A Mallu by origin and also by traits, I always had chances of being proud when I compare and contrast myself with the kind of people I witness here, in the neighbouring state of Karnataka. Settled here for the last 18 years, even now I have chances of feeling honoured within my conscious mind. Having made it a point to learn Kannada, the mother tongue of Karnataka, both reading and writing, I had learnt speaking in the beginning years itself. My experiments in attaining perfection in the language is still on. As diction, accent, pronunciation, tone all matters for locals to identify(rectify?) me as a Mallu, throwing all my attempts to master their language into a garbage bin out of the locality, they usually start making faces, when I speak . To me, my speaking of their language isn’t that bad. I feel delighted when some admit that.
I want to make them realise(a Herculean task though) certain things, whether they take it or not. Ridiculing someone who’s better than them(for they can’t speak any of the other language or my language, as I do) is indecent. Then how can they consider themselves to be privileged? I have seen some imitating, right behind me! Just want to tell you that there are people far better than you, for they don’t ridicule someone who doesn’t know their language. Rather they try to understand the learner’s effort to learn a language which is totally new to them. Some don’t mind to publically abuse! Because of ‘them,’ that particular thing happened, ‘they’ spoiled this etc. there goes their hate phrases. I remember Hitler and his mention of the Jews as ‘they’ whenever I still see them.Times have changed and please admit, irrespective of the area, we are Indians.
A virtual truth, everyone has their own goodness and faults. Take it! The sense of togetherness, integrity and honesty Mallus possess, perhaps not many have. They don’t cheat people and unnecessarily blame them as people around me always do. They usually don’t have double standards unless situation demands. When they accept people, they respect them wholeheartedly. Moreover, they are trustworthy and sincere, unlike those who blame. If they accept one, they maintain that relationship until they go to their own graves. Their approach to life isn’t complicated, but simply straight forward.
When one starts to talk in their language, after a few seconds, they will for sure throw this this question onto their face with a pale grin at the corners of their lips, ‘Are you a Mallu? I guessed it right when you spoke, don’t feel bad.’ I rather would like to tell them, ‘Why should I, when you can’t utter any of the language I speak.’ Some give a hate speech about the state too( for its political legacy), imitating the typical accent. Others too can imitate so many of their ways and talks but, how and why to throw a stone at an empty tree? This is too common among students too, I usually advise students not to be conservative in judgements. Learn to recognise the goodness in people and respect them, they hardly realise they don’t deserve respect either.
There are a few who admire others, I revere them. On confronting a good person, they admit the visibly traceable trait in them and happily maintain a good relation with them. May God keep their good spirits on! Mallus adapt themselves to the new place very soon and start loving it as their own, perhaps people need to understand that. Amidst those sentiments if someone comes forward with such stupid comments, I swear, the kind of expression I show will be exactly of the character shown in the picture.
“I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and nations of the earth. O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee-” Speech by Swami Vivekananda at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Hope the ‘well educated’ and equally ‘cultured’ understand the depth of the sentence and keep that legacy to be virtually called as an Indian! Before I quit, just one more short sentence, following the lines of Oliver Cromwell:
In the name of God, Please…