A shouting competition- In all probability, you might not have heard anything like this before in Kerala!! The brain child of Sholto, our boss from the UK, who wanted to try it out as a small experiment to find out why Kerala ladies almost always talk in muffled tones, this interesting shout out competition was held in our office at Karma Kerala. The ladies and the gents teams were drawn up and everything was well set for a high decibel shout and screech. The winning team would have been the one that made the maximum sound.
Obviously the all girls team of 17 was not a match for the men’s team and the ladies were clearly outclassed in the first round of the shouting competition. In the second round in a hotly fought contest 15 ladies shouted their lungs out as loud as they could against a truncated men’s team of just 5 and even then, the men won by a clear edge. When a combined round of both men and women was done, the sound tapered as it reached the female side. In this melee, a few anxious faces did came out from the adjacent buildings to see what it was all about.
At the end of it all, it was concluded that the women in Kerala have chosen to be soft spoken and quiet due to an array of social and cultural factors when they are outside the comfort zones of their homes. However, I feel that to measure the real power of the female vocal chords, one might have to step into their homes unexpectedly when all the male voices of the house will be drowned in the clamor of the females:). Share your views on this interesting topic !
Karma Kerala celebrated Xmas with much fan fare and gaiety on 17th December, much before the rest of the world did . It was all about fun, frolic, food and fiesta to put it in a nutshell. From the traditional Xmas activities like carols to the fast paced dance routines, skits and songs there was something for everyone in our colorful Christmas programme. The office was decked up with festoons, colorful balloons and confetti and the excitement was thick in the air.
The programmes started at noon after a sumptuous Christmas luncheon that consisted of typical Kerala delicacies including appam and stew among others. Our boss, Mr.Tejal etched out the strategies and goals for the year ahead and the mood was upbeat as 2010 turned out to be a profitable year for Karma Kerala even as many parts of the world were reeling under the global downturn.
The Christmas gift exchange was the first item in the itinerary where everyone exchanged gifts with their Xmas friends, the names of which remained a top secret till the last moment!. The dance numbers by Shreya, Rini, Tessa , Mary, Thanima, Amjath, Kiran and praveen was the star attraction of the evening; not to forget the swift paced dance number of Sharaz. There were games like passing the parcels and an innovative candle race (where the participants needed to come first without the candle flame going out) among many other games. As they say, all good things must come to an end; so did our wonderful day but not before offering us loads of laughter and fun in a party well organised.
Karma Kerala wishes all its patrons and well wishers all over the world a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Weddings are occasions of joy and fulfillment, however in many areas like Thalassery in Malabar, wedding day fun often cross the levels of decency and infringe into the privacy of the newly wed couple and their families. From the harmless jokes and gigs, wedding day fun has now has evolved into serious wrangling, fist fights and wordy duels, often causing serious depression and pain to the victims. The horde of youth who are notoriously famous for causing trouble at weddings are known as ‘rascals at weddings’ in the local parlance.
An incident that took place a few months ago in a sleepy hamlet of Azhiyur in Kerala , near Mahe would illustrate the gravity of this menace. The decked up bride and her family was waiting for the groom to arrive and when they were about to receive the groom and his family, a stage managed show that indeed raised a few eyebrows among the onlookers took place. A seemingly pregnant woman in rags pounced upon and shouted that the groom has sired her yet to born ‘child’.
The shell shocked bride who fainted had to be rushed to a nearby hospital. It was then the woman pulled out a cushion hidden inside her dress and informed the crowd that it was only a prank to have some fun on the wedding day! The funniest part was that this stage show was organised by none other than the close pals of the groom. A person who happened to be there at the scene recalled that they were all drunk and would have ruined an auspicious occasion.
Some of the popular pranks of these youngsters include jeering and making fun of the woman folk of the family and creating ruckus at the wedding venue. In some extreme cases, innovative and shameless acts like removing bolts from the doors and windows of the nuptial chambers had also been reported. These drunken youths have indeed become a nightmare for the newly weds who can only keep their fingers crossed, wondering what could be in store for them on their wedding day!
These tasteless incidents have become routine affairs in wedding venues in many parts of Malabar. Fed up with their harassment, the local populace and people’s representatives have formed vigilant squads and associations at several villages in and around Thalassery to stop the menace. Weddings should be well cherished moments and not scary nightmares that the newly weds might shirk to recollect!
In Cochin, Valentine’s day was marked by the impressive entry and exit of the Cupid. Though saint Valentine lived thousands of miles away from Kerala and died for causes not effecting the local public, it is interesting to note that we also have started celebrating this day with fervour and fun thanks to globalization and Western influences.
The legend goes that this day is celebrated in remembrance of the deeds of St. Valentine, a priest who was executed for having refused to fall in line with the unattested law of Roman Emperor Claudius II, allegedly ordering young men to remain single . The Emperor brought out this law to grow his army, believing that married men do not make competent soldiers. The priest valentine however secretly performed marriage ceremonies of young men who were in love and when the Emperor came to know about this, St. Valentine was imprisoned and later executed.
Valentine’s day in Cochin was all about parties, gifts and entertainment. Nonetheless in many streets of Cochin, love was put up for sale virtually. Heart shaped red balloons, red roses , heart shaped pendents and small gift articles were sold by way side hawkers who made the busy interjections their temporary shops. Some were seen enthusiastically displaying the wares to the passengers in the vehicles waiting for the traffic signal. Most of them rolled down the tinted glasses to take a closer look at the wares and many customers were eagerly grabbing them too as these were sold at a fraction of the market price.
However, I doubted whether these people who bought these goods were actually glorifying the concept of love- one of the most beautiful virtues of man! For an ordinary pair of eyes, it all looked a well orchestrated sales trick targeted against the susceptible common folks, who will fall for anything new or interesting. As they say Love is blind and so are the many traditions that go with it!