Top 10 Facts a Non-Malayali should Get it Right

To all those who ask me “Are you a South Indian, a Madrasi?”, “Do you speak Malayali? Anda unda ponna yend?”, “Is your surname ‘Iyer’ ?,” “You must be watching one of those senseless actions South Indian movies, Yenna Rascala?”, “Have you visited the temple built in the name of Rajnikant which is there at your place?”

Please read and get your facts straight!

1. The South of India has five different states and not just Madras.

Not all South Indians are Madrasis. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu are the five different states in the South of India. And FYI, Madras is now Chennai so, Madras is not even relevant anymore. If you are a North Indian say from Punjab or Gujarat, how will you feel if someone refers to you as Bihari? I dare you to call anyone of us a Madrasi next time!

2. For the umpteenth time, we are Malayalis and we speak Malayalam!

Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu are the languages mainly spoken in the South. We don’t speak Malayali. Malayalee is a person who comes from Kerala and speaks Malayalam! We don’t keep yelling ‘Yenna Rascala’ at each other all the time. Well, ‘Yenna Rascala, Mind it!’ was said by SRK in Om Shanti Om, not Rajnikant. Moreover, ‘Yenna Rascala’ and ‘Vanakkam’ are Tamil words.  MIND IT!

Those who mock at us and ask ‘what do you speak, Anda unda ponna yenda?’, let me tell you that even we don’t know if these random words mean anything in any of the languages on Earth! Next time if you come and babble ‘Ille Ille’ or ’Po Po’ in front of us, I swear we will make you pronounce ‘Vazhi’, ‘Kozhikode’ and ‘Pazham! You might have to take the tip of your tongue to your epiglottis, and then you may pronounce them correctly!

3. All South Indians don’t bear the surname ‘Iyer’!

Iyer is a caste of the Hindu Brahmin community of Tamil origin. We Malayali have ‘Nairs’, ‘Warriors’, ‘Menon’s’, and so on.  Some of us Malayali have got big surnames, I agree!  We use house names or parents’ names as our surnames.  There are others who do have names that do not run into the next line!

4. Not every one of us says, “Kahaan se kaharidi aisi BAUKWASS dictionary?”

(Thank you Bollywood!) Do you say that we pronounce ‘Yem B ye’ for MBA then don’t you people pronounce ‘Jeero’ for zero and ‘Phorty phive’ for Forty-five?  Well, I can proudly say that Kerala is the most literate state in India, with 93.91% literacy rate.

5. We hate Racists!

Not all South Indians are black! Well, I have some examples you may agree with, Asin, Vidya Balan, Sridevi, John Abraham, etc. They all are from Kerala. If you think we’re We have Aishwarya Rai and Deepika Padukone too from South India!

6. Idli, Sambhar, Vada, Dhosa, Rice?

Dude, we don’t eat rice 3 times a day, nor do we eat Idli, Vada, Sambhar 7 days a week! Idli, Dosha, Vada, Uttappam, Uuppumav, Puttu Kadala, Kappa (the list doesn’t end here), are what we have for our breakfast! Rice is what we have for lunch and dinner, with a variety of different curries! Come to us, we will give you a small feast! 🙂

PS: ‘Dhonsa’ is the name of a village somewhere (Google it), ‘Dosha’ is what we eat! Sambhar is a species of deer; ‘Saambaar’ is what we have with Dosha!

8. “It’s disgusting that you eat with your hands, that too on a banana leaf!”

Non-Malayali Folks! We can eat with a fork and a knife too. But here’s a question: If you can prepare food with your bare hands and take it to your mouth, what is so disgusting in touching it? You may find it yucky, but we find it yummy because we love our Rasam! Did you know, eating with hands improves your digestion?

I pity you for never having had the chance to eat some garam Rice and Sambaar on a banana leaf that will leave your taste buds in awe!

9. We don’t have senseless action movies!

The dubbed movies you watch on Hindi channels are not Malayalam movies! Our industry doesn’t have the budget for the extra graphic content! We have some relatable and practical movies that you might never get to watch in your Bollywood! I have lost count of Malayalam movies that have been remade in Bollywood. Here are a few:

Manichitrathazhu

  • Hera Pheri–  Ramji Rao speaking
  • Bhool Bhulaiyya – Manichitratazhu
  • Golmaal – Kakkakuyil
  • Garam Masala – Boeing Boeing
  • Drishyam – Drishyam
  • Billu Barbar – Kadha Parayumbol
  • Beti No. 1 – Aadyathe Kanmani
  • BodyGuard – Body Guard
  • Dor – Perumazhakkalam
  • Hulchul – Godfather

If you need more, Google it!

P.S: There is no temple in the name of Rajnikant in Kerala. He is a Maharashtrian who made it into Tamil film Industry long ago! 🙂

9. Our men wear mund/lungi, but we don’t lungi dance all the time! (Thanks again, Bollywood!)

I would say, wearing mundu is more of an art. To those who make fun of anyone wearing a mund or lungi, I have a task for you non-Malayalis! I will give you a lungi, wear it, fold it above your knees, tie and walk like a Man! Which Malayali girl didn’t fall for him?! Which Malayali boy didn’t imitate them?! (Exceptions are always there!) 😛

10. We love Bharatanatyam and there is no mask wala dance!

Not every South Indian girl knows Bharatnatyam! Bharatanatyam is an art form of Tamil Nadu. Mohiniyattam is the dance form of Kerala! I learn Bharatnatyam because I love it! Don’t you dare call Kathakali a ‘mask wala dance’!

P. S. Have you ever heard of Panchavadhyam or Shringari melam? I tell you, your eardrums will go numb, the first time you hear them live!

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Aswathi Haridasan