Al-Avalathi's Life (Al-Avalathi is the last Mallu to go to the Gelf)
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Posts from — July 2007

Bathing with Jetty is prohibited!

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The text in Tamil and Malayalam also means what they have meant in English. (Ya, the language has been mothered!) For the uninitiated Jetty means Undies down south.
Not sure if one needs to take Jetty off while taking bath :D as per the board!

The brand conscious please note the Viking brand mentioned on the jetty :D

This board can be seen at Thriparapp falls, a lousy place near Kanyakumari in TamilNadu, which now ceases to be anything more than a common bathing place
Not sure if it is maintained by the Panchayat or TTDC has a hand in advertising and not maintaining this place…. add is to your NEVER VISIT list unless you want to see this board ;)

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July 29, 2007   11 Comments

Eavesdropping on Mallu Names

Voila!With much effort I overcome the blogger’s block and come up with a post.Lots a things happened during the blogging hiatus(na, something longer than that).Tata Crucible happened. MBA ended. Joined work.

This post is dedicated to the keen(oh! please, gimme a break!) observation made by Parul on Mallu names. More than half of the Mallu names are meaningless,funny,stupid combinations of syllables, letters or other names!(Phew! Mine is not one among them, thanks to my parents).

I am not going to utter a word about names with even remotely sensible meanings and can be related to human beings! Apologies are due to all my friends whose names I quote in the post and thanks to them without which this post would not have even happened (The usual funda of “some names have been changed to protect identity” doesnt work here :D )

The names continue to amuse me, amaze me. It is not only the Christians who have a slight bend towards naming their kids this way, though they lead the pack but people of other faith give them tough competition.

In school I used to wonder what the name of a classmate Jiss meant. Since I knew my name had a meaning, I had this obsession during those times that all names should have meanings. But having spent a huge part of my life in Kerala this obsessive disorder died a slow death or had to.

I have heard of a doctor by name Tiny Nair.I had a senior in school by name Jerry. Sanish and Sanish were close friends of mine in school. The name Snith may sound like a typo, but have a friend from school by this name. There are some names which may sound to have Sanskrit roots like Ajesh or a Rejish. When translated Ajesh would mean god of goats!!! Sorry da!!!

Baby is a very common unisexual name/pet name among Mallu Christians.Don’t tell me you do not know atleast one Baby uncle /Baby aunty!!!

I have heard names like Joy, Job, Happy, Healthy, Shine, Shiny, Kavin, Bejoy. One does not need to live for long in Kerala to meet a Siji or a Biji or a Liji or the names ending with a Ju or a Jo.There was a time when lots of people had Kumar as their second names. Somewhere came the era of four lettered names.
And someone thought its cool, others thought the same and that ushered in the age of little names. A suffix mon(son) or mol(daughter) were added either to reinforce the gender or to show a little more affection to their kids.By the time these people grew up, they hated their names as much to file applications at the nearest notary for a name change.

Ignorance of some parents gave blissful kids lucky and classy names like Shitty(eeks!!!),Percy, Booby(whoa!), Dickson(oh my!!!),Blessy, Bright(really!).Some names would have been better if the people lived in some other part of world. A Tito, Prince, Fidel etc would have been not so weird elsewhere as much as in Malluland.

Many lucky souls were named so thanks to their parents’ whose names were remotely Biblical. The thought that such names are passé crept into them and so they combined parts of their names and named the kid. My friend Cijo’s parents CIcily and JOse would have had an easy time naming him.The Mallu liking for short names can be seen in names ending with ji(Siji,Liji, Biji etc) or jo(Lijo,Cijo,Bijo) or the ju(try any combos as you wish)

Amma as the second name existed in Central and South Kerala a generation back.These ladies must have had a tough time having an oldie name even in primary school! Though Amma ceased to exist in the Mallu names database, Kuttan and Kutty found a place as the second names.

A lot of these creative(?) and meaningful(?) names are unisex, for eg. a Shiji can be of either gender! Long live the society that doesn’t bias between genders.
I am lucky to have met people with names like Happy,Job.Pretty, and even a Betty!(Trust me, her parents did know the character). Sajin, Shibin Dibin,Bibin, and even Justin etc were the IN names at some point of time.There are some names which are Mallu version of European names or their smaller versions, like a Lissy(Lizy).

Long live the Mallu’s creativity or lack of it in naming kids! :P

PS:Must read on what a Rajasthani found in Kerala- Mundu Mafia
Edited later: Since 1:45 am was too late on Thursday,I had to end the post abruptly.

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July 12, 2007   22 Comments