First of all let’s get the facts right – all Malayalis do not speak with a ‘Mallu’ accent.
Secondly, those of us who do speak with an accent, speak with a very distinctive one, thaang you very much – and we don’t appreciate it when people mix it up with someone else’s.
And thirdly, in these days of Lolakutty and the whole global village mania, it’s high time the “Northies” got their facts right.
What got me on this myth busting mission? The new Idea advertisement.
I don’t have issues with the ad – It is corny, sappy and spells out its message in so much detail that any kindergarten student will get it.
What I do have a problem with is how the Malayali is made to say ‘Ram, Ram’. Listen to it on YouTube and tell me if you’ve ever heard a Malayali speak like that. A Tamilian perhaps, but not a true blue Malayali.
It’s high time that everyone who is not a south Indian realised something – we are not all Madrasis, people.
And considering there is no Madras anymore, officially speaking, maybe those north of our four borders need to be sent back to school! Brush up on that geography!
I’d like to know how a Punjabi would feel if I said he was no different from a Bihari. If I said they spoke the same language, came from the same area and looked alike, too. There would be civil war – that’s what would happen.
Coming back to the ad, I’d like to know how the ad execs do their research? Do they just throw a dart at the map of South India, pick a state to mock, and then look to the office clown to come up with inspiring lines? Or do they have a research team that actually does what it is paid to do?
I highly doubt that. And my proof: Another television ad that talks about how you can get your local channels wherever you go.
It shows a Tamil speaking man setting off for a new job – and the local channels that follow him? Those that show Kathakali and Mohiniyattam!
There’s no excuse for such blatant errors. An accent may be confused by tone-deaf people, but facts like Kathakali is a dance form from Kerala? Any high school student will tell you that.
My advice to ad execs – if you can’t invest in a good research team, then do invest in a good computer with internet access. Google is the only way forward for you.
And to the rest of you, Malayalis say Ram the same way a Punjabi or a Lucknowi would.
What we may not say the same way is: Waatch it misterr. Next time will be yourr laast time!