October 8, 2011

The 'Mallu' Accent

I spent 20 years in Mallu land and little did I know then that I would be ridiculed for my accent rest of my life.It was when I flew to US,I got the first slap on my face for my accent.Thankfully since all Americans think that most Indians have a common accent,I was saved from any kind of humiliation from them.It was the so called 'Indians' from other states who had a BIG issue with my accent.Initially It was very hard for me to understand what made my accent stand out from normal Indian accent,a lot of bullying and ridiculing by close friends and acquaintances made me realise I indeed had a "Mallu Accent".I consciously made an effort to distiguish 'Rose' & 'Ross',but alas I realised it was just in my blood.I comforted myself saying accent is not a big deal in life.
But the irony is that like there is an 'American' accent and 'British' accent,I too can make out where someone is from from his/her accent,But neither me or my fellow mallus I know make a fun of their accents.But whats the big deal with the Mallu accent alone?I belive an accent cant be a disturbance or a reason for irritation for anyone.Chineese,Koreans,name any region,they have their own way of talking English,But when a mallu like me utter a few words,its always a reason for humiliation.
After my tenure in US,when I shifted to 'Gelf' where its all about mallu,honestly I too wished at times there was a little less mallu people around here.90% of my colleagues are also mallus so luckily I never had an issue with my accent until this 'Bombay' raised south Indian came to my team.For the past few days I have been watching him deliberatly ridiculing certain words,When I tried to be polite and made him understand I do realise that I have a mallu accent,he just couldnt stop with it.Its a common trend seen these days.They just dont realise they too have a regional accent,but belives its just that Mallus who have an accent.
I am not someone who tries to adapt to forgein accent just coz I spent some years abroad.All I did was to bit slow down when I talked to those people there,When they could understand me well,whats with my fellow Indians.Its not about understanding a conversation,its just some other weird.I just wrote this as I was humiliated a lot for my accent.I just cant go back to my school to those lovely teachers for not correcting my accent..Is it really Important in Life??Speaking proper language matters,but I guess its all about a 'Non Mallu' accent that really matters to people.Indians are the most racists people I guess,we are divided based on the region and religion,even if we choose not to,such silly 'accents' make u feel that you are not an Indian but a 'Mallu'...C'mon people just grow up!
(I Hope there was nothing malluish in my writing...)