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Monday, February 1

The quintessential "mallu"

"Malayalees are sex-starved or perverts", says Paul Zacharia, noted writer and social activist. Newslink

"The journalists don't look at my face but at my breasts", the reason given by Arundhathi Roy for refusing to attend a press conference in Kerala.

What does the tailpiece read?

Haven't we had enough of this gelling together of the apparently all-too-global nature of the 'malayalees' or rather should I use the term "mallu" when I speak about forbidden impulses and rot behaviour?  Some people suddenly seem to grow a tongue encircling their throat when they speak about the 'mallu' sexuality and perversion. Now why is that?

Is it because of the seemingly endemic character of the mallu-men to ogle and drool at women, whichever part of the world they are?

Is it because of the stereotypical paradigm created by the old Malayalam movies, which were too bold and 'un-natural' for the rest of the nation?

Or is it because of these women, perhaps? Especially the one with that thunder thighs who rejuvenated and reinforced the above mentioned mallu prototype.

Or may be it is because of the omnipresent nature of the mallu to investigate what's brewing hot in his neighbour's backyard and bedroom?

Whatever, the search engines display an all too obvious caricature of the quintessential 'mallu', a comfy aperçu for the 'malayalee' or rather for the Keralite. This is what Google exhibits on Page #1 if you look for  'mallu'.

I had a frisk at some similar shortys like 'gujju', 'bhojpuri' etc but the results were pretty much bland... I mean, no spice or steam even when classical contemptible stereotypes are in place about them all. Wanna read this article, from Big Fish magazine?  if you feel urged to know more about them stereotypes.

So why just mallu? Because 'sex' sells my mate... The most searched word on the www is 'free porn', 'sex' and the likes. And the mallu-word got an embryonic attachment to the obscenity due to many reasons. 

Let me reel-off a personal experience while working in Mangalore a few years back. I shared the apartment with a couple of folks from Orissa and another from Bihar. During a regular weekend booze, the chit-chat on women and sex was initiated and one of the Oriya men had a bizarre doubt. He wanted to know why most Kerala men preferred 'women on top position' while making love. Since we all (the 3-4 mallus in the group) looked bewildered, he rephrased the querry with a rationale that "women are more educated and forward in Kerala, so they like to be on top of men while doing sex." (!!!) Take it, we were not scholars on how people behaved and positioned themselves in copulation but found the reasoning obviously ridiculous.  But the Oriya and Bihari fellas were as sure as sun that it was a gospel truth and everyone in their states knew the 'fact'. Ahem!

Ah, since we were all genuine bachelors at the time our opinions had no face value, and we were taken to the cleaners. They just laughed off as if we were arguing that 'sun rises in the North-west'. Not done, our friends were also of the opinion that Malayalee women were too easy to get laid but they refrained from enlightening us with the reason then. We found out why a tad later....Hold on...

"South Indian men are all ugly and skinny and so the Kerala women feel magnetized by the men from the outside". Outside in the sense, not within the four linguistic states... Well, the idea seemingly was pregnant from the movies, especially Tamil films of the times were 'handsomeness' was not a requisite for the heroes. The voluptuous and gorgeous female actresses raving for the dark-skinned, short-statured heroes must've send out the signal to the peanuts of the err....macho men from the North.

True, the local movies at the times prominently featured real-life heroes and never had a 6 feet he-man like Amitabh Bacchan or chocolate heroes like Rajesh Khanna.

Movies are pretty powerful medium and see how it has created a stereotype. And the objectification got naturally displaced to the mallus.

The Malayalam films of the 70s and 80s, which depicted sexuality and womanhood in a palpable and artistic angle did create build the stereotype. But very often these Malayalam movies ended up as soft porn in big cities, like the movie 'Thamburatti' (Princess) a bold mallu movie of the late 70s was released as "Thamburattiyude Aadyarathri" (First night of  the Princess) in Mumbai. Even now a good number of the ultramasculine Northies associate Malayalam film world to erotica. Many believe that Kerala produces just 2 kinds of movies: the award category Adoor types and second, the raunchy and ticklish Shakeela types.

The indulgence of the ordinary Kerala women in choosing professions like Nursing, Teaching or other service oriented jobs poured more into the stereotype as they further feathered classical male sexual fantasies. This help build the stereotype and it transferred onto any mallu girl. Wishful thinking... :big grin:

Recalling that argument in Mangalore, almost 6 years after it occurred, it isn't too tough to see how horrendously wrong people could be. There is no magic cure for ignorance, especially for something as sheer as the above, but also left me wondering. F**k matters, is there a rule-of-the-bed that woman should scream only under you, always???

