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Monday, August 27, 2012

The Dark Keralite Rises!!!!!

Common... What happen to the ace graphic artists or the cool cartoonists.. How come no one ever thought to remix TDKR images with Maveli/Mahabali. Him rising out of the pits of Pathala and growling “HrrHaaappyyyy OOOOrrrNAM!!!!!”

Anyway most of you well-informed readers( i.e. the 3 or 4 who visits this blog) know the Story of Onam and the legend of Mavelli. But since we Indians love repeating the same story over and over again, with the lead characters wearing a slightly different costume and dancing to slightly different music( bollywood!!). Hence I am retelling the story of our legendary King Mavelli. ( He is called Mavelli, Mahabali, etc.. I will call him Mavelli, since I am a proud mallu and its shorter to type.)

Mavelli was the grandson of Prahlad, another famous mythical legend who was known for his pious devotion . Under the guidance of his grandfather our young hero Mavelli turned into a wise man of sheer awesomeness. He was one of the great kings. His kingdom prospered and every citizen was extremely happy and lived in peace. Crime, corruption, hunger etc etc all disappeared during his rule. Every one lived as equals and homies.The world echoed with songs of his greatness and generosity( Mavelli nadu vaneedum kalam.....). Mavelli was like any other great king, He expanded his rule to the entire world and shortly took over the heavens above and the underworld, Pathala. ( Note to reader, Pathala is not the generally misunderstood 'hell' of Indian mythology. Its supposed to be place of great beauty, and wonders populated by beautiful nagas and Mayas. It just means a world under the earth. More about this can be read in the Book, “ The Bharathvarsha Initiation”.)

Anyways, all all stories of greatness goes, our hero Mavelli was an Asura (Demons and their sorts). A race of beings that was opposite to the Devas( Gods). This is one interesting thing about indian mythology, not all Devas are good, not all Asuras were bad. The famous Ravana is a good example. He too was an extraordinary king with a happy and prosperous kingdom, who was so advanced that even the Gods were jealous. With Mavelli, we have the same situation.Mavelli  conquered all of heaven and earth and the underworld .Yes!!! He took it from the gods. The gods couldn't stop his awesomeness. So like the USA, the gods weren't happy seeing all the living beings on the three worlds so damn happy and enjoying life under the rule of this Asura King. They wanted to interfere and fee the people from this tyrant.Their feelings probably would have aggravated when every time there was party the most popular song was “Mavelli nadu vaneedum kalam...”. It would have really pissed them off when they saw all their apsaras etc grooving to these songs. So like the USA, they decided they needed to bring down this Great Asura King. They conspired and sought the help of LORD Vishnu - incarnation specialist, era ender and every one's favorite super god. ( The cool thing about Indian mythology is, you can literally have any number of gods, but finally it comes down the the three, and in the end there is no GOD but yourself and everything is god. You can pray to snakes, turtles, cows, monkeys, fish, humans, gods of other religions, rocks, gold water, food, gods, demons, witched, vampires etc. But all you have to do is good, no harm and generally be a cool dude or dudette to be moksha-fied and live rest of eternity in total awareness and bliss.)

So Lord Vishnu decides to take advantage of Mavelli's  generosity and put him down for ever. He incarnated him self as a dwarf Brahmin, Vamanan. And during a very important ritual (Ashvamedha, which would concrete his rule over the three worlds.)went over to Mavelli asking for a tiny piece of land. Mavelli was like, “ Sure dude anything! Just say how much land you want and its yours, after all I have all of the three worlds with me.”

Vamanan said he just wanted the land which he could cover in three paces of his tiny, tiny little feet. Maveli was like, “No way! That's too less. Take more. I can give you more. All of this land is every one's. Three paces of land is too less. You should take more!”

Vamanan disagreed and was stubborn about the three paces of land. Generally all these brahmins and sage had an eccentric streak in them, So our great king Mavelli agreed offered him his three paces of land. Vamana( being a Lord Vishnu incarnate, guaranteed to shock, awe and wonder), grew into immense supernatural proportions, and with one pace covered all of earth and pathalla. With his second step he took care of heaven too. Mavelli realised who he was dealing with, and fell on his knees, devotion and awe filled his heart and soul. He admitted defeat to the great god, and seeing no where else to give for Vishnu's third pace, Mavelli did the honorable thing and offered him himself. Lord Vishnu took his third pace on Mavelli's head and sent him to Pathalla. Lord Vishnu went all sentimental and granted Mavelli a boon. He was to be the next King of the Devas, ( effectively screwing the scheming Devas in the process.) Mavelli didn't care for the boon, what he wanted was a chance to visit his dear people. Vishnu granted him that. So every year, on Onam, Mavelli gets a chance to visit his people on earth, and we mallus the only people who decided to remember him and honour him celebrate Onam with a bang!!

