After all, what is in a (Mallu) name?

Mallu names can get super-hilarious! …like the name I just found on the name plate outside one of the cubicles in office – Jiljin Kuzhiyil! For all you non-mallus out there, lemme explain: “Kuzhi” means ‘a pit’ and “kuzhiyil” means ‘in the pit’! So, when put together, it reads “Jiljin in the pit”! Sorry folks… when it comes to some mallu names, my ability to understand the gender of the person is very poor. In this case, I assume this is a guy, so lemme address Jiljin as “he”. Poor thing; he is carrying his name as a funny tag all through his life – for people like me to write blog posts and for others to have a really good laugh! 

Jiljin is just one of the 1000s of victims – of the creativity of people from God’s Own Country! One of my colleagues Saju Mathilmel is yet another example. ‘Mathil’ is fence and ‘Mathilmel’ is ‘on the fence’. And I wonder; will it not lead to logically incorrect situations, like… even if Saju is in the loo, he remains on the fence (going by his name)!!!

Like I mentioned in my first post on my mallu friends having funny names, one of the most common trends observed among Malayali parents is that they take a few alphabets from their names and create an out-of-the-box name for the child. Think of the kid whose mother’s and father’s names were Pinky and Geo. If anybody shouts, “You Pig…!!”, the poor kid, throughout his life, will have to turn and ask: “Yes… did you call me?! To make it sound more fancy, the ultra-inventive parents might add a ‘mon’ or ‘kutty’ as a suffix. So that makes him, Pig Kutty!!

After all, what is in a name, right? Especially in a mallu name!!!

Prospective Groom Meeting!

It was fabulously a beautiful Saturday morning. My roommates and I decided to spend the day shopping, followed by lunch from the best Chinese restaurant in town. As we were getting ready, my mom called me. The shakun was not good, I sensed something fishy. 

When I felt she fumbled for words, I said, “Don’t beat around the bush, what is it that you want?”

Amma, “This guy who works in California wants to meet you. He…”
I interrupted, “Arnold Schwarzenegger?! Why ...meet me?”
Amma, “No no… a Nair boy; an IIT graduate too! Kamini aunty came up with this proposal and I want you to meet this guy who is in Bangalore this weekend.”

I snapped back, “Okay! I shall meet him; but don't insist that I should like him too.”
Amma, “Deal.”

I was given the prospective groom’s phone number. I decided to meet him in the next half an hour for breakfast as I didn’t want to ruin our shopping plans! And… why would I say no to sponsored breakfast??! :P

The scheduled meeting time was 9:00 a.m. As I stepped inside Adayar Ananda Bhavan, I saw this totally out-of-place looking guy seated uncomfortably on a table, scrutinizing the whole place. I was sure… he is the Californian dude! A few more moments of inspecting him, I noticed the text on his t-shirt – “I am America”! I wondered, “Is he wearing a placard? May be that's fashion in the west. I didn't know that; interesting!”

Murmuring, “Oh Mr. America… here I come!”, I walked to his table, shook hands and introduced myself.

American dude, “You could have chosen a better place for breakfast. This seriously is retarded! I have heard about some place called Leela or something. Could have gone there!”

Me, “Trust me… food is good here!”
Dude, “Alright… so, I am Kim. I’m from the Silicon valley”.
Alarmingly, I said, “God… Am I with the right person? Excuse me…”
Dude, “Chill girl… I was Kalyan Manoharan in India, however known as Kim in my Californian circle. 
In my mind, “What a loser! And, what the hell am I doing here?”

The waiter interrupted our conversation,
“Eenu bekku? Masala dosa, rava dosa, onion uthappam, puri, idli, vada, uppiddu…” The list was really really long!

Dude, “Can I have pan cakes and hash browns?” I couldn’t believe he actually asked for that!
Waiter, “Enu madam?” 

Me, “He wants boiled potato…”
Waiter, “Lunch time 12 o clocke start aaguthe!”
Dude making faces, “Holy Cow! Hmmm... well; I think I will settle for plain dosa. And please clean the pan with paper towel before you pour the batter!”
I thought, “What a pain in the a**. Trying hard to impress or is he is actually insane? 
Dude turning to me, “You see, In India, you cannot trust anything!”
Not knowing how to react, I said, “Seriously, you think so?”

The food came and as I was about to attack my onion-rava-masala-dosa, he panicked like a maniac and screamed at me, “Did you wash your hands with sanitizer?”

Terrified me said, “I washed my hands there”, pointing the wash area.
Affectionately offering me a sachet of hand sanitizer, he said, “Especially in India, it is very important to have one in your bag always!”

Lending my ears to his Bay Area and Silicon Valley stories was the greatest torture I could ever ask for on a Saturday morning! The faster I ate, the faster I could escape! I hurriedly ate my dosa and felt relieved when I finished it. When the waiter placed the finger bowls on our table, the dude called him back and asked, “Please take this back and bring mineral water instead!” My eyes actually popped out.

He was given the bill and he reacted, “I just don’t trust the financial system in India. Do you know how screwed up it is? It lacks efficiency and so, I don't want to swipe my card here! And people in Silicon Valley usually don’t carry cash." 

He continued, “May be you could settle the account here." 

I thought,
Pichakkaran (beggar) from the Silicon Valley! Not a penny in his pocket… but wants to go to The Leela Palace for breakfast! Shameless!”
Dude, “Okay… nice meeting you! We should do this often; you see I don't have many friends in Bangalore. 
In my mind, “I have better things to do in life!”
and aloud with a plastic smile at him, "Bye!". 

Do you also have any interesting bride/groom seeing experiences to share? Come on then… I am all ears!

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