My advice: refer Kamasutra; but even Vatsyayana appear an undergraduate about sexual positions when considering the in-depth research and analysis our Orissa and Bihar dudes have done.

 Depiction of sexual positions in Kamasutra

There is one right fact about all stereotypes... They are all wrong.

Saying that, there is one glaring fact and I don't intend to be in a denial mode about that. The way some of our men conduct themselves around, especially outside the state borders, has earned the state some pretty stinking reputation. A joke around Mangalore was that mallu men may go to bed even with a stick wrapped in a salwar. Many a times than not, our own men are too eager to brand a woman as 'easy', or as a 'whore' if she appear social and companion-esque. In cities like Bangalore, the Kerala men goes on with their ogling habits and naturally people feel that we are desperate to stick the dick into any wayside hole.

True, a fair number of Kerala men act like Casanovas and feel and behave like 'kaamadeva'. No excuse from my part, this form of eve-teasing should be chained. Many roadside Romeos firmly believe its a kind of masculinity to drool and ooze at females, even to poke and feel some sensitive parts. Its fun, they think, until their sister or mother gets to the receiving end.

Kerala society, as per Paul Zacharia, suffer from the disease called 'moral policing' while being extremely hypocritical about own selves. The recent Rajmohan Unnithan saga forced his tongue but to any novice observer it would appear that there is a dark sinful cloud over the Kerala social-scapes. Our society is still conservative; too orthodox, rigid and maligned as per people like Zacharia. But my question is: has this trait just evolved exclusively for Kerala, or fine tuned by mallu men?

Zacharia carries on: "I have lived in Delhi, I have lived in Mysore, I have lived in Chennai but I have not seen such starvation anywhere and I have not seen people peeping into another person's affairs, especially the affairs of a man and a woman, at this level anywhere." 

Well, isn't it in Tamil Nadu that all kinds of  issues broke out on the 'condom issue' which landed Khushbu and the likes in trouble? I find it comical that Zacharia has mentioned New Delhi, where men barging into the ribcage of women, groping incidents and other forms of sexual misconducts are the order of the day. Every other day we hear issues r/t rape and assault in Goa, and even kids are not safe with even a Minister going on to say that Goa is the rape capital of India. How safe is our cosmopolitan douche-bag Mumbai?  How many shocking and shameless incidents of mass groping/ public assault on women has occurred in Bihar and its neighbours? I don't see any reason to single out mallu-men when the issue w.r.t disrespect and disregard to the fairer sex seems to be a pan-India problem.

What did a newschannel in Bangalore do in the name of Moral policing? They broke into the house of a prostitute, and exposed her to the whole world. Excerpts, courtesy Bombay Dosti

News9 made a sting operation and found that a service apartment in Bengalooru was being used for prostitution by a Russian lady. The channel team member posing as a prospective customer discovered this fact. After confirming that she was indeed in the business of selling sex, the team returned with a camera. They broke open the apartment and started recording. Apparently she was with a customer. What gives these journalists the right, to violate the rights of a woman, even if she were a sex worker. She was wearing a two piece suit, when they broke open and the channel had the audacity to force her to reveal her body. She was trying to cover her breasts and her face with her hands. Two men pulled open her hands to reveal her body and face on camera. WTF!!!!!

No, Kerala society hasn't degraded that much. Oh God, NO! Wonder why Zacharia failed to notice all these...

We've had Sooryanelli, Vithura, Kilirur and it IS upsetting and excruciating, but as serious social crimes such cases have to be seen in a different perspective. If one society can raise more voice against eve-teasing, molestation and crimes against women then I believe it is Kerala. Except for the Metros, Indian women still live in a shell. The mallu-women may harbour the same orthodox character, is subjected to injustice and may not be socially-liberated like widely believed, but they're far more free and empowered. (I repeat, I'm not talking about the Metros)

Strolling on a deserted street at 12am, having a sip at a pub or wearing micro-mini isn't exactly what I mean by free and empowered women... Kerala has to acquire more cosmopolitan attributes if you wanna see that. 
image courtesy The Hindu

But a lack of cosmopolitan culture, proportionately higher no: of wannabe skirt-chasers and playboys imitating the silver-screen chocolate heroes doesn't mean the whole state is a pervert-house. No denying the fact that our social behaviour could be more refined ,but sex-starved and frustrated? Too overboard.

You see why I don't feel intimidated by Ms. Roy but has taken serious offense of Mr. Zacharia?

Image courtesy: DU ,Wikipedia, The Hindu

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