Sunday, January 03, 2010

A Malayalee Redfined - According to Vijayaraghavan, M.P.

Yesterday was Kairali’s, Belapur’s malayalee association’s, Christmas party. The entertainment was all rip-offs of Bollywood and western pop. As if being a Christian means following things western. Oh, there was a Bharatnatyam performance too. I was transfixed by the dancer’s movements and the rhythm her feet made on the wooden floor matched so wonderfully, so fluidly, so effortlessly with the rhythm of the drums. Truly a wonderful performance.

The chief guest was Mr. Vijayaraghavan, member of Rajya Sabha, the Indian Senate, who gave a very correct description of a Malayalee (to be taken in the proper Malayalee sense of humour), which goes thusly:

“A Malayali (I am referring to the feminine gender to avoid a lot of “his/her” from cluttering the text) is one who wonders which school her child will go before she is born. A Malayalee is so committed to bringing up her child that she will go to any extent to secure the best for her. She researches all the schools, then carefully prepares the girl for interviews. The school should be good, even if the teachers don’t have any brains. A Malayaee doesn’t mind if the girl brings home a lot of home work, and sits down to do the homework herself. She also sends her to coaching classes which takes three-four hours of the child.

“Then when the child is old enough, she is put through entrance tests for engineering, medical colleges. When she passes, she is married off to someone from the U.S. The best of the best should go to the U.S., so also her darling girl should go to Texas or Chicago. Then comes the call from the U.S., the much anticipated call. She thinks she can visit the Niagra Falls, the Statue of Liberty, the Yellowstone National Park. But, it’s for midwifery and baby-sitting she is needed, as these two duties are very expensive in the U.S.

“കുട്ടിയെ ഇടതും വലതും കൊണ്ട് നടക്കും, കുട്ടി ഉ.സ. ഇല പോയാല്‍ പിന്നേ പട്ടിയെ ഇടതും വലതും കൊണ്ട് നടക്കും.

“Before the girl goes to the U.S. they will escort her on both sides – left and right – and after she goes they will escort the dog – left and right.”

Apropriately, as Mr. Vijayaraghavan correctly surmised, it’s a sad reflection of what a Malayalee’s life has become. The trouble parents undertake to get their children in professional colleges is sometimes pathetic, no, phenomenal. Today a Malayalee parent is considered a failure if one child is not somewhere in the U.S. of A.

What’s needed? A change of attitude perhaps.

2 comments:

ms said...

this definition will suffice for every parent. the midwifery and babysitting end at different times, if the daughter is a spoiled little rich twerp, it will end as soon as she finds a substitute, her neglected ma-in-law!! change of attitude is impossible. i have seen 17 year old school dropouts in the west handle their pregnancy, childbirth, child rearing - all by themselves, and still have time for housework, shopping and their mates!! asian women experience childbirth as a normal event and carry on with farmwork and factory duties with great panache. go figure!

John said...

ms,

Thanks, i had suspected that it applies to Indian middle class as a whole.

John