Yeah!! Onam is here. I am one of the many unfortunate mallus who never got to celebrate Onam in Kerala in all its glory. But I am sure Mavelli doesn't care about that. He will come sample the feast, burp on the payasams, watch colorful games, trip over the many drunks, maybe even share a few drinks with them and probably wonder, “Why the hell did i have to get this boon. This place sucks.!!!”

Its an amalgamation of irony, sarcasm and th darkest humour that, the only place in the world that celebrates an Asura King, who god screwed by the gods call the state “God's own country”! Weird right. And trust mallus to make this awesome king, who conquered the three worlds,and ruled his people into the perfect society, look like a comic fool. All the cartoons, ads, cosplay, Internet mimes, TV shows, all show a obese Mavelli, with a gigantic potbelly and handlebar moustache and a retarded look. Every shop in Kerala will have the same stereotypical Mavelli playing the clown and hanging on to a weird umbrella, offering onam discounts and offers.But I wouldn't blame it entirely on the mallus. We are experts at satire. Our king, ministers and rulers or politicians of this day are, huge, pot bellied, retarded clowns. So we basically thought maybe Mavelli looked like that. But I believe its high time we changed it. We need a new face of Maveli. A mascot for the wonderful times of legend. Not the clown miming our present times. Some one needs to re imagine, and redesign Kerala's favorite mascot into an awe inspring personality and move away from the commercialised clown we are used to.

Mavelli has become dark nowadays, in mood! The Dark Keralite is dark not because he doesn't use fair and handsome to even out his skin tone, He is dark because he probably had to swim through polluted rivers and wells, to see dried up paddy fields and poor man's skyscrapers spewing out garbage onto his wonderful country every second. He would probably have got the growl in the voice due to all the garbage and pollution. Then when thinks he will eat, all he probably see is the prepackaged Onam sadhyas, and celebrations. He sees most of the pretty ladies of Kerala imitating their favorite celebrities with Onam special sarees, and hoping its more expensive than their neighbours, instead of working along with friends and family to make the perfect feast and the perfect Onam. Instead of children playing around picking flowers and other Onam stuff, he would see them glued to the Onam  special tv shows, made only special by the “happy onam” logos and famous celebrities describing how awesome onam was during their childhood. Then Mavelli would see all the dudes lining up in liquor shops to break last years record sales of liquor. Then he would see camps of people( usually outside Kerala) celebrating Onam in pompous style and noise, declaring their love for their culture and traditions, so they can post it on facebook along with the pictures they took of themselves posing in Traditional mallu costumes.The next day they would decide tradition is out of style and live their lives as they would, complaining and cribbing about other Keralties and their customs. Mavelli needs to become darker and beat the crap out of people people, and ask them to at least to celebrate Onam Honestly.

Anyways Mavelli is going to rise in soon. So if you hear the chanting Rise! Rise! Rise! From your well or a cave or something and see a angry, dark Asura climbing out. Don't worry. That's just a wonderful legend coming to celebrate Onam.

HrrHaaappyyyy OOOOrrrNAM!!!!!

Comments Appreciated. Recommend and share if you like!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Peter Pan Generation.

During an late night insomnia fuelled talk with a friend, who recently migrated to L.A., he accused yours truly of being immature, and the poster child of the "Peter Pan Generation". Since he moved to L.A. he has been afflicted by need to act like he just saved the world from a meteor with Aerosmith screaming a ballad in the background, and have spent a lot of time on Wikipedia.  After finding out why Generation Y( people born from late 70's to the 80's) were called "The Peter Pan generation" I realised that what my friend meant wasn't a compliment.

This is what Wikipedia says

"This generation is also sometimes referred to as the Boomerang Generation or Peter Pan Generation, because of the members' perceived penchant for delaying some rites of passage into adulthood, longer periods than most generations before them. ................. "

After more google research I found the label "Peter Pan generation" is used always in a derogatory sense than a compliment. ('THEY' even figured out to make Peter Pan look bad) . So as a member of this generation, I take it upon myself to re-cool-ify Peter Pan and shine some light on how cool we are. This is only meant to the real Peter pan generation. Not for those, like my friend , who decided that getting a well paying job away in the so called greatest cities, away from his friends and folks, getting a pretty lady for wife, means maturity and seriousness and decided to not to be a part of Generation Y. Dude! We did more awesome stuff when we were kids. If there is anything good in this world still remaining its because we carried it along. I will elaborate.

