Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Defining The Mallu Mindset

This is a comment I posted on സ്ത്രീ ഡൈമൻഷൻ

I have been asked often what the true definition of the word Mallu is. I must say it has really evolved over time. I guess in the last four years one post I have always wanted to write was the definition of my blog address. mallu-ungle. I don't think there will be a more opportune time to render it to words than now. I must thank you madam for presenting to the world what the true mind of an expatriate mallu is. Yes your mind. Which you have exposed while writing this post. I must say this is not the least bit surprising to me. I must have met a thousand such people in my life. Who constantly sing praises of Dubai or some gulf country and curse Kerala for the mosquitoes and power cuts . By the end of this comment you will learn why I am from a slightly different breed than you.

A Mallu (as per my definition) is someone who has left their homeland to seek new pastures of his/her own free will. This usually occurs mainly due to serious financial pressure. By virtue of the chosen objective, (Make some quick bucks at whatever cost), All peripheral interests have to be sacrificed. viz, art, further education, social involvements, environmental consciousness, etc. The very fabric of that individuals life revolves around this clearly identified objective: Wealth. However he carries with him so much psychological excess baggage that he rarely can fit in with the expatriate lifestyle. (please remember the applied meaning of the word Expatriate is usually reserved for white westerners working in the middle east).

The Mallu continues to maintain a whole bunch of complexes mixed with nostalgia and contempt for every other community on the face of the Earth. It is so true when they say "You can take the fellow off the village but never take the village off the fellow". The village is embedded into the Mallu psyche. It is his so deeply rooted somewhere inside, that to take it out would probably kill him. Unlike a Tamil or Kannadiga or a Mumbaikar who has no memory of a picturesque stream or cloud crowned mountain top. No astounding images to carry away and blab hours on end to every westerner he meets on the street of "Gods own Country". One might even wonder if every mallu is a paid agent of some discrete operation wing of the KTDC.

There does exist a second set of individuals who are the offsprings of the above mentioned mallu. Someone who shares some remote semblance of mallu culture but does not believe in the set mallu-objectives (Maximum wealth aquisition at all costs). Someone who may speak a bit of the rather complex language but rarely handle anything beyond that. A classic example of this unruly rebelious ABCD (Abu-Dhabi Born Confused Desi) is writing this very comment to you, (but I do write read write eat and poop malayalam quite well, its just that I am too lazy these days).

These individuals really had no choice in their status as expatriates, nor did they have a financial responsibilities common to most 1st generation mallus. Were mostly western educated and shares most of the western values, probably enjoys a better chance in life at careers and lifestyle. These individuals also had more time for liesure. So they spend more time on the peripheral pursuits of normal human life: like sports, arts, sex, travel, socety, environment, further education, etc.

Now why this long winded definition about Mallus on your post. Becasue I am also a Mallu, but sooooo very different from you.

Your post has clearly defined how most first generation mallu think. contempt, complexes, disillusionment, escapism, use bribe as a means to get things done. etc. I clearly do not feel the way you do about Kerala. I know how bad it can be whit bribe. I refused to pay a whole lot of money (A whole lot meaning shitload of money!!!!!) as bribe to set up a large industrial complex in our state. But I do not hate Kerala. That is my home.
I do love it for all its problems, and issues. I love it for the freedom. For the adventure. For the challenges. For making us be creative. For giving us the opportunity to find a 1000 different uses of scrap metal sheets :)
You, madam, have probably never traveled outside Kerala, and your two bedroom flat in the gulf. So do travel. Please do see at least some parts of our great nation to appreciate Kerala.

As much as I would like to appreciate your frankness in this post, I must admit its folks like you who give Kerala and Malayalees abroad a bad name. Its folks like you who tarnish the names of second generation Mallus like me. Its folks like you who invite comments like "hindi mookh maafi" (ar: Indians have no brain).

There really was nothing much to say about this post. Its a typical mallu post written by a typical mallu. (Actually the last single line was the comment I wrote after reading your blah-de-blah. :) but it was too good an opportunity to miss.)

1 comment:

ഇതെല്ലാം വായിച്ചിറ്റ് ഒന്നും പറയാനില്ലി?
ഇതിനെപറ്റി എന്തരെങ്കിലുമെക്ക പറ..