Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kerala This Week, Ver 2.01, 2008

Kerala has much to celebrate this season.

Summer rains are here, according to the Department of Meteorology and the guys there who always make predictions about the weather; and who have always got it wrong..Well, the summer rains are almost here, and will hopefully be a welcome end to the heat and humidity. Its also welcome since it will help the state clear the dumps of garbage on the streets as it floods the roads everywhere since we do not have a proper draingage system in Kerala, clear up piles of plastic in the canals and rivers, and also, with some help from the wind, bring down bad hoardings, old trees, and unsafe buildings. Of course, being the greedy malayali, we could wish the rain washes away all our scumbag politicians as well, but thats a bit too much to ask for, especially since you dont want them all accumulating in the sea, given our vast coastal line.

Rains will also be welcome by the Kerala Police. Based on my estimate (I swear I have done a proper physical verification when I travel), there are only 21 traffic policemen in Kerala (3 in Trivandrum, 5 in Kochi, 2 in Calicut, and one each in the remaining districts). But with the rain Gods arriving, the havoc on roads can be blamed on them. And the mad drivers of Kerala can continue to drive wrecklessly. The 21 cops can relax and take longer breaks in the nearby petty shop.

Talking about petty shops, Big Bazaar opened its second outlet amidst violence, protests, vandalism, and political victimization in Trivandrum - I happened to be unfortunate enough to be in the capital on opening night. The Corporation officials (a bunch who are around to fleece anyone residing in the city) raided Big Bazaar on its inaugural day, right after a party youth outfit goons rampaged the store, and sealed the store claiming that the store was selling "pappads" without license. The store however managed to "convince" the officials later that night, and also produced court orders in their favor. The people of Trivandrum appear to have welcome the freshness of the retail chains and all roads seem to lead to Big Bazaar.

Which kind of creates another problem. All roads, unfortunately, include the roads taken by "machoos"( a new breed of boys from famous localities in the state which have produced aristrocratic and ancient families of criminals, goondas, etc on stolen motorbikes) and "aliyans" (a brotherhood of eve-teasers, rapists, and gropers), and entertainment for them now begins around these new hubs.

Kerala can also entertain itself on the new craze of the its rulers. After years of collusion, sharing, partnerships, and joint ventures in crime, hawala, money laundering, political killings and ace manipulations, the political leaders have realized that the spiritual leaders are growing bigger than them. So finally the crackdown has begun from one end. Just like the Munnar-JCB-Demolition series, we will have to see how far they progress before the leaders from both sides kiss and make up, and call for a ceasefire. I just overheard someone saying that one of the christian businessmen dealing in spiritualism and mass-healing, currently under heat, is building a mansion worth 15 crores. Brother must be praying that the rains flood the entire state and people forget all these baseless allegations.

Theres a lot more happening in the state, but more in my next post..

But its also important not to miss the buds of change appearing across the state. Hopefully the blossom will not be far away. This hope and quest for change and struggle to break free is aptly evidenced by Avial and their music. The first malayalam rock band is, by all measures, superb. They are bold, chose to take the plunge, they told the critics to buzz-off, and have brought a welcome change for Keralites across the world.

Read more!

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