Most of us are the product of the post WW babies. The people that was born when our world was rebuilding itself. Our parents might have had a tough child hood, but they did pamper us, as much as possible, and still do. We were bought up by parents who struggle to raise their lively hood and burning blood and time to build the ideal life and bring up their children. We grew in a times of great cultural and global change, and acceptance. My batch in school was called the " Millennium batch". YES!! we passed out school in 2000. It s pretty cool thing if you think about it.We were there alive and kicking as any adolescent would have when the century changed.We never were too traditional, and we are not too modern, even as the century turned in the digital era.

Its is disheartening to see that my generation is seen in poor light. To be frank what ever light you non generation Y people see us, is because you put us there. We never complained, until all the errors of the previous generations fell on us. The greatest crisis we ever faced was probably the Global recession. It was the decisions of our elder generations that put us in a rut.But who cares about that, the impending economic meltdown, climate disasters, and gods knows what will change that. Before Generation Y gets a bad rap for that, let me point out, we just did what we were told to do. There weren't many paths for us to take You created this world for us. And know we decided this world sucks.

We were bought up idolising heroes of history and legend. Heroes during our time never existed.What ever idealistic values where instilled in us, every real word hero, every great 'ism' created by you and propagated though us has failed, has turned villains. Didn't we follow all the rules, u laid down to us when we grew up. The great heroes of the Great wars, have turned villains. Religion and the institutions of Gods have become sinners, Medicine has become the biggest profit making business, Science has lost its respect and trust.

We have only seen the greatness of these institutions in history books, and movies and stories. The real world all the other generations created for us was never like the world they portrayed it to be. Remember this was the world given to us, a world where growing up and being successful meant, a large amount of social neglect, selfishness, douche-baggery, back stabbing, betrayals and good old fashion evil. It may be coincidence that some of Generation Y started asking why?

Unlike prior generations, we weren't the rebellious ones, we never rebelled against parents or authority figures. We enjoyed the same music and movies as our parents. We read book which they considered classics, enjoyed and still cherish them. Unlike the latest generation, we listen to music that had more words that sirens and grunts. The songs we sung as kids had more meaning and lyrical value than the billboards tops of today. We are the ones who decided personal music players( the legend of the WALKMAN) was much cooler than the boom boxes of yesterdays, or the screeching pain in the neck mobile phone speakers. We know an audio cassette works both sides, and how to do a long play record on VHS. We have high scores in both Pac-man and Angry birds.We were there when video games was bouncing pixels off lines, to having water cooled GPUs to play Crysis. We know how to use cell phones that has 'sms' as the hottest new feature to new shiny touchy touchy smart phones. We went to barber shops to get our hair cut, not to unisex beauty saloons to have our hair styled. Our action heroes were tough, gritty commandos, underdog boxers or cops, or spies that really knew how to kick ass, unlike the skeletal six packed vampires that go bling-bling in sunlight. Our action heroes are old men now, but they still can come back and kick as at the box office. If u have have a problem with that go talk to Stallone and the gang.

Now lets talk about the Internet. Yeah you may have created it, and the new generation has taken it has their own. But we are the ones that made it what it is. We took a military invention and made it the greatest tool for mankind. We birthed the information age. Can you imagine the current young punks using the ancient BBS as the first facebooks and waiting for an image to download on the now ancient dial-up connections. We built the Internet to what it is now. So these young little punks now can flash how connected they are with their tiny tweets and likes. It was us who embraced P2P and open source. We were the original pursuers of Internet conspiracy theories and revolutions( X-Phile, anyone?).The Internet was our rebellion. We created content and shared it with the world. It was they who decided to put a price tag on it to make the most money out of it. Not us, so we turned into modern day pirates. Maybe not swashbuckling and charming as our ancient sea faring legends, but cool enough to rock the world from our little dark, dingy, poster filled rooms.

Yeah! we refuse to be like our previous generations. We might not have the same drive as our parents to work our asses off for our kids to be happy in a miserable deteriorating world. We might seem selfish and self indulgent. The only reason being this was what was taught to us. We played by the rules once but it didn't make the world any better. Now few we plan to change it into the idealistic world they said it would be. Well not all of us. There are many who have "Grown up" to be mature. They might have been lost in glamour of materialistic consumerism and the incessant need to act mature. But there are enough peter pans among us. We like to take things light-hearted. Enjoy the small and beautiful things in life. I am sure the non-peter pans of the peter pan generation just need a little trip down through memory lane to figure out that we still hold those old values and morals of the good old times, where the world we built was a perfect happy and wonderful one.

So all the people who is calling " The Peter Pan" generation in a negative way, I would like to raise three fingers. ( Index, middle and ring) and tell them- " Read between the lines! Douche bag! I am immature and I am determined never to grow up. What you gonna do about it?"

Comments appreciated especially from the Peter Pan generation.