- State Law XVII in sub-article 47.2 under chapter "Behavior in public places" mandates all men in the state of Kerala to grow a moustache.
- The last time people shaved in Kerala was on June 6th, 1973. That day they had a valedictory ceremony for the razor, shaved off a 19-year old kid for the last time and then burnt the razor. Nobody, who has a Kerala domicile, has shaved ever since that day.
- On July 12th 2003, Mariam a school teacher near Thrissur delivered 2 chldren, who were born with a moustache and a stubble. The gene research department in University of Ottawa, Canada believes that this could be indicative of the future baby-birth trend in Kerala.
- Today, nobody in Kerala knows what the razor is? Kids read about this mythical instrument in school books, as weapons used by rakshasas and asuras. Some stranger from 'Naarth' India went to a shop in Kerala and asked for a razor. The shop keeper quickly alerted the police, who arrived immediately and apprehended this man for questioning. After further inquiry it was found that the person intended to commit beard-shaving. He was admitted to a mental hospital and later fined Rs 750.
- Beards have led to an identity crisis in Kerala. 90% of the people look like Jesudas. The remaining 10%, who are without a beard, look like Jesudas without a beard. We had to go to the Guruvayur temple and search for someone. I told my fellow travellers that the person whom we had to meet would look exactly like Jesudas. When we went there we found 70,000 Jesudas look-alike's waiting for us.
- Malayalam is a sexy language. Seriously, the two languages I find really sexy are Telugu and Malayalam. Anything you tell me in Malayalam and I'll go "wow! so romantic". Its not as bland as Hindi or Tamil and its really got a tune or rhythm to it. Its like French to the English speaking world - you listen to someone say "taailet poi kazhuvi vanthu" and you go " wow! how sexy".
- On the negative side, they dont make food in Kerala. Unless you consider Kerala food to be food. Given the aversion I have for boiled rice(each grain is as big as a sea shell), I think not.
- On the subject of food, the Keralites are still upset that water is being served without cocunut. There is a odd murmer or two that if Andhra can put garlic in every possible food item and serve water with garlic, they should also be able to put cocunut in water. They have put some sukku inside water but they want the cocunut in water, so that it is consistent with every other food item in Kerala.
- The state flag of Kerala should be a moustache, a beard, and a veshti (dhoti) below the beard. On the right side of the flag should be a cocunut and a cream-white saree. The flag should be sandal in color.
- The state flag of Tamil Nadu should be similar to the state flag of Kerala, minus the beard, cocunut, saree and sandalwood color - and - plus - a striped underwear underneath the dhoti. The dhoti must be carefully folded upwards to reveal the underwear.
- The people from the two states constantly crib about which of the two states is the best. Finally it boils down to a war between the beard and the underwear. So it boils down to the question of - which state's men make their women happy - the beard or the underwear?
- Coimbatore Tamil, like Malayalam, is really sexy. Anything people from Nellai or Kovai say, I find it - sort of zingy.
- Our guide tried talking to me in malayalam. After the initial excitement of hearing malayalam spoken to me calmed, I claimed ignorance of malayalam. The guide nodded in an understanding sort of way and courteously repeated himself slowly and clearly in Malayalam. He was surprised that I still did not understand him. He thinks I am little low on I.Q.
- Since this topic was in my local cache, I quickly spotted this. This is the only place other than TN where the letters 'zh' make sense. You can comfortably use the 'zha' word and feel smug. For example Tamizhans in Kerala have the strange superman like power to say kozhikode instead of 'kosihkode'. This butchering of the english script by using 'zh' letters to convey some arbitrary sound is much similar to the use of 'th' by those crazy hindi-speaking folks, who pronounce 'this' 'that' 'thus' 'cloth' 'froth' normally but convey a 'ta-ha' sound when they say paratha (paratah), which makes no sense to the non-hindi speaking world. And I thought Sanjose = Sanhose was crazy.
My yearly trips to Guruvayur not only gives me a chance to visit Coimbatore (and if time permits a quick trip to Ooty) but also experience the drive from Coimbatore to Guruvayur. I sort of know Kerala is like God's own country etc. But this particular strech is extremely scenic. I also got to drive a Lancer for the first time. Although, like most cars this car has negligible pick-up when the A/C is ON, the overall experience was good. I am not a car guy so I may not be knowing what I am talking about - so excuse me if Lancer has a reputation of having defects.
Anyway back to the drive. I am impressed with the amount of vegetation in this route. It is almost like driving in the forest. On the way, just before Palakkad, there is a restaurant called Aryas, where we stopped for breakfast last year and found it to be good (a rarity for me in Kerala). This time we searched for it and went to Aryas again. Bad is the word. Every single item on the menu was bad.
Another thing to watch out for on this strech is Nenthram-kai chips (Banana-variant chips) Nenthran-kai chips, the reason why I hold Kerala with utmost respect, is made before your eyes and sold on the spot in the NH-47 highway that takes us from CBE to Guruvayur. This time I also bought Nenthram-pazham chips, the second reason why I respect Kerala, in Kerala itself, instead of the Kerala Bakery in Usman road/Thyagaraya Gramani street intersection. Nenthram-pazham chips is a damn good invention. In the long-run It could beat its twin nenthram-kai as the best chips ever. Ofcourse Beetroot chips, which is another start-up 'chip' company (the irony of using the real chips within quotes and the Si chip without quotes really bugs me) could give it good competition.