposed to a fantasy, puts your expectations to the test of reality. If you went further, what might you have to invest, rearrange, give up? What would you want and fear? How much work are you prepared to put in to make it work?

It exposes you (or makes you withdraw). It is impossible to love and learn without making ourselves vulnerable. To rejection, hurt, disillusionment or exploitation. To surprise, affection, understanding and transformation. Dating won’t help you assess those risks and opportunities accurately, let alone prevent them, but it gives you a chance to entertain them and maybe take the plunge.

Any job, like any relationship, brings out some parts of yourself and demands that you put others aside. At best, they free you to express more of who you want to be. At worst, they make you feel unsafe. When flirting with a job, you may feel freed up or want to shut down. That is a sign of how the job may change you.

There are as many kinds of meaning as there are kinds of love. Claiming and liberating us at the same time, both elicit the full range of feelings that come with being alive. Our “meaning lives” are as complex and messy as our “love lives.” Both can be frustrating at times and gratifying at others. In fact, it is the possibility of experiencing a broad range of feelings, in relation to someone or something that matters, that makes them meaningful.

A meaningful job has boring moments, scary moments, angry moments. It is not a flat line of unvarying personal fulfillment. Nothing is great if it is monotone. There is no job of your life out there, waiting to be found

Posted in Interesting Reads

Its alright to spend on making memories.

This article was up as a good read in one of the sites I follow.  FOr each one of you who thinks that photography is a waste of time and money and all those who think that spending an amount for photography for any occasion is totally unwanted, take a look at this article. 

“My parents have exactly 18 professional images from their wedding. Eighteen. I know them inside and out. I could describe each image to you so well that a sketch artist would be able to recreate them.

How do I know them so well? Because I’ve looked at them hundreds of times. I’ve looked at them hundreds of times because they were on display, in an album. An album that was made by a professional, filled with prints made through a professional lab and bound in a book available only to professionals. From the time I was a little girl I was fascinated by it — seeing my parents so young, my grandparents and aunts and uncles surrounding them. It was a simple leather book, with the images slipped in and preserved behind plastic but it held up surprisingly well over time. Even though I looked at it more times than I could count. Even though this May those images will turn 42 years old.

But what about couples that marry today? What if they decide to forgo an album? What if they decide it’s not worth the cost? How many images do you really think they’ll put into frames? Five? Ten? Maybe that first year married, they’ll have a bunch. But then, kids comes along. Baby pictures replace wedding pictures in those frames. They move, things change. In 40 years, how many pictures do you think their children will know by heart? How many pictures will they have even seen?

Today, a lot of couples think just getting the disc of images is good enough. Here’s the problem with that thinking: it’s not true. Not by a long shot.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that getting the files from your day is great. Today’s couples probably get up to 1,000 images from their wedding, WAY more images than my parents did. After all, what happened to all those other images from my parents’ wedding day? They probably sat, negatives in a box, at their photographer’s studio never again to see the light of day. So I think it’s wonderful that couples get ALL their photos. But what worries me is that even with that option, it won’t mean that today’s couples will necessarily be better off. My fear is that today’s couples will actually end up with LESS than what my parent’s got in 1971.

Think about it, will the computers of 2055 even have DVD drives? USB ports? Will they even have hard drives at all? If the past is any indication, the answer is no. You know what the big technological advancement was when my parents got married? Eight-track players. What if their images were stored on the equivalent of that? How in the world would I see those images today?

But you know what never becomes obsolete? What never goes out of style? Photographs. And not just any photographs. Not photos printed at a drugstore. Professional photographs, printed by a professional lab. Those are the photos you find in an attic. It could be a 100-year-old photo, but it still looks good. Because back then, the paper photographs were printed on was high quality and developing them was an art form. There were no machines that spit out pictures onto cheap paper with inexpensive ink. I actually have to stop myself from intervening when I see people at those automated machines in a drugstore. Whatever they’re charging, it’s too much. Because those prints aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. They will fade. They will curl. They will not stand the test of time. Not even close.

Your memories are worth more than that. And your wedding images? They are worth TONS more than that. These aren’t snapshots from a vacation. They aren’t pictures from your iPhone. You cared enough about these moments to hire a professional to photograph them. Follow that through by having a professional print them. Have that professional print the pictures you put into frames and have them design you a high-quality wedding album that you will cherish for decades.

If you purchase an album through your photographer, you can see a sample in person. You can touch and feel it and make sure it is worth every penny.

I know that albums are expensive. That’s for good reason. They are custom-designed books, usually hand-stitched and hand assembled and made just for you.

