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In a coconutam shell

Come to Keralam, God’s own country. But don’t bother if you can’t get your tongue around Mallu names.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2010 22:14 IST

Here’s another coconut frond in the nomenklatura of the communist commissars. Kerala will soon be called Keralam. An assertion that the colonial yoke is well and truly cast off. The comrades whose historical blunders are legion are about to make another one, the name Kerala was not conferred by some solar topee-sporting occupier but sprang from native soil in the form of the kera or coconut of the alam (land). But enough of all this amming and hawing. You have to give it to the doughty leaders of Keralam, they have their priorities right. They want only those whose tongues are tactile enough to get around the native names of places and things to come calling.

So, if you are planning to nip across to the neighbouring speakeasy and order some fiery Kerala mutton fry, be sure that you will get a volcanic response. “Waiter, one Keralam fish curry, please.” That’s better. All this renaming could spell problems for the Mallu bretheren who have enough trouble making themselves understood with their pebbles-in-a-jam-jar accent.

This could prove difficult when they are trying with ferocity to flee God’s Own Keralam to, say, the Gulf. By the time the immigration officers have got the hang of all the new names, the immigrant could well find himself back home cooling his heels on the Arabian Sea shore. But why stop at names, we recommend that the comrades pass a diktat that henceforth, only Malayalam will be spoken by Malayalis from Keralam at all times. Not to mention that the official dress will now be the mundu, hitched up at an appropriate height. Will people, especially tourists, think that the Mallus have gone nuts? Yes, as long as they know it’s coconuts.