But of all the things you spend money on for your wedding, your wedding photographs are the ONLY thing that will increase in value over time. As the years pass, you’ll be more and more glad that you have them. Especially, if you can experience looking through them by flipping through a gorgeous custom-designed album instead of sitting in front of your computer and clicking “next” with your mouse.

So, figure out a way to make it happen. Figure out a way to afford that album. Forgo a centerpiece. Cut back on your guest list. Opt out of the vintage car you’ll drive in for all of 20 minutes.

Don’t just do it for you. Do it for your children. Do it for your grandchildren. Because when they root around in your attic in 2075, they will have no idea what do with a USB key anymore than they would with a laser disc player.”

I know I’ll spend on photos on every notable occasion in my life. I have always done that and I will continue to do so. WOuld you keep memories alive for your generations to come?

Posted in Interesting Reads

Malluland-Gods own country

Last weekend I was on a short getaway and I realised that my land truly is a beautiful place. Not just because of the landscape marvel and stuff, but also because of a heritage that is so overwhelming. Here’s the way I would love people(tourists and Non Keralites) to talk about or think of Kerala as.

Kerala, God’s Own Country! Here, you can sip coconut juice (plucked by wiry-legged, bronze-chested Kuttappans and Kochu Thommas)or dig into a plate of karimeen pollichathu on the wind-swept deck of a houseboat in Kumarakom. Or you can go on a forest safari to Thekkady or Gavi. If you don’t get a fresh Malayali tiger sighting, we guarantee you a fresh Malayali tiger dropping sighting or atleast a stone carved version of tiger, buffalo, elephant etc!!The beaches of Cherai, Marari, Kovalam and Varkala. The misty mountains of Munnar, Kuttikanam or Wayanad. The enchanting waterfalls of Athirapally. The lesser known Andhakaranaazhi, Kodanad, Silent Valley, Parambikulam national park, nelliampathy, kuruva dweep, agasthyamalai etc. The heritage of erstwhile Travancore and Malabar. The foreign influence and remains of Dutch-French-Portuguese and British Ancestry at Fort Cochin.  The fingerlicking kadumanga achaar or succulent mutton chaaps and beef varatharachathu. The flavour packed biriyanis and the secret recipes of the syrian christians and malabar mappilahs. All this and so much more!

However, we also offer you many other sightings 🙂

Our YWCA/Rotary women in their kota saris and their weekly games of rummy.

Our Marthoma achens on their Bajaj scooters with their cassocks billowing behind them like capes.

Our nasrani achayens with their scotch whiskey and their waxy moustaches.

Our gelf returnees with suitcases full of foreign scents.

Our men are hairy and so are our women. We believe in equality, a what’s-yours-is-mine policy, including your wife’s Tata Estate, rubber estate and the three gold teeth in her mouth.

To see our men in form, attend a Malayali wedding. When they’re sober, they’ll discuss the stock market, insurgency in Pakistan and global oil prices. Two Johnny Walkers down, they’ll hitch up their lungis/mundus(Jockey Bermudas peeking from beneath) and break into inebriated renditions of ‘Alliambal Kadavil.’ One can learn patience just watching the men standing in long queues in front of BEVCO shops or learn the art of walking swiftly in a lungi/mundu and jumping onto a moving bus with the same ease and fervor.

To see our women in form, attend a Syrian Christian church service on Sunday and watch the Mariammas, Eliyammas and Shoshammas in the front pew belch out verse after verse of Suriyani hymns – lusty, off-key and hitting notes that will make even the Mar Baselios Bavas turn in their graves. Learn the art of multi tasking by just watching the old muthachis and ammachis sing,cook,play with the kids, watch TV and pray all at the same time. Learn the art of sales by watching the lungi clad chechis on Lunars, selling fish, bargaining and applying the Buffets and Kotlers theories in full swing.

And what about our superstars? Can your Tom Croose or Brad Peet vanquish a dozen gun-toting villains with a single, gold-ringed knuckle punch like Mohanlal or spew English like Suresh Gopi (‘Just remember that’) or own a courtroom like Mammooty (‘That’s all, Your Honor’)?

But all said and done, we are a simble, humble people with simble, humble pleasures: watching Idea Star Singer on Asianet or the mallu version of saas-bahu soaps like “Kumkumapoovu”, scouting the obituary section of Malayala Manorama, getting our dentures stuck in plates of chakkavaratty, ogling next door mallu aunty’s large sized “bumper” or her “charakku” daughters, finding bridegrooms for our daughters (must be minimum an ingineer), going for second show and hooting when the power fails.

And why are we the way we are? Simblee. Coz we are Malayee. We are like this wonlee. 🙂

Welcome to Kerala. Nice to meet you!